Here we have a face-off between Fiat’s attempt at breaking into the American market, and MINI’s attempt to preserve their dominance in the compact market. The Fiat 500X vs. the MINI Countryman.
On the inside, the Fiat 500X offers more space in the front and the back, with 1 inch more front legroom and .3 inches more rear headroom than the Countryman.
The Fiat comes standard with a remote vehicle starting system. It also comes standard with a climate system that automatically heats or cools the interior, with an optional automatic climate control feature. The Fiat also comes with a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. A rear wiper also comes standard on the Countryman with an intermittent setting.
Inside, both seat the same number of people, but the 500X has less cargo space than the Countryman.
Cost and Fuel Economy
The Mini Countryman has a larger tank size than the 500X. But, in heavy traffic or at stoplights the 500X’s engine will automatically turn off when the vehicle is stopped. This saves fuel and helps reduce pollution. The engine will automatically restart when the driver is ready to go again. The Countryman does not have the automatic engine start/stop system.
Additionally, the 500X comes standard with a cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Countryman doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
The two have the same fuel economy: they both get 24 to 25 miles per gallon in the city and 33 miles per gallon on the highway.
The Mini Countryman starts at $26,900 and the Fiat 500X starts at $24,490. The Fiat 500X does have a destination charge than the Countryman.
The FIAT 500X is a little narrower than the Mini Countryman, which makes it a little easier to park, but both are about the same length.
Power and Handling
The 500X has a 1.3 turbo 4-cylinder engine that produces 177 horsepower and 210 lbs.-ft of torque. The Countryman’s standard 1.5 turbo 3-cylinder engine produces 134 hp and 162 lbs.-ft of torque.
On the Fiat 500X, an automatic transmission comes standard. With the Countryman, the automatic transmission is an additional charge. The automatic in the Fiat is a nine speed, while the automatic in the Countryman is an eight-speed.
As for handling, the 500X has a tighter turning circle than the Countryman, 36.3 feet vs. 37.4 feet, making it a little easier to maneuver.
The 500X has a 7.9-inch minimum ground clearance while the Countryman has 6.5 inches, which means the Fiat 500X has great off-road capability.
The Countryman’s maximum trailer towing capability is 0 pounds while the 500X has up to a 1000 lbs. towing capacity.
Both vehicles have nearly the same basic warranty.
The Fiat 500X has adjustable front seat seatbelts and Reactive Head Restraints come standard—these headrests are designed to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash in case of a rear-end collision.
All Wheel Drive is standard on the 500X but is an additional charge on the Countryman.
Some models of the 500X include an optional lane departure warning system and blind spot warning system, but the Countryman doesn’t offer these on any trim level.
Both vehicles come standard with driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, and side-impact head airbags.
They also come standard with front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, and rearview cameras, and offer optional crash mitigating brakes and front and rear parking sensors.
Previous 2016 Model Comparisons
The 500x might be the car to help Fiat make an impact in the US market, with the basic concept of turning a small car into a larger car without losing its signature Fiat characteristics. A compact, useful new model, the 500X is Fiat’s first small crossover SUV, a class of vehicles in high demand these days.
Regarding design and styling, Fiat takes the cake with the 500X. The car was drawn in Italy, and received a classy Audi-like look, walking away from the previous design of its cousin the 500L. The Trekking and Trekking Plus models were presented with a more rugged look in their front and back ends.
The 500X is available in five different styles with front wheel drive: Pop, Easy, Trekking, Lounge, and Trekking Plus. The Easy, Lounge, Trekking, and Trekking Plus models are also available in all wheel drive.
While Fiat is trying to expand its horizons, MINI’s only available all-wheel drive vehicle is back to solidify its place as the king among a growing class of small crossovers.
There are no significant changes in design for the newest version of MINI’s crossover, except for the Park Lane. A special-edition model of the Countryman.
The Countryman is available in two models with front-wheel drive: the 4-Door and the 4-Door S. And in another two models with all-wheel drive: the 4-Door John Cooper Works ALL 4 and the 4-Door ALL 4.
Where safety is concerned, the 500x has a slight advantage over the Countryman in terms of rankings. While the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Countryman a “Top Safety Pick,” the 500X was named a “Top Safety Pick +” by the IIHS.
Both cars split in the fuel economy category. The 4-Door Countryman comes ahead of the 500X Pop in economy driving in the city, with a 27 mpg estimate, while its Italian counterpart consumes an estimated 25 mpg driving in the city.
Nevertheless, the 500X has better highway mileage. Clocking at 34 mpg on the road, against the Countryman’s 32 mpg consumption.
The engine for the base 500X Pop model is a 1.4-liter turbo four with 160 horsepower. All the MINI Countryman models come with 1.6-liter fours engines, the difference is that on the S and John Cooper Works ALL 4 models, the engine is turbocharged, reaching 211 horsepower in the JCW model. The more advanced versions of the Fiat 500X run on a 2.4 engine that can make 180 horsepower.
When it comes to pricing, the Countryman is available at a slightly higher cost, with the regular 4-Door model starting at $22,750 according to MINIUSA.com. And the John Cooper Works ALL 4 version of the Countryman starting at $35,350.
The Fiat 500X is available at a slightly lower price, with the basic 500X Pop starting at $20,000. While the most expensive model is the Trekking Plus, which is starting at $28,210 according to FiatUSA.com.