Horsepower

Torque

Sportage 2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

181 HP

175 lbs.-ft.

Sportage SX Turbo AWD 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

237 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Sportage SX Turbo FWD 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

240 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Countryman 1.5 turbo 3 cyl.

134 HP

162 lbs.-ft.

Countryman S 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

189 HP

207 lbs.-ft.

JCW Countryman 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

228 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Kia Sportage 2.4 4-cylinder is faster than the MINI Countryman turbo 3-cylinder (automatics tested):

Sportage

Countryman

Zero to 60 MPH

8 sec

9.3 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

17 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86.4 MPH

79.6 MPH

Transmission

The Kia Sportage comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Countryman.

Brakes and Stopping

The Sportage stops much shorter than the Countryman:

Sportage

Countryman

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

138 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Sportage SX Turbo’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Countryman (245/45R19 vs. 225/55R17).

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Sportage is 1.4 inches wider in the front and 1.9 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Countryman.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD handles at .83 G’s, while the Countryman ALL4 pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.5 seconds quicker than the Countryman ALL4 (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Sportage’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the Countryman’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Sportage has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Countryman (6.8 vs. 6.5 inches), allowing the Sportage to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

The Sportage has 1.1 inches more front legroom, 2.3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.6 inches more rear headroom, .6 inches more rear legroom and 1.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Countryman.

Cargo Capacity

The Sportage has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Countryman with its rear seat up (30.7 vs. 17.6 cubic feet). The Sportage has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Countryman with its rear seat folded (60.1 vs. 47.6 cubic feet).

Towing

The Sportage has a 2000 lbs. towing capacity. The Countryman has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The Sportage offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Countryman doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Sportage has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Countryman only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

Consumer Reports rated the Sportage’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Countryman’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Sportage (except S/LX) keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Countryman doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Sportage’s optional (except S/LX) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Countryman doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Sportage owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Sportage will cost $705 less than the Countryman over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sportage is less expensive to operate than the Countryman because typical repairs cost much less on the Sportage than the Countryman, including $91 less for a water pump, $58 less for front brake pads, $263 less for a starter, $89 less for a fuel pump, $121 less for front struts and $150 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Kia Sportage will be $2625 to $3138 less than for the MINI Countryman.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports? recommends both the Kia Sportage and the MINI Countryman, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Kia Sportage outsold the MINI Countryman by almost five to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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