MINI Countryman vs. FIAT 500X

By

Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

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, Automotive Editor - October 8, 2020

The subcompact crossover segment exploded along with the larger crossover segments. This explosion brought about two larger models from automakers known for making tiny models in the Mini Countryman and Fiat 500X.

While they won’t make many trips to the home improvement store or haul a boat to the lake, they offer buyers a nice compromise between footprint and roominess. And like any good subcompact crossover, they do it with unique looks the segment is known for.

We pit the Mini Countryman and Fiat 500X against each other to see which is superior.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Mini Countryman & Fiat 500X »

What the Countryman Gets Right

While both boast unique looks, the Mini Countryman’s appearance is a little more traditional, making it more palatable for a broader range of buyers. The playfulness continues inside, but the Countryman takes a step toward the luxurious side with its available diamond-stitched fine leather and available wood trim.

The Countryman’s 3,500-pound curb weight overmatches its base 134-horsepower, 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine, but the 189-hp turbo-four in its Cooper S trim delivers smooth performance the Fiat 500X lacks.

Buyers seeking a truly unique ride will love the John Cooper Works trim’s 301-hp turbo four-pot and bellowing exhaust. Helping the JCW model handle all this power is a stiffer adaptive suspension.

The Countryman also offers a plug-in hybrid model dubbed the Cooper S E. It boasts 221 combined hp, a 16-mile all-electric range, and 27 miles per gallon combined when running in hybrid mode. The 500X has no electrified variant.

For such a small footprint, the Countryman has surprising passenger and cargo room inside. In the rear seats, it features 37.6 inches of leg room and 54 inches of shoulder room, beating the 500X by 2.8 and 1.2 inches, respectively.

It also offers 17.6 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear seats up and 47.6 with them folded, beating the Fiat by 3.5 and 7.8 cubic feet, respectively.

The Countryman also comes well equipped, even in its base trim, which includes a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, a dual-panel sunroof, synthetic leather upholstery, and more.

What the 500X Gets Right

The Fiat 500X gets an immediate leg up with its $26,085 (destination fees included) base price, which is over $3,000 less than the base Countryman. While you get fewer premium features at that price level in the 500X, this Fiat does offer a few standard goodies the Mini doesn’t, including a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The latter is available on the Countryman, but only in the second-tier Signature trim.

The 500X gets an edge in base horsepower with its standard 1.3-liter turbo four-cylinder engine pumping out 177 hp and 210 pound-feet of torque. This is plenty to get this small crossover motivated, though there's some notable lag from a stop and a bit of buzziness at higher revs. With the 500X’s standard all-wheel drive, folks in snowy states need not tick any option boxes.

For buyers who want an eye-grabbing look, the 500X’s overinflated-Fiat-500 design will likely be quite appealing. The interior is equally funky with its body-color dash, big gauge cluster screen, and other playful takes.

Value Is in the 500X

The Fiat 500X may not match all the Mini Countryman’s base features, but with it being over 10% cheaper, it presents a superior value. This is especially true for folks who rely heavily on Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

Our Verdict: Mini Countryman

While it’s more expensive and has some glaring holes here and there – namely, its underpowered base engine and limited smartphone integration – the Mini Countryman remains a superior model to the Fiat 500X. Most of its superiority comes in its broad range of premium options and the optional John Cooper Works performance variant.

Take a closer look at the Mini Countryman »

Take a closer look at the Fiat 500X »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

Follow On: Twitter

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