Which Is A Better Car, Mini Cooper Countryman Or Toyota Yaris

Published: April 25, 2022
Last updated: March 24, 2024

The Mini Cooper Countryman is among the best in subcompact SUVs. There is plenty of space for passengers inside this crossover's cabin. You have to master the infotainment system before using it effectively, but it's easy to use once you do. As long as you skip the base engine, this Mini exhibits dynamic handling, and it's a pleasure to drive. However, there is a small cargo area in the Countryman and a stiff ride sometimes.

Within the subcompact car segment, the Toyota Yaris is in the middle. There is no question that this car is agile, attractive, and user-friendly, but it has slow acceleration, which is a big detractor. With a budget-priced vehicle, you can expect a lot more. There are hatchback and sedan versions of this accomplished subcompact, which can save money in the long run because of its exceptional fuel economy. Despite not being the fastest at the track, its suspension offers a comfortable ride for everyday driving. There are fewer driver-assistance features on this Toyota compared to some rivals. It presents a compelling value proposition for shoppers who want a small, reasonably priced car.

So which is a better car, Mini Cooper Roadman or Toyota Yaris? Our following review details different aspects of the two cars to find out which is the best.

Mini Cooper - Design (9/10)

Everything about the design of a Mini is interesting. It is tough yet cute at the same time, and it stays true to its original design. Countryman is Mini's entry-level SUV model with halogen headlights and regular taillights.

The interior of the Mini is awesome because it features an extremely stylized cabin with plane cockpit-style switches, textured surfaces, and a large circular (and glowing) element housing the media system in the center of the dash. 

Toyota Yaris - Design (8/10)

Toyota's styling language applies to the Yaris in a shrunken form, like a Corolla shrinking in the washing machine. Its best look comes from the top-spec ZR trim, with 16-inch alloy wheels and two-tone paint. The blacked-out grille of the Yaris sets it apart in the city car segment with its streetwise style.

Upon entering, you're greeted with a well-designed interior that feels quality, but it lacks some creature comforts and soft-touch materials compared to its price. There are no shortages of hard plastics anywhere, and even then, the material that lines the doors in the top-of-the-line models feels paper-thin.

A 7.0-inch color screen and a digital driver display dominate the view from the front seats of this car, giving it a light-years advantage over the car it replaces. 

Mini Cooper - Practicality (7/10)

The name of this car gives away a bit about how practical the interior is. There is a good head, leg, and elbow room in the front of the four-door Countryman. Passengers and drivers both enjoy adequate space in front of the vehicle.

The 450 liters of cargo space in the boot is more than sufficient. Several cup holders are available in the cabin, including two in the front and one in the back. Aside from the glovebox and map pockets in the back of the seat, there aren't a lot of storage spaces - those door pockets are just big enough to fit a phone or a small wallet. The Coopers have a USB port and a 12V power socket on the front.

Toyota Yaris - Practicality (8/10)

The new Toyota Yaris is longer and wider than its predecessors. The vehicle can also accommodate 270 liters of luggage when the 60:40 rear seats are in place. That means more space for passengers in the back. There is plenty of legroom and headroom for every passenger to feel comfortable. 

In addition to the ISOFX mounting points and cupholders in the rear window seats, there are not many back seat features, including cupholders, a pulldown seat divider, air vents, and climate controls, USB ports, or power outlets. Two cupholders, one USB port, one power outlet, and a deep storage bin are positioned next to the gear shift for front-seat passengers.

Mini Cooper - Price (7/10)

Mini Cooper Countryman's entry-level price starts at $30,100, more than most small crossovers. It's comparable with some competitors' top trims. Compared with other SUVs in this class, it is more expensive to purchase the John Cooper Works Iconic with an all-wheel-drive at $48,900.

Toyota Yaris - Price (6/10)

The 2020 Yaris sedan and hatchback are $15,650 and $17,750. That's about the average price for subcompact cars. Chevrolet Spark and Mitsubishi Mirage are the least expensive models in this segment, with starting prices of $13,220 and $13,995.

Mini Cooper - Engine & Transmission (8/10)

The Mini Cooper Countryman is well-rounded and provides engaging handling and peppy available engines. The optional powertrains overshadow the base engine's somewhat underpowered performance. Class-average fuel efficiency is slightly below average.

The Mini Countryman features a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine that produces 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque as standard. The standard transmission is a six-speed manual, while the automatic transmission is optional. Automatic transmissions are standard on models with front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive is available as an option. The car comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 189 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive comes only with an eight-speed sport automatic transmission, but all-wheel drive comes with a six-speed manual. Although the base engine is powerful enough for city driving, the 2.0-liter version offers better acceleration on highways and starts from a standstill.

An electric motor and turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine produce 221 horsepower with the S E Countryman ALL4. All-wheel drive is standard on this plug-in hybrid. It is paired with an automatic transmission and includes six speeds. A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine powers the Countryman John Cooper Works. It produces 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission is standard for all-wheel-drive vehicles.

According to the EPA, with its base engine and manual transmission, the Countryman gets 24 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. This is not the best fuel economy for a subcompact SUV. On the highway, the Countryman gets up to 32 mpg and 23 mpg in the city with the engine. A single S E Countryman can go 12 miles on electricity and get 65 MPGe combined city/highway.

Toyota Yaris - Engine & Transmission (7/10)

As for the engine, the Yaris is powered by a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine with 88kW and 145Nm with either a six-speed manual transmission or CVT auto transmission in the more expensive models.

Adding a lithium-ion battery and an electric motor gives the hybrid 85kW of power (Toyota hasn't confirmed torque figures), so it could be running a de-tuned version of the 1.5-liter engine.

Mini Cooper - Fuel Consumption (7/10)

You can get up to 26 mpg mileage in the city and 33 mpg on the highway with the MINI Cooper Countryman, a pretty impressive figure for a vehicle in its class.

Toyota Yaris - Fuel Consumption (9/10)

A 1.5L engine provides 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque to the Toyota Yaris. This new sedan will offer a different fuel economy depending on your transmission. A 6-speed automatic transmission is available and is estimated to achieve 32 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway!

Mini Cooper - Driving (8/10)

Driving a Mini is a pleasure - it steers precisely and directly, and feels agile and maneuverable, all of which are easy to operate. Despite its compact size, the Mini exhibits dynamic handling, and it's fun to drive - as long as you don't choose the base engine. Despite this, the Countryman has a small cargo area and can be stiff at times.

Toyota Yaris - Driving (7/10)

Toyota's electrified Yaris is the one that feels the most natural from the driver's seat - and delivers more than you might expect from a vehicle touted as a revolution in the city-car arena.

The petrol-only vehicle tends to feel thrashy and loud under hard acceleration. Still, the hybrid, whose combined power output is lower than the gasoline-only vehicle's, must use a detuned version of the 1.5-liter engine, which feels smoother and more complete.

Mini Cooper - Safety (6/10)

Safety is less of an issue with the Countryman winning five out of five stars from Euro NCAP crash test experts. The Countryman was rated 90% safe for adult occupants and 80% safe for children.

Toyota Yaris - Safety (9/10)

The Yaris is equipped with safety features previously unavailable to cars in this size or price range. As well as the usual set of braking and traction aids, it has eight airbags, including front-center airbags, a feature unique to this segment.

Toyota also offers pre-collision technology, including an AEB with pedestrian and cyclist detection, active cruise control, turning assistance at intersections, lane-trace assistance with active steering, and a reversing camera.

There's a head-up display on all spec levels, blind-spot monitoring, and automatic parking on the top-spec ZR. ANCAP has rated the new Yaris as the highest five-star vehicle. 

Mini Cooper - Verdict (7.42/10)

Mini Cooper Countryman may be the only car you need, especially compared to its less tigerish and quirky rivals in the mid-sized premium hatchback segment.

Toyota Yaris - Verdict (7.71/10)

Toyota's Yaris deserves to be a big seller with excellent performance in some areas and outstanding safety.

Are you interested in learning more about cars and their maintenance? Head over to the KeepDriving website and check out our blog post about Service StabiliTrak: What Does it Mean and How To Fix it.

Founder, Editor-in-Chief Carmelo Pickel is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Keep Driving, with almost 20 years of experience working in the industry. Before founding Keep Driving, Carmelo held leadership roles for over a decade on top automotive dealership corporations across North America, handling various leadership roles in Sales, Marketing, and Incentives.
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