Ford Escape vs MINI Countryman

2024 Ford Escape
2024 Ford Escape
$28,000MSRP
Overview
Overview
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2024 MINI Countryman
2024 MINI Countryman
$32,650MSRP
Overview
Overview
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2024 Ford Escape
$28,000MSRP
Overview
Overview
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2024 MINI Countryman
$32,650MSRP
Overview
Overview
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CarGurus highlights

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According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2024 MINI Countryman was 6.5 out of 10, while the 2024 Ford Escape scored 6.2 out of 10. Although both vehicles had their strengths and weaknesses, the MINI Countryman edged out a slight advantage. Its distinctive design, better driving dynamics in the Cooper S, and unique interior gave it a slight edge over the Ford Escape’s better technology and safety features. Ultimately, for those seeking a more engaging and character-filled small SUV, the MINI Countryman is the recommended choice.

Overview

MSRP

$28,000

MSRP

$32,650

Average price

$16,426

Average price

$19,537

Listings

9197

Listings

4188
Ratings & Reviews
User Reviews
User Reviews

Expert reviews

6.2 out of 10

Expert reviews

6.5 out of 10
Pros
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Comfortable
  • Impressive technology
Cons
  • Interior materials feel cheap
  • Uncompetitive cargo space
  • Poor value for money
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Fun to drive
  • Easy-to-use technology
Cons
  • Underwhelming base engine
  • Not much cargo space
  • Lacks expected safety features

Reviews Summary

Reportedly, Ford will discontinue the Escape at the end of the current fourth-generation run. Once among the most popular vehicles in its class, Ford recently zigged with the Escape’s design and positioning when the market zagged. Boxy, rugged-looking crossovers are what people want, not soft and sophisticated pseudo-cars like the current Escape. Fortunately, Ford has the Bronco Sport in its lineup, which is getting all of the automaker’s attention. Meanwhile, the 2024 Ford Escape receives no major changes following a substantial makeover in 2023, though it appears the Base trim is canceled.

Reviews Summary

The new Countryman arrives next year and we know at least one version of the 2025 Countryman will be electric, if not all of them. In the meantime, the 2024 Mini Countryman enters its eighth year in second-generation spec. The base Cooper model comes only in Classic trim this year, the Signature trim package adds a standard navigation system, and the Cooper SE plug-in hybrid is more appealing thanks to a lower-priced base version and more standard features in the top-of-the-line Iconic trim package.
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Popular Features & Specs

Engine

1.5L 180 hp I3

Engine

1.5L 134 hp I3

Drive Train

FWD

Drive Train

FWD

Seating Capacity

5

Seating Capacity

5

Horsepower

180 hp @ 6000 rpm

Horsepower

134 hp @ 4500 rpm

MPG City

27

MPG City

26

MPG Highway

34

MPG Highway

32
2024 Ford Escape
2024 Ford Escape
$28,000MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2024 MINI Countryman
2024 MINI Countryman
$32,650MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2024 Ford Escape
$28,000MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2024 MINI Countryman
$32,650MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Photo not loading

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2024 MINI Countryman was 6.5 out of 10, while the 2024 Ford Escape scored 6.2 out of 10. Although both vehicles had their strengths and weaknesses, the MINI Countryman edged out a slight advantage. Its distinctive design, better driving dynamics in the Cooper S, and unique interior gave it a slight edge over the Ford Escape’s better technology and safety features. Ultimately, for those seeking a more engaging and character-filled small SUV, the MINI Countryman is the recommended choice.

Overview
MSRP
$28,000
$32,650
Average price
$16,426
$19,537
Listings
Ratings & Reviews
User reviews
4.2
4.5
Expert reviews

6.2 out of 10

Read full review

6.5 out of 10

Read full review
Pros & cons
Pros
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Comfortable
  • Impressive technology
Cons
  • Interior materials feel cheap
  • Uncompetitive cargo space
  • Poor value for money
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Fun to drive
  • Easy-to-use technology
Cons
  • Underwhelming base engine
  • Not much cargo space
  • Lacks expected safety features
Summary
Reportedly, Ford will discontinue the Escape at the end of the current fourth-generation run. Once among the most popular vehicles in its class, Ford recently zigged with the Escape’s design and positioning when the market zagged. Boxy, rugged-looking crossovers are what people want, not soft and sophisticated pseudo-cars like the current Escape. Fortunately, Ford has the Bronco Sport in its lineup, which is getting all of the automaker’s attention. Meanwhile, the 2024 Ford Escape receives no major changes following a substantial makeover in 2023, though it appears the Base trim is canceled.
The new Countryman arrives next year and we know at least one version of the 2025 Countryman will be electric, if not all of them. In the meantime, the 2024 Mini Countryman enters its eighth year in second-generation spec. The base Cooper model comes only in Classic trim this year, the Signature trim package adds a standard navigation system, and the Cooper SE plug-in hybrid is more appealing thanks to a lower-priced base version and more standard features in the top-of-the-line Iconic trim package.
Video
No video found
No video found
Popular Features & Specs
Engine
1.5L 180 hp I3
1.5L 134 hp I3
Drive Train
FWD
FWD
Seating Capacity
5
5
Horsepower
180 hp @ 6000 rpm
134 hp @ 4500 rpm
MPG City
27
26
MPG Highway
34
32
Look and feel
2024 Ford Escape
9/10
2024 MINI Countryman
6/10
The 2024 MINI Countryman retained its distinctive character. Like all Minis, the Countryman didn’t take itself too seriously. It wore classic Mini styling cues, featuring an erect wraparound windshield design and a floating roof that looked like a bimini top. The Union Jack tail lights paid homage to its British heritage. Buyers had numerous options to personalize their vehicle with various paint, roof, and mirror cap treatments, and they could select from multiple wheel designs. An unusual feature was that dark tinted rear privacy glass wasn't standard and had to be opted for separately. The 2024 Countryman lineup included the Cooper, Cooper S, Cooper SE, and John Cooper Works (JCW) variants, each differentiated by their drivetrain. While the Cooper housed an underpowered turbocharged three-cylinder engine, the Cooper S and JCW versions had a more robust turbocharged four-cylinder engine, available in different states of tune. The Cooper SE was a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle providing 18 miles of electric driving before switching to gas-electric hybrid mode, offering 29 mpg in combined driving. Our test model was a Cooper S with the Iconic trim package, featuring dark-tinted privacy glass, an adaptive damping suspension, and 19-inch wheels wrapped in summer performance tires. The MSRP, including a $995 destination charge, was $41,945. The Iconic trim equipped the Countryman with premium leather, power-adjustable front seats, a head-up display, wireless smartphone charging, a semi-autonomous parking system, and a power tailgate. It also had digital instrumentation, an 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and a dual-panel moonroof that brought natural light into the cabin. The overall experience of looking at and sitting in the 2024 MINI Countryman was unique, making it stand out amidst the often interchangeable small SUVs. Ford had tried to revitalize the Escape in 2023 with a restyled front end, new wheel designs, a revamped trim lineup, and updated technology including next-gen infotainment and enhanced safety features. These updates carried over into the 2024 Escape, significantly improving its appeal. The previous model’s wide-eyed, toothless smile had been replaced with a more aggressive look. However, the rest of the SUV maintained a soft and generically appealing overall appearance. For 2024, the Escape was available in Active, ST-Line, ST-Line Select, ST-Line Elite, Platinum, and Plug-in Hybrid trims. Ford had apparently dropped the Base trim, with prices ranging from $29,345 to $40,500, excluding a $1,495 destination charge. Our test vehicle arrived in ST-Line Elite trim, with extra-cost Rapid Red paint, black 19-inch wheels, the Premium Technology Package, and a Panoramic Vista Roof, costing $43,650 including the destination charge. The interior of the Escape ST-Line Elite featured diamond-stitched, perforated leather and the latest tech upgrades. Although the initial impression suggested an upscale environment, the excessively glossy surfaces and unusually stiff, dry upholstery of the leather seats detracted from its overall appeal. While Ford could have resolved these issues with closer attention to detail, the rumored demise of the Escape suggested that such enhancements were unlikely.
Performance
2024 Ford Escape
7/10
2024 MINI Countryman
6/10
The 2024 MINI Countryman featured a range of powertrains. The Cooper model was weak, sporting an underpowered turbocharged three-cylinder engine, and the Cooper SE’s electric range was unremarkable, providing only a slight gain in fuel efficiency. In contrast, the Cooper S and John Cooper Works (JCW) models were highly recommended. The JCW, especially, wasn’t messing around. It packed a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 301 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque, paired with an eight-speed sport automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. Mini claimed the JCW accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, catering to those seeking speed alongside fun. For most people, the Cooper S Countryman was perfect. It also used a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, generating 189 hp and 206 lb-ft of torque. The front-wheel-drive variant utilized a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, which exhibited typical DCT halting behavior, while the optional ALL4 all-wheel-drive version shared the JCW’s eight-speed sport automatic. Mini claimed the Cooper S accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds (7.1 seconds with AWD despite its additional 205 pounds). The Countryman shone in daily driving scenarios like commuting, errand-running, and school shuttling. Although it had a summer performance tire and adaptive damping suspension, it wasn’t an engaging canyon carver. Nonetheless, it could outperform most small SUVs on twisty roads once drivers acclimated to its dynamic characteristics. The EPA rated our test vehicle’s fuel economy at 28 mpg in combined driving, but our testing yielded an average of 25.4 mpg in a mountainous Southern California route. The 2024 Ford Escape ST-Line Elite offered a choice between a 192-horsepower hybrid powertrain, expected to get 39 mpg in combined driving, and a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 250 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque, averaging 26 mpg. Our test vehicle was equipped with the latter, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. The AWD system featured a driveline disconnect to improve fuel economy, with driving modes including Eco, Normal, Sport, and Slippery, though there wasn’t an Off-Road mode. The Escape could tow up to 3,500 pounds when equipped with the turbocharged engine. Despite carrying the ST name, the driving dynamics didn’t match the sporty appearance. The ST-Line’s ride was soft and compliant, lacking the firm and connected feel one might expect. Handling was nimble in typical driving situations, but the suspension allowed excessive body motion. While the brake pedal was responsive, the steering felt sluggish and numb. For most daily activities, the Escape ST-Line provided a sporty look with comfortable and isolated driving dynamics. However, enthusiasts seeking more dynamic performance would find the turbo engine wasted. The Active and ST-Line (lower trims) featured a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine, offering competitive performance with 180 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque. This powertrain, available with either FWD or AWD and paired with an eight-speed automatic, was adequate for most purposes. The hybrid variant, though not as quick, promised greater fuel savings. Our turbocharged ST-Line Elite averaged 24.1 mpg in our tests, below the EPA rating of 26 mpg.
Form and function
2024 Ford Escape
6/10
2024 MINI Countryman
6/10
Stepping into the 2024 MINI Countryman revealed enough room for four adults and their luggage, making it well-suited for a week-long road trip. Our Iconic trim test vehicle included dual-zone automatic climate control, premium leather upholstery, power-adjustable heated front seats, and a thick-rimmed heated steering wheel. The seating position was upright, with the small yet supportive seats providing comfort. The steering wheel, delightful to grip, enhanced the driving experience. While the Countryman contained seatbelts for five, four occupants would be more comfortable. Rear legroom and foot space were ample, though squeezing a fifth person in would only work if all three rear riders were children. The Countryman boasted excellent outward visibility and its compact dimensions made parking easy. However, it lacked advanced technologies like a surround-view camera and rear cross-traffic alert, though parking sensors, a reversing camera, and an automated parking system were available. Interior storage was reasonable given the Countryman’s size, though the under-armrest smartphone charging pad obstructed access to the lower tray. Cargo space was modest, with 17.6 cubic feet available behind the rear seats, enough for two full-size suitcases lying flat. Removing the cargo cover allowed stacking more luggage. A 40/20/40-split folding rear seat enabled carrying longer items without sacrificing passenger space, expanding cargo capacity to 47.6 cubic feet. The Cooper SE PHEV’s cargo measurements were slightly smaller. The 2024 Ford Escape ST-Line Elite offered a black-themed interior with cloth inserts and artificial leather bolsters, accentuated with red stitching to highlight its sporty nature. While leather seats were available, they felt unpleasant despite their fancy appearance. Our test model included features like ambient interior lighting, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, a six-way power-adjustable front passenger’s seat, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel. However, it lacked ventilated front seats, which would have been useful during the Southern California heatwave. The Escape’s front seats were large and soft, providing good support over time. Uniquely, the front passenger’s seat was height-adjustable, a rare feature in this segment. The rear seat was also comfortable, especially when slid back to its rearmost position. The Escape’s doors made entry and exit easy for all passengers. Interior storage was generous up front but less accommodating for rear passengers. The Escape offered a significant cargo volume of 37.5 cubic feet behind the back seat (34.4 cubic feet for the hybrid), expandable to 65.4 cubic feet (60.8 cubic feet for the hybrid) with the rear seat folded down. Deep storage areas beside the cargo load floor and a grocery bag hook enhanced practicality.
Technology
2024 Ford Escape
8/10
2024 MINI Countryman
7/10
The 2024 MINI Countryman wasn’t a technology powerhouse, but it offered useful features. The small digital instrumentation display perched on the steering column replaced the traditional motorcycle-style gauges. Our test vehicle included a head-up display (HUD), projecting information onto a small screen mounted a few inches above the digital instrumentation. The 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, housed within a round enclosure reminiscent of Mini’s past center-mounted speedometers, utilized a version of BMW’s iDrive technology. There were five interaction methods: touchscreen, control buttons below the screen, steering wheel controls, a center console control knob, and voice recognition. This combination allowed versatile and intuitive system control once users acclimated. However, it lacked Android Auto, supporting only Apple CarPlay. Our test model’s Iconic trim included a 12-speaker Harman Kardon premium sound system, a significant improvement over the standard six-speaker setup, delivering impressive audio quality. The 2024 Ford Escape featured standard digital instrumentation—a 12.3-inch display for upper trims like our ST-Line Elite, presenting pleasing graphics and comprehensive data. However, the star was the 13.2-inch Sync 4 infotainment system, displayed in a landscape format. The content was well-organized, with an intuitive layout, but the color theme made the display appear washed out and the thin fonts were hard to read at a glance. Ford integrated the climate controls into the screen’s bottom strip, which was non-preferable. Lower trims employed an 8-inch display for Sync 4, offering features like wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, SiriusXM 360L satellite radio, and FordPass Connect services. The 13.2-inch version added Amazon Alexa and a complimentary three-year connected navigation subscription. A Bang & Olufsen premium sound system was available, although we couldn’t assess its quality due to damaged speakers in our test vehicle. Using Sync 4, we observed input-response lag and an overheating issue with the wireless smartphone charger. The voice recognition system, however, worked excellently, and switching between Apple CarPlay and the native environment was seamless. An optional HUD projected information onto a clear plastic piece atop the dashboard, not the windshield. Although included in the Premium Technology Package with leather, the Bang & Olufsen system, and Active Park Assist 2.0, we didn’t find it substantially beneficial over the digital gauges and infotainment system. Active Park Assist 2.0 was a semi-autonomous parking system, capable of placing the Escape in parallel or perpendicular parking spaces and aiding in tight spots. The driver had to remain behind the wheel, ready to take control if necessary. While effective, our tests found it impractical on busy streets or crowded lots.
Safety
2024 Ford Escape
4/10
2024 MINI Countryman
8/10
The 2024 MINI Countryman displayed its age with limited advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS). The standard Active Driving Assistant included forward-collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and automatic high-beam headlights. Rear parking sensors and an emergency SOS call button were standard, with optional adaptive cruise control available in the Signature or Iconic trims. However, the Countryman lacked several modern safety features such as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, lane-centering assist, and a surround-view camera system. Our test vehicle, without adaptive cruise control, only allowed us to assess the lane-departure warning system, which provided subtle steering wheel vibrations. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) ratings were the only crash-test guidance available. Despite some incomplete assessments due to new testing procedures, the Countryman earned the highest rating of Good in the crashworthiness evaluations conducted by the IIHS. The 2024 Ford Escape featured a standard post-collision automatic braking system, bringing the SUV to a stop after a crash. It also came with the standard Ford Co-Pilot360 suite of driving assistance systems, including forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic high-beam headlights. Our ST-Line Elite trim added adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability and predictive speed assist, evasive steering assist, lane-centering assist, and a 360-degree surround-view camera system. While driving on Pacific Coast Highway, the lane-keeping systems displayed inconsistent behavior, and the predictive speed assist slowed the SUV excessively for curves, causing irritation in other motorists. We had to turn off this feature. Both the adaptive cruise control and lane-centering systems mysteriously shut down at one point, necessitating manual control. On freeways, the Co-Pilot360 technology performed better, with more effective lane-keeping systems and smooth adaptive cruise control operation in stop-and-go traffic. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the Escape favorable ratings, with five-star scores in all but rollover resistance, which received four stars. The Plug-in Hybrid also had a four-star frontal-impact driver protection rating. The IIHS hadn’t rated the 2024 Escape as of this writing, though the 2023 model had earned Good ratings except for a Marginal score in a new side-impact test.
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