Kia Niro PHEV vs MINI Countryman PHEV: safety and reliability

Both cars should be safe, but the Kia has a stronger track record with owners and better warranty cover than the MINI

MINI Countryman hybrid

As with running costs and warranty (previous page), we can use the 2020 Driver Power survey as a barometer of reliability. The Niro – bundled in along with its electric and hybrid versions – achieved an impressive fourth-place finish thanks to strong scores in the vast majority of categories, no least reliability and build quality. Just 11.9% of owners reported experiencing a fault, usually with electrical gremlins. 

The Countryman didn't feature in the same survey, but MINI itself actually returned an even lower average share of owners reporting a fault with their cars – just 8%, a very strong result considering the double-digit scores of many other manufacturers. 

Safety shouldn't be a concern with either car: both are five-star rated by Euro NCAP, with the Countryman scoring 90% for adult safety and 80% for child occupant protection. The Niro (with the Safety Pack added, as on all PHEV cars) gets a 91% score for adult protection and an identical 80% rating for children.

The Niro comes as standard with 'forward collision avoidance assist' (also known as automatic emergency braking, or AEB), lane-keeping assistance and hill-start control, while the Countryman gets AEB as standard but requires some box-ticking to secure some of the features the Kia gets as standard.