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
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.
In This Review
- 1IntroKia's practical and good-value plug-in hybrid family SUV takes on the stylish and sporty MINI Countryman S E ALL4
- 2Range & chargingThe Kia has the MINI beaten on pure electric range and efficiency, although charging will take longer due to its bigger battery
- 3Running costs & warrantyThe Kia is better value for money than the MINI and should cost a little less to run; its warranty is fantastic, too
- 4Performance & handlingThe Kia isn't as fast or as fun as the MINI, but still drives neatly. The MINI is the drivers' choice
- 5Interior & infotainmentThe Niro is more comfortable and features better infotainment; the MINI feels a little more premium but has costly options
- 6Space & practicalityThe MINI has a bigger boot, but the Niro is still a very spacious family car
- 7Safety & reliability - currently readingBoth cars should be safe, but the Kia has a stronger track record with owners and better warranty cover than the MINI
- 8Verdict & specificationsThe MINI Countryman is a good car, but can't quite compete with the all-round package that is the Niro PHEV