New Mini Countryman and new Volkswagen Tiguan vs Volvo XC40: verdict

Mini and Volkswagen have conjured up new models to take on Volvo’s family SUV stalwart, the XC40. Let’s see if this spells a changing of the guard...

Mini Countryman vs Volkswagen Tiguan vs Volvo XC40 rears

Our verdict

The latest Countryman is far more recommendable than its predecessor, being more practical and better to drive, and we can see the appeal of its stylish interior. However, there are more niggling compromises to live with than with the other two contenders. It would win a ‘most improved’ award in this group, but it’s not quite as well resolved as its rivals.

Choosing between the Tiguan and XC40 is much more difficult. Considering they have very similar list prices, going for the more upmarket XC40 will be a no-brainer for some private buyers, plus the enticing PCP finance deals can’t be overlooked. For relatively low monthly payments, you get the best interior quality, smoothest driving manners and the comfiest ride.

The fact that the Tiguan is the most practical of our contenders, with its huge boot, will be the biggest attraction for many.There aren’t any major flaws, but its higher costs and slightly coarse engine count against it, so it narrowly loses out to the XC40.

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1st – Volvo XC40

Volvo XC40 front cornering grey

For Smoothest power delivery; comfiest ride; plushest interior; well-shaped boot; commanding driving position; tempting PCP deals; plenty of safety kit
Against Rear seats lack flexibility; poor rearward visibility; very few options
Recommended options None

What Car? rating 5 stars out of 5

Volvo XC40 review >>

Volvo XC40 deals >>

2nd – Volkswagen Tiguan

Volkswagen Tiguan front cornering blue

For Largest boot; roomiest in rear seats; best infotainment; sharpest handling
Against Priciest to buy on PCP finance; slightly choppy ride; brakes can be grabby; weakest and noisiest engine
Recommended options Comfort Package (£905), Winter Package (£425)

What Car? rating 4 stars out of 5

Volkswagen Tiguan review >>

Volkswagen Tiguan deals >>

3rd – Mini Countryman

Mini Countryman front cornering grey

For Strong performance; cheapest to buy outright; flexible rear seating; slowest predicted depreciation
Against Awkward driving position; interior quality could be better; relatively small boot
Recommended options None

What Car? rating 4 stars out of 5

Mini Countryman review >>

Mini Countryman deals >>

Specifications: Mini Countryman C Exclusive Level 1

Mini Countryman steering wheel badge

Engine 3cyl, 1499cc, turbo, petrol
Peak power 168bhp at 4700-6500rpm
Peak torque 207lb ft at 1500-4400rpm
Gearbox 7-spd automatic
0-60mph 8.4sec
30-70mph 7.7sec
Top speed 132mph
Braking 30-0mph 8.4m
Braking 70-0mph 45.1m
Noise at 30mph 61.0dB
Noise at 70mph 66.9dB
Kerb weight 1620kg
Tyre size (standard) 225/55 R18
Fuel tank 54 litres
Test fuel economy 37.2mpg
Official fuel economy 47.9mpg
CO2 emissions 134g/km

Specifications: Volkswagen Tiguan 1.5 eTSI 150 Life

Volkswagen Tiguan steering wheel badge

Engine 4cyl, 1498cc, turbo, petrol
Peak power 148bhp at 5000-6000rpm
Peak torque 185lb ft at 1500-3500rpm
Gearbox 7-spd automatic Kerb weight 1616kg
0-60mph 9.0sec
30-70mph 8.5sec
Top speed 130mph
Braking 30-0mph 8.7m
Braking 70-0mph 45.5m
Noise at 30mph 60.0dB
Noise at 70mph 67.3dB
Kerb weight 1616kg
Tyre size (standard) 235/55 R18
Fuel tank 55 litres
Test fuel economy 38.1mpg
Official fuel economy 45.6mpg
CO2 emissions 141g/km

Specifications: Volvo XC40 B3 Core

Volvo XC40 steering wheel badge.JPG

Engine 4cyl, 1969cc, turbo, petrol
Peak power 161bhp at 4750-5250rpm
Peak torque 195lb ft at 1500-4000rpm
Gearbox 7-spd automatic
0-60mph 8.7sec
30-70mph 8.2sec
Top speed 112mph
Braking 30-0mph 8.7m
Braking 70-0mph 44.8m
Noise at 30mph 60.4dB
Noise at 70mph 66.8dB
Kerb weight 1688kg
Tyre size (standard) 235/55 R18
Fuel tank 54 litres
Test fuel economy 35.6mpg
Official fuel economy 42.7mpg
CO2 emissions 150g/km

Weather conditions Dry, 9deg C

Cars pictured

Mini Countryman C Exclusive with Smokey Green metallic paint (£600), black roof, Level 3 pack (£7500) and 19in Kaleido Spoke two-tone alloy wheels (£600)

Volkswagen Tiguan 1.5 eTSI 150 Life with Nightshade Blue metallic paint (£730), 18in Bologna alloy wheels (no-cost option) and Winter Pack (£425)

Volvo XC40 B3 Plus with Sage Green paint

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