Mini Countryman vs. Suzuki S-Cross: small four-wheel drive SUVs in the test
Mini Countryman Cooper ALL4 AT
RRP from EUR 39,500, savings of up to EUR 3,258
Suzuki S-Cross 1.4 Boosterjet Hybrid Allgrip
RRP from EUR 34,540, savings of up to EUR 5,659
The Mini shows more vanity
In the interior, Suzuki has basically only given the S-Cross one major innovation: a new infotainment system with a larger nine-inch touchscreen with a significantly higher resolution. Which, to be honest, was sorely needed. The system sits quite a bit higher in the center console than before, so it is less distracting. And can otherwise be operated quite smoothly. When it comes to voice control, you need a lot of patience, if anything is going to happen at all. Otherwise, everything typically Suzuki stays in here. We like enough buttons and the clearly legible instruments, but we don’t like the many cheap details (e.g. only driver’s window with auto function, felt on the floor, lots of hard plastic). That hardly does justice to a test car price of at least 36,000 euros.
Inside the Countryman, it’s more upscale
kW (HP) at 1/min
Nm at 1/min
test car tires
Exhaust gas CO2*
gasoline particulate filter
Trailer load braked/unbraked
Length Width Height
Test car price (is evaluated)
Four-cylinder, turbo, mild hybrid
Continental EcoContact 6
The voice control works in an exemplary manner, recognizing even points of interest mostly straight away. And, atypical of the name, the Mini offers a lot of space: it’s generous in the front, and there’s more room in the back for head and legs than in the Suzuki. And when it comes to the trunk, the Countryman has 450 to 430 liters or 1390 to 1230 liters with the backrest folded down. The S-Cross comes in the tested Comfort+ trim as standard with a panorama roof, which brings in a lot of light, but narrows the rear passengers, who bump up from 1.80 meters above. If you want to cancel the roof, you have to downgrade to comfort level and also do without the automatic.
The drive duo in the S-Cross is impressive
Without automatic in the Suzuki? It would be a shame, because the new 1.4-liter turbo and the six-speed converter make a really good duo. With its 129 hp, the engine has a lively effect, and its mild hybrid support keeps boosting noticeably. The Suzuki sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.9 seconds. The transmission acts calmly, which goes well with the soft, somewhat wobbly chassis of the S-Cross. Its Eco tires ensure the moderate consumption of 6.3 liters per 100 kilometers, but are also partly responsible for the braking distance of around 39 meters, which is much too long.
The Countryman is thirstier
The three-cylinder in the Mini is also quite powerful with 136 hp and 220 Newton meters, and the drive looks confident, especially in the partial load range. The awake, eight-speed automatic usually turns up early. But at full throttle you would expect more – which is no wonder, the Mini drives around with 1.6 tons almost 300 kilos more weight than the Suzi. It takes a good eleven seconds to reach country road speed, and the thirst at the pump also reflects the extra pounds at 7.4 liters.
When it comes to the chassis, the Mini is tight
The sporty, taut suspension may be a bit too much of a good thing for leisurely natures, but the Brit is in a good mood on winding roads and hardly leans. The direct steering gives a good feeling, but it should be a little less stiff in everyday use. Both come with all-wheel drive – automatically switched on, mind you. While a rotary knob influences the power distribution on the Suzuki (including lock mode with a rigid 50:50 distribution), only general driving modes can be selected on the Mini. We did not find any traction problems in the dry with any candidate.
Front/rear weight distribution
Turning circle left/right
from 100 km/h cold
from 100 km/h warm
at 50 km/h
at 100 km/h
Average of the 155 km test lap (deviation from the WLTP specification)
CO2 (test consumption)
Range (test consumption)
When it comes to assistants, both are no longer quite up to date. In the Suzuki, the lane departure warning system is a nuisance, and it sometimes still complains when you’ve already properly cut in again. The Mini’s adaptive cruise control is not radar-based, but camera-based, and it gets out at 140 km/h. You can find more details about the test in the picture gallery.