2013 Mini Cooper Coun­try­man S All4 vs. 2014 Subaru Forester Lim­ited

The Washington Post Sunday - - COLLEGE BASKETBALL -

Bot­tom line:

Mini Cooper Coun­try­man We’ll leave it S to All4 you or all. the Will 2014 it be Subaru the 2013 Forester Lim­ited? Votes and com­ments will be col­lected by Vic­to­ria Mangla­pus at mangla­pusv@wash­post.com and Michelle Daw­son at michelle.daw­son@ya­hoo.com. Tal­lies will be pre­sented on­line at

wash­ing­ton­post.com/cars.

Ride, ac­cel­er­a­tion and han­dling: The Subaru is ex­cel­lent in all three cat­e­gories in all kinds of weather. The Mini Cooper is de­cid­edly more fun to drive. But we’ve driven it only on dry roads.

Head-turn­ing quo­tients: The Forester is staid and stately. The Coun­try­man? Well, Mary Anne is right. It’s much less of a “mom-mo­bile.”

Body styles/lay­outs: Both are com­pact, front-en­gine, all-wheel-drive wag­ons with four side doors and a rear hatch.

En­gines/trans­mis­sions: The Forester comes with a 2.5liter, gaso­line-di­rect-in­jec­tion, flat (hor­i­zon­tally op­posed) four-cylin­der gaso­line en­gine. It is linked to a con­tin­u­ously vari­able au­to­matic trans­mis­sion (no fixed gears). The Coun­try­man comes with a 1.6-liter in-line (cylin­ders in a line) four-cylin­der en­gine. A six-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion is stan­dard on the S Coun­try­man All4; a six-speed au­to­matic that also can be op­er­ated man­u­ally is op­tional.

Ca­pac­i­ties: Both cars seat five peo­ple. The Forester eas­ily beats the Coun­try­man in cargo ca­pac­ity — 31 cu­bic feet with rear seats up, com­pared with 16.5 cu­bic feet with seats in same po­si­tion for the Coun­try­man. The Forester has a larger fuel tank, hold­ing 15.9 gal­lons com­pared with 12.4 gal­lons for the Coun­try­man. The Forester can run on reg­u­lar fuel; the Coun­try­man re­quires pre­mium grade.

Mileage: In the real world, both get in the neigh­bor­hood of 21 miles per gal­lon in the city and 31 mpg on the high­way.

Safety: Both have ven­ti­lated front discs and solid discs in the rear for brakes. Both come with four-wheel an­tilock brake pro­tec­tion and are alike in most other respects of safety en­gi­neer­ing — elec­tronic sta­bil­ity and trac­tion con­trol, side and head air bags, emer­gency brak­ing as­sis­tance, and emer­gency brake-force distri­bu­tion.

Prices: Both the 2013 Mini Cooper S Coun­try­man All4 and the new Forester Lim­ited will cost us in the neigh­bor­hood of $29,000 equipped the way we want them — con­nec­tiv­ity for iPod and iPhone; nav­i­ga­tion with backup cam­era; blind-spot mon­i­tor­ing. We have a ques­tion: Given the “facts” as pre­sented, what would you do?

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