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Discussion Question~Battle Zone: Mini Cooper Vs. Fiat 500

I have an affinity for small fast cars.  Most would assume that I am referencing sport cars.  However, I absolutely love the look of both the Mini Copper and Fiat 500. For our purpose we will compare the hatchback model on both vehicles.  Besides a cute “mini” exterior I look for fuel economy, handling and price.

Today’s rising gas prices make fuel economy a major consideration in my quest for a new car.  Gone are the days of 10/15 mpg tanks as a staple when gas prices are creeping up to, dare I say it, $4.00 a gallon.  So, a car with good gas mileage is a must.  The automatic transmission on the Mini Cooper has an EPA rating of 28/36 mpg while the Fiat 500 is 27/34 mpg. Obviously there’s no major difference in fuel economy so comparing handling may help me with my decision.

When I mention handling on a vehicle I specifically mean the way the car reacts to curves and how fun it is to drive. Small cars with torque remind me of sports cars without the hefty price tag. The ability for these cars to hug curves and turns with a tight steering column gives the car that fun factor while driving. The Mini Cooper has tight sharp steering and reacts quickly to turns. The Fiat steering is lighter but gets firmer at higher speeds.

Lastly we discuss price, the Mini Cooper’s base is $20,500 where as Fiat 500 $15,000.  After driving both the Mini Cooper and the Fiat 500 my final decision is clear.   Although the Mini Cooper is higher in price I truly believe the quality of the vehicle and sports car like feel wins the battle.  I can’t wait to drive off the lot with my new, fun, small toy. Uh, I mean car.


Which would you choose?

13 Responses to Discussion Question~Battle Zone: Mini Cooper Vs. Fiat 500

  • Hey, congrats on picking a car. I call shotgun! Which would I choose? Neither. I’m not a fan of little cars at all and I hate two doored cars. These two things alone knock out the Mini Cooper and Fiat 500. To each his/her own so enjoy your ride once you get it

  • I am definitely a bigger fan of the mini. I think it looks better, it is faster and it handles better. I have driven both of them and I enjoyed driving the mini alot more than the fiat.

  • I’ve had the opportunity to drive both cars and I agree. The mini has better handling, space and quality of the materials inside. The oversized speedometer is a bit annoying but the torque makes up for it. The headrests in the Fiat are made of rough plastic and are uncomfortable for those that sit in the back seat.

  • I have been fascinated by the mini cooper since I saw the “Italian Job” and have wanted one ever since. I don’t know much about cars so I enjoyed watching the video because I learned a lot of cool new lingo like handling, and the significance of liters on power. Are you considering buying either the Fiat or the Mini soon?

  • Definitely go with the Mini Cooper. My friend has a fiat and the only good thing about it is the Bose sound system. The fiat has a tiny engine, which is the size of a motorcycle, so virtually no horsepower. You can get the steering wheel paddle shifter for the mini cooper which I think is awesome.

  • I would also go with the Mini. It has a higher re-sale value and you don’t have to worrying about paying for maintenance during the first 3 years. Before you make a decision, I would also check out the Honda CR-Z and the Hyundai Veloster; both of these cars are in the same general price range and, I think, more aesthetically pleasing.

  • Although I like the new designs of the Fiat, the Mini is a substantially better vehicle. Since the Fiat stopped production for so long, I don’t think they’re equipped to handle all of the customer needs for personalization the way that Mini has already had a handle on it; since Fiat’s new release, they haven’t worked out the kinks yet. I definitely think the lack of power behind the engine and the way the car dips in the front end when braking is a serious deal-breaker. I’m assuming you want more horsepower to drive faster, and the Mini seems to look a little bit shorter than the Fiat, helping to lower the center of gravity of the car to prevent flipping on tight, fast-speed turns; additionally, the Mini is longer and a bit wider to help distribute weight evenly to also prevent any chance of crashing the vehicle. Good luck in your purchase decision!

  • @ Iris Yes! I too have loved the Mini Cooper ever since Charlize Theron parked that car in a tiny spot in the “Italian Job.” Unfortunately, my research took longer than expected. So, I decided to get it in the fall when new models come out and the current year model is a bit cheaper. I’m really hoping for the convertible…. Vroom Vroom

    @ Lisa Thanks for the suggestion. I will check those out.

  • @ Everyone Thanks for your helpful reviews!! (*_*)

  • I would also go with the mini cooper. Definitely has a great re-sale value and maintaining the car will not be that much of a hassle.

  • I wouldn’t go with either. I know emissions and mpg are two huge things to consider when buying a vehicle, but for me, I am all about the look. I could never see myself hopping out of a car that I would have to squeeze in and out of. Cars are supposed to represent you and as a man, I’d feel effeminate in either car.

    But if I HAD to choose, I’d go Mini

  • I have always liked the way smaller cars look, but I do not see myself driving one. They are both nice cars but if I had to choose one I would choose the Mini.

  • For sure the mini, way better looking and BMW heritage.