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Old 02-05-2012, 04:58 AM   #31
Terrytori
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Had a John Cooper Works Mini and currently own a Countryman Cooper S, All 4.
My wife has driven both.
She recently rented a Fiat 500, while on a trip.
She found it cute as hell and totally wheezy.
She cracked me up when she said..." you can get most anything on one... but passing
isn't an option. "
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Old 02-05-2012, 07:57 PM   #32
AtlantaViking
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I've had my 03 Cooper S since new. Its actually hit its 10th birthday in Nov. In those 10 years I've had the passenger window regulator go bad and they recalled the trunk latch because of a rattle. So, like every car model out there - some have issues some not so much. Overall, in 10 years of ownership - I've thought about new cars alot cause I'm a car junky but I just can't get rid of this car because it IS that much fun to drive.

I had rented a 500 on a biz trip a couple of months ago. Car had 800 miles on it - so it hadn't yet been rented to death and overall its a cute car. Engine is definitely buzzy and it is substantially narrower than the mini. If I were looking for a city commuter - it would be a good choice. For the giggle factor, go with the mini.
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:06 PM   #33
njd
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The Abarth makes the Fiat much more competitive. But it really depends on what you want. Fiat is cheaper yet more unique. The Mini is ubiquitous now, but it is in every measure a better performing car.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:22 PM   #34
Max L
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cooper countryman justa ( base model

replaced wifes lincon with a 2011 contryman justa she loves it, i mean loves it. then the wife says you need one ! i say my 96 taho is like new . she says when your new mini is as old as your taho you will be 73, ! ordered another justa R60 that night.

neighbor got the 500 great very fun car but to small. mini is great on hyw. tracks well

countryman justa can take 170 lbs on the roof racks (std built in roof rails) 4 doors, 4 bucket seats. to me it is like a sports car :.

parked next to my cousins old bmw5 or bros volvo wagon mini looks larger/ taller with bigger shoes. I love it 24k with auto n paddle shifters, lots of cool std stuff.

ski trips lots of room for 4 tall guys... 5 inch ground clearance, good car for the not normal.

30+ hwy 26 city.

land rover people come over to ask about it often thinking it is a custom ! white with black wheels n roof,

great not normal quirky well done cage. almost as much fun as bike, well almost and , def when it is below 40 degrees out /snowing

fyi the mini's and the fiat are designed by the same guy!












= hyw 26 city
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:40 PM   #35
glynb
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Have you looked at the Honda Civic Sti? Probably will be cheaper to own in the long run than either the Mini or the 500, but excellent performance IMHO.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:56 PM   #36
LuciferMutt
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You guys have got to stop comparing the Cooper S to the regular 500. The only comparison that Cooper S should have is the 500 Abarth. Of course a Cooper S is going to make a base 500 feel wheezy and underpowered.
The regular 500 is a well styled and well equipped economy car. The 500 Abarth is a track ready street car that doesn't ride like one.

I have over 4K miles on my Abarth. It's a sublime little vehicle. Extremely well engineered, sounds absolutely bitchin, and is real world fast which is something the numbers never show. There's torque everywhere. I have driven several Cooper S's (turbo variety) and hated them all. Their interiors are awful to my eyes, the torque steer is miserable and the turbo lag was insane. The 500 Abarth has none of these issues. The torque steer annoyed me the most about the Cooper S and the Abarth uses equal length half shafts and a really clever ABS "LSD" system to curb it. They pull straight and hard with very minor twitchyness under WOT. I'm also netting 33 MPG on average in mixed driving in the Abarth, and got 38 on a road trip once. It also rides much better than the Cooper S thanks to well sorted dampers. I mean, neither car is a Caddy, but the Cooper S was brutal on the rough stuff -- the 500 is firm and a little bouncy but you don't feel abused. Then there's the great stereo and automatic climate control. Most spoiled I've ever been in a vehicle.

It's the most fun car I've ever owned, and I have a habit of driving tiny, fun-to-drive cars. I love it and highly reccomend it to anyone looking for something small and fast. My favorite thing about the Abarth is that it does not take itself too seriously. It's raw and ridiculous and makes me laugh outloud to look at it, but it's so great to drive you just don't care.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:07 PM   #37
pictish
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Do you not have Ford KA where you are, my father loved his until some asshole drove over it now he drives an ML 280. If you are rural or need to go to dirt tracks and have a small trailer get a suzuki jimny if you can or a Diahatsu Terios, both can tow your bike and have small engines. Also both are ok offroad.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:17 PM   #38
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You guys realize this thread is a year old, right?

We test drove a regular 500 since the abarth wasn't out yet and it was ok. Ended up getting a super clean 08 MCS with low miles instead. It gets an easy 32 mpg when having fun with it and will do better when I keep my foot out of it. No problems with it either and would keep it for a long time but we are planning on a kiddo this year so unfortunately it will probably have to go.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:00 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glynb View Post
Have you looked at the Honda Civic Sti? Probably will be cheaper to own in the long run than either the Mini or the 500, but excellent performance IMHO.
That's a new one! I think you mean the Si, which is HUGE compared to a Mini, the Newest Gen Civic is the size of an Accord from the 90s.

Honda has a Small Car the CRZ, and it is a throw back to the CRX from the 80s but it's no CRX Si, more of a HF replacement as the CRZ isn't really performance oriented, although I bet it gets along as well as Mini, I drove the first year "Cooper" and it was a dog, so slow it completely turned me off from them (Shoulda drove an S). Anyway I'm sure the OP got his car by now and has his back crammed in there with some short wheel base hoot to drive car.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:25 PM   #40
rocker59
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Abarth Cabrio.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:59 PM   #41
Jick Magger
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I have experience with both of these vehicles and hands down the mini is a more powerful and fun to drive car than the Fiat. The residual (resale value) is very high on the mini product. One of the better in the industry. Fiat as a brand isn't going anywhere. What the dealers are expecting is 4 or 5 additional models in the next few years to make the Fiat brand feasible as a business case. As far as being partnered with Chrysler it is a great marriage. Chrysler who was loaned money at very high rates during the "bailout" has paid off there loans and posted a 1.7 Billion dollar profit for 2012. They have forecast a profit of 2.2 Billion for 2013. Although that is not a huge profit for the size of this company, they are building some great vehicles. Enjoy your test drives. Look forward to seeing what you choose.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:22 PM   #42
squish
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We had a 1st gen mini and mini s we sold them while they were still under the warranty and service contracts.
Nothing major was wrong with the cars but a ton of little stuff. The wife still gives me a hard time for getting rid of the non s
The s version we had got shitty mpg like down in the low 20.
A rough ride on longer freeway trips they were a blast around town.
The moon roof when open was louder at 45 mpg then my S2000 is with the top down at 70.

If I was in the market for pocket rocket 2x2 I'd think about getting a mini again.


There is no way In hell I'd by a Fiat a car born from the loins of two of the worst major car companies of the last 20 years.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:49 PM   #43
chazbird
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I'd say Chrysler is but Fiat isn't by any means one of the worst car companies in the last 20 years.....maybe you haven't been to Europe and driven Fiats.

I drove the 500 out of curiosity...fun, but I immediately forgot about it. The Abarth must be a different creature. Over the course of 10 years I've driven my friends first gen Mini S quite a bit, now with 180k on it...and it hasn't aged well. Still rides terrible, rattles galore, lots of bad wear in the interior, which makes that hideous digital pin-ball arcade style they have even worse. Fiat now has a model in between the 500 (100 hp) and the Abarth (160 hp), a turbo with 130 h.p. Does any one have impressions on that?
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:52 PM   #44
NSpooner
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Yeah the first gen minis were rattle traps but our second gen is very tight. Biggest thing on the s model is ditch the run flats. They ruin the ride and are very noisy. Ours was a different car after we ditched them.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:29 AM   #45
LuciferMutt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chazbird View Post
Fiat now has a model in between the 500 (100 hp) and the Abarth (160 hp), a turbo with 130 h.p. Does any one have impressions on that?
The 500T. Haven't driven it, but read many reviews. Basically it's an "Abarth Lite." Wheels, brakes and suspension from the Sport, more open exhaust, same turbo as the Abarth but different engine management, same transmission as the Abarth. Slight changes to the interior, and a new front and rear fascia that is 'halfway" Abarth. It should be a good seller as it solves the biggest complaint about the regular 500, lack of power, but not at Abarth costs. The reviews are mostly positive, but the Sport suspension isn't damped correctly and rides too harshly.
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