Mini vs. Fiat

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by Robert OK, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. California

    California Motorcyclist

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    I have Cooper S and I am very interested in the Fiat! I have always been a "small car" guy. Actually, I should say "was interested" in the Fiat. Why do I say "was"? I went and took a very thorough test drive. The 500 is very small, the mini seems spacious and roomy. The 500 has virtually no trunk space, and the rear seat is totally non functional. The 500 is the slowest car I have driven in the last 10 years. Hell even an 70's - 80's Rabbit diesel was faster than a 500. It rode nicely, handled better than I thought it would, and the seats were very comfortable, but there is very limited headroom, and I just couldn't get over the gutlessness! BORING!

    Even if the Mini were $5000 more, model for model, option for option, I'd say BUY A MINI! Plus you get a 4 year warranty and 3 years of free maintenance.
    #21
  2. PoundSand

    PoundSand Long timer

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    abarth confirmed at $22k with $700 destination, so total $22.7k msrp, with destination. so they're just a little dumber than i thought they'd be on the dumb side. :D
    #22
  3. Grainbelt

    Grainbelt marginal adventurer Super Moderator

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    The Fiat is really fucking narrow. Makes my Focus look like a land yacht.

    I can't imagine two 6' 200# guys in a Fiat making it twenty minutes before one gets out to walk.
    #23
  4. Jurgen

    Jurgen Trolljegeren Super Moderator

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    On marketing I think they obviously swung and missed. J-Lo has more appeal to us fat 50 year olds than the 18-30 category. Plus by picking her, they cemented the "secretary's car" mind set.

    Having now seen a few 500's (not Abarth, just standard) around I have to say design wise I'm underwhelmed. They remind me a lot of the Toyota Yaris vs the Mini's, even in basic trim look sharp and sporty.

    I'm with you, I'd really look at the Golf/GTi-- but if I wanted to stay in the smaller category it would be Mini, Fiesta, Mazda 2, or even the Kia Soul before I'd shop a 500.
    #24
  5. Jimmy the Heater

    Jimmy the Heater Tilting the Horizon

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    I really like the new 500...and if gutless is a problem I really think the aftermarket or factory will be able to help with that as these start to populate the US.
    #25
  6. infoatnmmoto

    infoatnmmoto with the band

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    Hmmm Golf TDI.
    If you are going to go with 2 vehicles that recommend premium fuel(Mini,Fiat)
    I'd go for the one with the best MPG and uses diesel.
    #26
  7. rallybug

    rallybug Local Yokel

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    If you think the Nuevo 500 is narrow:

    [​IMG]

    :lol3
    #27
  8. Grainbelt

    Grainbelt marginal adventurer Super Moderator

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    Neither pair can fit their arms inside the windows. :dunno

    :lol3
    #28
  9. Jimmy the Heater

    Jimmy the Heater Tilting the Horizon

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    Shifting the old one would require some man touching I bet. :huh
    #29
  10. squish

    squish Out of the office.

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    We had two Minis
    A first year standard and a first year S (with the supercharger)

    We were on first name basis with the service writer at two different MINI dealership,

    One of them stopped giving out loaner cars since the MINI's were taking all of them and there were non left for the BMW owners.

    Nothing major, but an incredible large number of little tiny things.

    The sport suspension coupled with run flat tires makes for a punishing ride in comfort
    but boy howdy was it a blast to rip around. Driving the car, I would give myself motion sickness it could corner so hard.

    We found that the off-set of MPG verse Smiles in the Cooper Vs. the CooperS made the standard car a bit more of a winner. (We got around 30mpg in the std, and 19 in the S)
    The throttle by wire took us a long time to get uses to, The brakes were awesome, the DSC leads little to like. If it sense wheel spin, it slows the car down quite dramatically.

    We sold the last MINI and having looked back... Ok that's not entirely true, the wife still yearns for a MINI, and someday she might get another one.

    We replaced ours with an S2000 and have enjoyed the hell out of ever since.

    As for Fiat's I know nothing of them other then their "sterling" reputation as a manufacture of the finest of long lasting and dependable automobiles...:rofl:rofl

    Ok everything I've ever heard about Fiat leads me to believe they suck.
    Then they went and bought what at the time was the worst car company in the US. So not only do they suck, but they make really bad decisions to boot. Then there was the fiasco of the launch of the 500.

    But who knows maybe both companies are getting turned around.

    I think if I was looking at that class of car, I'd look at the IQ from Scion.
    #30
  11. Terrytori

    Terrytori Namaste

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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. "
    #31
  12. AtlantaViking

    AtlantaViking Long timer

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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.
    #32
  13. njd

    njd Long timer

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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.
    #33
  14. Max L

    Max L Duct Tape

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    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 :happay:.

    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
    #34
  15. glynb

    glynb Relentless Underachiever

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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.
    #35
  16. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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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.
    #36
  17. pictish

    pictish Been here awhile

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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.
    #37
  18. NSpooner

    NSpooner Adventurer

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    You guys realize this thread is a year old, right? :lol3

    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. :cry
    #38
  19. Rogue_Ryder

    Rogue_Ryder 速 Flat Biller 速

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    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.
    [​IMG]
    #39
  20. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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    Abarth Cabrio. :deal
    #40