Mini vs. Fiat

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

  1. Jick Magger

    Jick Magger Exile on Main Street

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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. :D
    #41
  2. squish

    squish Out of the office.

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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.
    #42
  3. chazbird

    chazbird Long timer

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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?
    #43
  4. NSpooner

    NSpooner Adventurer

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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.
    #44
  5. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    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.
    #45
  6. bill h

    bill h Been here awhile

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    Mrs. H and I just bought a 2013 Fiat 500 Sport Turbo and it is a fun, fast, good handling, comfortable car. I can't express how much we like this car. We retired her 1988 Alfa Milano Verde with about 250K on the clock. We have driven Alfas for 35 years. I was hoping for Alfa to return but the Milano was becoming unreliable and Alfa won't be here with anything I want or am able to afford anytime soon. I like the seating position in the Fiat. It gives a good view of the road.The Mini I test drove felt like like i was sitting on the floor. I felt the ride in the Mini was harsher.
    Push the sport button in the Fiat and it really moves out. We test drove all three Sport,Sport Turbo and Abarth.
    The Sport was just adequate and the I found the exhaust note on the Abarth to be really loud and unpleasant. Hey I'm old. I would have gotten the Abarth but the exhaust noise was the deal breaker. However,chacun à son goût. The 500T is more than adequate for the mostly suburban driving we do.I have been able to carry a 6 ft tall friend in the back seat and he said he was fine except for his head just touching the roof and getting out of the back was less than elegant. I have had it on the turnpike and we were surprised to be doing 85 and feeling like it was 60. I felt like I had lots of pedal left. I also like the fit and finish of the car. It's inexpensive but not cheap.

    Bill
    #46
  7. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    :thumb

    Got any pics?
    #47
  8. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    I am just fascinated by the little Fiat. Growing up, my best friend's family had nothing but Fiats, including a race car. I always stop to gawk when I see the 60's 500's, and the Abarth sounds like a hoot. Unfortunately, my wife took one look and decided it was ugly. She wants the Audi TT, which does make sense considering all the black ice and snow she commutes on.

    I'll get to play with one, though. I plan to rent an Abarth for a couple of weeks when I go to the UK for the Isle of Man TT (hoping to rent a Triumph bike for the time on the Isle, though). I wonder how long it will take to train my left hand to operate the shifter...:lol3
    #48
  9. bobobob

    bobobob badbadbad

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    Love the sound of a tuned Abarth.
    This one is the X1/9 from the 70's

    <iframe width="853" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/qx76ogyjXb0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #49
  10. chazbird

    chazbird Long timer

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    I briefly had a Fiat 128 once and it was a hoot. Anyway, I heard a Abarth 500 pull away from a light the other day. I think they over did it with that exhaust, but I don't know if it sounds objectionable from inside the car.
    #50
  11. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    It doesn't. It's amazing, actually, that while cruising along at freeway speeds, there is NO DRONE at all. It's as quiet on the freeway as our 07 Xterra. The exhaust is really dual personality -- it can be loud when you want, and quiet when you want. Just depends how you feel like driving.
    #51
  12. squish

    squish Out of the office.

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    Yea only I have. The "fantastic" fiat punta... Er punto.
    #52
  13. Xeraux

    Xeraux Archvillain

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    :nod

    You can get Michelin Pilot Sport A/Ws for about US$125.00/tire at Costco for them.

    I've had two second gens. A 2010 JCW Clubman and a 2012 Coupe S. The Coupe S was faster than the JCW. :eek1
    #53
  14. jdiaz

    jdiaz .

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    You lost me after this line. :D
    #54
  15. Sauterelle

    Sauterelle Adventurer

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    My boss is on the short list to get one of these:

    Mini GP
    #55
  16. a1fa

    a1fa Throttle Jockey™

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    Sounds like a well tuned Yugo!
    #56
  17. cogitate

    cogitate What Marcellus Wallace Looks Like

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    Still have the coupe? What is your take on ownership ?

    You know, your posts about your cars almost steered me to get a Mini, which was not hard to do since i have driven and enjoyed them immensely. A Mini was on my short list when I went car shopping. I know you said the reliability issues were way overblown, but.......

    I got something else :deal
    #57
  18. Snapper

    Snapper Long timer

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    I have the last of the supercharged Cooper S's, an '06 with about 50k with 2 sets of wheels (summer/winter, non-run flats). She's still very buttoned down and tight - no rattles. Most fun car I ever owned and I have no intentions to let her go or "up-grade." Driven the 2nd gen, turbo models extensively and while its a great car too, it feels... well more like a normal car... not quite as "raw" or go cart-like as the 1st gen does.

    Took a very spirited ride (as a passenger) back from NYC IMS in my buddies Abarth. Seems like an awesome car too. I was uneasy at the pace - guess passengers always feel that way - but the car could hold its own no problem. Only thing that felt weird was the seat/car height somehow... felt tallish which gave a sort of "tippy" sensation vs a Mini, but then again, it could just be the passenger thing.
    #58
  19. wannaklr

    wannaklr Long timer

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    My local dealer has about 5 of the Abarth's. I really don't need to go test drive one though. :lol3
    #59
  20. KenR

    KenR Long timer

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    We looked and drove both the Fiat 500 and the Mini Cooper. We bought the Cooper S as it felt hands-down faster, tighter and better built than the Fiat, at least to us. No mechanical issues whatsoever after 14,000 miles.

    The only negative I have with the car is the front seats are brutal. I'm 6'-5" 210 lbs and have more than enough head and leg room (even with the sunroof), but the seats are just too narrow. I'm not exactly a fat ass but can't wait to get out after about 40 miles. They're awful.

    Other than that, it's a wicked-fun car. Fortunately, it's my wifes daily driver or I'd be getting into trouble with it.
    #60