2011 MINI Cooper vs. Its Competition

2011 MINI Cooper
Nelson Ireson Nelson Ireson Senior Editor

Though the MINI Cooper once sat in a class by itself, small hatches are becoming more popular, and some are even experimenting with premium options and equipment.

Some buyers might glance at the Volkswagen New Beetle, a modern spin on the classic Bug, with better everything, only no air-cooled engine and in recent years, no compelling powertrain option.

The Ford Fiesta, new for this year, is a perfect competitor, though it offers less power, no real sport variant, and somewhat funkier styling.

The Mazda2 is more budget than premium.

The Fiat 500 is even smaller than the MINI, but offers many of the same elements: European flair, sporty options, and compact size.

The Mazda Miata is a true rear-drive roadster in the British tradition, and as such merits consideration by MINI buyers, though some will opt for the familiarity of front-wheel drive and the extra cargo space afforded by the hatchback.

Ford's Mustang is an outlier in the alternatives group, offering roughly twice as much horsepower and less cargo space but more passenger room, plus much of the same fun for a similar price--plus the bonus of burnouts at will.

2011 MINI Cooper2011 MINI CooperBrowse Used Listings2012 Fiat 5002012 FIAT 500Browse Used Listings2011 Ford Fiesta 2011 Ford FiestaBrowse Used Listings2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata 2-door Convertible PRHT Auto Grand Touring Angular Front Exterior View2011 Mazda MX-5 MiataBrowse Used Listings2011 Mazda2 First Drive2011 Mazda MAZDA2Browse Used Listings2010 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible 2-door Auto Angular Front Exterior View2011 Volkswagen New Beetle CoupeBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
8.6
The 2011 MINI Cooper/Convertible runs the gamut from smart econobox to thrusty sports convertible--all with unmatched driving feel and expertly interpreted styling heritage.
6.8
The 2012 Fiat 500 pays big dividends for going small--in expressive styling and even in driving verve.
7.8
If you're set on stylish and small, the 2011 Ford Fiesta might be your only choice, though you might miss the solid, roomy feel of a Fit.
7.2
The 2011 Mazda MX-5 is a back-to-basics sports car that you don’t have to drive fast to enjoy—and it has way more practicality than you’d probably expect.
7.0
The 2011 Mazda2 is fun to drive in a way that few other inexpensive econocars are.
6.4
MSRP From     
$19,400$15,500$13,200$23,110$14,180N/A
Gas Mileage     
25 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy27 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy28 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy27 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Gas 4-CylGas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4N/A
EPA Class     
MinicompactMinicompact CarSubcompactTwo Seater- TBD -N/A
Style Name     
2-Door Coupe2-Door HB Pop4-Door Sedan S2-Door Convertible Manual Sport4-Door HB Manual SportN/A
Drivetrain     
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront-wheel driveRear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveN/A
Passenger Capacity     
44525N/A
Passenger Doors     
N/A24N/A4N/A
Body Style     
2 Door CoupeHatchback4-Door Sedan2 Door Convertible4 Door HBN/A
Transmission     
ManualManualManualManual w/ODManualN/A
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2011 MINI Cooper vs. 2012 FIAT 5002011 MINI Cooper vs. 2011 Ford Fiesta2011 MINI Cooper vs. 2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata2011 MINI Cooper vs. 2011 Mazda MAZDA22011 MINI Cooper vs. 2011 Volkswagen New Beetle Coupe