The MINI Cooper lineup still manages to carve out its own corner of the market, but it's no longer alone in offering such a high-style small-car package.
The recently redesigned Volkswagen Beetle has taken a step toward the sporty side, and it delivers on that image with the Beetle Turbo.
Another serious contender is the Fiat 500, and while we like its looks its steering feel and somewhat uncomfortable seating position are detracting factors--as much fun as the top Abarth model is.
The Ford Fiesta is a more mass-market rival to the MINI Cooper, in base form, and the Mazda2 fits a lot of driving fun into a small, affordable package.
Those who are thinking of a Cooper S, or a Roadster, might want to take the Mazda MX-5 Miata for a drive; it remains an excellent alternative and a true sports car, with less weight and a balanced rear-wheel-drive platform.
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|2013 MINI CooperBrowse Used Listings||2013 Ford FiestaBrowse Used Listings||2013 Mazda MX-5 MiataBrowse Used Listings||2013 Mazda MAZDA2Browse Used Listings||2013 Volkswagen BeetleBrowse Used Listings|
|26 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy||29 MPG City / 39 MPG Hwy||21 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy||28 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy||21 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy|
|Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I5|
|Minicompact||Subcompact||Two Seater||Compact Cars||Subcompact car|
|2-Door Coupe||4-Door Sedan S||2-Door Convertible Manual Sport||4-Door HB Manual Sport||2-Door Manual 2.5L PZEV|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|