2012 MINI Cooper vs. Its Competition

2012 MINI Cooper S Coupe
Nelson Ireson Nelson Ireson Senior Editor

The MINI Coupe almost sits in a category of its own due to its unique shape, but there are a handful of other cars that come very close to offering the same overall experience.

The 2012 Fiat 500 is probably closest, though it's a bit smaller than the MINI and somewhat less high-performance.

The 2012 Ford Fiesta is a solid rival in hatchback form, offering lots of technology and modern looks, but until the Fiesta ST model arrives, it too falls short in performance.

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is much sportier, being a rear-drive convertible (or retractable hardtop coupe), but it sacrifices some interior space and doesn't deliver as much gas mileage.

The 2012 Hyundai Veloster is certainly quirky, but it's also lightweight, fun-to-drive, inexpensive, and well-made.

In fact, it may be one the few cars shoppers won't consider but should when looking at a MINI Coupe--along with the latest Volkswagen Beetle, which as a turbo has pretty brisk performance and a lot more usable space than the MINI.

2012 MINI Cooper S Coupe2012 MINI Cooper
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2011 Ford Fiesta 4-door HB SES Angular Front Exterior View2012 Ford Fiesta
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2012 Hyundai Veloster2012 Hyundai Veloster
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2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata PRHT2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata
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2012 Volkswagen Beetle2012 Volkswagen Beetle
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Quick Specs
If you're looking for style with a dash of sport and a handful of practicality, the MINI Cooper Coupe is a great choice.
You could do better if you most value space and comfort, but the 2012 Ford Fiesta packs in a lot of style and substance.
The 2012 Hyundai Veloster starts with niche appeal, but its impressive handling and strong, high-value feature set should play well to the mainstream.
The 2012 Mazda MX-5 is a true sports roadster with great handling and fun at any speed, and more practical than you might think.
It's a tale of two Bugs: base Beetles are boring, but 2012 VW Beetle Turbos have us seeking out the nearest exit ramp.
MSRP From    
Gas Mileage    
25 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy28 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy27 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I5
EPA Class    
MinicompactSubcompact- TBD -Two SeaterSubcompact car
Style Name    
2-Door Coupe4-Door Sedan S3-Door Coupe Manual w/Black Int2-Door Convertible Manual Sport2-Door Coupe Automatic Entry PZEV *Ltd Avail*
Front Wheel DriveFront-wheel driveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
Passenger Doors    
Body Style    
CoupeSedan3 Door Coupe2 Door ConvertibleCoupe
ManualManualManualManual w/ODAutomatic
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 MINI Cooper vs. 2012 Ford Fiesta2012 MINI Cooper vs. 2012 Hyundai Veloster2012 MINI Cooper vs. 2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata2012 MINI Cooper vs. 2012 Volkswagen Beetle