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2009 Mini v. 2009 Honda Fit Sport

msantowmsantow Posts: 2
edited June 25 in Honda
I could use some help from Mini owners. We are having a hard time deciding whether to purchase the 2009 Mini, or the 2009 Honda Fit Sport. a large part of the issue (most of it, really) is price -- at the outset, monthly, and over time. We have two kids, ages 6 and 3. I'm not worried about fitting the car seats, and the practicalities of the Mini as a family car -- we have a Suburu wagon as a second car, which will work for carpooling, long trips etc.

the Mini is approximately $3000 more than the 09 Fit. while that may not seem like much, for us it is -- a couple thousand more for the downpayment, and $30-$40 more per month. while i can figure out ways to make that work, what scares me is the possibility of huge maintenance costs after the 3 year agreement is up. My research indicates that Hondas suffer minimal maintenance costs, are easily repaired, and last a long time. we tend to keep our cars for a long time, and would like to keep doing so.

all the practicalities are pulling us in the direction of the Fit. the main interest in the Mini is aesthetic -- but i don't want to downplay the importance of that. neither of us has ever owned a fun car that we loved to drive.

the new car will be used primarily for my commute (80 miles, 3 days a week), and for puttering around the city on the weekend.

so: given the higher cost, and how tight our budget will be just purchasing the Mini, do the maintenance costs over the years make this a stupid purchase?

all advice is appreciated.

Comments

  • abqsammyabqsammy Posts: 2
    I am making the same calculations between the same two cars. I will buy one or the other, but I'm still undecided

    The Mini gets comparable mileage, and is definitely a more fun car to drive, even the non-S version, but you'll need to add about $1250 to the Mini's base for the Premium Pac for A/C, cruse, and sunroof.

    JD Power says the '09 Fit has a sunroof, but I haven't seen anyone confirm that. (I really want a sunroof)

    Although this will primarily be a get-to-work car, I need enough room to load a large Ice Chest and 2-3 bags, and 2 or 3 of us for trips to our mountain cabin. The Clubman or the Fit have the room, but the Fit is far roomier.

    Consumer reports say both are reliable, but customer testimonials aren't so kind to the Mini. The British make beautiful cars, but they just aren't as reliable as Honda.

    Both exclude the spare tire in '09. The CLubman comes with runflats (yech). I don't know what the Fit will have.

    Cooper has a very good safety rating. My insurance agent says that the Mini's insurance will be about $50/yr cheaper than the Fit.

    The '09 base Clubman lists for $20850, $22100 with the A/C package. I'm also seriously considering the Sport Pac for another $1500, bringing my new base price to $23600. I'm told that the '09 Fit Sport will be about $17000.

    I like the Mini more, I just haven't determined if I like it $6600 more. I've test-driven both 3 times, and I still can't decide.

    If the ‘09 Fit gets a sunroof, I think that will tip the scales for me.
  • msantowmsantow Posts: 2
    thanks abqsammy, for your thoughtful response. we seem to be thinking along the same lines. my internet research seemed to indicate a sunroof (actually, a 'skyroof') option on the 2009 Fit too -- except that my dealer told me that option was only available in the Japanese version, at least for 09. of course, he won't know for sure until he actually has them at his dealership, in early september.

    i would love to get the Mini sunroof. unfortunately, due to the regrettable fact that i've never learned to drive stick, i need to purchase the d*amn automatic -- which costs $1500 more than the base price. i could of course try to learn between now and when the car arrives...in between getting one kid ready for a new school, potty training the other one, starting up teaching again, etc etc. you get the idea.

    the long-term maintenance costs of the Mini scare me. its probably the main thing keeping me from pulling the trigger on it.
  • abqsammyabqsammy Posts: 2
    One option for after the 3 year maintanance contract is up on the Mini, is to sell it. Mini's have one of the best resale/tradein of any car sold in America.

    It turns out that this topic has been discussed before at
    http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/WebX/.f0c3598/142

    Good Luck
  • rik4rik4 Posts: 90
    you can buy the sunroof without buying the package. you can get all weather tires instead of the runflats and i would recommend that. if you are buying a just a cooper and not the s then you get a spare. the auto should be 1200 more. remember if you can live with chili red, oxy blue , white , mellow yellow you save 500.00. the other colours are 500 more. if you want speed control you have to buy the mutli function steering wheel for 250.00 more or do with out it. best if you drive both. they are two really different cars.
  • I've owned both a Mini (2003) and a Fit Sport (2007) and for me it is no contest. I like the Fit much better than the Mini. The Fit is more reliable, more comfortable, handles better, costs less, has way more room, looks better, and I don't have to deal with Niello Mini in Sacramento any longer.

    romaine
  • ltqltq Posts: 28
    I am making the same "comparison" except it isn't. It's a lifestyle choice... mpg is potentially the same! I am comparing Clubman to Fit, both 2009. HOWEVER, I would submit that, since you have a family like myself, look for DSC (called VSA by Honda). This saves lives for real. The DSC in Clubman is standard, while the VSA in Fit is available ONLY on the Fit Sport with Nav. You will find that this nearly wipes out the price difference between the two. I have a lot more to say (I have a 25-point comparison chart), but want to emphasize this simple takehome message.
  • ltqltq Posts: 28
    I commented a few days ago regarding DSC/VSA. If you live where there is any ice/snow, it is false economy to get a car w/o it. DSC = Clubman basic = Fit Sport Navi = same price.
    Both Fit & Clubman are great but it' not possible to directly compare.
    Re: Spare tire - the MINIs have runflats & the Fit gives you are fixaflat kit (really lousy solution). For either, I'd buy a spare separately.
    Re: Fit is now on sale, and there is no sunroof option listed.
    Re: msantow, I am sorry you don't drive stick. But I love manual yet I'm getting the Clubman S automatic. Long story.
    Re: rik4 - absolutely correct on the logic.
    Re: amazinglyfit - also absolutely correct on everything. I just moved from Sacto to KY, and I didn't know Niello MINI stinks. A good reason for you to go with the Fit.
    ALL: This is my view on this discussion: I'm keeping this next car 10 yrs. In 10 yrs, NONE of the decent cars will be a gas-only vehicle (hybrids, plug-in electrics, etc.). The Clubman ("S" version in my case) is the last hurrah for a gas-only "yippeee" car while still getting Fit-like mileage. I'll get the Clubman S this time, and in 10 years I'll buy Honda.

    Cheers,
    ltq
  • shriqueshrique Posts: 338
    Just to fill in some blanks

    Spare Tire: The Fit DOES have a spare.

    Sunroof: None that I know of. I have a 2009 Sport and I didn't have the option of picking one

    DSC: No DSC on the Fit without navi.

    Audio Controls: Fit only has steering wheel audio with the navi.

    The odd thing is that a friend of mine just got a Mini Clubman (non S) with just about all the bells and whistles. He spent almost $10K more than me!

    If anyone has any questions about the Fit feel free to ask.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    "The Clubman ("S" version in my case) is the last hurrah for a gas-only "yippeee" car while still getting Fit-like mileage."

    But does the Clubman S get Fit-like mileage?
  • shriqueshrique Posts: 338
    So far it's pretty close. Both cars have an average fuel economy display. So far he's got about 400 miles and I've got 300 or so. I'm getting about 35 and he's getting about 34mpg.

    He got lots of bells and whistles and his average speed display says he's running an average of about 35mph.

    So far the answer is yes. (GRIN)
  • I'm wondering in what sense the Fit handles better than the Mini - ? I drove an '06S Mini with 17" tires last week, and while the ride was harsh, the handling seemed excellent.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Hmm....interesting. This is comparing a Fit to a Clubman S auto? According to the government ratings, there is a sizable difference in city mpg between Fit, and any Mini in S auto guise.....like, 4 - 5 mpg difference.
  • shriqueshrique Posts: 338
    This is not the S version. Just the Clubman.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    OK, then that makes sense then. :)
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    What is the price difference between the Clubman and Fit?
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    In Canada? 'bout $6K between Clubman and Fit Sport.
  • The Base Price for a Mini Clubman is $20,850, unless you want a color other than red, white, or yellow, then it will be at least $500 extra for optional paint.

    The Base Price for a Honda Fit is $15,220.

    Both include destination.

    $5,630 base difference.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    The Mini may be nice, but it doesn't seem worth $5K more than the Fit.
  • shriqueshrique Posts: 338
    The Mini does have a few things going for it. It's arguably sportier, it's MUCH more stylish and it's got snob appeal. (GRIN)

    Just on a transport level the Fit is a much better deal (if you don't want Stability Control). The interior space is much more versatile in the Fit too. I tell you one thing, if you want gadgets you have to go with the Clubman. You can order every conceivable gadget. My friend basically got the base clubman and checked a ton of boxes. Nice ride, not my gig. I need the 4 doors myself. He's a DINK and has cats, no need for a 4 door HB.
  • ltqltq Posts: 28
    The thing is, everyone is right!!! There is just no way to compare the Fit vs Clubman.

    I just got my Clubman S automatic, and posted 33mpg mixed driving (based on actual gas fillups), which agreed with the onboard display. I don't know about the non-turbo, but the turbo has very high torque in an exceptionall wide band of 1500-5500revs, and this helps the automatic (or manual) "short-shift" to get great gas mileage, if you are light on the pedal.

    There are several reports (Greencars.com, mpg.com, etc.) around where they easily beat the EPA estimates (not on the Clubman, but on the Hatch S). I'd say that is also true for the Clubman S. If you drive sprited, I'd also say that it will do much worse. In fact, it is this Jekyll-Hyde character (YOU choose!) that I like. With the Fit, you are stuck on Economy mode. You don't choose.

    Both Fit and Clubman are great. Both are defensible from their respective points of view. If some occassional flat-out fierce driving isn't important to you, the Fit is a much better "fit".

    Good luck!!!
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    With the Fit, you are stuck on Economy mode. You don't choose.

    With the Fit Sport with paddle shifters, you can quickly downshift to kick in the VTEC...so you do have a choice.
  • With the Fit Sport, drop the gearshift into S, and she winds out every gear for all she's worth. Hit the Paddles in S mode, and you're in Manual mode. Gear shifts happen only when you hit the paddles. An indicator on the dash tells you the gear you're in along with an "m"... m1, m2 etc.

    Lots of fun. I'm looking forward to the end of the break in period so I can really let 'er rip. She's kinda weak, but she's willing and that makes her fun.
  • ltqltq Posts: 28
    Hi bobw3,

    That's not what I meant. I meant 170hp/177 lb-ft of torque on the Clubman S (automatic or not) gives you the dual character. The engine on the Fit gets you stuck in the economy mode, as with the regular Clubman. It has nothing to do with the transmission. :)
  • cmobicmobi Posts: 2
    I bought a new 2008 Fit (Sport MT) after comparing it to the Mini Cooper S and Mazda Speed3. Mini S and Speed3 were a blast to test drive (highly, highly, recommended) but I did not want run-flat tires (heavy, expensive to replace, and you get no spare tire) or have to use premium gas. The standard Mini and Mazda 3 seemed rather boring after driving their high performance versions. To me, the Fit MT seemed to be the "S" or "Speed3" version compared to the Fit AT (turbo-like surge when you hit 4000+ rpm), plus I get a spare tire, it uses regular gas, easily swallows mom's wheelchair (upright, folded narrow in front of the rear seats up), and has a flat cargo area with the rear seats down. Plus no humongous center dash speedo, no potentially troublesome turbo, and much cheaper. But you gotta test drive a Mini Cooper S or Mazda Speed3 too.
  • revitrevit Posts: 476
    Think you might be comparing vehicles that really are not comparable.

    If I was interested in a Mini Cooper, I would also consider the Mazda 3, Volvo C30 and VW Golf/GTI.

    If I was interested in a Honda Fit, then I would also consider the Scion xD and Toyota Yaris.
  • extech2extech2 Posts: 120
    Very well written comment. The Cooper S is a sports car with all the pitfalls of the genre. The Fit is a minivan downsized. Both are great, but they have a completely different purpose in life.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I like to think of the Fit as a modern-day Civic Wagon. Remember these?

    image

    image
  • Ahhh, yes, I remember those. My first Honda was the Civic Hatchback (was an interior designer at the time and needed room for samples, etc.). However, that was decades ago. I have since had an Accord, a Volvo 240, and now my MINI. Not having to deal w/kids anymore, having a MINI would be no contest w/the Fit. Anything w/Ford attached to it is an automatic NO for me, so you see where I am on that matter.

    For those of u trying to decide which is more practical, costs less to own, etc., go w/the Ford Fit. I think u'd be happier, and u can breathe a bit easier knowing your kids will have somethin' left over 4 their college funds.
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