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Mini Cooper v. Hyundai Tiburon v. Acura RSX v. Subaru WRX

gildlbgildlb Member Posts: 6
edited March 2014 in Acura
Trying to decide between these three. I've been leaning towards the Tiburon, but my wife wants the Rsx or Mini. Thanks ahead of time for any thoughts pro/cons on the matter.


  • alf3alf3 Member Posts: 83
    I cannot for the life of me imagine anyone cross-shopping these three cars.
  • gildlbgildlb Member Posts: 6
    All three of them are sporty coupes. I've seen a number of messages here comparing one with the other. Just not all three in one forum. Also, to help explain where I'm coming from. It's actually my wife that wants the Mini Cooper or possible the RSX. I'm the one leaning towards the Tiburon, which I think looks the most masculine of the three. This will also be a 3rd vehicle for us. We want something fun and sporty to scoot around in, that's also within a reasonable price range.
  • gotenks243gotenks243 Member Posts: 116
    It may help any comparison if you can give any more specifics on what you're looking at. I4 or V6 Tiburon? Mini Cooper or Cooper S? RSX or RSX Type-S? Manual or automatic?

    0-60 acceleration-wise...
    Tiburon V6 6spd= 8.0 (est in various magazines)
    Mini Cooper 5spd= 8.5 (manufacturer-stated)
    Mini Cooper S 6spd= 6.9 (manufacturer-stated)
    RSX 5spd= not sure
    RSX Type-S 6spd= 6-second range (what I've heard)

    Handling wise, from all I've heard from magazine reviews, the Mini is a practical Go-kart, the RSX handles rather decently, and the Tiburon has a lot of body roll and understeer.

    The Tiburon seems to be the slug of the group excluding the Mini Cooper, which can at least be had in a faster version. It also seems to be the worst handling. Depends if that's important to you.

    Of course, the real way to tell what you really want is to test drive them and see which you like best, though that will most likely be hard to do with a Mini, at least for a while.

    Good luck with whatever car you decide on.

  • harlequin1971harlequin1971 Member Posts: 278
    If you plan to keep the car for a long time (thinking of collectability here) I think the Mini has the best chance of being a collectors car, given the relative misicule numbers of them to be made and the history of the marque.

    That won't make the Mini YOUR favorite car, or the best car for you, but it is a consideration to be made. The performance should be very good, the car will be rare enough that you will have scant opportunities to run into them in the wild (not many on the roads for a while).

    Another big consideration is your location. Where do you live? I hope it is close to a new Mini dealership, or I might consider taking the Mini off your wishlist. You could be facing a long drive to the dealer for service, because only Mini dealers will perform warranty work and service.

    As for the Tibby versus the Acura. I think the Acura has a better pedigree than Hyundai. You also will pay a bit of a premium for that fact. But, you should get it back down the road in resale values.

    Since it is a third car, maybe the intrinsic financial value/cost of the car you choose may not be the most important factor, but I submit that the bottom line may be another reason the Mini takes first place, the Acura second, and the Tibby third (sorry Hyundai).

    Good luck, and definately drive the cars before you decide.
  • poortingpoorting Member Posts: 4
    Tiburon: This car has the same V6 as the Santa Fe. The one that keeps locking up with <10k miles.

    Mini: IF you can get one, you will pay MUCH more than MSRP.

    Only leaves one, which IMHO has the best mix of standard equipment/performance/price/reliability in its class.
  • harlequin1971harlequin1971 Member Posts: 278
    I hear this discussion alot. Until someone actually buys one here in the states, and gets bilked, I guess I am not sure what the arrangements are. It seems the dealerships will have the last call on how to handle the pricing. But let's look at it this way:

    If you are opening a new dealership, with a highly sought after car, and want the dealership to be successful for years...what would you do?

    I think the Mini dealers that are forward thinking will not be charging rediculous surtaxes on the cars. I have not be told anything one way or the other, but I expect to pay MSRP for my Mini, when I get it.

    Acura will be the best combination of easy to get and reliability. But don't rule out the Mini because the dealers MAY charge a hefty fee. We don't even know what model he was looking at.
  • fxashunfxashun Member Posts: 747
    cost hella over MSRP. Aren't they selling them from existing BMW dealerships with a Mini add-on area? They are gonna be like the Bug was for the first two or so years.
  • poortingpoorting Member Posts: 4
    If dealers do not mark up the mini, you can be assured the secondary market will. Dealers are just as greedy as everyone else, and won't give up the extra profits on the few units they can get ahold of. You probably will pay sticker price for them, but included in sticker will be $5000 for special dealer-added alloy rims.
  • toyunkitoyunki Member Posts: 25
    ...We took it to our favorite mountain road with another Eight Great contestant for a head-to-head battle. The winner would make the list. And the Hyundai, after only a few minutes of flogging, was the clear victor.........

    It(Tiburon) is now one of the best sport compacts for the money. Just don't tell the lawyers.

    --Josh Jacquot



    TO ALL said Tib perform bad....


    2003 Tib V6GT ($18,399)



    0-30 mph: 2.9 sec.

    0-60 mph: 7.6 sec.

    30-50 mph: 2.8 sec.

    50-70 mph: 4.1 sec.

    Quarter Mile: 15.6 sec. @ 88.8 mph


    Slalom (700 ft): 68.2 mph

    Lateral grip (200ft skidpad): .84g


    60-0 stopping distance: 122 ft.

    RSX-S ($23,650)



    0-30 mph: 3.0 sec.

    0-60 mph: 6.9 sec.

    30-50 mph: 2.5 sec.

    50-70 mph: 3.4 sec.

    Quarter Mile: 15.0 sec. @ 94.5 mph


    Lateral Grip (200ft skidpad): 0.88 g

    Slalom Speed (700ft slalom): 68.0 mph


    60-0 stopping distance: 133 ft

    Celica GT-S ($22,040)



    0-30 mph: 2.9 sec

    0-60 mph: 8.1 sec

    30-50 mph: 3 sec

    50-70 mph: 4.4 sec

    Quarter Mile time: 15.8 sec

    Quarter Mile speed: 88.6 mph


    Lateral Grip (200ft skidpad): 0.85g

    Slalom Speed (700ft slalom): 69.9 mph


    60-0 stopping distance: 129 ft

    Accordding to SportsCompactCar.....

    Tib is just par or right betweem two best japaneses sports coupe....

    Acceleration (1/4miles)

    1. RSX-S 15 sec

    2. Tiburon GT 15.6sec

    3. Celica GTS 15.8sec


    skid pad 200ft skid pad

    1, RSX-S .88g

    2, Celica GTS .85g

    3, Tiburon GT .84g

    Slalom (700ft slalom)

    1. Celica GTS 69.9 mph

    2. Tiburon GT 68.2 mph

    3. RSX-S 68.0 mph


    1. Tiburon 122ft

    2. Celica GTS 129ft

    3. RSX-S 133ft

    And If you adds UP the ranking all three cars tied with 8 points( add up the number of ranking)

  • fxashunfxashun Member Posts: 747
    think of many more times I've used full accelleration and steady state cornering than going slaloming and full-on braking. Especially considering the major difference in accelleration opposed to braking. The RSX is pulling away. Maybe they shoulda used a regular RSX.

    But I don't like the interior of either car so I'm buying a 1993 two or four door and a Turbo.
  • acrsxacrsx Member Posts: 3
    From an RSX owner - whose tottally tempted to go scoop up the Cooper S... I'd probably wait a year or two though for the dust to settle down on it.

    Of course if you can bring yourself to a higher priced gem - maybe get the Honda S2000 instead. ;)
  • revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
    From Edmunds' Daily Headlines section, here's an article that you may find interesting: Hyundai Revs Its Engines With A Sporty Tiburon. (This is not a permanent link.) Hope you enjoy.

    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • nipponiazenipponiaze Member Posts: 1
    a tiburon is for people who have no taste, I would rather have a golf GTI, or a acura RSX, but a hyundai is a joke. but we all learn buy our mistakes I had a escort GT, back in 1987. Tiburons are ugly, and it sounds like, your wife has taste and you have none. if Americans would wake up we whouldnt have stupid cars like, taurus , intrepids, malibu,s etc. and did I mention buicks, if you bought a tiburon, for under $18,000 in 4 years its worth $8,000, whereas the acura you bought for $20,000 is still worth $14.000 or more. you do the math, which was a smarter purchase.
  • beowulf7beowulf7 Member Posts: 290
    News to me! Have you seen the 2003 model? Yes, the predecessors were a disaster, but most folks generally think that Hyundai did a commendable job with the totally redesigned Tiburon - at least from the exterior syling perspective. Now in acceleration performance, interior styling, etc. those other cars you mentioned (GTI and RSX-S) would have the upper hand.
  • fxashunfxashun Member Posts: 747
    The Tiburon is still ugly. Just not as ugly as the earlier versions.
  • verozahlverozahl Member Posts: 574
    ... Tiburon competes with Celica in that respect.
    The RSX is more refined, has a cleaner look.

    The 2003 Tib is called Tuscani in Korea...
    I don't understand why Hyundai didn't say...
    okay, no more Scoupe... now Tiburon... and then
    Tuscani. The 2001 and 2003 models are very different at least in styling.
  • jrose3jrose3 Member Posts: 1
    what class the tiburon is in is not important,a celica stripped down, would be a better buy then a full, a fully loaded tiburon, hyundai,s do not have a good reputation, most of you people, never heard of a hyundai excell, or just have short memories, buying a hyundai is like buying a mustang GT, both have questionable pasts. when buying a car, horsepower isn't the most important, if people were educated, there would only be Honda and Toyota (Acura,(Lexus) still in business. except all the German makes, there is no other options. but please don't buy, a good car, then well all have the same car, and I need to laugh at someone.
  • harlequin1971harlequin1971 Member Posts: 278
    Word on the streets here in the southwest is that the Minis will be sold at MSRP, with no markups. Now, that doesn't mean you may not have to pay for underbody coating and various dealer offered accessories which will be latched onto the cars before they can be sold, but they claim a commitment to MSRP.

    If you think about it, it does make sense that they would do this, that they HAVE to do this. Honda may have gotten away with charging a surplus for the S2000, because they had a lot full of other cars that they could turn the disappointed buyers to..."look at this Civic SI."

    For Mini, the Cooper is their car, their ONLY car, and if they make a reputation for fleecing the public at the introduction, it may turn off people who just might walk in off the street to test drive and buy one 2 or 3 years from now, after all the enthusiasts have snapped up their orders. If you step back and think long-term from the company's perspective, the best approach is to hold firm, and build a reputation for quality service, quality cars and fair trade. If they fail the customers early in the relationship, they will doom themselves. One of the reasons I belive that Saturn was as successful as it was when it hit the market was the introduction of some new attitudes into the marketplace. The concept of one price selling made buying a Saturn a low-stress approach as compared to other dealers. They sold alot of cars that way, and built a fairly loyal following, selling ONE model with a few variations. Now fast forward to today and I see some simularities to the Mini approach, they will not be BMW dealerships, but will retain some loose association with BMW (would be crazy not to), and they will do everything to build a solid base to remain viable for the next 20 years, not just the next two while they sell out every car made to a voracious special interest group of enthusiasts.

    As for returning to the comparo: Mini, IMHO, has the most to offer of the three to most buyers. But then again, it is an entirely different thing than the Tibby or the RSX. Like comparing Akira and Four Weddings and a Funeral for best movie ever honors...how can you compare them? And neither earns that title! At under 20k, you don't get the best of anything in a new car, but you can get closer with a Mini than the RSX and Tibby, and that is why I am on the list.
  • fxashunfxashun Member Posts: 747
    Then it'll just be a toy.
  • salleynesalleyne Member Posts: 3
    ...About not buying a hyundai and why. Does no one else remember fist sized rust holes? That being said, if your picking a fun third car from your list, get a MINI Cooper S. I test drove one a few weeks ago and it was just flat out fun. It also impressed me as being more stylish and a little more refined than the RSX. The handling reminded me of a mid-eighties GTI. I also liked the Panoramic roof. In my area, the Edmunds TMV price is about $600 over invoice but I've heard of dealers adding crap which would not be caught in the TMV since it's not a straight forward markup. I'd like to add that If I were buying a third car I wouldn't care about utility, I've already got two cars that cover that well. I'd be looking at Miata's, and MR-Spyders, or seeing if I could stretch to a used Honda S2000, or TT. I figure a third car means you should shoot for style and performance, or whatever you think would be SUPER COOL not just COOL. The cars you mention are daily drivers and two of them, I'm sure, would be great Auto Cross cars. But that's not what your looking for. Go for something with panache.
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Member Posts: 865
    A Mini seems a little too practical to be a 3rd car.
  • fxashunfxashun Member Posts: 747
    will also have as much COOL as the Beetle had when it first was introduced. You see where that is now. The Mini isn't priced to have "panache".
  • hawaii_minihawaii_mini Member Posts: 1
    no offence, but if you have driven the MINI or have any clue about heritage of this car knows that it is the perfect third or first car. This car hauls [non-permissible content removed] and is roomy inside too. Please go test drive the car before anyone makes judgements about the car.
  • fxashunfxashun Member Posts: 747
    Beetle. Very similar cars. Lotsa "heritage". Low powered 4 cylinder base engine. I say give them a few years to get it "right" like the Beetle Turbo S. Still waiting for the four wheel drive version.
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Member Posts: 865
    I think the mini would make a great first car, but I can't imagine why anyone would buy it as a third car. If a car is practical enough to be a daily driver, why make it a third car?
  • zoomzoom79zoomzoom79 Member Posts: 272
    My money would be with the RSX. Best performance/value ratio and to me the best styling (although I realize this is subjective) . I don't see paying $20,000 for ANY Hyundai even if it was gold plated. And besides a $20,000 Hyundai now will be a $10,000 Hyundai a year from now when you want to trade it in.
  • verozahlverozahl Member Posts: 574
    MINI definitely reminds me of the PT Cruiser and Beetle. Fads... at least the PT Cruiser drives respectably. Silly 'heritage' styling. Not into Retro, unless you want to do Retro 80s or early 90s.

    My money says RSX. A driver's driver.
  • zoomzoom79zoomzoom79 Member Posts: 272
    late 80's and early 90's were good car years for Honda and Toyota. FX16 GTS, Celica All-Trac, any 90-93 Integra, Civic SI, CRX, even the Camry had a 4WD version. Honda should make another try at that AWD wagon thing considering the current trend for sport wagons. The Civic wagon was just ahead of it's time.
  • verozahlverozahl Member Posts: 574
    Honda Avancier wagon should come over here. Very nice car in Japan. Honda doesn't do fads. Wagons aren't fads; they're for the long haul in the market as well as on the road.

    VWs and MINI, etc. are fads... riding the 'waaaaaaaay above MSRP' rocket until it crashes.
  • moses5moses5 Member Posts: 61
    I don't drive a Hyundai, but use to and it was a good car. I put 120,000 miles on it--turbo scoupe. The whole excel thing was 17 years ago. The company's quailty has improved a lot in just 6 short years. I even heard one magazine editor say the engine in the XG had Lexus like smoothness. Many consumer magazines are beginning to rank it's reliablity up their with it's competitors. So let's stop bashing Hyundai, one day it might be the car to get.
  • drivinisfundrivinisfun Member Posts: 372
    MINI is a quality car with the engineering prowess, exclusivity, cool factor, resale value and collector car potential that only a Japanese car would dream of.

    Doubtful that Tokyo will ever put out a car with the qualities of the MINI.
  • 719b719b Member Posts: 216
    prowess, exclusivity, and cool factor are subjective. resale value isn't. japanese cars hold their value as well or better than most cars. so i'm going to assume you must have been thinking of korean cars.
  • drivinisfundrivinisfun Member Posts: 372
    "prowess, exclusivity, and cool factor are subjective. resale value isn't. japanese cars hold their value as well or better than most cars. so i'm going to assume you must have been thinking of korean cars."


    Who's taking about Korean cars???

    Japanese cars for the most part have good resale values. But show me one Japanese car in the North American market with the build quality, handling, technology and halo factor of the MINI...name ONE...
  • milwaukeeboymilwaukeeboy Member Posts: 19
    On honda's website, you can compare specifications for Honda models with those of other cars. Two of the categories that are compared are ALG (American Leasing Guide???)Residual Value After 36 Months and 60 months. I ran the numbers for RSX, Tib and MINI and here's what they say:

    2002 Acura RSX coupe 54% after 36 mo, 42% after 60.

    2003 Tiburon GT V6 48% after 36 mo, 33% after 60.

    2002 MINI Cooper S. 61% after 36 mo, 48% after 60.

    Of course no one can predict the future, but these numbers say that the Tiburon depreciates as much in 3 years as the MINI does in 5!

    p.s. drivinisfun: Hyundai is Korean if you haven't noticed :-)

    p.p.s. Does anyone know where to research these resale values other than this honda site?
  • drivinisfundrivinisfun Member Posts: 372
    The MINI projected resale values are incredibly. They match the residual values of Porsches and the like.
  • drivinisfundrivinisfun Member Posts: 372

    But I think you need to pay a subscription fee.

    Yeah I am aware about Hyundai being Korean. The new Tiburon is nice but not my cup of tea. It is a re-do of the 1990's Toyota Supra.
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Member Posts: 865
    >Japanese cars for the most part have good resale >values. But show me one Japanese car in the >North American market with the build quality, >handling, technology and halo factor of the >MINI...name ONE...

  • drivinisfundrivinisfun Member Posts: 372
    Close. The WRX is a pretty respectable car, but take out the WRX moniker and it looks like any other made in Japan econobox.
  • verozahlverozahl Member Posts: 574
    How is the Tiburon a 1990s Supra aspirant?!
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Member Posts: 7,704
    and kinda Mustang-ish from the front-side look. When you look at a 2003 Tiburon from the side at an angle it looks for a sec like a Mustang, but not quite. It's it's own body design, really, and IMHO blows nicely away the other two in a heartbeat. A definite winner for Hyundai-a real car, not a novelty like the Mini or a put-to-sleep-mobile Acura. Flames, sports-car dudes? Naw-just enthusiasma!!! ;D

    2021 Kia Soul LX 6-speed stick

  • muffin_manmuffin_man Member Posts: 865
    >Close. The WRX is a pretty respectable car, but >take out the WRX moniker and it looks like any >other made in Japan econobox.

    You said, build quality, handling, technology, and halo factor. You didn't say anything about looks. But as far as the WRX looking like any other made in Japan econobox (I agree), I could say that the Mini is just another Beetle-esque flash in the pan.
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Member Posts: 591
    Both the Beetle and PT Cruiser were based highly on existing products. The Beetle doesn't look much like the original, is FWD, water cooled, and is really just a body shell on the existing Golf/Jetta platform. The PT Cruiser likewise does not copy an early 1900's Plymouth very well with FWD, engines and many other parts shared from the Neon, etc.; like the Beetle I think the PT Cruiser is much more style than substance.

    In many ways the MINI is not the old Mini because it is too safe, too heavy, too expensive and handles too well but at least it isn't just a new face on old bits from the parts bin. I think it faithfully reproduces the charm of the original while giving it modern safety and convenience features on an entirely new platform.

    I don't expect many people will cross-shop the Cooper, Tiburon and RSX. A few will cross shop them looking at performance alone but I think most people buy these cars for image and from there, each car has its own uniqueness and irrational likes and dislikes will have more to do with the choice than anything else. Some will love the MINI's retro styling, others will hate it. Some love the Japanese RSX, others think it is too bland. Some won't buy a Hyundai or Korean car for $1 and others think they are the coolest new car company on the block.
  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    MINI is the clear winner here - best value of the bunch, best handling by far due to shortness and huge tire-and-rim packages, and BMW suspension on a car costing $18K. Power is low with the cooper but it is geared to compensate for this. On the other hand, the S is a mini-rocket - it shames the Honda/Acura, which used to have the pocket rocket category sewn up. It develops most of its torque from 1500 rpm!! And it has more power per weight than the RSX at this price (RSX type S has more but costs a couple thou more as well).

    Tiburon with the V-6 engine (the only one worth considering IMO) is much more of a cruiser - bigger, heavier, less good at handling than straight-line acceleration. It should not be compared to these other two cars, but to the eclipse GT instead.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • muffin_manmuffin_man Member Posts: 865
    Whether it was designed from the ground up or not isn't important, what is important is the overall package.

    Is the Mini a better package than a 1.8T GTI? It's a close call. I think it just depends on whether you are in love with the Mini's styling or not.
  • milwaukeeboymilwaukeeboy Member Posts: 19
    this thread is like the O.J. trial. 3 months of testimony and everyone still has the exact same opinions that they came in with. :-)
  • 719b719b Member Posts: 216
    since so many of the posters seem to think the mini is the clear winner, i'm kinda curious to know how many of you actually own one or even driven one?
    the mini may be the best car of the 3 on this thread, but i suspect many opinions posted here are from car magazine reviews.
    i remember how the magazine reviewers raved about the new focus until they found it spent more time in a service bay than on the road.
    either way i doubt it will make much of an impact on the sales of competitors. it is a niche car that will probably attract limited "real world interest".
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Member Posts: 591
    I have a MINI Cooper. I've had it for just under 2 months now. Didn't test drive either the RSX or the Tiburon though, which is why I haven't posted any comments comparing the drives/rides of the others.
  • crcoxecrcoxe Member Posts: 72
    First, let me agree with others that this thread is a little strange. I'm not sure it's fair to be comparing Tiburon / RSX / MINI as if they were competitors. Seem to me to be three different cars for three different drivers.

    That said, I too own a MINI. Took delivery just over a month ago. I got on the waiting list in January, put in the specs for what I wanted in April and it was built and shipped from England in about one month. Paid MSRP with no required add-ons. I know that the wait for people elsewhere in the States (I'm in MD) is a bit longer and if you want the "S", get in a VERY long line.

    I didn't drive the RSX or the Tiburon. It was MINI or bust all along. I think you will probably find similar stories from other MINI owners. It's not a car you buy after shopping around looking for the best car for the best deal. I bought the MINI because I wanted a MINI, not because I was convinced it was better than the Tiburon, RSX, or even the VW Bug for that matter. Of course, as a MINI owner, I must say it beats the rest hands down. ;-)

    In my one month in the car, it lives up to its billing. Good acceleration and braking and it corners like it's on rails. This car is simply a joy to drive. It puts a smile on my face every time I get in. Only problem is the crowds it attracts when I am in a hurry to get somewhere.
  • ranaldranald Member Posts: 147
    Have any MINI owners noticed any unusual alignment problems?

    I've only seen a few MINI's on the road, but when I do I tend to study them and the other day I saw something rather unusual. On the car I saw the left rear tire had extreme negative camber- it was obvious just looking at it. The right rear and left front looked pretty neutral- I couldn't see the right front.
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Member Posts: 591
    had a left drift problem but it wasn't because of alignment, it was because of a front strut problem. That vehicle you saw must have been damaged or a special case. Never heard of that one.
This discussion has been closed.