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



  • drivinisfundrivinisfun 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 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 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 ONE...
  • 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 Posts: 372
    The MINI projected resale values are incredibly. They match the residual values of Porsches and the like.
  • drivinisfundrivinisfun 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 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 > ONE...

  • drivinisfundrivinisfun 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 Posts: 574
    How is the Tiburon a 1990s Supra aspirant?!
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,239
    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

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • muffin_manmuffin_man 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 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 SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    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 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.
  • 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 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 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 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 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 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.
  • tsquishtsquish Posts: 2
    For everyone who loves the MINI (I'll probably get a few responses on this one). You may want to view the consumer discussion lists, there are numerous complaints about the build quality of the car from actual owners. I too thought it would be a cool car to look at, but after some research it appears it may be going the way of the Yugo, or Gremlin.
  • tollagtollag Posts: 23
    I have a Electric Blue Cooper S, and can't say enough about the car... I find it hard to believe that everyone who gave the car a good rating, had it in the 9.5's upward, while a select group gave it anything from a 1-2... The build quality is excellent, along with fun of driving, and smile factor. If you don't like the new Cooper, or Cooper S, you should really consider having your head examined....
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    Check out many forums here and you'll find problems with most cars. People with problems look for discussion groups to try to get solutions and just to share their pain.

    The 2002 MINI is a first-year car. Some have problems, but as I said above this is true of most cars.

    Recalls and other problems don't seem to stop sales these days. Look at the Focus.
  • I picked up my Cooper 'S' 2 weeks ago.

    I ordered it in January (and had to endure a 5-month wait).

    I LOVE the car and bought it without comparing it to other cars.

    Sure, I had a list of 2 or 3 other cars I thought about getting, but I realized that good things come to those that wait.

    I wouldn't sell my car to ANYONE on the waiting list for an 'S'. Not even for $50,000 Cdn.

    The car totally feels like a BMW. (I've been around MANY Bimmers, as I used to work at the dealership I bought my Mini).

    Just take one for a test drive. The constant looks and smiles from passerby you'll get are worth it alone!
  • kevin111kevin111 Posts: 991
    Let me explain:

    1. too short. At 11 feet long, shortest vehicle sold to the U.S. general public (per Car and Driver). I am hessitant to drive it due to crash protection. I am curious to see how it rates when the NHSA tests it.

    2. I am not a big fan of the styling. Some people love it, I do not, both inside and out.

    3. Reliability - new division, basically a new company. Yes it is under the BMW hierarchy, but it is being built by a new division in England. Basically, a new company with BMW looking over it. Because this is not only a new car, but basically a new company, I have a wait and see attitude on the quality.

    4. Ride (this is second hand). I have heard that it has a very harsh ride, even though it handles extremely well.

    Personally (IMHO), I would get an RSX. Would feel like I am getting more car for the same money.
  • drivinisfundrivinisfun Posts: 372
    When are you going to do some research on the MINI and get your facts straight, buddy???

    Instead of issuing "Hear Say" armchair reviews and comments, stop by your nearest MINI dealer and TEST DRIVE THE CAR!

    I suspect that after driving either MINI model, you'll soon begin to question your Acura RSX purchase....a few people that currently own RSX's after test driving the MINI have left deposits and put their overpriced Civiesque RSX coupes up for sale.

    There is simply no comparison my friend!

  • kevin111kevin111 Posts: 991
    Actually bought a WRX that I love. Has a legitamite back seat for when the relatives visit.

    From what I have read, the Mini is a blast to drive, and is as close to a street legal go-cart, in terms of feel and handling, as you can get. The handling is supposed to be great. The problems I have are with the issues I posted.

    I am just not a fan of the styling like others are, and am scared to drive it due to the weight and length.

    As the colision specialist said, the cars that he witnessed that do the best in accidents are the bigger and longer vehicles. The ones that do the worst are the short and light ones.

    Of course with being short and agile, you will probably avoid more accidents also.
  • tollagtollag Posts: 23
    You can check it out at Also, the Mini isn't that light... It weighs a little over 2,500 pounds! And yes, it's more agile than almsot any other car... The ONLY car that out-performed it in the 600 foot slalom test was the Porsche 911 Carrera 4, but that car costs over $100,000!!! Get a mini
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    I'm under the impression that the Mini's laden weight is 2,315 pounds, which is lighter than the Miata (2,387).

    As for the agility, that is fantastic but there are times when an accident is unavoidable, when somebody t-bones you in an intersection, or you are rear ended and rammed into the person in front of you.

    My safety concerns aside, I definitely think that the Mini is an amazing package, but in a land full of SUV's, safety is a concern. 4 stars out of 5 isn't that impressive after all the hype I'm hearing - I was expecting 5. I mean, BMW this, stiffest steel that, and it got the same rating as a Hyundai Accent.
  • kevin111kevin111 Posts: 991
    Use that $24K and buy a Ninja from Kawasoki. Better handling, faster, better in the slalom test, seats 2 as well, and probably has almost as big a trunk. You will also have some money left over. Finally, it probably is almost as good in a crash as well. Maybe an MR2? Bigger front end, better in a crash, and a convertible. Is just as fast as well.

    An Acura RSX is not a good comparison since the RSX is more of a primary car of many people, while it is unlikely a Mini will ever be someone's only means of transportation.

    If I wanted a boutique second car, I would consider a Mini. Unfortunately, many of us just plan to have one car for all our purposes. For this reason, the Mini does not fit.
This discussion has been closed.