Mini Cooper vs. VW New Beetle

brechbielbrechbiel Member Posts: 13
edited March 2014 in MINI
The new Mini Cooper and the recently introduced VW New Beetle have much in common: Both are retro European small cars of similar size. Both are front wheel drive. Both have a smorgasboard of safety and performance features, combined with a huge "fun factor." One is available with two different turbo charged motors. The other can be had with a supercharged motor. Both have a similar price range. Both are essentially German, of not made there. The New Beetle, of course, is inherently more familiar to Americans, and perhaps less novel than the Mini. I like em' both!

Let's hear it from those who have compared these two models.
Which do you prefer? Would you (have you) bought one?

Also, has anyone found interior volume specifications for the Mini Cooper? It appears to be 10-15% smaller than the VW New Beetle.

Start your engines...


  • tollagtollag Member Posts: 23
    First, the cooper is about 10% smaller on the inside than the VW, but you can't really tell from the inside... When it comes to handling, I enjoyed the Cooper S much more than the VW turbo. And with he price... I say you should all act fast and reserve your Cooper, while it IS MSRP, because dealers WILL be jacking up the price... Mine gets here in September!
  • verozahlverozahl Member Posts: 574
    My Fad vs. Your Fad!
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Member Posts: 376
    Of the two people I know with a beetle, two of them were unhappy with the car. One has already traded for a Miata, the other is already looking forward to the Mini. The beetle doesn't offer much. and not much though went into it besides getting trend seekers and VW fanatics to buy it. Anyone who knows whats good for them will veer away from this one.
  • tollagtollag Member Posts: 23
    I also have two friends with the VW Beetle... Growing up in Poland, I had a little Mini Cooper S, red, with a black roof... Looking for a new car, I was ecstatic when I heard the MINI was coming back to the USA! First I drove one of my friends' VW' s.... It was awsome! Then, I test drove the new Mini... Before I left Herb Chambers BMW, I had left my $1000 deposit, and my Electric blue W/ white roof baby on the way.... I will admit that the VW is a fun ride, but, it is nothing compared to the "S"...
  • dustidusti Member Posts: 36
    is the first car to hit the USA market designed with an Euro sense of logic rather than the bloat and bad taste that American buyers have either been brainwashed or gluttonized into desiring.

    wheels spliced out at the corners for maximum handling capabilites.

    narrow slab body for maximum space efficiency and minimum manufacturing costs.

    these type of cars are the modus operandi in Europe - cheap, mainstream, and highly functional.

    now they're being parceled out on a highly rationed basis in the US with the requirement that they have to optioned to the gills with unnecessary junk to those with more bucks than brains.

    hopefully that portion of the American market attracted to the newness or whatever will get satiated, and Americanized junk will continue to be popular enough to relieve buying pressures on this car ...

    else it's investigating the grey market for me.
  • bananadanbananadan Member Posts: 8
    OK, I can see that the Mini is a blast to drive, but after sitting in the Beetle Turbo S, in my mind there is no comparison. The fake aluminum plastic in the mini is revolting, and the knobs and gauges are cartoonish. The VW has a professionality about its interior that is totally lacking in the mini - - it is as if they said, "how can we make a fake Audi TT that kinda picks up TT styling cues but costs the same as a beetle." For instance, replace aluminum highlights with fake aluminum-like plastics. Controls feel cheap and look cheap. Result: tackiness. So: if handling is your be-all and end-all, the Cooper S might be the ticket. But if you're going to spend long hours in the interior, the Bug (turbo sport and turbo S) are mighty nice, and way better put together, with materials that are better integrated with each other and that are of higher quality to begin with. (that is, in my opinion only.)
  • verozahlverozahl Member Posts: 574
    "Cartoonish" describes both the MINI and the Beetle.
  • bruticusbruticus Member Posts: 229
    A coworker/friend of mine took delivery on a GTI 1.8T last November (not a Beetle, but it is a VW). He spent almost 4 weeks sucking up a line of smoke&mirrors from the dealer; first they took his deposit and told him one was on the way, then they said they could get one in 10 days, then told him it'd be 2 weeks, then they called him to say the car driven in from Connecticut (DRIVEN, not trucked) was the wrong one (manual tranny instead of the Tiptronic; how can you screw that up??), then jerked him around for another 2 weeks before he got the car had been waiting to pay for for over 3 weeks.

    Since then, he's had the vehicle into the dealer because a) the alignment began to drift after 1000 miles, and it took the dealer 2 tries to fix it, b) a number of interior bits (screw covers, recline-handle on passenger seat, some part of the cupholder) started falling off a few weeks after delivery, c) if he uses Tiptronic mode for an extended period of highway driving, when he slows down, the tranny the refuses to engage overdrive in either auto or Tiptronic mode until he drives really slowly, or shuts the car off to let it cool (the dealer has no clue what's wrong there)

    In addition to that, it doesn't handle as well as he'd like it to (and he's not a go-fast junkie like some people I know) and is considering upgrading shocks & antiroll bar.

    So that's a month of getting the shaft to get the car, several bonafide problems in ~6 months of owning it, and less-than-complete satisfaction independent of the troubles he's had. From the reviews I've read of the Beetle, even in "sporting" trim, it shares the handling deficiency that seems to be endemic to all VWs (at least from the rides I've had in his GTI and reviews I've read of Jetta, Passat, etc). In sum, VW has moved off my list of possible new-car purchases.

    Just my $.02

  • perry40perry40 Member Posts: 94
    I really like the looks of both the New Mini and Beetle ... but both are out of my price range. Some of the reviews I've read of the the overall reliability of the VW have been somewhat dissappointing though ... especially since I'd like to pick up a good used unit in a few years. My friend/neighbour has a Y2K Golf 4-door in Indigo Blue that rides like a dream ... but uses oil and has been through 2 sets of wheel bearings ... and he babies it! Seems like the VW's that were manufactured back in the 80's were better than the current crop. Still love the looks of both the Mini and the Beetle though ...
  • dude4medude4me Member Posts: 2
    I like the Beetle and the Cooper. Both are cute!
  • bunny11bunny11 Member Posts: 1
    The MINI has finally arrive in West Michigan, although not at an "authorized service provider". In order to get service on the car, we must go to Chicago or Detroit - both approx a 2-3 hour drive from West MI. Not exactly convenient. Getting service done elsewhere will void the warranty.

    I drove the MINI, Beetle Turbo S, and Beetle 1.8T. The 1.8T is comp to the MINI - both have great speed, but handling and ride is better in the Beetle. I thought the MINI was too jumpy on rough roads. Visibility in the MINI is a challenge for tall riders - the roof comes down a little into the viewing. Back seat is better in the MINI. I'm 5'10" and bumped my head riding in the back of the Beetle. Beetle is best as two seater. The MINI can handle back seat passengers at least for short distances.

    The Turbo S beats the others, hands down. Great handling, great speed, and great ride on the highway with the extra gear. The only unfortunate part about the Turbo S (beside no headroom in the rear) is the boring color offering. No double yellow (my dream bug), and definately no concept colors.

    Neither is especially practical if you have to use the trunk or carry passengers. A nice alternate would be an Audi A4 Quattro 1.8T or 2.8.
  • captainmcaptainm Member Posts: 2
    The new beetle was about 4 years ahead of the new mini
  • captainmcaptainm Member Posts: 2
    the new beetle turbo s will walk the dog on any mini
  • cct1cct1 Member Posts: 221
    No offense, but a turbo beetle wouldn't stand a chance against a mini cooper S on any road with a few twisties on it. I have no idea where you're coming from on this. And if you're including any mini, you throw in a JCW mini, and the beetle might as well not even leave the garage.
  • happycooperhappycooper Member Posts: 3
    I agree the beetle does not come anywhere close to the Mini. Plus alot more problems with the Beetles.
  • happycooperhappycooper Member Posts: 3
    I have been looking at the Cooper S 2007 online. Does anyone know what the base price is likely to start out on an automatic? Thanks
  • cct1cct1 Member Posts: 221
    This is probably the wrong forum for this, but the base 2007 MC S will reportedly cost 21,850 (destination charges included), and adding automatic transmission will add another 1,350.
  • jkjerseyjkjersey Member Posts: 1
    Not that many cars out there that can hang with a mini cooper s on the twisties with sticky tire. It is essentially a luxury go kart.
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