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Mercedes-Benz C230 Vs Mini Cooper

I am interested in both of the car, and don't know which one.
I tested drive both, there is smth i like from each, also something i don't like, so please give me some advice. I have $30,000 budget, so price is not the big concern for me. Any advice?


  • The Cooper S and the C230 stack up pretty closely in objective stuff. Both have supercharged 4s. Both come with 6 speed manual transmissions. Both have airbags galore (though the C-coupe nets two more airbags for the rear occupants, I think). Both have 4 year/50,000 mile warranties (the MB offers free scheduled maintenance for longer, however). Both are probably within a half-second of each other to 60mph and through the quarter. The C230 has slightly lower fuel economy (with an automatic, it's right below the Mini S). Both have wonderful panorama sunroofs as well.

    What it really comes down too, I guess, is personal necessities and aesthetics. Are you going to need to put people into the back seat often? Then maybe the C230 would be better. Do you prefer the handling of the Mini? Do you have any insecurities about driving a rwd car come winter? Does the personality of the Mini speak to you or do you prefer the conservative charm of the C230?

    It's up to you.

  • Both cars were on my short list of possible buys, too, along with the Mazda Protege5 and the Ford SVT Focus.

    The Mercedes is a "safe" buy, meaning no one will criticize your decision to get it. It also carries some snob appeal that can be beneficial at times. It's a solid car that rides very nicely, but not as sporting as the MINI. Though it has good acceleration and cornering grip, the handling lacks the sprightly feel of the MINI or the Pro5.

    The MINI is emotion ... how you feel while driving it, or just looking at it ... how you can tackle any corner and come out smiling, ready for more ... the innovative and quirky design and careful packaging to maximize interior space. It's a great city car, easily zipping around obstacles and parking in spaces too small for most other vehicles. Some people will groan that it's too small, too expensive, or too dangerous with all the huge trucks and SUVs on the road. However, it's agility and quickness (not to mention the safety technology) makes it safer if you pay attention to driving and not sipping lattes or searching for something in your bag.

    Both are finely engineered cars but their personalities are completely different. In the end it may come down your personality and whether you want to match your car to it or complement it with something different. The MINI is exciting, engaging, and edgy while the Merc is safe, sophisticated, and slightly soft.
  • These are exactly the concerns I have, C230 is safe and nice, while Mini is more Fun and I love to smile everyday when I drive. Have everyone experinece the driving in between those big trucks in highway (with Mini), is that scary to you?
  • I haven't driven my just-delivered MINI that much, but it actually rides a little taller than my old VW Corrado. Semis on the highway can be intimidating in a small car, so I usually try to time the passing so I just buzz by quickly in one shot rather than riding next to it for a long distance. We don't have many multilane freeways in Pittsburgh, so it's not that much of a bother.
  • I would think the Mini will hold resale better, given the current demand. The C230 Coupe gets some hefty discounts (did this year, anyway) at year end, that is a resale killer in my book.

    But then, owning a car for resale is similar to buying a house for the "neighborhood." It serves a purpose, but has nothing to do with you actually liking the thing yourself. :)

    The biggest question I would ask myself is can I stand the heat? If you go Mini, you WILL get asked a lot of questions about your car, more so than owning the Mercedes. Also, the Mercedes is still part of the MB family, and has a little more cachet than the Mini...ask yourself if you would prefer to blend or stand out on a daily basis.

    Personally, if I had to make the choice, it would probably come down to a 6 out of 10 decision...6 out of 10 times I would choose the Mini. I think it is a more serious enthusiast's car and has the best combination of English style and retro-modernism and German safety and engineering. That BMW heritage is not invisible in the Mini, not by my measure.

    Since it is a month later, what did you choose?
This discussion has been closed.