Mazda MX-5 Miata vs Mini Cooper S

rsobinrsobin Member Posts: 8
edited September 2014 in MINI
I am looking to purchase either a: Miata (new auto hardtop) or a Mini Cooper S convertible. Both small.

This would be my car to go around in, not take vacations; use the other car.

I have driven both. Both are nice. What advice or extra knowledge do you have to help with my decision ??

Repairs ?? Service ?? Fun ??


  • erics6erics6 Member Posts: 684
    Both fun. Miata would be cheaper to service and more reliable but the Mini isn't bad. Get the one you like.

    Does the S come with an auto?
  • rsobinrsobin Member Posts: 8
    Yes. I drove an auto yesterday.

    Interesting, if I get it with auto (a must for my wife), and CD changer, mp3, and other nice stuff -- both get close to $30,000 -- not including an add on warranty, tax, title, etc.

    Here is the intersting point: my wife has a 2001 Acura MDX with 105,000 miles. We are going to trade it when the new 2008's come out in the fall/winter this year. Looked at an Acura RDX (their new mid-size SUV) -- and one loaded is like $34 or $34 thousand. Interesting that the Miata's have risen in price . . .

    Any other thoughts you have on my original purchase -- and a breaker of knowledge would be great. Thanks.
  • erics6erics6 Member Posts: 684
    Sure. A loaded PRHT is getting up towards $30k. Don't know if the demand is off yet, but prices will drop. Most Miata's go for invoice or less. Actually, prices are cheaper. You can pick up a mid-level Miata for $19k or so, less than they cost in 1990 when they first came out.

    Minis are a bit more expensive, but have great resale value. Not much room for negotiation though.
  • manybmwsmanybmws Member Posts: 347
    Buy a new '06 GT for $23K. They are around.
  • rsobinrsobin Member Posts: 8
    I live in San Antonio, and it is really hot in the summer, about July - through Sept --

    and so, the new hardtop really calls me.

    There are very few of them out there for sale. In fact in San Antonio right now at all three dealers -- one is zip out, the other have one each. Suggestion . . .
  • manybmwsmanybmws Member Posts: 347
    I gotta say that even up North in the summertime the AC has a hard time keeping up when the heat is up to the mid 90s. This is where the hardtop would help out a lot. Maybe the lighter colored top if you were to get a ragtop? I have a True Red GT with black cloth top.
  • rsobinrsobin Member Posts: 8
    The True Red is my favorite color. I think it is a block stopper, and makes the Miata look its best.

    But I also see some problems: cops and speeding tickets, theives looking for the "best" car to steal . . .

    In making my final decision are the seats. In perfer the TAN leather to the black. Just think the tan looks richer and makes the inside came alive.

    But the True Red does not come with tan seats, only black.

    Right now, I am looking at the Stormy Blue as my option. Has Tan seats. The Margle White is great, but does not come in a hardtop. The Highland Green is just tooooo dark. The silver and gray are OK, but tough to see in the early and late parts of the day. But might work. The Black is not good for Texas.

    Copper Red is rich looking, but my present car is just about the same color (I have a 2001 PT Cruiser, with that red).

    Question: for the Grand Touring -- the options: that have better suspension and stability things -- do I need those ??

    I tend to drive within the speed limits almost all of the time, not a racer. I would think the car should come with that stuff just fine -- but after I purchase the car --- I do not want to feel I over paid for that stuff, or should have gotten it/them.

    Any thoughts you have would be great.

  • erics6erics6 Member Posts: 684
    Stormy blue is a nice color with tan leather. Stability control is great. All cars should have it. Not a big fan of HID lights. Expensive to replace. My favorite is the Touring package with sport suspension, since I don't like leather. (My Miata has it.)
  • rsobinrsobin Member Posts: 8
    Thanks erics6 --

    You said: My favorite is the Touring package with sport suspension

    Is that "sport suspension" what comes with the car, or the Ssupension Package that is extra ?

    I guess my bottom line question is: which options are necessary and important ------ and which options are a waste and really not necessary ??

    I can ask a dealer, but he wants to sell the most he has or what he/she can get -- not what maybe I need.

    Is there a problem with the leather ??? how it feels, etc. Or, what for you . . .

  • erics6erics6 Member Posts: 684
    I'm just not a fan of leather. For me, convertibles and hot leather seats don't go well together. Problem is you couldn't get the nicer tan interior without leather seats. IIRC, no Miata came with tan cloth seats. If you like the leather, go for it.

    Touring is the mid-level model with cloth seats. You need to add the sport suspension.

    GT comes with the sport suspension standard. If you get the prem. pkg #2 with the GT, you get DSC and HID.

    It really comes down to what you want and what's available in dealer stock (if you're not ordering one). Usually when you buy from dealer stock you get a few items you don't want or need.
  • manybmwsmanybmws Member Posts: 347
    Funny you mention cops. Last summer I was going 45 MPH in a 30 zone with the top down - went around a corner and there he was. I looked over at my V-One and it was blinking like crazy. I had apparently turned the volume down. I was nabbed by radar no doubt. I immediately pulled to the right in front of his parked cruiser. He came over and I apologized - he said not to worry because he was giving me a warning! So much for the red cars and speeding tickets myth.

    Apparently - true red is the most popular color but I like Stormy Blue MX-5 a lot since I think it makes the car look very classy. I have an Orient Blue 530i with a tan interior and that car gets a lot of complements. A guy recently came up to me in a parking lot and asked if I would sell him the car and it will soon be 4 years old!

    I have a GT and like the Bose stereo with Sirius radio. I would recommend limited slip for rain conditions. I do not have it. Other than that if its a year round driver I would get the stability control as well. Other than that the stock Michelins on the GT are ok but are no Michelin Pilot Sports. If I was going to do anything to my car this year it would be to change the tires.
  • jamesbond_007jamesbond_007 Member Posts: 1
    We Got the True red We do like the Black seats and we felt the tan looked to orange and will be hard to keep clean.

    The car has a lot of power and fun to drive. We like the fact that the top does not take up trunk space.

    We looked at the Mini but the dealership was to few and far if we needed service.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    We test-fitted one of these at the auto show but my kids didn't really fit in the back seat. Bummer. The rear seat back is bolt-upright, there is no leg room, and the worst part was they sat so low in the seats that they could not see out - the whole point of a convertible. :(

    I wouldn't even call it a 2+2. A booster might help them see but there's still no real space for their legs.

    I have a 93 Miata and might just end up with another now.
  • dugldugl Member Posts: 10
    It's butt ugly.
  • arealcarnutarealcarnut Member Posts: 2
    I know this thread is old but people looking to make a purchase still find it when looking for help. I'm one of the lucky ones who has an MX-5 GT and a Cooper S. The turbo response of the S is fun... it handles well... it puts the feel of the Audi TT I traded for it to shame - even without being in Sport Mode.

    However, the feel, response, seating postion, sound of the MX-5 is something you don't get in the Cooper S... I get a feeling of complete control in the Mazda... but a big smile on my face when that turbo kicks in on the S.

    If you want the closest thing possible to a race car experience I would say go with a Miata... if you want a firm-handling, turbo induced blast... go with the S.

    The S is definitely roomier and can carry 4 if necessary.

    I'll try to remember to make another post when I've driven them both longer. Bottom line is you can't go wrong with either. If you wait until the end of the model year, you can get a steal on a Miata... the Mini dealers don't want to deal as easily in my opinon.

    Hope this helps some.
This discussion has been closed.