Quality (mini vs Fiat 500)

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Got to love these little fun to drive cars. Which 1 is more reliable? Really really like the Abarth style ....
 
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The early Minis were pretty lousy when it came to reliability. Supposedly they have gotten better. There are always exceptions, though. Minis are somewhat of a premium brand, FWIW. Fiats are not high-end cars. They are economy cars and built to a price. I'm sure this will improve over time as well, but from what I have read (and experienced in a rental), they are not going to give you 200k trouble-free miles. My experience with both has been as follows... Friend's wife has a 2009 Mini. It's in the shop about once a month for various things, and this has been the case for most of their ownership (warranty, fortunately). Had a 500 for a rental. 7k on the odometer and the horn didn't work and the door hinge was coming apart.
 
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JD Power and TrueDelta both say neither are particularly reliable. You might be better of with a Fiesta ST or tweaking a Scion to fit your performance desires.
 
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I was between these three cars when last week (longer, as I research a car heavily before purchasing) I read the Car & Driver compario between these 3 exact cars, and after a test drive of them all. I bought a Fiesta ST. Ford had the edge as Last month I was invited to a FORD event and was able to take the Fiesta and Focus ST on a parking lot Track. Speeds where 0-55 through the course. The Fiesta handled like no other car. Quality, as in reliability? FORD all the way. Quality as in interior bits and pieces, mini, then Ford, last Fiat. Overall ride quality, Mini if you like soft and comfy, Ford if you like a firmer ride that extrudes please bash me into corners. FIAT if you don't like driving for very long. About the only thing the Fiat 500 has over the rest is style. It looks like no other car on the road. But I guess you can say that with a Mini too. If you like performance, do not look at the Fiat 500. The Ford will walk all over the mini in every category that requires turning the wheel. So with all that said. I chose a Fiesta ST due to the reported reliability, compared to the issues mini and fiat people are having. Plus, optioned to how I like a car, the Mini was 3 grand more than the Fiesta.
 
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Agree with OriginalRocket, the Fiat is not fast at all. The Abarth is fun to drive, but still pretty slow (0-60 in the low 7s, I think).
 
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Originally Posted By: dparm
Fiats are not high-end cars. They are economy cars and built to a price. I'm sure this will improve over time as well, but from what I have read (and experienced in a rental), they are not going to give you 200k trouble-free miles.
The Fiat 500 is a 7 year old model. I doubt they will improve the basic quality of the car much. The first 1.2 litre is a very reliable engine. Otherwice. Never trust new Italian technology.
 
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Out of the two cars mentioned by the OP I would definitely take the Mini. Neither will be terribly reliable but people do love their Minis. That being said, the other cars mentioned (Miata and Fiesta ST) are better options IMO. My preference would be the Miata or maybe even a BRZ.
 
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Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
If you want a small, fun, and reliable car, get a Miata.
^^ This, if it has enough room and comfort for your needs. The Miata is an example of how well a car design can be executed. I know of no other vehicle that comes as close to perfectly meeting it's own intended purpose. It is all it is meant to be: Fun, economical, and reliable while being very well built. Once you've owned one, you wonder why all cars aren't as well done.
 
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I don't know if their quality is any better, but 30-40 years ago if you were interested in a Fiat, you were better off just reaching up to an Alfa, so at least you had better style and performance to justify the constant service aggravation.
 
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Originally Posted By: 2008wrx
Got to love these little fun to drive cars. Which 1 is more reliable? Really really like the Abarth style ....
What would you consider to be a reliable car? If you want a car without any issues then FIAT is not for you. 500 is a good car with some great engines but it will never be Toyota, and that can be good or bad thing. Minis are bigger cars then 500 and for only car it would be better choice. They would also handle better on bad roads. For second car i would choose Fiat or even better Abarth, but that is based on personal preference. I love Italian engines.
 
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Mini's and Fiat's both rank near the bottom of the pile in terms of reliability. I second what others here have said; get a Miata. They handle well, have decent power, are very reliable and economical and have outstanding aftermarket support.
 
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That surveys are for people who knows nothing about cars. For instance I posted here about my friends Toyota Auris that needed new engine at 80k km. I had nice 93 Civic Vti that was using a LOT of oil at 150k km. Front upper and down wishbones where dead by then also. So where shocks. On other hand I had BMW and Alfas with much more km and they were in better condition. I'm sure Honda did better on JD thing then both.
 
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I'd go with the Mini if you have a good dealer. We don't, so my wife decided to forgo a Cooper S and settle for a CPO 328i.
 
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Originally Posted By: OriginalRocket
I was between these three cars when last week (longer, as I research a car heavily before purchasing) I read the Car & Driver compario between these 3 exact cars, and after a test drive of them all. I bought a Fiesta ST. Ford had the edge as Last month I was invited to a FORD event and was able to take the Fiesta and Focus ST on a parking lot Track. Speeds where 0-55 through the course. The Fiesta handled like no other car. Quality, as in reliability? FORD all the way. Quality as in interior bits and pieces, mini, then Ford, last Fiat. Overall ride quality, Mini if you like soft and comfy, Ford if you like a firmer ride that extrudes please bash me into corners. FIAT if you don't like driving for very long. About the only thing the Fiat 500 has over the rest is style. It looks like no other car on the road. But I guess you can say that with a Mini too. If you like performance, do not look at the Fiat 500. The Ford will walk all over the mini in every category that requires turning the wheel. So with all that said. I chose a Fiesta ST due to the reported reliability, compared to the issues mini and fiat people are having. Plus, optioned to how I like a car, the Mini was 3 grand more than the Fiesta.
Well yeah. A Fiesta ST is a 20K car street price. A basic Fiat is about 14K.
 
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Originally Posted By: 3800Series
Warrantys say a lot about a company's confidence in their product. A 30k mile warranty isn't saying much.
I disagree. It is mainly a marketing tool and they hide all of the bad stuff in the fine print that nobody reads. It all sounds great from the salesman until you try to get your car fixed under warranty...you better duck because the disclaimers are flying your way. grin2 Incidentally, our Mini is now 5 years old and nearing 50,000 miles and the only issue we have had is a clogged screen in the window washer fluid tank. Our Mini is a base model 6-speed MT without DI or turbo/supercharger and I suspect that if the reliability researchers differentiated between models then the base Minis would score much better. At least that was my thinking when we bought the car and so far it has been great. drive
 
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Originally Posted By: 3800Series
Warranties say a lot about a company's confidence in their product. A 30k mile warranty isn't saying much.
What car company do you think has a 30k mile Warranty? Fiat or Mini? Fiat - http://www.fiatusa.com/en/warranty/ - 4 year, 50k mile warranty Mini - http://www.miniusa.com/content/miniusa/en/why-mini/why-mini/no-cost-maintenance.html - also a 4 year, 50k mile warranty The only thing not inspiring much confidence is your post. I'm not confident that you actually are talking about one of these two companies. BC.
 
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