75 reasons to choose a Fiat 500 over a MINI?

MINI | May 18th, 2011 by 24
New 2012 Fiat 500

President of the Fiat Lancia Unlimited car club (FLUCC) John Montgomery has recently published a list of 75 reasons why to someone should choose a …

President of the Fiat Lancia Unlimited car club (FLUCC) John Montgomery has recently published a list of 75 reasons why to someone should choose a Fiat 500 over a MINI. With the Fiat 500 going on sale for the first time in the United States, comparisons between them and MINI are inevitable. 120 U.S. Chrysler dealerships across the country have begun selling the popular European model and automotive magazines have already began placing the two vehicles head-to-head.

Both cars have a long automotive history and at the same time, they both compete in the the small premium segment. But would Fiat follow the successful path of MINI brand in the U.S.?

Time will tell, but for now, let’s have a look at these 75 reasons why you should buy a Fiat 500 over a MINI. Stay tuned for a similar list from MINI enthusiasts.

75 reasons to choose a Fiat 500 over a MINI?

1. The Fiat 500 base price MSRP is $4600 less (-23%) than the base BMW Mini MSRP.
2. The Fiat has a 5 star European NCAP rating for driver & passenger safety. Mini has a 4 star rating on driver & passenger safety. Mini has 5 stars for rollover protection only.
3. The Fiat has better aerodynamic CD; Fiat: .35, base Mini: .37, Cooper S: .39
4. The Fiat base weight is 352 pounds less than the Mini’s base weight.
5. The Fiat’s maximum passenger/cargo capacity is 970 lbs., 154 lbs more than Mini’s 816 lbs.
6. The Fiat’s 34.8 ft. turning radius is over 3 foot tighter than the Mini’s 38 ft.
7. The Fiat’s ground clearance is 4.1 inches; the Mini’s ground clearance is 5.5”.
8. The Fiat has lower insurance rates than the Mini yet the same warranty; 4 years, 50K miles.
9. The Fiat has 3 year 36K free maintenance, includes car rental and is transferable!
10. The Fiat suspension sub frame is attached w/o rubber isolators that could fatigue or wear out.
11. Fiat has twice the percentage of USA/Canadian content and Fiat’s engine is made in Michigan.
12. Fiat parts prices compare lower in price than BMW Mini parts.

Exterior Comparison:

13. Fiat has 14 exterior colors but only two are $500 extra. Mini: 7 of 10 colors are $500 extra!
14. The Fiat is taller overall with more upright seating position for better road view than the Mini.
15. Fog lights on Fiat Sport & Lounge are standard. Fog lights for base Mini cost $250.
16. The Fiat Lounge has fixed glass sunroof standard. Mini has no such thing.
17. The Fiat electric sunroof is an $850 option but the Mini sunroof option costs $1000.
18. The Fiat has quieter DBA noise level at idle and at speed on the road.
19. The Fiat has lower emissions than the Mini as well as lowest in class.
20. The Fiat Bi-Halogen headlights use the latest hi-tech bulb and of course daytime running lights.

Interior Comparison:

21. The Fiat has more space within the wheelbase devoted to passenger room.
22. Fiat drivers fit up to the 90th percentile adult, up to 6’ 1” without bumping headliner. Drivers up to 6’3” fit well in the 500 without the sunroof option (which takes 2” headroom.)
23. Fiat rear seat passengers cover a 70th percentile, up to 5’9 without bumping liner.
24. The Fiat has more rear seat leg room, Fiat 32.2”, Mini has 29.9”.
25. The Fiat 500 has 6.5 cubic foot trunk space, more than the Mini’s 5.7 cu. ft.
26. The Fiat has a longer luggage floor w/ seats upright, even though it’s shorter outside.
27. The Fiat 500 has a longer luggage floor with the seats folded down too!
28. The Fiat holds 30 cu. ft. of cargo w/ seats folded down; the base Mini only 24 cu. ft.
29. The Fiat base front passenger seat has storage compartment under seat cushion. Mini does not.
30. The Fiat has an outboard top seatback lever and inboard lower lever for rear passenger egress.
31. Centralized pod instrument bezel on the Fiat is directly in front of the driver, not on Mini.
32. Fiat driver levers; switches & controls are much easier to reach than the BMW Mini.
33. Fiat drivers do not need to tilt their head to see the heater controls, only look down.
34. The Fiat gear shifter is closer at hand than the Mini and a very short throw.
35. The Fiat center armrest is standard; the Mini center armrest is a $250 option.
36. Fiat offers heated seats & mirrors for less than Mini’s $750 cold weather combo package.
37. The Fiat 500 has an HVAC system with micron air filter for the cabin, even on base models.
38. The 500 offers “equivalent temperature” sensors, changing settings based on inside and outside conditions of temperature, humidity and airflow.
39. The Fiat includes a security system as standard, a $500 Mini option.
40. Tom-Tom docking feature on Fiat eliminates wires or plug-ins to cigar lighter.
41. The Fiat offers a superior “Blue & Me” interactive link w/ steering wheel controls & USB port.
42. Fiat’s Blue & Me system is $400 option, a similar system is a $1750 package on the Mini.
43. The Fiat has “Eco-Drive”, a down load application to review driving habits.
44. The BOSE 6 speaker system made for the 500 uses 50% less energy & 30% smaller hardware.
45. The Fiat BOSE audio has amps under the front passenger seat, out of the way.

Performance Comparison:

46. The Fiat manual gets better mileage; the Fiat 30/38 MPG vs. Mini’s 28/37 MPG.
47. The Fiat does not require premium fuel. All Minis require at least mid grade 91 octane!
48. The Fiat 500 has a better power to weight ratio than the Mini base 1.6 engines.
49. The Fiat has patented Multi-Air valve technology, unavailable on the Mini.
50. The Fiat Pop, Sport & Lounge all have a stainless steel exhaust system standard.
51. The Fiat has hydraulic cam followers; Multi Air system reduces pumping losses.
52. The Fiat 6 speed automatic is $1000 option; mates buying the Mini pay $1250.
53. The Fiat automatic transmission has a one touch shifter + or -.
54. Fiat has a dashboard “Sport” switch sharpens steering and auto trans shift points.
55. The Fiat “hill holder” keeps the manual car from rolling back (or forward too) on grades.
56. Fiat has traction control standard. It’s an option on base Mini for $250.
57. The Fiat’s “HBA” hydraulic braking control compensates for pressure in panic stops and lowers actuation time for maximum braking force.
58. Fiat braking “EBD” reads actual wheel speed data for faster brake response times.
59. The Fiat “ESP” calculates wheel longitude and lateral grip, cutting in when wheel slip is beyond parameters by adjusting throttle input and opposite wheel brake bias.
60. Fiat’s “ASR” reduces wheel slip at all speeds and adjusts torque for grip detected.

Safety Comparison:

61. The Fiat has 7 airbags standard while Mini has only 6. Fiat includes driver’s knee airbag.
62. The Fiat has double seatbelt pretensions to tighten in a crash event sequence. Mini has only single belt pre-tensioners. All Fiat seats include 3 point belts and reactive head restraints.
63. The Fiat has a lower forward vision angle of 8%, Fiat driver sits more upright.
64. The Fiat’s narrower “A” pillars are of high tensile steel for safety w/ better visibility.
65. The Fiat front & rear seats have anti submarine devices to prevent sliding under belts.
66. The Fiat has breakaway foot pedals in high impact frontal crashes to protect feet.
67. The Fiat has soft energy impact hood area in case the car ever strikes a pedestrian.
68. Fiat’s “FPS” (fire prevention switch) cuts off and stops the electric fuel pump in a crash, even a rollover crash. Then the Fiat automatically turns on the hazards, interior lights & unlocks doors.
69. The Fiat’s interior trim is flame resistant. Mini does not use flame retardants.

Heritage Comparison:

70. Fiat since 1899 is an independent manufacturer. Mini was BMC, now owned by BMW.
71. Fiat owns Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, New Holland Tractors, Kobelco Construction Equipment, Magnetti Marelli and Teksid, the world’s largest engine foundry.
72. The original Fiat 500 appeared in 1957, the original Mini in 1959.
73. The Fiat 500 is sold in 90 countries; more than the BMW Mini.
74. Enzo Ferrari drove a Fiat to work daily. However, Enzo also owned a Mini and loved it too!
75. Fiat SpA holds the record for most European Car of the Year Awards (Fiat 500 won in 2008), most World Rally Championships, most Formula One Championships.

[Photo Credit: AutoObserver | Fiat500usa.com ]

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.hietter John Hietter

     I will take the mini. Hair dryers have more power than the 500.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/La-Ma/1681833435 La Ma

      you clearly never driven one ! 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/La-Ma/1681833435 La Ma

      you clearly never driven one ! 

  • http://twitter.com/kobubol Narichaya Intanai

     follow for u want sport in my live

  • Stevie

    Mini needs just one reason to beat Fiat: Mini is built and powered by BMW. 

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  • Mr. Guest

    wow, John must be super-dumb. I`d rather give 75 reasons why never ever choose any Fiat and why choose 3 series or 1 series over a Mini.

  • Nitro_saj

    No offense mr fiat president guy.. but the pretty girls who buy these cars couldn’t give a flying monkeys of the drag co efficient is .22 better than the mini blah blah blah. Girls who buy these cars like to pose in them, and for that, the mini is simply better.

  • Br

     The sales may show everything.  I will not glance at Fiat but at Mini when it passes by, even though it is older. Fiat has quite a blunt and non-special front design as well as the rear design but everyone recognizes Mini as it has its own character.  I will definitely pick Mini but I do agree that BMW group always provides optional equipment, as a premium car brand..

  • Br

     The sales may show everything.  I will not glance at Fiat but at Mini when it passes by, even though it is older. Fiat has quite a blunt and non-special front design as well as the rear design but everyone recognizes Mini as it has its own character.  I will definitely pick Mini but I do agree that BMW group always provides optional equipment, as a premium car brand..

  • bdawg

    Well Fiat has already screwed its most ardent admirers of this new car.  There has been plenty written about those that ordered the special limited edition model and promised they would be the “first” to receive their 500s.  Only to find out the cars can’t be delivered because there is no “studio” near them to complete the delivery paperwork.  And in the meantime some Fiat “studios” have opened and cars have been sold and those that ordered the special edition are still waiting for their cars.  

  • M.

    and now BMWblog please make a list with 150+ reasons to choose a mini over a 500 :))

    • Horatiu

       Working on it…feel free to add to it :)

  • http://twitter.com/lapearce Lauren Pearce

    Read between the lines here. MINI actually beats Fiat on some of Fiat’s pros. For example, MINIs can actually fit drivers up to 6’5 and it has a no-cost warranty up to 50,000 miles. Definitely biased, not that anyone would believe any differently from the president of the Fiat club.

  • Sajan

     Horatio let me add some reasons to choose this over the Fiat 500:-
    1.) Engineered by BMW2.) Engineered by BMW3.) Engineered by BMW4.) Engineered by BMW5.) Engineered by BMW6.) Engineered by BMWNow lets look at the heritage that matters with these two cars :-7.) The relaunched MINI was released in 20018.) The relaunched Fiat 500 was released in 2007

  • Sajan

     Why would anyone be a member of the fiat owners club? I’m all for being passionate about cars, it’s one of the things that I feel strongly about, but who’s ever looked at a classic fiat punto and thought to themselves ”hmmmm that’s gorgeous”

    • Buckeye

      If I had to choose I’d choose the mini.  I drove a Fiat Panda in Italy.  It handled like an underpowered coffin on wheels and on the Autostrada it was the smallest car there.   Should have sprung for a slightly larger car with a bigger engine.   Now if I could figure out how to get a 1970′s version of the Fiat Cinque Cento that would turn more heads than any Mini. 

  • Gmeluziis

    I currently own a 3 bmw’s and I’m a die Hard for the brand! But, when the Fiat finally becomes available in my area, I will most def buy one. Sorry mini, u can’t compete.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=51500531 Andrew Murphy

     So Fiat is trying MINI advertising tactics to win over MINI customers? Good luck with that Fiat!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1781106357 Alejandro Estela Villegas

     MINI is the only car in the world which will draw a smile in your face every time you press the gas pedal. 

  • Paul

     MINI ftw :)

  • LexusLVR

    Funny to see everyone here select the MINI and then bitch about FWD in other posts! The MINI and Fiat 500 are both crap when compared to the masterpiece that is the Toyota iQ. The iQ offers something that MINI and Fiat never have: QUALITY and RELIABILITY. And the iQ is also fun to drive unlike the MINI and Fiat 500 and the iQ is RWD! MINI sucks. And the fact that it is powered by BMW means it is unreliable and of poor production quality.

    • Sajan

       HAHA. your name says it all really. Go back to being a Lexus fanboy. And I thought us propellerheads were biased to BMW but you take it to another level. Let me ask you this.. have you ever met an unhappy MINI owner? or an unhappy M3 owner? quite. Have we met unhappy toyota customers? I think so..

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