Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2013 Fiat 500 VS 2013 MINI Cooper Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2013 Fiat 500

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2013 MINI Cooper

Safety Comparison

The 500 has standard Reactive Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Reactive Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Cooper Coupe doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The 500’s blind spot mirrors use wide-angle convex mirrors mounted in the corner of each side view mirror to reveal objects that may be in the driver’s blind spots. The Cooper Coupe doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

Both the 500 and the Cooper Coupe have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

For its top level performance in frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the 500 as a “Top Pick” for 2012, a rating only granted to 143 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Cooper Coupe has not been tested, yet.

Warranty Comparison

There are over 2 times as many Fiat dealers as there are MINI dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 500’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The Fiat 500’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the Cooper Coupe’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

The engines in the 500 have a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engines in the Cooper Coupe have dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the 500 gets better fuel mileage than the Cooper Coupe:


Cooper Coupe

4 cyl./Manual

31 city/40 hwy

29 city/37 hwy

Turbo 4 cyl./Manual

28 city/34 hwy

26 city/35 hwy


Abarth Turbo 4 cyl./Manual

28 city/34 hwy

26 city/35 hwy


Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the 500 has larger standard tires than the Cooper Coupe (185/55R15 vs. 175/65R15).

The 500 Pop/Lounge’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Cooper Coupe’s standard 65 series tires. The 500 Abarth’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Cooper Coupe’s optional 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The 500 Abarth goes through Road & Track’s slalom 2 MPH faster than the JCW Cooper Coupe (70.2 vs. 68.2 MPH).

For better maneuverability, the 500’s turning circle is 4.5 feet tighter than the Cooper Coupe’s (30.6 feet vs. 35.1 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The 500 is 7.2 inches shorter than the Cooper Coupe, making the 500 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space Comparison

The 500 has standard seating for 4 passengers; the Cooper Coupe can only carry 2.

Ergonomics Comparison

The 500’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. MINI charges extra for heated mirrors on the Cooper Coupe.

Recommendations Comparison

Both the Fiat 500 and MINI Cooper Coupe won an award in Kiplinger’s 2012 car issue.

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