Mini vs. Civic vs. VW

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by GreenMonster, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster New Member

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    I'm looking to buy my first car.. I'm hoping to spend ~$20k and need a small vehicle as i live in DC and will be doing street parking in Georgetown.

    Based on recommendations and experience I'm going to look at a Mini Cooper, a Civic (possibly hybrid?) or one of the smaller VWs (though looks like there are reliability issues?)

    I need a small, reliable car for city driving for the next 5 years or so. I'm leaning towards Mini b/c of price and size right now.

    Any advice with these three brands/models would be greatly appreciated - heading to test drive this weekend.

    Thanks to those who chimed in on the other board!
     
  2. Y2kAccord

    Y2kAccord Everything happens for reasons I just dont know

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    out of the 3, reliable = Honda just remember that and you wont be disapointed. You can get a new Civic for way less than 20k, I wouldnt mess with the hybrid right now, just get a regular gasoline one.
    My 2002 Civic I had, I got up to 42mpg on the highway with my Sedan.
     
  3. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster New Member

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    Thanks for the advice, the Civics seem to have a lot of fans out there. Just out of curiousity, is there any good reasons to NOT seriously consider the MINI?
     
  4. Y2kAccord

    Y2kAccord Everything happens for reasons I just dont know

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    Price is more and on the JD power quality surveys and Mini is near the bottom along with VW.
    Other than that, Mini would be a fun car to drive
     
  5. Mitchj

    Mitchj OT Supporter

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    i'd second the civic. You guys im guessing you live in europe? Even better, you get the civic 3 door.
     
  6. LA02MAX

    LA02MAX New Member

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    The mini is just TOO small IMO. Like I mentioned in the other thread, my brother has one, and I'm only 6' and it is not comfortable at all to sit in the front seat (much less the back seat!). The mini is also much more expensive than the civic and if you price the mini with options, it can get REALLY expensive. Also, my brother's mini gets about 34 mpg on long trips, which is mostly due to the insanely short gearing in the 5-speed (At 75 mpg the tach is reading >4k rpms!) which is considerably worse than what you would see in the civic. And while the handling on the mini is pretty good with some decent tires, the ride is very stiff. It's a little rougher than my car with my illuminas set to the stiffest setting...The civic has quality, economy, performance, and comfort to back it up and IMHO it trumps the mini...
     
  7. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Heh...you're "only" 6-foot. Being 5'7", the Mini fits me fine, and my Passat feels roomy.

    I'd get the Mini, if you can afford it. Keep in mind that companies that rate products only make money if they generate drama for consumers to notice; that Mini might be at the bottom of the list, but the real-world difference between the Mini and the Civic is very likely only a couple of extra problems per 100 vehicles.
     
  8. Y2kAccord

    Y2kAccord Everything happens for reasons I just dont know

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    I am 6'2" and I am comfortable in the Minis I have sat in, and buying a Mini just forget about using the back seat.
    But maintenance and upkeep is going to be more.. I would just go for the Civic
     
  9. mcents717

    mcents717 New Member

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    get an si
     
  10. ElCidKid

    ElCidKid New Member

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    look at 2004.5+ Jetta GLI's.
     
  11. Y2kAccord

    Y2kAccord Everything happens for reasons I just dont know

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    buy the extended warrenty :mamoru:
     
  12. ElCidKid

    ElCidKid New Member

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    i've had no problems with my 2003. or my 2001 TDI before that, they are fantastic cars.
     
  13. My sister and her husband have hybrids and they are awesome. Great gas mileage I don't know why you wouldn't recommend them.

    I hate driving in DC so good luck with it haha.
     
  14. Y2kAccord

    Y2kAccord Everything happens for reasons I just dont know

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    They are not cost effective, you pay a premium for gas mileage that is no where near advertised. You usually have to drive them 8-10yrs to break even on premium price. The only exception is the Toyota Prius which after 5yrs is $100 cheaper than a Corolla.
    Just stick with teh gasoline engines till hybrid premiums go away.
     
  15. compu_85

    compu_85 Woooo! 60HP!

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    Ya, you can't get a VW with the TDI anymore... Thanks EPA! :mad: Should be back for 2008 though with common rail and more exhaust treatment.

    -Jason
     
  16. peoplescar

    peoplescar Guest

    must be nice to be able to spend around 20K for a first car...

    all i had was 1000 bucks :wtc: sure taught me a lot about cars though, and fueled my passion for them.. now i can't get enough!
     
  17. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster New Member

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    Thanks for all the advice. I ended up going with the MINI Cooper. I was at the DC auto show and checked out a bunch of rides and was not as impressed with some of the low end Japanese cars. For the money spread out over the course of my loan it wasn't too much different to get the MINI which is waht I really wanted.

    I didn't get the S though (for a girl in the city I just don't need it now, maybe next one ;). I don't drive to work so the mileage will stay low on it and the warranty is 36k/3 years with some nice extended options. It's a manual which I'm really digging - never really done it before but am doing totally fine with it after a morning of practice on hills, etc. No choice but to learn fast in the city!

    I really like the handling, I've been out on the highway and while it's definitely a small car you don't feel like you're going to get monster trucked or anything. The interior fit and finish is also nicer than other cars in the price range, I got the chrome finish which looks really nice. All in all a great small car for my needs.

    The parking with this thing is already fantastic, you should see some of the unbelievably small spots I have squeezed into. I mean, literally last night I had like four inches on either bumper... and that's exactly why I needed it!

    Thanks for the help all. :)
     
  18. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Ooh, you're a girl? MINI was definitely the way to go...though, had you gotten a VW, you could have installed the much-coveted roof-mounted sunglass-holder mod. All by yourself, no less!

    By the way, if you're gonna live in the city for a long time, you should stick with Euro cars -- they have the best turning radiuses of any cars on the market. My Passat can turn a tighter circle than my friend's Mitsubishi Evo.

    Pics of you in your new ride? Perhaps demonstrating your...um...shifting prowess? :x:
     
  19. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster New Member

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    Haha, I can try to move the cup holder on my own instead... my bro does all this aftermarket stuff to his cars, I come home and the whole thing is taken apart in the driveway, but I missed that gene somehow.

    The turning radius is pretty ridiculous on the Mini, though I still find myself in the occasional Austin Powers 80 point turn situation.

    I've been meaning to take some pics and will post when I get them up - it's been cloudy and gross here and I want to take pics on a nice day. I don't know how they would demonstrate shifting prowress, maybe a sequence of me parallel parking on a hill? :big grin:
     

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