Should You Buy The Fiat 500 or MINI Cooper?

The Fiat 500 and MINI Cooper are both incredibly stylish vehicles perfect for turning heads while cruising around the city. For many shoppers, it comes down to deciding between the two for their next new car. So which one is better?


Walking onto a car lot, the first thing a buyer notices is likely to be the shape and style of the different vehicles. Comparing the Fiat 500 and the MINI Cooper, the first thing consumers typically notices is that they are both small and slick, with unique style. There aren’t any other cars out on the road that look like either of these two models. The MINI Cooper takes the boxy look of an SUV and compacts it into a neat little package. The Fiat 500 has a style completely of its own, however. Sleek, continuous lines from the headlights to the tail lights make for an absolutely stunning car that passers-by simply cannot resist staring at.


Price is a huge factor in making a car buying decision. Consumers aren’t necessarily looking for the cheapest car, but the best value. That said, with a price tag starting around $15k the Fiat 500 easily beats out the MINI Cooper’s comparatively prohibitive cost of around $24k both in terms of price and value.


Esteemed marketing services firm JD Power and Associates releases reliability rankings for all new cars. The reliability rating offered by JD Power is based on problems that may cause a complete breakdown of any given component. The Fiat 500 received a predicted reliability only two out of five. The MINI Cooper received a slightly higher rating of three out of five. MINI Cooper wins the reliability category by a hair.

Gas Efficiency

The MINI’s base model comes with a 134 horsepower turbocharged 3 cylinder engine, which yields a pretty impressive 29 mpg city, 40 mpg highway efficiency. The Fiat 500’s slightly smaller base engine- 101hp 1.4 liter turbocharged 4 cylinder engine – yields a slightly more impressive 31 mpg city, 40 mpg highway efficiency. With its smaller body and slightly less powerful engine, the Fiat 500 easily wins the fuel economy competition.


Both the MINI Cooper and the Fiat 500 earned a four out of five star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Both of these vehicles offer modern safety accoutrements: anti-lock brakes, side curtain airbags, and traction and stability control. Both of these cars fall short on a few modern safety implements. Neither of them feature the lane departure warnings, collision detection, or blind spot cameras, as hatchback drivers rely less on these features than drivers of SUVs.

Final Words

While seemingly similar in size, style, and performance, it is clear that the MINI Cooper and the Fiat 500 offer remarkably different experiences. The slight advantage that the MINI Cooper has over the Fiat 500 in reliability is simply not enough to downplay the incredible value of the Fiat.  While the MINI Cooper offers a more luxurious experience, the Fiat 500 offers significantly greater value with a lower price point, better fuel efficiency, and a more unique and stylish look.  

If you are interested in a Fiat 500 for sale, used MINI Cooper, or in financing a car in Olympia, contact the team at Washington Auto Credit today!


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