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Discussion Starter #1
I've been driving a Miata for years now and have found it to be a consistent grin machine. Now I'm thinking of replacing it with a MINI, but am wondering if it will really be as fun to drive. Is there anyone out there who has driven both who would like to compare the fun factor of these two?? I'm less interested in the novelty of owning a new "looker" and more in the actual driving fun.
Thanks!
 

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I've been wondering the same thing. I've got a 1991 mx-5 (Miata) and love the way it drives. I can tell you in a month when I get my mini. I know one thing though from my test drive - the MINI's brakes fell a lot more responsive. Other than that I can't really say as I didn't want to prang the test car!:p :p :p

If you don't get any other replies I'll tell you in March:D
 

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I Can Help

I own a 1994 MX-5 (Miata) 1.8. It has a Moss manifold and Exhaust and has been lowered slightly and has Koni adjustable dampers. I am running 195/50-15 Goodyear Eagle F1's.

The MX-5 is slightly quicker and total grip is slightly higher than my Chili Cooper. But the MINI is more fun to drive!:D

The Chili Cooper feels much stiffer than my "stiffened" MX-5, and the ride is harsher. The MINI feels much more chuckable and is very secure on the limit. Steering feel is better on the MINI.

Hope this helps.
 

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I had a Miata when it was just introduced...no "niggles" at all. I never had a problem with it. There's a difference.
 

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Well, I sold my 97 1.8i MX-5 (Miata) for my MINI Cooper a couple of months ago and havent looked back. The MINI is more fun in just about every possible way, except perhaps on a warm day when you could take the top down.

The MINI is MUCH more fun to drive and, to be honest, makes the MX-5 seem boring and to lack character!

- Rob
 

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Without a doubt....

By far, the Miata is king...but I will be adding a Copper S to my stable this fall to conduct tests on both



-Peter and Der Blue Potato
www.thebluepotato.net
 

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Re: Without a doubt....

Der Blue Potato said:
By far, the Miata is king...but I will be adding a Copper S to my stable this fall to conduct tests on both...
Der Blue Potato, I appreciate you like Miatae, but isn't a little difficult to judge the MINI as you have not yet driven a one? :confused:

Having owned a Miata for a number of years I can safely say that, in my opinion, the classic Mini is more fun to drive than a Miata, so, in my estimation, the new MINI should definitely blow a Miata out of the water. :D
 

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Just Opinion

I can tell you, I own a 10th Anniversary Miata, by far the best Miata ever made (again, opinion), and it is for sale right now to be replaced by the Cooper S.

Without having driven the Cooper S, here are the reasons:
1. a change of pace from the MANY Miatas on the road
2. the Miata is the "drive for fun" car, but doesn't have room for my kids who love to ride
3. the Cooper S is a little faster and will slalom better
4. even a "niggled" German car is more solid than a Japanese
5. a new car to race where the entire class isn't the same car

This said, I love my 10AE, it's hard to get rid of it. But, if I had any other Miata right now, I wouldn't have trouble. I WILL miss rear-drive.
 

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I have owned 2 mx-5's before my MINI.
I also owned a Mini clubman estate in a nice shade of
chicken sh*t green many years ago.

The first mx-5 was a '91 1.6 in silverstone with PAS
(standard on UK spec). I did not modify this car

The second mx-5 was a '99 1.8 in Racing Green (emerald in
the US). I heavily modified this car, lowered using Konis, and 16" BBS RK wheels amongst other things.

The first mx-5 was a more raw/back to basics sportcar experience. The second was a lot more civilised and benign
before I modded it. The main reason I lowered/stiffened it
was it had far too much body lean for my liking.
By the time I was finished tweaking it was an absolute rollerskate and had what I considered amazing handling,
although sill lacking in steering feel.

The MINI is as much fun to drive as the modded mx-5,
but maintains a much higher degreee of refinement.
The SS+ on my MINI is harder than the standed mx-5 but softer than my modded mx-5. It also softened up a little
as I have put the miles on, The MINI is not as fast, but has better weighted controls. The only downside is that
I miss the RWD fun that I could have with the mx-5, and of having the top down.

FYI, the mx-5 was not the epitomy of Japanese reliability.
The '99 car suffered the infamous "no 4" crank bearing issue.
After failing with a long battle with Mazda UK, I swapped out the engine myself from a low milage wreck (from a new car that had been the subject of an arson attack, but the
front end had escaped).

After this experience I said that I would never buy another Mazda......expect the RX-Evolv looks tasty :D
 

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BruceK - YEs, I know...this is why I am planning on buying an S - I think it will have great handling like the Miata. If not, then I simply do not buy it.

space_cadet said: "FYI, the mx-5 was not the epitomy of Japanese reliability"

This is the biggest OVERSTATEMENT of the year - pardon my American slang but I work on Miatas (www.rspeed.net) and they are just about bullet proof in terms or reliability (1.6 and 1.8 engines). Your #4 bearing problem is common in 99 M2's and Mazda (here in the states) has taken care of this issue (at least on my customer's 99 M2's).

The Miata just does not get any easoer to maintain.

I look forward to my comparison and hopefully my addition to the garage.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The Miata is very reliable. I own an "89", one of the very first ones sent to the US in the fall of 1989. It has 175K+ miles on it. It has never needed anything more than basic maintenance (often neglected at that!) and still runs fine. It has never left me stranded or refused to start, and it's my daily driver. My impression from this board is that the Ro.., er, BMW MINI has lotsa problems, and I doubt that it will ever be as reliable. But that's another thread! Back to the "fun" topic.

Is a life-long RWD guy going to like the MINI steering? I haven't driven too many FWD cars (rentals, etc) but their steering generally seems deadened. After my miata, driving my friend's civic seems like a truck... Hopefully the mini doesn't have this problem...?

Also the shifter. Miata: short throw. Just a wrist flick to change gears. Mini: ...?
 
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