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View Full Version : Car Advice: Mini Cooper or a VW Golf



sectioneight
5th September 2008, 08:45 AM
Hey Mactalkers

I'm trying to decide between these two cars and was hoping that someone here owns (or owned) one of these and could share their experiences, good and bad. I'm looking at a late model (Automatic, 2003+) of either the Volkswagen Golf or Mini Cooper. I was pretty sold on the Golf but have always wanted a Mini but found them more expensive.

Any advice apprecaited!

Cheers :)

Scooterpig
5th September 2008, 08:50 AM
Never owned either but I would go the Golf, better resale value and better looking...:)

sectioneight
5th September 2008, 08:56 AM
One of my concerns with the Mini is this:

IMG removed

Hard to say if I would get used to it or not!

Scooterpig
5th September 2008, 08:57 AM
Have a drive of both and take your first impressions to heart because they last and mean everything and if there's any doubt about either then don't go down that path.

forno
5th September 2008, 09:05 AM
My parents have a 1.6 auto golf, last shape and its a great little car, well built and finnished

fishinthecity
5th September 2008, 12:51 PM
For me it'd be the mini hands down... Haven't driven the new ones, but parents had one of the older ones as a bomb around car when I was growing up and I've always loved it.. Keep meaning to buy and old one and try to do it up.. one of these days..

leon
5th September 2008, 12:57 PM
Golf, hands down. Mini is for posers.

sectioneight
5th September 2008, 01:15 PM
....parents had one of the older ones as a bomb around car when I was growing up and I've always loved it.. Keep meaning to buy and old one and try to do it up.. one of these days..

My Dad has had a few old mini's too and they were awesome little beasts

I think I'll be getting much more for my buck out of the Golf

I love the Mini but I think I might feel like a poser if I drove one lol :p

Lutze
5th September 2008, 01:30 PM
My Dad has had a few old mini's too and they were awesome little beasts

I think I'll be getting much more for my buck out of the Golf

I love the Mini but I think I might feel like a poser if I drove one lol :p

The one thing that made me consider a mini when they first came out was BMW offered a 5 year warranty and service cost of $1400 - a bargain for 5 years servicing and parts.

I'm not sure if they do that still, or if they ever did it here.

arkenstone
5th September 2008, 01:51 PM
My vote for the Golf.

If I were in the market for a sensible small car the Golf is really the only option, imho.

Luckily I'm not in the market for sensible cars just yet. :)

In all seriousness the Golf is an awesome little car and economical to boot. Go nuts.

SoVeReIgN
5th September 2008, 02:02 PM
Golf without a doubt

Peter Wells
5th September 2008, 02:05 PM
The Mini Cooper!

Trés Sexy!

Comet
5th September 2008, 02:05 PM
Definitley the Mini Cooper if it's the Cooper S.

Phase
5th September 2008, 02:06 PM
The golf is the sexiest looking small-med car on the planet.

(The GTi version that is).

evmorg
5th September 2008, 02:06 PM
We have a 2.0l FSI Golf (2006 series V model) and it's a fantastic car. Very well built, well appointed, comfortable, economical, pretty spacious and powerful enough (although I would love a GTI). My boss owns a Mini (2005, I think) and likes it to drive but is very disappointed with the build quality, carrying capacity and general niggles.

If space is an issue, the Golf kills the MIni. You can easily fit four adults into a Golf. It gets very squeezy in a Mini. You can fit a couple of good sized suitcases in the boot of a Golf but maybe a large briefcase in the boot of a Mini, without folding seats down. I can carry my mountain bike in the back of the Golf, with the seats down. No way in a Mini.

Plus, the Mini seems to go back into the shop quite often whereas our Golf has had only one major issue, with the aircon dying last summer. Apart from that, it's just been regular servicing.

When the time comes to upgrade our car, we'll definitely be looking at a new Golf. My boss has said he doesn't think he'd buy a Mini again.

That said, we had a loan vehicle while the aircon was being fixed and that was a 1.6l Comfortline (the bottom of the range Golf) and it was as gutless as anything. So, if you go the Golf, at least get the 2.0l FSI (or the diesel TDI).

Good luck with your hunt.

arkenstone
5th September 2008, 02:11 PM
The Mini Cooper!

Trés Sexy!

You don't even drive. You shouldn't be recommending cars on looks :)

GeoffP
5th September 2008, 02:23 PM
Golf for sure.
I have a 2007 Jetta which is a Golf with a boot.
Fantastic cars...

ZacDavies
6th September 2008, 11:07 AM
Mini Cooper is a much more architecturally designed car imo, Golf is only a step above plain hatchback.
Plus I reckon the Cooper could outrun the Golf without breakin a sweat..

mivory
6th September 2008, 11:40 AM
Can you add a poll to this thread? I'm all for the VW Golf too.

bolle
6th September 2008, 02:12 PM
I have a 2005 1.9l TDI, and it's a fantastic car. After 65,000kms, it has only cost me a few new tyres (which was my fault for not repairing a puncture), but so far the one complaint i have is the interior build quality.

The centre console and window/door frames rattle quite badly, and even after they tightened everything up at my last service, it all just came loose again. It seems to be a general complaint with the South African made ones

Even with saying that, Volkswagen ftw. Apparently, there is a new German made model coming out here?

leon
6th September 2008, 02:41 PM
Wife and I are waiting for the Mk VI models to reach Australia.

Planning on buying a his (GTi) and hers (TDi).
A guy I work with has a mini and he told me last night that the only real issue he has is that there isn't really any boot space.

tanguero
6th September 2008, 03:09 PM
I owned an '02 Mini Cooper from new and traded it for a new '07 last year, same colour (silver/black with sunroof).
I love it.
30,000 km service interval on the new models and I haven't serviced it yet but my last mini cost around $400 to service.
6.2 lt/100km average for country
7.8 city hooning.
Great to drive, outstanding handling and surprising performance from a 1.6 lt engine.
The current models Coopers are much more responsive than the previous models and have much better gear boxes, handling and build quality, the interior is also a little more grown up and a nicer place to be.
They have also fixed the under-steer issues that the previous model had and now you can really push them through the corners and even get a bit sideways if that's your thing.

I would definitely advise you not to buy a mini if you want an auto though, I have driven one and the whole point of driving a mini is lost with the auto transmission, they feel sluggish and completely lack the beautiful connectedness that is what a mini is all about.

Don't buy a pre '07 mini, we went through 3 gearboxes, BMW replaced the last one free of charge even though we were 2 months out of warranty but said that they wouldn't do it again.


Ultimately I don't think that you can go wrong with either car (unless you buy an auto mini).

My next car will be a Cooper S.

Good luck.

sectioneight
21st September 2008, 12:32 PM
As of yesterday i'm the proud owner of a 2007 Golf Comfortline model :D

Thanks everyone for all your advice (I should have said this earlier!) it was very helpful and much appreciated. As much as I love the Mini the Golf won out. I'll wait for my Dad to go through a mid-life crisis and relive his youth through a new mini cooper.

I'm picking it up hopefully on Tuesday so i'll post some pics :)

I added a poll all the same

Cheers :thumbup:

Mecha
21st September 2008, 03:07 PM
As of yesterday i'm the proud owner of a 2007 Golf Comfortline model :D

Thanks everyone for all your advice (I should have said this earlier!) it was very helpful and much appreciated. As much as I love the Mini the Golf won out. I'll wait for my Dad to go through a mid-life crisis and relive his youth through a new mini cooper.

I'm picking it up hopefully on Tuesday so i'll post some pics :)

I added a poll all the same

Cheers :thumbup:

Good choice. You will be happy with it. :thumbup:

IIe2PB
21st September 2008, 03:28 PM
Congratulations on your purchase! I know you'll love it.

Having owned an 02 mini, and now owning an 07 A3 (Audi version of the golf) I feel I've got a bit of an idea about the two.

1. Mini's are great fun - a sense of occasion every drive. Unfortunately the quality (particularly on the early ones) was so bad it beggared belief. The new ones are usually better. Also, the Cooper CVT (the only automatic offered) can be troublesome as it ages and is mega $$ to fix.
2. The golf should be good. They probably don't have the occasion of the mini, but still multiple times the character of a corolla. Our A3 has been about 40 million billion trillion times better built than our MINI was...LOL.

macrich
22nd September 2008, 04:48 AM
I have a 06 MINI Cooper S Cabrio. Great fun. The MINI club drive days are excellent. There is a real community out there of great people who just love to go for drives on the winding roads of Australia.
You'll love you VW, but it I had my time over with the same amount of money I had, I'd go for the MINI again.

P.S, not all MINIs have the central speedo, if you get the nav system or the chrono pack, the speedo is moved above the steering wheel.

delux
22nd September 2008, 10:45 AM
Good Choice.

Petrol or Diesel?

sectioneight
22nd September 2008, 10:49 AM
My budget was at most $25,000. I considered a Mk4 model for around 15,000ish but I decided on the 2007 V model for 24,990 'drive away'. The advertised price was 25,990 but once they added all the extras it went up to around 27,500+. So i'm happy with what I got.

Chr1s
22nd September 2008, 11:48 AM
For me it'd be the mini hands down... Haven't driven the new ones, but parents had one of the older ones as a bomb around car when I was growing up and I've always loved it.. Keep meaning to buy and old one and try to do it up.. one of these days..

We have an old '79 Mini Clubman sitting in our garage (retro orange) that my partner likes to mess around with.

It'd be the mini for me too, but that's just out of personal preference.

Ozi
22nd September 2008, 12:08 PM
*cough*GOLF*cough*

Much nicer car, better value, great build quality. Coopers are 'cuter' in a 'little rat-dogs in handbags are cute' kind of cute, but if you want a decent car, go the golf...

Taezar
22nd September 2008, 12:17 PM
Never owned either but I would go the Golf, better resale value and better looking...:)

My best friend has Silvy - the silver Golf - it is awesome!
My ex boss had a Mini - /yawn

sectioneight
22nd September 2008, 07:54 PM
Good Choice.

Petrol or Diesel?

Petrol, the car I went to the dealer to look at in the first place at was a 2005 Diesel, but it needed new tyres and the rego expires this month.

The car I chose still has manufacturers warranty until August 2010, rego isn't due until this time next year and only has just over 10,000km's - these points made me go for a white 1.6 :)

Can't wait to pick it up tomorrow afternoon :D

Oh, any suggestions for iPod car integration?

melbmac
22nd September 2008, 09:26 PM
Damn good choice on the Golf, I'm a 3DR MK5 GTI man and my old girl has the baby golf (MK4 SE).

Unless your getting at least the Cooper S or preferably the JCW the mini falls into the "cutesie" category of cars.

There are various forums dedicated to Golfs, you should be able to find plenty of advice on there about your iPod options.

DeanCorp
22nd September 2008, 09:49 PM
I've got a 2003 Golf Sports 2.0L. Love it to bits. Stock sound is pretty crap! (You have to update that :P )

Very reliable car. Also has some power to it. I test drove 1.6, 1.8 and 2.0. You just can't compare. I haven't driven a mini before, but after owning this car. I think I am sold with the VW for a while. Thinking of updating to a GTi or possibly even an R32 a couple of years down the track.

Kirium
22nd September 2008, 10:08 PM
Oh, any suggestions for iPod car integration?

Congrats on the Golf :thumbup: You won't regret it one bit.

(<--- 2006 MkV Golf GTI owner...)

As for iPod solutions, here's an oldie, but a goodie regarding a few of the main options out there from a couple of years back and the pros and cons. VWvortex Forums: dj_GTI's Guide to some Ipod Conection Kits for the MK5 Golf - OEM, Connects2 and Denison Icelink (http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=2743424)

Not sure how much has changed since then, but one thing to bear in mind with the Connects2 kit, is that unless it's been updated recently, it won't charge your iPhone (if you have one). Music plays fine, but mine doesn't charge my phone. :thumbdn:

Hopefully there's newer solutions out there that work better. GolfMkV.com - VW Rabbit / VW GTI / VW Golf Forums (http://www.golfmkv.com) is good for info on ipod solutions too.

Enjoy your new Golf tomorrow..

DeanCorp
22nd September 2008, 10:12 PM
Oh, any suggestions for iPod car integration?

In mine. I just upgraded my headunit to the Alpine X-100. Fantastic unit. Full iPod Integration. Even compatible with the iPhone 3G, charges too. It is able to view album art. As well as having easy navigation.

Phormic
23rd September 2008, 10:49 AM
Another MKV Golf GTI owner here.

Wonderful car. The DSG is an astonishingly good gearbox (although a bit hesitant when parking).

The most fun you can have sitting down.

I've been on a few runs with the VW Vortex owners club and quite a few minis come along for the fun. They also look like great fun although the ride will shake the fillings out of your teeth.

Soliah
24th September 2008, 12:42 AM
So did you pick it up today? Pics! :D

dotnet
24th September 2008, 02:27 AM
Some small(ish) cars (the Golf isn't really a small car) can compete with the Golf range, but the Mini Cooper isn't among them.


Mini Cooper is a much more architecturally designed car imo, Golf is only a step above plain hatchback.

You'll change your mind once you've travelled in both, esp in the rear seats. The Mini is just as badly architected as the BMW 1-series. No adults in the rear seat.


Plus I reckon the Cooper could outrun the Golf without breakin a sweat..

My old, humble and 2x as heavy Outback 2.5 could outrun a Cooper S (I know, I've done it on numerous occasions). The Golf TSI would just about blitz it. Not even mentioning the GTi.

My recommendation would be Golf TDi for ultimate economy, or Golf TSI for ultimate economy plus ultimate fun.

Cheers
Steffen.

kevinnugent
24th September 2008, 01:17 PM
Petrol, the car I went to the dealer to look at in the first place at was a 2005 Diesel, but it needed new tyres and the rego expires this month.

The car I chose still has manufacturers warranty until August 2010, rego isn't due until this time next year and only has just over 10,000km's - these points made me go for a white 1.6 :)

Can't wait to pick it up tomorrow afternoon :D

Oh, any suggestions for iPod car integration?

I was just saying to my wife on the weekend, if ever I got to buy another small car the Golf would be in the top 3. How's it been? You wouldn't still be sleeping in it. :)

sectioneight
25th September 2008, 08:23 AM
So did you pick it up today? Pics! :D

I haven't taken any yet, by the time I get home its too dark to do it justice, I'll take a few pics on the weekend. :)


How's it been? You wouldn't still be sleeping in it.

Not quite :D It's been awesome, great car to drive, loving it! I was driving to work yesterday and it started to rain, I was about to turn on the wipers and BOOM :p the wipers went on, it got darker, BOOM the lights went on, I love a car that takes care of things for me.

Only issue is that I only have one key, which I didn't realise until I was almost home after picking it up (durrrr), so im waiting to find out about the spare key. Anyone know how much they cost?

IIe2PB
25th September 2008, 04:01 PM
a spare key could be 150 plus. The dealer will supple thee with one!

sectioneight
8th October 2008, 09:03 PM
Right, so here are a few dodgy pics that I meant to post 2 weeks ago

The dealer ended up sending me a spare key so that's all sorted.

'pics or it didn't happen' :p I was feeling particularly lazy when I took the pictures so there are no 'sexy' ones :rolleyes:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3264/2924313712_fe615d569a.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3178/2923462453_5eb03d9879.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3014/2923461507_b158b05942.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3154/2924314656_8f9aa1a891.jpg

Spot the iphone one

IIe2PB
8th October 2008, 10:39 PM
Did you see the plate! LEV = Low Emissions Vehicle.

It looks great. Congratulations :)

delux
9th October 2008, 09:51 AM
How are you finding the performance of the 1.6?

sectioneight
9th October 2008, 10:03 AM
Did you see the plate! LEV = Low Emissions Vehicle.

It looks great. Congratulations :)

I never thought of that :D Thanks!


How are you finding the performance of the 1.6?

I think the 6 speed gearbox helps, gets up to speed without too much effort - but compared to the '99 1.6 auto carolla I was driving for the last 4 years its much better.