Go Back  North American Motoring > 1st Generation MINIs > R52 :: Cabrio Talk (2005-2008)
MINI Convertible vs. Beetle Convertible vs. Mustang Convertible >

MINI Convertible vs. Beetle Convertible vs. Mustang Convertible

R52 :: Cabrio Talk (2005-2008) Cooper and Cooper S convertible (R52) discussion.

MINI Convertible vs. Beetle Convertible vs. Mustang Convertible

  #1  
Old 03-12-2005, 05:10 PM
DustinDallas's Avatar
DustinDallas
DustinDallas is offline
6th Gear
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: DFW, TX
Posts: 1,798
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
MINI Convertible vs. Beetle Convertible vs. Mustang Convertible

First of all, don't get too scared, I'm still fairly sure that when I order my new car at the end of this month, it WILL be the MINI convertible. However, these other cars have caught my attention lately.

The 2005 Mustang is a given. It's just cool. I've liked them since Ford released them earlier this year. The major drawback is the RWD. It's a joke in the snow, and since I live in New England, it's not the best idea. Also, this will be a commuter car for the most part. Mustangs aren't the best commuter cars.

The Beetle convertible was never on my list of cars to buy until yesterday. Someone traded in one at my work, and I took it for a spin just for kicks. It wasn't a convertible, just a hatchback with 72k miles on it. Well, to my disbelieve, it was actually a very fun little car. The dorky image the car has is a major turnoff, although I think a nicely optioned beetle convertible in the right color looks pretty good.

So, as of right now, I'm still ordering my cool blue MINI Convertible, but I now have two other cars to test drive before I make a final decision. I've never driven a MINI convertible, and hopefully when I do, it will just re-inforce my decision to buy one.

If anyone has had any experience with either of these other cars, feel free to share. Like I said, I'm fairly confident in my decision to buy a MINI, but now that it's getting down to the wire, I want to be 100% sure. Especially since my parents told me I have to keep this next car through college (4.5 years). Considering that I got sick of my current car after two years, 4+ is a long time.

I must be the most indecisive person on this forum.
 
  #2  
Old 03-12-2005, 05:23 PM
tradiuz's Avatar
tradiuz
tradiuz is offline
MTH Specialist
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 739
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
They didnt have a regular MC 5spd at the lot when I went in for my test drive so we took the convertible out instead (too bad it was raining so i couldnt have the top down... or maybe its a good thing!) It was pretty fun, much like a regular mini.
 
  #3  
Old 03-12-2005, 05:47 PM
Minimad
Minimad is offline
6th Gear
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 1,539
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You haven't driven a MINI yet? When you do, you'll have your answer... It is a completely different experience than the other two.
 
  #4  
Old 03-12-2005, 05:48 PM
namwob
namwob is offline
5th Gear
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: hou,tx
Posts: 674
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I keep hearing that Beetles like to spend quality time at the dealership rather than with you. Thats from friends with friends that do/did have new Beetles. Ofcorse you don't hear the good things 3rd hand. Let me give you my unbiased opinion BUY the Mini!
 
  #5  
Old 03-12-2005, 05:55 PM
DustinDallas's Avatar
DustinDallas
DustinDallas is offline
6th Gear
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: DFW, TX
Posts: 1,798
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Minimad
You haven't driven a MINI yet? When you do, you'll have your answer... It is a completely different experience than the other two.
I have test driven the MINI, just not the convertible.

However, the dealership I'm going through is VERY busy, and the first two times I went down, for some reason or another, I wasn't able to test drive a MINI. Once was due to snow, another was because I didn't have an appointment and they were way too busy to help me. So, I made an appointment and went down for a third time (this was maybe a month ago). my mom drove me down as she wanted to see what I was buying as well. So long story short, I used to keep my license in my glove box. Well, since my mom drove down, I didn't have my car, and it didn't dawn on me until we got there that I didn't have my license on me. So what ended up happening is the salesman drove, while I sat in the passenger seat. So basically, I HAVE test driven the MINI, but I personally wasn't behind the wheel. I still feel like I got a good feel for the car, but I haven't experienced the sensation of actually being behind the wheel of a MINI just yet. The dealership is over an hour away, which I know is close compared to the commutes some of you have to your dealerships, but I've been so busy lately that I haven't made it back down to take one out myself. Next Sunday is looking good, so I'll probably try to get back down there.
 
  #6  
Old 03-12-2005, 05:58 PM
Dr Obnxs's Avatar
Dr Obnxs
Dr Obnxs is offline
Former Vendor
iTrader: (7)
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Woodside, CA
Posts: 10,340
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Where you live, get the Mini.

I have a 65, not an 05. The Mustang will kick butt with power, but that's about it (and this is from a die-hard Mustanger). The Mini hatch is practical, and the car is more fun that I could have belived possible. There is a chance that the first of the 05 Mustangs will hold value, but don't bet on it. It's an american car with a really cool body....

If you love HP, then the Mustang. If you love driving, get the Mini.

Matt

ps, when you drive a Mini, you'll think the new beetle is what it is: a nice compact, but not the driving experience you get from the Mini.
 
  #7  
Old 03-12-2005, 05:59 PM
DustinDallas's Avatar
DustinDallas
DustinDallas is offline
6th Gear
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: DFW, TX
Posts: 1,798
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by namwob
I keep hearing that Beetles like to spend quality time at the dealership rather than with you. Thats from friends with friends that do/did have new Beetles. Ofcorse you don't hear the good things 3rd hand. Let me give you my unbiased opinion BUY the Mini!
Yeah, VWs have horrible reliability. I have a friend (co-worker) with a brand new Jetta GLI and he's had nothing but problems with it. But, I'm a life-long VW fan, and I can look past that. The beetle has been out so long now that I would hope all the bugs are worked out.
 
  #8  
Old 03-12-2005, 06:02 PM
DustinDallas's Avatar
DustinDallas
DustinDallas is offline
6th Gear
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: DFW, TX
Posts: 1,798
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Dr Obnxs
I have a 65, not an 05. The Mustang will kick butt with power, but that's about it (and this is from a die-hard Mustanger). The Mini hatch is practical, and the car is more fun that I could have belived possible. There is a chance that the first of the 05 Mustangs will hold value, but don't bet on it. It's an american car with a really cool body....

If you love HP, then the Mustang. If you love driving, get the Mini.

Matt

ps, when you drive a Mini, you'll think the new beetle is what it is: a nice compact, but not the driving experience you get from the Mini.
Yeah, for the reasons you listed, I think I have maybe a 10% chance of choosing the Mustang (at best). I haven't seriously considered it, just toyed with the idea recently.

It's pretty much down to the MINI Convertible or the Beetle Convertible. I haven't driven either, so I can't say which I prefer.
 
  #9  
Old 03-12-2005, 06:03 PM
Inimay's Avatar
Inimay
Inimay is offline
2nd Gear
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 110
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Let me first say... I came from a VW and I still have it actually a New Jetta. I had a Beetle for a loaner for over a month (don't ask long story). And I have a MCSc now.

The Beetle don't really compare to the mini. The beetle has a little more room but just doesn't have the 'fun' factor. You will not regret the purchase. They are both very solidly built with lots of German engineering.
 
  #10  
Old 03-12-2005, 06:10 PM
DustinDallas's Avatar
DustinDallas
DustinDallas is offline
6th Gear
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: DFW, TX
Posts: 1,798
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Inimay
Let me first say... I came from a VW and I still have it actually a New Jetta. I had a Beetle for a loaner for over a month (don't ask long story). And I have a MCSc now.

The Beetle don't really compare to the mini. The beetle has a little more room but just doesn't have the 'fun' factor. You will not regret the purchase. They are both very solidly built with lots of German engineering.
I love the driving position in the Beetle more than anything. That long, deep dash, and the windsheild that feels like it's 10 feet away are really unique. I've never driven a car quite like it, and it feels amazingly spacious.

I like the overall image of the MINI better though.

BTW: when you say I will not regret the purchase.....do you mean I won't regret purchasing either, or I won't regret the purchase of a MINI?
 
  #11  
Old 03-12-2005, 06:12 PM
Dr Obnxs's Avatar
Dr Obnxs
Dr Obnxs is offline
Former Vendor
iTrader: (7)
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Woodside, CA
Posts: 10,340
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Mini without a doubt......

Originally Posted by KRGMini05
Yeah, for the reasons you listed, I think I have maybe a 10% chance of choosing the Mustang (at best). I haven't seriously considered it, just toyed with the idea recently.

It's pretty much down to the MINI Convertible or the Beetle Convertible. I haven't driven either, so I can't say which I prefer.
It's not even close. I could take the Mini to Home Depot and load it up with stuff. Or I could drive is around for fun. The Mini handles much better. Rear headroom is poor in the VW, because of the shape of the roof.

I think the only reason to get the Beetle instead of the Mini is if you love the New Beetle for it's shape and fasion statement. The Mini is abetter car all around, but the Beetle Turbo may have a few more ponies than the Mini S.

You'll love the Mini. When I got mine, I couldn't stop laughing out loud from the sheer fun of driving. It's like living in a roller skate! With a motor! And heated seats.....

Matt
 
  #12  
Old 03-12-2005, 06:12 PM
MrV
MrV is offline
4th Gear
iTrader: (1)
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 358
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This applies to the convertible beetle as well. Just in that scenario, they are both topless....

 
  #13  
Old 03-12-2005, 06:15 PM
Cherry2005
Cherry2005 is offline
3rd Gear
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Southern California
Posts: 278
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Check out the Internet for all the thread on the VW Convertible top problems. They even report flying off the back of the car when going down the highway in the open position - scarry! I was initially looking at the VW Vert, then got totally turned off with the "Chick Car" image, among other things (such as their frequent return to the dealership for expensive and unreliable repairs).

The MINI, on the other hand....OH MY GOSH WHAT A RUSH! Once I drove the MINI, it was all over.

If you want cutsey-wutsey and flowers, go VW New Beetle Convertible (they come in all sorts of lovely colors). You want high performance sports car, join the elite group of MINI owners who drive around with a smile on their face because they know there's not another car out there as fun as the MINI.
 

Last edited by Cherry2005; 03-12-2005 at 06:52 PM. Reason: Wrong connotation (meant happy)
  #14  
Old 03-12-2005, 06:22 PM
ncdave
ncdave is offline
5th Gear
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 698
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I can see the dilemma between the Mustang and the Mini as both are excellent Heritage (sorry, couldn't help it ) designs but the driving dynamics of the too are probably as different as you can get. The Mini will be MUCH more fun to drive and is hands-down the better handling machine. The Mustang is more practical if you truly feel you need extra room in the back but for use through college, that's probably not an issue.

Folks either love or hate the New Beetle but I've heard some pretty frightening reliability things about them.

Whichever you get - enjoy!
 
  #15  
Old 03-12-2005, 06:26 PM
DustinDallas's Avatar
DustinDallas
DustinDallas is offline
6th Gear
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: DFW, TX
Posts: 1,798
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Cherry2005
If you want cutsey-wutsey and flowers, go VW New Beetle Convertible (they come in all sorts of gay colors).
Woah, aren't you being a bit harsh, considering it's a car you previously considered?

As for the color, if I did go with the VW (which I doubt) I'd get the cream color with black leahter and a black top. I think it's a classy combo that doesn't look really "cute" like some of the other combos. That nasty electric green comes to mind.
 
  #16  
Old 03-12-2005, 06:37 PM
Cherry2005
Cherry2005 is offline
3rd Gear
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Southern California
Posts: 278
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
And maybe you could use the interior flower vase for a cigar holder, instead?
 
  #17  
Old 03-12-2005, 06:43 PM
DustinDallas's Avatar
DustinDallas
DustinDallas is offline
6th Gear
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: DFW, TX
Posts: 1,798
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Cherry2005
And maybe you could use the interior flower vase for a cigar holder, instead?
No, I'd pull that thing out of the dash completely. This I agree with you on, the flower vase thing is extremely gay.
 
  #18  
Old 03-12-2005, 07:09 PM
VRBeauty's Avatar
VRBeauty
VRBeauty is offline
6th Gear
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: NOT Lalaland, CA
Posts: 1,260
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Kyle:

I test-drove the mini convertable recently because I was considering an S, it was the only S on the lot... I think the mini's the top up/down mechanics are fast, smooth, and just plain incredibly easy, and the 1/2 open "sunroof" feature is really cool. From a functionality standpoint, I'd think the mini's convertible top would be hard to beat.

Having said that, I'm not crazy about the mini convertible's profile when the roof is up. Of course, that doesn't matter much when you're behind the steering wheel! The beetle, on the other hand, has a great profile with the top up-- sleeker and better than the beetle hardtop, IMHO.

In the end though we're talking about cars. Not family, friends (although the mini does come with this great community), pets, or even where you live. Go with your gut and enjoy the end result!
 
  #19  
Old 03-12-2005, 07:15 PM
tattman23
tattman23 is offline
6th Gear
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 1,252
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Co-worker drives/loves his newbug, a silver hardtop turbo, no problems no missed work etc etc... 6-speed manual (hmmmm, where'd it come from, same factory as made MY transmission?) I keep meaning to pester him for a ride in it...

Anyhow, here's what I DON'T think:

I don't think any of the cars on your short list are bad choices.
I don't think you really need help choosing your car.
I don't think I really had much to contribute to your original question... Like my Zen friend says, "embrace the pain, you know you're ALIVE" (yes she sucks don't flame me)

Tatt
 
  #20  
Old 03-12-2005, 07:16 PM
Cherry2005
Cherry2005 is offline
3rd Gear
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Southern California
Posts: 278
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Here are some side-by-side pictures to help you with your decision (I have chosen the red on both models to give that apples-to-apples comparison).
 

Last edited by Cherry2005; 05-26-2008 at 03:34 PM.
  #21  
Old 03-12-2005, 07:18 PM
tattman23
tattman23 is offline
6th Gear
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 1,252
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Cherry2005
Here are some side-by-side pictures to help you with your decision (I have chosen the red on both models to give that apples-to-apples comparison).
\

you cheated!

(love the wild chicory by the roadside in the MINI pic, and I was THINKIN of how a front-mounted antenna might look on a hardtop)
 
  #22  
Old 03-12-2005, 07:31 PM
DustinDallas's Avatar
DustinDallas
DustinDallas is offline
6th Gear
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: DFW, TX
Posts: 1,798
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Cherry2005
Here are some side-by-side pictures to help you with your decision (I have chosen the red on both models to give that apples-to-apples comparison).
lol...I don't know dude, That beetle is pretty hot!

Alright, in all seriousness, I highly doubt I'll choose the beetle over the MINI. The MINIs heritage, the NAM community, and the overall "fun to drive" factor are very appealing to me.
 
  #23  
Old 03-12-2005, 07:40 PM
Absorbine_Sr's Avatar
Absorbine_Sr
Absorbine_Sr is offline
3rd Gear
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 163
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My wife and I owned a Beetle (not the ragtop) with the 150 hp turbocharged engine and 5 speed. Between the unreliability (3 oxygen sensors replaced in 40,000 miles - 2 on my dime, brakes needing replacement before 20,000 miles, AC Condensor replacement, door inoperative, gas flap inoperative etc. etc.) and a dealer network that was the absolute WORST, I wouldn't get within 30 miles of any VW ever again. Three different area dealerships lied to us about work done, one tried to double charge us for parts and service, and they treated my wife like a moron because she is female. Little did they know that she knew her stuff and knew they were shining her on. We took a loss on that car just to get out from under it. It's the worst vehicle I've owned in 30 years of driving.

From the things I've read here and other places, the MINI dealer network appears to be much more customer oriented and not out to just make a killing on their clients. And having driven both the Beetle and MCS (just a test drive so far) let me say there is absolutely no comparison. Do yourself a favor and buy MINI.

A_Sr.
 
  #24  
Old 03-12-2005, 07:44 PM
minihune's Avatar
minihune
minihune is offline
OVERDRIVE - Racing Champion
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Mililani, Hawaii
Posts: 15,108
Received 29 Likes on 29 Posts
You have to drive the MINI cabrio- the experience IS different than in a hardtop MINI.

The beetle is OK. Not enough power and handling for me compared to a MCSC.


The New Ford Mustang convertible is nice and much improved over last year-
From Automobile Mag review:
"The new convertible is twice as rigid in torsion as last year's version (although only half as stiff as the new coupe)."
And it's supposed to make up 30% of the total Mustang production!
Weighing 3614 pounds you'll need the V6 or V8 (17-23 mpg).



Ragster anyone??

http://www.automobilemag.com/auto_sh...ter/index.html
 

Last edited by minihune; 03-12-2005 at 07:56 PM.
  #25  
Old 03-12-2005, 07:52 PM
searocko
searocko is offline
4th Gear
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Federal Way, WA
Posts: 356
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I own a 2001 New Beetle Sport 1.8T (no vase! ) and I love it. As far as reliability goes, I've had the recall on the coils done and a throttle body replacement under warranty. That's it and I have 88K on the odo. I've added an APR chip and have run 14.86 @95mph in the quarter mile. Pretty good for a so-called "chick car". I do autocross and lapping sessions as well and with coilovers and a rear sway, it can hold its own on the track! It's fun being able to post better times than most other cars.

But your interest is in the convertible and quite a few people are having problems with the top mechanism. Also you lose a lot of utility because the rear seatback does not fold down. All you get is a pass-thru to the trunk. The 1.8T will help with performance but the 'vert is 200-300 lbs. heavier than the hardtop so there is a performance penalty.

I am currently waiting for my MCS but I am keeping my NB. On the test drive, the MCS felt just as quick as my chipped VW most likely due to the almost 400 lb. weight difference between the two. I can't wait to take the MCS on the track!

Knowing what I know about the issues with the NBC, I'd say stick with the MCSC. But both are fun cars in their own right.
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: MINI Convertible vs. Beetle Convertible vs. Mustang Convertible


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.