Mini, Mazda3, Rabbit, or Civic?

seems my 1990 civic is done with.

i’m looking to by a car (for the first time) and am considering the mini cooper, mazda 3, vw rabbit, or honda civic.

any suggestions? have people had trouble finding mechanics for mini coopers? are they expensive to repair?

thanks much!

I think mazda 3 or civic offer best value and least cost repairs and parts availability. Check out Consumer Reports for some reviews and evaluations of these models before deciding. I think you can get a mazda 3 cheaper than a mini and will have much more room, “cuteness” aside.

The problem is, these cars are now selling at a TREMENDOUS price premium. There is much better VALUE out there if you look for it…

Any other suggestions?

Price compare new vs used. I bought new Corollas because used were nearly as expensive and I could get a cheap trim line Corolla new for the price of used. Did this in 1991 and 1994. Did the same on my first crew cab one ton. New didn’t cost nearly as much as a three year old used. I ordered exactly what I want. I suspect you will get a better deal on Mazda 3 than Civic, but that is because I have yet to get a decent price out of any of the KC Honda dealers when I was shopping for that type car. Hence, two Corollas.

Good deals available on Focus, if they meet your needs.

The local BMW/Mini Cooper dealer has 2007 and 2008 model years in his current inventory and they are all priced at MSRP. That would rule out Minis for me.

Start your search with a copy of Consumer Reports New Car Buyers’ Guide from the local bookstore.

I’ve been in all of these cars and they’re all different. The Mini is not really in the same category as the others because the cost can be much higher depending how you option it. It’s a premium small car. That said what you choose depends on what’s most important-the driving experience, reliability or gas mileage. The Rabbit gets the worst mileage of the bunch, but has an extremely high quality interior and excellent driving dynamics for the money. Reliability has been average. The rest sip fuel but the Honda is the most reliable in general. They are all fairly sporty unlike a Corrolla. I find the Mini the roomiest for a long-legged driver as I recall and the Civic geared towards shorter folks. The dashboard is a mile long in the new Civic and I’m not a big fan. Best advice I can give is to test drive all of them because they all are very different inside and have a different desgn approach.

I would buy either the Civic or the Mazda 3 and be preared to pay full list price; the dealers don’t make a huge amount of profit on these cars. Over the 10 years or so you will have this car, the maintenace and repairs of both the Mini and the Rabbit will be significantly higher than the others. The mini also needs premium gas. I don’t know about the Rabbit

You have overlooked one very good car; the Hyundai Elantra which is now as reliable as the Honda and significantly better than the MINI. Don’t let a few thousnad dollars keep you from buying a car you will enjoy for the next 10 years. The Elantra is probably the most relaxing higway car; I would not want to take a long trip in the Mini.

I have a 07 Mini and had it for over a year. I love it and have had no problems with it. I get like 40 mpg on the highway.

It would be foolish to invest in a Hyundai vs a Mini considering many Hyundai’s frequently top the list for lowest resale value. The mini has the highest resale of any car sold. In fact, I see used Mini Coopers going for nearly new car prices right now, and used Hyundais going for peanuts. Any money I saved in repairs with the Hyundai gets eaten up with resale. On top of that Hyundai driving dynamics are painfully boring-much like a Toyota.

If you buy new and own for 10 years or more, who cares about resale value?

My son has a Mini Cooper S, and he loves it. Any BMW mechanic can work on a Mini (it is a BMW product, after all), but don’t expect discount prices. Also, check me on this, but I think all Minis require premium gasoline. If I’m wrong please let me know.

If you want maximum fuel mileage and vehicle life, stick with the Honda Civic or the Mazda3. There are several Toyota vehicles that would also work.

Boring? Of course, but economical. Which do you want, flash or economy. It’s time to choose.

Do some research on the reliability of VW vehicles before you buy one.