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Mini or Subaru?

If you had a choice between a 2002 Mini Cooper or a 2002 Subaru Impreza which car would you purchase? All things being equal I would probably go with a Subaru myself although I haven’t actually driven either one. I have ridden in a Mini Cooper and thought the ride was rather rough.

They are drastically different cars you list. Why have you narrowed to these two?

For me neither and own a Subaru (WRX) Impreza wagon 2003.

My wife wants to get a different car- she has driven a 98 Honda Civic for a couple of years and is tired of it. They just happen to be 2 types of cars she likes. I think I would probably pick a Mazda 3 or something like that myself if I was in the market.

If you find the Mini rough, then the performance WRX and STI versions of the Subaru will be rougher. They were built for rally racing and are uncomfortable on regular roads. The standard one seems fine, but would not be as reliable as hatchbacks like the Mazda 3, Honda Fit, or Toyota Matrix. Plus, if you don’t need the AWD, it would cost you gas mileage.

Disagree. The poster was asking about the Impreza which is a much nicer ride than a Mini, WRX/STI but not by much.

The Impreza would be a better choice of the two, in my opinion. If your wife now drives a Honda Civic, a very civilized little car, she may not like the bumpy ride of the Mini, and you will not like paying for the upkeep.

For those tired of a 1998 Civic, the Mazda 3 (zoom zoom) is the perfect car. It’s cheaper than the Mini in both price and upkeep, less complicated, but more luxurious than the Impreza. She owes it to herself tio drive a red Mazda 3.

Personally, I would rather go with the Mini Cooper.
I prefer more feedback and character from my cars, and the Mini provides that much more than the Subaru does.

Plus, Subarus aren’t known for engine longevity anymore.
The Mini also gets much better gas mileage, so that would be an added bonus.

And finally, since Mini’s were more expensive to begin with, their typically were owned by more mature people, and tend to be much better taken care of during their life, which makes them a better value when looking for a used car.


If you have 2 specific cars in mind, buy the one that is in the best shape. Get them inspected by your mechanic and find out what they need. If you live where a safety inspection or emissions test is required before you can register it, have the current owner do it. The test doesn’t cost much, and you will know what it needs to pass.

The one that was maintained properly AND had proof of it and a mechanic gave it a thumbs up before I bought it