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Virtual Adviser's™ opinion
Two significantly similar cars, no doubt about that. Still, each one has something different to offer. Having both cars powered by petrol engines and utilizing the 3-door hatchback body style within the same 'Micro car' segment, the only major difference here really is their wheel drive configuration (rear for the Smart and front in the case of the Mini). The first one has a Smart-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 3-cylinder, 6-valves 61hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 90hp engine designed by Tritec.Safety
A starting point here would be to take a look at the results from European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) tests which were performed on both of the cars, with the Mini being a slightly better choice apparently. That aside, let's consider some other aspects which affect safety. Both vehicles belong to the micro car segment, which is generally a misfortune safety-wise, still it doesn't help us solve our dilemma, does it? On the other hand, taking kerb weight as an important factor into account, the British car offers a potentially life-saving difference of 41% more metal.Reliability
Manufacturers have been building their reliability reputation for decades now and, generally speaking, it appears that Smart does have a slight advantage, at least on all of the models level. These are the official statistics, while our visitors describe reliability of Smart with an average rating of 3.9, and models under the Mini badge with 4.0 out of 5. Unfortunatelly, I don't have enough insight that would allow me to comment in more details on the specific models level. We should definitely mention that owners of cars with the same powertrain as the German car rank it on average as 4.0 out of 5, exactly the same as the other one.Performance & Fuel economy
Mini is way more agile, reaching 100km/h in 4.6 seconds less than its competitor. In addition to that it accelerates all the way to 185 kilometers per hour, 50km/h more than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy the winner has to be the German car, averaging around 4.7 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (60 mpg), in combined cycle. We can't ignore that 38% difference compared to the British car.
Smart appears just a bit more reliable, although the difference is truly marginal. The most important thing when deciding between any two vehicles should always be safety, both passive and active. In my opinion, everything taken into account, the British car beats the other contender by far, making it the best choice without even considering other things. It all continues in the same direction, with Mini outracing its opponent in any situation possible, making it better choice for boy racers. It does come at a cost though, and that's the fuel consumption... It's not difficult to say then that if I'd need to make a choice, it would definitely be the Mini. Anyway, that's the most objective conclusion I could've came up with and it's based solely on the information found on this website. Aspects such as design, practicality, brand value and driving experience are there for you to measure them out. I suggest you spend two more minutes in order to find out which car, based on your needs and budget, would be picked by the virtual adviser™, among more than 12.000 different ones in our database.