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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 75hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 90hp engine designed by Tritec.Safety
Both vehicles got tested by European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP), with the Mini being a slightly better choice apparently. Still, apart from the official crash test results there are other things we need to be aware of. Both vehicles belong to the micro car segment, which is generally a misfortune safety-wise, but it doesn't do much to help us decide between the two. On the other hand, taking kerb weight as an important factor into account, the British car offers a potentially life-saving difference of 39% more metal.Reliability
Reliability is not the best thing to consider on the make level, but it is worth mentioning that Smart does have a slight advantage, when all the models are taken into account. 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. Above it all, drivers of cars with the same engine as the German car rank it on average as 3.0, while the one under the competitor's bonnet gets 4.0 out of 5.Performance & Fuel economy
Mini is undoubtly more agile, reaching 100km/h in 1.4 seconds less than its competitor. In addition to that it accelerates all the way to 185 kilometers per hour, 35km/h more than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy the winner has to be the German car, averaging around 5.3 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (53 mpg), in combined cycle. We can't ignore that 23% difference compared to the British car.
Mini 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 being considerably quicker, thus putting more smile on driver's face. 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. In any case that's my personal view, built upon all the data available to me. What should decide here though is the way you feel about the two vehicles, and I hope you'll find my guidelines useful in the process. 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™, out of 12.000+ vehicles we currently have in our database.