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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 diesel engines and utilizing the 5-door suv body style within the same 'SUV' segment, the only major difference here really is their wheel drive configuration (front for the Mini and 4 x 4 in the case of the Volvo). The first one has a BMW-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 190hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 190hp engine designed by Volvo.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 same number of safety stars gained in the process. That aside, let's consider some other aspects which affect safety. Both vehicles belong to the suv segment, which is generally a very good thing 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 Swedish car offers a considerable difference of 18% more metal.Reliability
Manufacturers have been building their reliability reputation for decades now and, generally speaking, it appears that both brands display similar results in faults and breakdowns, when all the models are taken into account. These are the results of an independent reasearch, while our visitors describe reliability of Mini with an average rating of 4.1, and models under the Volvo badge with 4.6 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 British car rank it on average as 3.6, while the one under the competitor's bonnet gets 4.3 out of 5.Performance & Fuel economy
Mini is a bit more agile, reaching 100km/h in 0.2 seconds less than its competitor. In addition to that it accelerates all the way to 220 kilometers per hour, 10km/h more than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy things look pretty much the same for both cars, averaging around 4.9 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (58 mpg), in combined cycle.
Volvo 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 Swedish car offers significantly better overall protection, taking the lead here. From there things take a different direction, with Mini offering somewhat better performance, just enough to call it quicker. To make things even better, it consumps less fuel! It's really tough to make a final decision here, but if I'd need to, I'd say 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. In case you have two minutes to spare I invite you to define your needs, desires and budget and see which car would be chosen by the virtual adviser™, out of 12.000+ vehicles we currently have in our database.