Mazda MX-5 Miata vs. Mini Cooper

mazda miata vs mini cooper

In this article we compare two legendary vehicles – best-selling third generation Mazda MX-5 Miata and convertible version of the hot hatch Mini Cooper S Roadster. The cars are very close in terms of conception – both are 2-seater compact convertibles, with sporty engines and manual transmission. Both are fun to drive and popular among youngsters. Not practical, but impressive. And we try to find out which is the best choice.

Performance and handling

As I already mentioned, the main purpose of both cars are give pleasure to the driver, it is fun car credo. And the most important thing for that case is performance and handling. Mini has 1.6L turbocharged engine producing 181 hp, pulling the car from 0 to 60 in 6,7 seconds. The layout is front wheel drive, so the car have tendency to understeering while cornering in high speed.

mazda miata vs mini cooper

Mazda has heavier and less powered 2 liter engine (167 hp), and despite being lighter than Mini it is slower – 7,1 seconds to 60 miles per hour. But the Miata has rear wheel drive layout which influence the handling positively. Moreover, Mazda has a great amount of tuning variants.
Both cars are available with 6-speed manual transmission, which is perfect choice for energetic driving.

Equipment and interior

The age of third generation Mazda MX-5 Miata is very distinctive while entering the cabin – old-fashioned radio, simple door handles, the absence of telescopic steering wheel adjustment.
Mini interior is more interesting, features huge speedometer with built-in display, chuckly air vents, etc. But the ergonomics are terrible, especially while you’re trying to use center console full of small buttons.

mazda miata vs mini cooper
Mini is way better equipped – some of the options is unavailable for Mazda even as an option, for example modern infotainment system. With the availability of the newest 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata the situation might change.


The pricing for both cars are similar, but the Mini is relatively more expensive. Of course, if we considering the top trims, under $30,000 the difference will be really small. And don’t forget that you’ll get more advanced car in terms of equipment, choosing Mini.


The conclusion is simple. These two cars indicate two different approaches to building a fan car. Mazda is more serious, more exquisite. Such car is your choice if you want to not only impress your friends or enjoy driving, but also have a perfect opportunity to get to racetrack and compete with some more powerful cars. If you are true car enthusiast, MX-5 Miata is your choice.
Mini is more suitable for drivers with less handling expectations. Cooper S Roadster is fun to drive and fast too, but it is less hardcore and friendlier, simpler. It is a good choice for people looking for weekend car.

mazda miata vs mini cooper

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