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Many potential owners will come to this forum trying to decide how the CRZ compares to other cars. I think the Base MINI Cooper hatchback is the CRZs closest competitor in the US market. Both are aimed at a similar need for both fun and economical transportation that have more style and exclusivity than typical subcompacts.

Post to this thread our own thoughts about how these 2 cars compare.

I have not yet taken delivery of my CRZ, but I have owned 2 MINIs over the past 8 years and have enjoyed them both.

Here is how these 2 cars compare in cost:

CRZ Base 6MT. $19,950

MINI Cooper 6MT. $19,500
Metallic paint. $500
Auto A/C. $500
Equipped as CRZ. $20,500

CRZ Base CVT. $20,600

MINI Cooper Auto. $20,750
Metallic paint. $500
Auto A/C. $500
Equipped as CRZ. $21,750

CRZ EX 6MT. $21,510

MINI Cooper 6MT $19,500
Metallic paint. $500
auto A/C. $500
fog lamps. $250
HID headlights $500
Bluetooth iPod. $500
HK sound system $750
Interior chrome trim $250
Equipped as CRZ EX. $22,750

CRZ EX CVT. $22,160

MINI Cooper Auto $20,750
Metallic paint. $500
auto A/C. $500
fog lamps. $250
HId headlights. $500
Bluetooth iPod. $500
HK sound system $750
Interior chrome trim $250
Equipped as CRZ EX. $24,000

navi is available on either car
CRZ $1800
MINI $2000

As shown above the CRZ holds a $150 to $1840 price advantage when both cars are identically equipped. However the MINI offers many additional options not available on the CRZ such as Panoramic sunroof, Leather interior, Sports handling package, limited slip differential and heated seats. There also is a huge aftermarket of accessories for the MINI.

Passenger and cargo room
The MINI offers a back seat for those occasions when you just have to carry more than 2 people. For some this might be a feature that becomes a deal breaker for the CRZ, but I can say from 8 years of experience, that there have only been 5 occasions in 8 years when I have had rear seat passengers in my MINI

Both cars offer generous cargo areas behind the two front seats that are more practical than the trunk area of small sedans. The MINI's cargo area while mini, always proved capable for regular grocery getting or even occasional bulky item purchases. The CRZ appears to have at least as much cargo space as the MINI does with it's rear seats folded down. In this category both cars are capable and equally useful.

Driving experience
The Base MINI Cooper offers a nice compromise of sporty handling and a passable ride. The MINI Cooper S offers a much higher level of car handling at the expense of a punishingly hard ride. The ride of the CRZ is quite a bit smoother than the MINi at the expense of quite a bit more body roll. Choosing a winner in this area depends on your mission for the car. If you are looking for a smooth riding commuter car, the CRZ is the winner, but if your weekends include canyon carving or autocross, the MINI will be more rewarding.

Both cars have very similar acceleration and engine dynamics. They will adequately, if not excitingly, pull away from a stoplight, but neither is going to win at the local drag race. Both engines get a bit coarse and buzzy when pushed to their highest RPMs with the CRZ providing a more satisfying exhaust note. If speed is your thing, the MINI offers the S model and the CRZ doesn't have any factory hotrod choice.

Fuel economy
My real world Fuel economy from my MINI has been 28 to 30 MPG with it being very difficult to consistently top 30. Early CRZ owners report an average of 34 to 38 to be easy to maintain with some owners achieving averages of more than 40 MPG.

This 6 to 8 MPG advantage for the CRZ will translate into about a $400/year (15,000 miles) savings in fuel costs when the additional cost of premium gas is factored into the MINIs fuel expenses.

Maintenance and warranty
The MINI comes with 3 years of free scheduled maintenance. While this sounds like allot, it actually only amounts to two oil changes, one brake fluid change and one oil change along with inspect this inspect that schedule maintenance I. All told worth about $300 compared to what these services would cost on the CRZ. And in the fourth year, when you bring your MINI in for it's Schedule II maintenance and get the bill for $800+, you will quickly lose any lower maintenance cost from the included maintenance over the first 3 years.

The MINI covers all components for 4 years or 50,000 miles

The CRZ covers everything for only 3 years or 36,000 miles but covers the engine and drivetrain for 5 years or 60,000 miles. And the IMA battery is covered in full for 8 years or 100,000 miles.

My personal experience is that the MINI really requires it's 4 year warranty as there have been dozens of little things that have required attention. My dealer has always taken car of these things but often not without 3 trips back and forth to get things fully fixed. While my experience with Hondas has been that little if anything goes wrong with them and the car require far fewer trips back and forth to the dealer.

Over a 4 year ownership experience and about 60,000miles, I expect that the CRZ will cost $2000 to $3000 less to own as a result of it's lower fuel costs, lower purchase price and equal resale value to the MINI.

Coolness factor
The MINI is definitely a cool car and offers the advantage of being customizable enough to make it yours. But the fact that the MINI has enjoyed some significant sales success over the past 8 years means there are an awful lot of MINIs running around. Its coolness factor has dropped a notch or two. The CRZ is the new kid on the block and will elicit admiring second looks for the next couple years. How it will wear in a couple of years is yet to be seen.

I hope you have enjoyed my personal take on these two cars and that you will add your comparison thoughts to this thread.
 

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Awesome comparison I enjoyed reading it. I have only test driven a Mini once so it is good to hear from somebody with a lot of experience with them.

You surely see a ton of Mini's out on the roads nowadays. Last weekend I took the CRZ for a spirited drive down the coast from Carmel to Big Sur and I must have seen 10 Mini's and I dont know how many Miata's zipping around

The Mini was an entertaining car to drive and Im sure I would have been happy, but the biggest reason I chose the CRZ was for Honda's reliability.

I didn't know that the base Mini required 91+ octane fuel. Well I guess thats another plus.

:thumbsup:
 

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I have owned a Cooper S, drove plenty of standard MINI's, done mods to dozens of them, and I am a governor and moderator of the largest MINI club west of the Mississippi for seven years now and I currently own a classic Mini. I pretty much agree with TC. I do think the CR-Z does have a little more pep than the standard MINI in your lower power band and RPM's but the MINI comes out on top at the higher end.
Something that TC didn't mention was once the warranty and service contract run out it is VERY expensive to get things fixed. Just some examples if you went to the dealer:
Fuel pump $780
Clutch $4000
Supercharger $3800
Tire rotation $200
oil change $120
A- arm bushings $800
Steering rack $1800
You might get the free maintenance but they make up for it. There customer service and BMW's accountability really suck. Even with design flaws BMW refuses to acknowledge or come up with a fix for things such as "Mushrooming" strut towers, leaking engine mounts, and Melting hood scoops on the '07 and above "S" models and leaves it up to the owners to figure out a fix and just like TC said- there is always something to fix.

I LOVE MINI'S! But, I will never own a new MINI ever again. I would like to own more classics, but not new.

If Honda would come out with an Si model and did some suspension work I believe the CR-Z would be a MINI Cooper S killer.

By the way, with a CAI, 15% pulley, remap and CAT back exhaust at 70 MPH I was getting 37 MPG's- thats when it was running.
 

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I personally wouldn't buy the Mini because of the looks. I'm just not a huge fan of the retro cars. Sure, I guess you could say the CR-Z is made to look like a CRX, but for one I don't think it does, and two the CRX isn't really an iconic car like the Mini, Mustang, Challenger, Beetle etc. If you asked 10 random people on the street about each of these cars I'd be willing to bet after you ask about the CRX you get back a "never heard of that" from the majority. But everyone in America knows what a Mustang and a Beetle is.

All retro things aside though, even if it wasn't a retro car I just don't like it. The outside is nice, but the interior is not only catastrophically ugly but it doesn't look to be all that functional to me. I want my car's controls to be all driver-oriented and easy to use while on the move. But the Mini puts them all in the middle. I guess there's the racing car type thing where they want to put the tach right in front of you. I understand that speed doesn't really matter on a race car, you don't see the safety car come out on a race and pull over a driver for exceeding 150mph. But this is a road car. We have :police: out there just looking for you to be speeding, but the speedo is over by the radio display??

I can't speak for the Mini on cost to own as I've never owned one...but I've had Hondas for years. I knew a guy that had a VW Passat (late model one) and I think over the course of a year he had more non-maintenance parts replaced on it than my 18 year old 200k+ miles Accord had replaced over it's entire life. It seems like I hear people with random non-Hondas talking about how they needed a fuel pump, radiator, power steering pump, engine, etc. replaced. Not only would these likely be cheaper to replace, but I've never had to replace any one of those items on a Honda. The two dealership service departments I've taken my car to have always been reasonable as well, not once have I taken my car in for something and been shocked by some unreasonable price. I've gotten to the point that I've been taking my cars there for everything as the prices are reasonable and they use Honda parts, I could do most of it myself but I just don't have time right now. Also, if I have a problem with the dealer I have Honda corporate to try to help me, where with an independent shop if they screw something up and won't fix it I have no recourse other than through the legal system.
 

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My only experience with Mini is living via the complaints on a buddies 04 Cooper S. Basic replacement items are pricey, for example the dealer wanted $2800 to replace a body panel when he scrapped a signpost. He has had all work done at a more local independent shop that deals specifically with Euro import models. Cheaper but pads replacement still cost triple what I paid for on my Civic. As mentioned the Mini has luxury car costs for upkeep. The CR-Z hopefully (*crosses fingers*) has economy car upkeep costs.

Aside from that I personally don'y like retro. PT Cruisers, Chevy HHR, Camaro, etc... none of them are good looking IMO. I wouldn't own a Mini mostly off my subjective opinion that Mini's are ugly little Pug dogs with a weird interior.
 

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I personally wouldn't buy the Mini because of the looks. I'm just not a huge fan of the retro cars. Sure, I guess you could say the CR-Z is made to look like a CRX, but for one I don't think it does, and two the CRX isn't really an iconic car like the Mini, Mustang, Challenger, Beetle etc. If you asked 10 random people on the street about each of these cars I'd be willing to bet after you ask about the CRX you get back a "never heard of that" from the majority. But everyone in America knows what a Mustang and a Beetle is.

All retro things aside though, even if it wasn't a retro car I just don't like it. The outside is nice, but the interior is not only catastrophically ugly but it doesn't look to be all that functional to me. I want my car's controls to be all driver-oriented and easy to use while on the move. But the Mini puts them all in the middle. I guess there's the racing car type thing where they want to put the tach right in front of you. I understand that speed doesn't really matter on a race car, you don't see the safety car come out on a race and pull over a driver for exceeding 150mph. But this is a road car. We have :police: out there just looking for you to be speeding, but the speedo is over by the radio display??

I can't speak for the Mini on cost to own as I've never owned one...but I've had Hondas for years. I knew a guy that had a VW Passat (late model one) and I think over the course of a year he had more non-maintenance parts replaced on it than my 18 year old 200k+ miles Accord had replaced over it's entire life. It seems like I hear people with random non-Hondas talking about how they needed a fuel pump, radiator, power steering pump, engine, etc. replaced. Not only would these likely be cheaper to replace, but I've never had to replace any one of those items on a Honda. The two dealership service departments I've taken my car to have always been reasonable as well, not once have I taken my car in for something and been shocked by some unreasonable price. I've gotten to the point that I've been taking my cars there for everything as the prices are reasonable and they use Honda parts, I could do most of it myself but I just don't have time right now. Also, if I have a problem with the dealer I have Honda corporate to try to help me, where with an independent shop if they screw something up and won't fix it I have no recourse other than through the legal system.
On the '04 model and up MINI made it to where you could read the speed in the bottom of the tach. The center speedo stems from the roots of the first Mini. My classic Mini has the speedo/ Temp/ oil and fuel in a center binnacle along with the switches for lights and stuff.

nether the less, the CR-Z set up is MUCH, MUCH, I will say it again MUCH better than the MINI. In '07 they made it even worse:eek2:.
 

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For 2011, Base Mini Cooper is starting from $20100.
When comparing outlook of Cooper and CR-Z, I think of future vs classic. Two opposite approaches.
In corners, Mini Cooper can provide me a decent feedback pushing it. I know where I'm at, what I'm doing and sort of know about the limit of the car. On CR-Z, I just have less of an idea.
Which one has more fun? I really mean fun (not handling). Sometimes the Mini Cooper is just too perfect and can be a bit boring. CR-Z is bit more challenging and that can be fun.

Does anyone have a dyno result for a base Mini Cooper?
 

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I have owned a Cooper S, drove plenty of standard MINI's, done mods to dozens of them, and I am a governor and moderator of the largest MINI club west of the Mississippi for seven years now and I currently own a classic Mini. I pretty much agree with TC. I do think the CR-Z does have a little more pep than the standard MINI in your lower power band and RPM's but the MINI comes out on top at the higher end.
Something that TC didn't mention was once the warranty and service contract run out it is VERY expensive to get things fixed. Just some examples if you went to the dealer:
Fuel pump $780
Clutch $4000
Supercharger $3800
Tire rotation $200
oil change $120
A- arm bushings $800
Steering rack $1800
You might get the free maintenance but they make up for it. There customer service and BMW's accountability really suck. Even with design flaws BMW refuses to acknowledge or come up with a fix for things such as "Mushrooming" strut towers, leaking engine mounts, and Melting hood scoops on the '07 and above "S" models and leaves it up to the owners to figure out a fix and just like TC said- there is always something to fix.

I LOVE MINI'S! But, I will never own a new MINI ever again. I would like to own more classics, but not new.

If Honda would come out with an Si model and did some suspension work I believe the CR-Z would be a MINI Cooper S killer.

By the way, with a CAI, 15% pulley, remap and CAT back exhaust at 70 MPH I was getting 37 MPG's- thats when it was running.
$4000 for a clutch replacement :eek2:

$120 for an oil change:blush: Is it a difficult process to change the oil?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
$120 for an oil change:blush: Is it a difficult process to change the oil?
my MINI dealer charges $168 for an oil change, that's Oil and filter Only! They charge $308 for an "oil service" which includes an oil change and a cabin filter change and a series of check this, check that things. Not be be confused with Service interval I which cost $600+ or Service interval II which id $800+
 

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my MINI dealer charges $168 for an oil change, that's Oil and filter Only! They charge $308 for an "oil service" which includes an oil change and a cabin filter change and a series of check this, check that things. Not be be confused with Service interval I which cost $600+ or Service interval II which id $800+
Did any of you Mini owners do the oil changes yourself because of this?
 

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$4000 for a clutch replacement :eek2:

$120 for an oil change:blush: Is it a difficult process to change the oil?
If I remember right clutch parts was $500 and the rest is labor. To change the clutch you have to remove front end parts plus the driver side suspension and drop the sub frame down a couple of inches and remove the intake system.

The oil is synthetic and it is a cartridge filter. Plus there is a special socket for the filter housing.
 

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If I remember right clutch parts was $500 and the rest is labor. To change the clutch you have to remove front end parts plus the driver side suspension and drop the sub frame down a couple of inches and remove the intake system.

The oil is synthetic and it is a cartridge filter. Plus there is a special socket for the filter housing.
Yeah I was going to ask if they required a "special tool" to complete an oil change. It would probably cost you a lot of money to buy one yourself or find one for purchase, but hey the Mini dealer has one conveniently for you already. :thumbsup:
 

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Not intending to resurrect an old thread, although this may always be a timely discussion. I would buy a Mini Cooper S today if the reliability was better and the maintenance/repair was easier/reasonable. The size and handling drew me to pay closer attention to the CR-Z. The initial press reports got me to dismiss it as being less than the sum of its parts. But, I think Honda is on to something. If the rumors of a more powerful version are true, I will be there. (I will also be keeping my eye on the a/c during this summer to see if the CR-Z is truly feasible in the desert southwest when stopped at red lights.)

If the more powerful version has 17" wheels and larger brakes to handle the power, then better shocks might be the only item to improve daily handling. And, it looks like the shock manufacturers may pay attention to the CR-Z. And, I can even get a sunroof aftermarket. So, in theory I can get what I want/need.

The IMA is a perfect mate to the hi-rev Honda engines, providing low end torque to go with the high end horsepower. Sort of the best of all possible worlds. A more powerful engine, especially if coupled with a more powerful IMA, would be ideal. If Honda does its usual suspension/brake upgrade with a power upgrade, the more powerful version (if there really will be one), should provide the fun of driving a Mini with the traditional Honda reliability.

I'll be waiting and watching (and hoping the a/c can cool during city driving in 115 degree heat).
 

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Yes, the current CR-Z engine is not a high rev engine. But, if Honda put a "typical" VTEC engine, coupled with a higher output IMA, then they'd have the best of both worlds.

The rumors (mostly from SEMA) are there will be a higher performing CR-Z. Plenty of announcements about a turbo non-hybrid CR-Z. Announcement about a VTEC/more powerful IMA CR-Z. All sorts of posts/announcements. While my crystal ball is currently in the shop, I have no idea what Honda might do. I'd take either one of the more powerful rumors.

All I was saying was that pairing a hi-rev VTEC with a more powerful IMA would not just give Honda a "hybrid first", but would most likely also give them a true performance car, and a hybrid to boot.

(If we're really dreaming, add a turbo to the VTEC/powerIMA, utilize SH-AWD and sell it as an Acura; I'd be first in line.)
 

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I'm afraid the high-revving Honda engines are currently being legislated out of existence, I doubt we'll see the like of them again after the next couple of years have passed. It's looking like Honda will be moving towards small turbocharged units, just like the ones I'd bet my house on Honda making in time for the new Formula 1 engine regs in 2013.

As for Mini vs. CR-Z, I think the Mini wins on handling and performance, the CR-Z on style and running (in particular, servicing) costs. Practicality is a dead heat, IMO. The Mini has back seats but a tiny trunk. I've already run into difficulty over the back seats, but lacking a decent sized storage area would've been far, far more inconvenient. The CR-Z is also significantly more comfortable in the front for long journeys too, at least that's what I find.
 

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Totally agree with Kenny. Minus reliability I loved my Mini. Definitely took a big step down in pure performance and handling. But I'm saving a huge amount of money in the long run with the CR-Z, and it's still fun to drive.

Sadly some of my favorite twisties are decidedly less fun, I'm just not as comfortable with this car, it's so much less planted.
 

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I traded in a Mini "S". for my CR-Z.
I loved the Mini. It was super fun to drive. It just got too expensive to maintain. I got fed up with driving an hour+ to get it serviced, and paying ridiculously high costs for everything that got done.

Glenn
 
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