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View Full Version : NEW Car and Driver Review of Abarth vs Mini JCW



pchop
04-23-2012, 09:46 PM
http://www.caranddriver.com/comparisons/2012-fiat-500-abarth-vs-mini-john-cooper-works-comparison-tests

CSSM
04-23-2012, 10:50 PM
Hmm that's not fair..

nojeebs
04-23-2012, 10:55 PM
I see what their intention was to pit two famous racing names but really it's not an equal comparison. I'm sure if I dumped in the difference in cost into the Abarth I'll come out ahead of the JCW Mini...anyone not agree on that shouldn't be on this forum. :-p Jk jk. Hahaha...no really don't be on here.

CLXXV
04-23-2012, 11:09 PM
I expected more from C&D. Comparing cars with a 30% price difference is ridiculous. What's next? Loaded C350 vs. M3?

The R&T comparo with the Abarth, Cooper S and Sonic Turbo was much better (identical 6.6 sec. 0-60 times for the Abarth and Mini, by the way).

Leotxn
04-23-2012, 11:12 PM
Yeah I am not in agreement with the story, if they had used a Mini Cooper S then maybe. JCW package is very nice on a Mini but very expensive. I don't hate the Mini I just have never really loved it, and I have rode and drove a few. My biggest issue is the interiors. Anyway I immediately fell for the Abarth inside and out so I will be happy with my choice and the price I paid for it.

Roadpizza
04-23-2012, 11:35 PM
Just fluff to take up pages....

zero
04-23-2012, 11:40 PM
Insert knife to a gun fight here.

zero
04-24-2012, 12:00 AM
Just found this, maybe this will make for some smiles? http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/08/automobiles/autoreviews/a-lively-pet-from-fiats-adopt-a-scorpion-program.html?pagewanted=2&_r=4&ism=KTSApr1812Facebook1

Fiat500USA
04-24-2012, 12:11 AM
Whoever put that comparison together was either on crack or worked for MINI.

cspak71
04-24-2012, 01:48 AM
Personally, I'm not too surprised by this comparison. It was bound to happen, whether or not the Abarth is more inline with the Cooper S version than the JCW, they were going to pit the badass with the badass despite any price difference. I think it was warranted and if anything speaks volumes to the Abarth that they would

1. even consider pitting both of these against each other
2. that there were still impressed with the Abarth for what it is.

Ultimately, I'd like to see another comparison once the 200hp tuned Abarth (using the magnetti boost controller) is ready. That to me is going to be more apples to apples.

SLOABARTH
04-24-2012, 02:57 AM
I actually have both of these cars in my garage. I love both of them , but as long as I can remember I always loved and admired the name "Abarth" and loved that scorpion emblem as much as I love the prancing horse of Ferrari. So far I've owned 18 Ferraris. When I bought my 09 JCW I was excited,but not as much as buying a Ferrari, When I received my Abarth last week I was just as happy and excited as when I received my 430 Spider in June of 2005. So in my book my Abarth is superior & cooler than my Mini JCW. Every time I look at that scorpion badge it puts a big smile on my face. And when I get done tuning my Abarth it will be much quicker than my tuned JCW. :tickled_pink:

a2cpc
04-24-2012, 08:08 AM
Maybe they should have waited for the "Venom" version to do this test.

Abarth67
04-24-2012, 08:21 AM
Well said SLOABARTH! This is exactly what I am feeling. I currently drive a Mustang GT and can say that from a horsepower point of view, I am sure the Abarth is going to be less but from a historic and emotional point of view, Abarth has it beat (I hope). I should be picking my car up today or tomorrow so I hope to be pleased with it.

joforg
04-24-2012, 08:22 AM
Personally, I'm not too surprised by this comparison. It was bound to happen, whether or not the Abarth is more inline with the Cooper S version than the JCW, they were going to pit the badass with the badass despite any price difference. I think it was warranted and if anything speaks volumes to the Abarth that they would

1. even consider pitting both of these against each other
2. that there were still impressed with the Abarth for what it is.


Did a quick read, I'm with you…..CD said the Abarth was in the game for the comparision and a hoot to drive anywhere real people actually drive, all for basically the price of the standard mini. I read the JCW in number one spot because it's basically a small bmw, costs way more money, and is likely to be uncomfortable for a lot of people because the seats and interior seem dated now...

rodneygt
04-24-2012, 08:28 AM
Personally, I'm not too surprised by this comparison. It was bound to happen, whether or not the Abarth is more inline with the Cooper S version than the JCW, they were going to pit the badass with the badass despite any price difference. I think it was warranted and if anything speaks volumes to the Abarth that they would

1. even consider pitting both of these against each other
2. that there were still impressed with the Abarth for what it is.

Ultimately, I'd like to see another comparison once the 200hp tuned Abarth (using the magnetti boost controller) is ready. That to me is going to be more apples to apples.

I agree with this. You call it the JCW and you call it the Abarth, it had to happen - its in the name. Of course price wise, its not a fair comparison and the Venom likely will be.

GramCracker
04-24-2012, 09:57 AM
Well said SLOABARTH! This is exactly what I am feeling. I currently drive a Mustang GT and can say that from a horsepower point of view, I am sure the Abarth is going to be less but from a historic and emotional point of view, Abarth has it beat (I hope). I should be picking my car up today or tomorrow so I hope to be pleased with it.

Do you plan on keeping or ditching your Mustang when the Abarth arrives?

Abarth67
04-24-2012, 10:06 AM
Do you plan on keeping or ditching your Mustang when the Abarth arrives?

The GT has already been sold. The buyer picks it up Thursday, I hope I love the Abarth as much as I think I am going to. My son is mad at me for selling the GT but I think he will warm up to it as he loves my X1/9. Also, we still have a 1968 Mustang fastback with a good old American V8 so we will not be without a pony in the stable.

wachuko
04-24-2012, 10:19 AM
...we still have a 1968 Mustang fastback with a good old American V8 so we will not be without a pony in the stable.

Do share photos when you get a chance... :)

Abarth67
04-24-2012, 10:22 AM
Do share photos when you get a chance... :)

Don't worry, I plan to. this whole thing has been fun so far, I hope the payoff is worth it.

VTEC Mini
04-24-2012, 12:27 PM
"Cooper and Abarth made good businesses out of somebody else’s small cars, and now Mini (a.k.a. BMW) and Fiat (a.k.a. Chrysler Group, LLC) are collecting on the favor.

I have issue with this statement because even though it is true MINI is a made and is basically a BMW Fiat is still Fiat and owns over 50% of Chrysler stock. So that makes Chrysler a subdivision of Fiat- just like Alfa Ramero and Ferrari. BMW's technoglogy went in to the design of the MINI like wise Fiats technology is going into Chrysler with the start of the Dodge Dart. So to me there is nothing "Chrysler" about Fiat and shouldn't even be mentioned.

"Here is a Latin songstress in a class of droners that includes the Mini. Italian cars (even those made in *Mexico with engines from Michigan) should sound Italian, and this one does."

This part cracks me up how they fail to mention the MINI motor is from Peugeot; car designed in Germany; Built in Britain but it's variants like the Countryman are built in Austria and parts come from all over the world. The "engines from Michigan" are still Fiat and built in Michigan. In other worlds, it is more pure to it's heritage than MINI.

They include the basic ergonomic oddness of the 500, which carries over unalloyed

The MINI isn't?

"It also turns better—indeed, in a tighter circle even—with a far more natural feel to the wheel, even compared with previous versions of  itself. To some extent, the JCW has grown up, leaving behind the ultra-twitchy helm and crusty, boy-racer suspension with which it started life, becoming much more the premium sophisticate its price implies"

I like the feeling of the first MINI Cooper S (R53) compared to the newer version (R56). The R53 captured the feel, spirit and essence of the classic Mini, I know because I had and R53 and still own my Classic Mini. BMW also captured the constant maintenance and repair and unreliability. When BMW went from the R53 to the R56 it went from a ruff and tumble, vibrating, excellent road feel, feel every bump and split in the concrete and that, "lets kick some tail pipe" attitude to "Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?". Or another metaphor would be it went from a fighting, beer swilling, cursing Rugby player to a day in the country playing Polo eating crumpets and sipping Tea. On than many times I had to bring my MINI into the shop I was given either a rental 3 series BMW, and on the days I was denied and got to camp out at BMW, I test drove the R56 and the two where identical in feel in my opinion- MINI had lost it's edge and became too civilized, BMW tamed the beast.

Fast forward to 3 months ago. I test drove a Fiat 500 Sport. It was a perfect blend of a Classic Mini and the R53. It's smallness was all Classic Mini and the feel was a mixture of R53 and classic Mini. You could reach around to the back seats and to the passenger door from the driver seat like a Classic Mini, yet, had modern features of a R53 and the ruff and tumble attitude of both. The only thing I found disappointing was the lack of power. That's why only the Abarth will do for me. My MINI club friends get kind of bent out of shape when I say Fiat is more Mini than MINI is.

Then lets talk price. For a decent, average equipped JCW you are going to pay $35K. For that kind of money you can get a much better and reliable car such as a EVO, Sti, an actual BMW, or GTI Type R which are all also can or have AWD. For the cost of an Abarth you can't beat it.

The biggest thing for me though is reliability and customer service after the sell. Something MINI is piss poor about. I would still have a MINI today if it wasn't for that and it is the ONLY reason I am holding out on the Abarth to see how it does for the next 1/12 to 2 years.

I can understand they are comparing Halo against Halo but statistically they don't mach up so the whole article is stupid. Now if they had a factory Venom than well.......

SLOABARTH
04-24-2012, 10:03 PM
Thanks ABARTH67!! :friendly_wink: Let me know how you like it. I like mine and it will be quicker than my JCW in about a month. I am getting started on modification tomorrow. That is the Abarth spirit!!

krayzielilsmoki
04-25-2012, 01:47 AM
"Cooper and Abarth made good businesses out of somebody else’s small cars, and now Mini (a.k.a. BMW) and Fiat (a.k.a. Chrysler Group, LLC) are collecting on the favor.

I have issue with this statement because even though it is true MINI is a made and is basically a BMW Fiat is still Fiat and owns over 50% of Chrysler stock. So that makes Chrysler a subdivision of Fiat- just like Alfa Ramero and Ferrari. BMW's technoglogy went in to the design of the MINI like wise Fiats technology is going into Chrysler with the start of the Dodge Dart. So to me there is nothing "Chrysler" about Fiat and shouldn't even be mentioned.

"Here is a Latin songstress in a class of droners that includes the Mini. Italian cars (even those made in *Mexico with engines from Michigan) should sound Italian, and this one does."

This part cracks me up how they fail to mention the MINI motor is from Peugeot; car designed in Germany; Built in Britain but it's variants like the Countryman are built in Austria and parts come from all over the world. The "engines from Michigan" are still Fiat and built in Michigan. In other worlds, it is more pure to it's heritage than MINI.

They include the basic ergonomic oddness of the 500, which carries over unalloyed

The MINI isn't?

"It also turns better—indeed, in a tighter circle even—with a far more natural feel to the wheel, even compared with previous versions of  itself. To some extent, the JCW has grown up, leaving behind the ultra-twitchy helm and crusty, boy-racer suspension with which it started life, becoming much more the premium sophisticate its price implies"

I like the feeling of the first MINI Cooper S (R53) compared to the newer version (R56). The R53 captured the feel, spirit and essence of the classic Mini, I know because I had and R53 and still own my Classic Mini. BMW also captured the constant maintenance and repair and unreliability. When BMW went from the R53 to the R56 it went from a ruff and tumble, vibrating, excellent road feel, feel every bump and split in the concrete and that, "lets kick some tail pipe" attitude to "Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?". Or another metaphor would be it went from a fighting, beer swilling, cursing Rugby player to a day in the country playing Polo eating crumpets and sipping Tea. On than many times I had to bring my MINI into the shop I was given either a rental 3 series BMW, and on the days I was denied and got to camp out at BMW, I test drove the R56 and the two where identical in feel in my opinion- MINI had lost it's edge and became too civilized, BMW tamed the beast.

Fast forward to 3 months ago. I test drove a Fiat 500 Sport. It was a perfect blend of a Classic Mini and the R53. It's smallness was all Classic Mini and the feel was a mixture of R53 and classic Mini. You could reach around to the back seats and to the passenger door from the driver seat like a Classic Mini, yet, had modern features of a R53 and the ruff and tumble attitude of both. The only thing I found disappointing was the lack of power. That's why only the Abarth will do for me. My MINI club friends get kind of bent out of shape when I say Fiat is more Mini than MINI is.

Then lets talk price. For a decent, average equipped JCW you are going to pay $35K. For that kind of money you can get a much better and reliable car such as a EVO, Sti, an actual BMW, or GTI Type R which are all also can or have AWD. For the cost of an Abarth you can't beat it.

The biggest thing for me though is reliability and customer service after the sell. Something MINI is piss poor about. I would still have a MINI today if it wasn't for that and it is the ONLY reason I am holding out on the Abarth to see how it does for the next 1/12 to 2 years.

I can understand they are comparing Halo against Halo but statistically they don't mach up so the whole article is stupid. Now if they had a factory Venom than well.......

Wow very good argument

Onceupon
04-25-2012, 12:32 PM
Every comparison I've read downplays the cost difference between the Abarth and what a similarly-equipped MINI would take - and I've seen fewer comparisons than I expected between the Abarth and the new MINI Coupe S, which seems closest in spirit (though also further apart in practice than base prices indicate in theory.) The thing that strikes me is that even people who don't want to like Fiat wind up liking the Abarth. When "it's small" is the most damning critique a reviewer can offer, I have to laugh. The size is a feature, not a bug.

krayzielilsmoki
04-25-2012, 01:48 PM
I would like to see how it compares to a civic si

pchop
04-25-2012, 03:00 PM
I can careless who they compare and Abarth to: Abarth is not a rational purchase, it's an emotional buy.

As I said in another thread, wanting an Abarth is like wanting a bi-polar lingerie model as your girlfriend: you either know she's right for you or she isn't.

Onceupon
04-25-2012, 05:15 PM
I can careless who they compare and Abarth to: Abarth is not a rational purchase, it's an emotional buy.

As I said in another thread, wanting an Abarth is like wanting a bi-polar lingerie model as your girlfriend: you either know she's right for you or she isn't.

I can't really get behind you on that one - because I think car buying is ALWAYS an emotional purchase but not a solely emotional one. If I were buying based solely on emotion, I'd be driving around in a Camaro right now. I'm not the world's most rational shopper by any means, but I know what I want out of a vehicle. For me it really did come down to the MINI Coupe S and the Abarth for a number of reasons - and the Abarth won out in large part because it's cheaper. I'm going to love it madly when it arrives. But yeah.

noopd
04-25-2012, 05:35 PM
I actually think the article did a pretty decent job commenting on both cars but ya, it's not too fair comparing two cars when one is $8k more before tax and everything is an option. I also hate to see comments that praise one and beat up the others. As far as I can tell, both are really good cars and we are pretty lucky to get a choice between both. I had a '03 cooper S for almost 10 years and it was a blast to drive. I was insterested in JCW but at that time, it was a $4500 option with $4500 dealer labor install. It is definitely not a cost effective upgrade with the % hp gain. Reliability was an issue though since things really start to fall apart right after the initial 3 year warranty. I had a really good local and reliable mechanic servicing my MINI but it gets tiring when i had to drop 700 to 1500 everytime I go. I didn't regret on getting it though cuz it's just so fun when you are driving it.

the 500 and cooper although pretty similar in size in most american's mine (both tiny), they are pretty different. And those who understand them know what to expect and appreciates both of them.. For me, I can't wait to get into the abarth (21 more days to dealer!).

VTEC Mini
04-25-2012, 05:38 PM
I can't really get behind you on that one - because I think car buying is ALWAYS an emotional purchase but not a solely emotional one. If I were buying based solely on emotion, I'd be driving around in a Camaro right now. I'm not the world's most rational shopper by any means, but I know what I want out of a vehicle. For me it really did come down to the MINI Coupe S and the Abarth for a number of reasons - and the Abarth won out in large part because it's cheaper. I'm going to love it madly when it arrives. But yeah.

Amen to this! I too would want a WRX Sti wagon, Golf Type R or EVO but because of cost of gas, my commute, and cost to end of life it wouldn't work out.

ChicagoAbarth
04-25-2012, 06:51 PM
Base price for a Abarth $22,000
Base price for JCW Mini $30,600

Thats 39% more

I'd expect a car thats 39% more expensive to win. I want to see a comparison between a JCW Mini and a $42,651 car. If the Mini wins that then I'll concede that it's the winner. If it can't win then I think it comes down to value for money, where the Abarth wins handily.


Also,

If you ever leave the city for the hills, the Mini will still be immensely satisfying where the Abarth is merely making do.

Except that they said the mini seats "ruined some backs." Good luck still having fun once you get out to the hills with your ruined back.

Guest
04-25-2012, 08:20 PM
Dont mean to be rude but I coulodnt give a sh*t... I wanted an abarth, I bought one. Wouldnt buy the mini even if it cost the same! Ugly German car...

atxabarth
05-08-2012, 07:41 PM
Racing a JCW in a time attack this weekend we will see what really happens with lb for lb HP can deliver

Thomas
05-08-2012, 09:55 PM
Sounds great. Keep us posted Atxa. Do us proud!

Freedomland
05-08-2012, 10:03 PM
I own both a Mini and a Fiat.. and comparing the new Abarth with the JCW is ludicrous And I;m not talking price!.. When the Mini first hit here.. the Cooper was first.. and shortly followed by the S.. and much later followed by the ragtop. Here the Fiat came then the ragtop (almost immediately) and a year later the Abarth (which no matter how you cut it is the "S" version of the 500)
Now I read somewhere of a super version of the Abarth... what was it viper? stinger? some other name with much higher HP than the regular Abarth.. THAT would be a fair comparison to the JCW.. sorry but I have to take tsouris at Mini club meetings.

Also, VTEC MINI, I also agree that when the MINI went from 1st Gen to 2nd Gen it lost something.. ok.. the motor gets better gas mileage than the pentagon motor but the inside is like a bad cartoon (imho) ergonomics are wayyyyyy off (then they always have been in a MINI or Mini)

Oh and thanks for the clarification.. the Abarth VENOM would be the JCW equivalent (guess I fergot Spiderman)

MM22
05-08-2012, 11:05 PM
Magazine car reviewers opinions are just that, opinions. They always contradict themselves, usually within the same review. Their comparison between these two cars is asinine. Since BMW is the parent company and we all know how the car magazines worship BMW, I'm sure the slanted comparison was intentional. Doesn't matter, it's well documented how unreliable the 2nd gen Mini's are since it's all over their forums, recalls after recalls, year after year. We're not talking minor cosmetic stuff either. That's why i ran from Mini. Mini's customer service and product reliability is awful, pitiful and painful.

I am getting the Abarth because it is priced right and gives me the feeling Mini used to give me, before the came out with the second gen model which lost its visceral raw feeling. I regret selling my 2006 mini but would never purchase a second gen mini because they lost the lightning in the bottle effect.

And this is just MY opinion.

VTEC Mini
05-09-2012, 02:58 AM
I own both a Mini and a Fiat.. and comparing the new Abarth with the JCW is ludicrous And I;m not talking price!.. When the Mini first hit here.. the Cooper was first.. and shortly followed by the S.. and much later followed by the ragtop. Here the Fiat came then the ragtop (almost immediately) and a year later the Abarth (which no matter how you cut it is the "S" version of the 500)
Now I read somewhere of a super version of the Abarth... what was it viper? stinger? some other name with much higher HP than the regular Abarth.. THAT would be a fair comparison to the JCW.. sorry but I have to take tsouris at Mini club meetings.

Also, VTEC MINI, I also agree that when the MINI went from 1st Gen to 2nd Gen it lost something.. ok.. the motor gets better gas mileage than the pentagon motor but the inside is like a bad cartoon (imho) ergonomics are wayyyyyy off (then they always have been in a MINI or Mini)

Oh and thanks for the clarification.. the Abarth VENOM would be the JCW equivalent (guess I fergot Spiderman)


Magazine car reviewers opinions are just that, opinions. They always contradict themselves, usually within the same review. Their comparison between these two cars is asinine. Since BMW is the parent company and we all know how the car magazines worship BMW, I'm sure the slanted comparison was intentional. Doesn't matter, it's well documented how unreliable the 2nd gen Mini's are since it's all over their forums, recalls after recalls, year after year. We're not talking minor cosmetic stuff either. That's why i ran from Mini. Mini's customer service and product reliability is awful, pitiful and painful.

I am getting the Abarth because it is priced right and gives me the feeling Mini used to give me, before the came out with the second gen model which lost its visceral raw feeling. I regret selling my 2006 mini but would never purchase a second gen mini because they lost the lightning in the bottle effect.

And this is just MY opinion.Interesting how just about all MINI owners say the same thing.

Abarth500
05-09-2012, 08:49 PM
I owned two Minis (pre-French turbo). My first was a special edition MC-40. It was a very cool ride and I tuned it to 200+ hp. A year later I bought the first, and only factory Installed JCW car (supercharged). My tuned car was overall less money and more fun to drive. After they changed to the French engine, I dropped the brand like a phycho girlfriend. IMO mini dropped the ball. I hear the new two seat Coupe and Speedster were created to get back the male market. Funny, I don't see many guys in Minis often. The abarth is super cool and I am enjoying it more than my Ferrari and anything else I have owned, except my Lotus Elise SC. Other than being a bear to climb in and out of, the Lotus is the most amazing ride out there.

pchop
05-09-2012, 08:59 PM
enjoying it more than my Ferrari and anything else I have owned, except my Lotus Elise SC. Other than being a bear to climb in and out of, the Lotus is the most amazing ride out there.

Amen to that. Both of my prancing horses are sitting in the garage and I've been driving the Abarth every where. And yes, Elise is amazing...I regret selling mine everyday.

catman2130093
03-21-2014, 12:13 AM
I disagree-numbers say Mini or Miata. Neither one of those makes me feel the way the Abarth does,money,skidpad or other numbers. The Abarth has something the techno twins don't. Heart and soul.