The Mini or the Golf? Help us decide!

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by AlBDamned, May 3, 2007.


The Mini or the Golf (read post before voting!)

  1. Older, cuter, much more fun Mini

    36 vote(s)
  2. Newer, but dull but safer bet Golf

    54 vote(s)
  1. AlBDamned macrumors 68030


    Mar 14, 2005
    Guys and girls,

    My girlfriend and I are on the hunt for a car. We've narrowed it down to the Mini or a VW Golf. The Golf would be reasonably new - 2006 model at least. The Mini would be 2003 (or 2004 model if we were lucky).

    The thing is, the Mini is:

    • Impractical: I'm 6'5" and can comfortably fit in the driver or passenger seat but cannot fit in the back and neither could anyone else sit behind me if I was in the corresponding front seat. Plus the boot is tiny and it's two-door.
    • Expensive: Good examples are at the very top of our budget or over.
    • Older: and therefore usually no warranty if we buy it private (cheaper) and potential for expensive repairs.

    But, it's such a great little car, my girlfriend has completely fallen for it and so have I really.

    Or The Golf:

    • Practical: Much bigger than the Mini, five-door. No cramped space issues.
    • Cheaper: Well within budget and with a good choice available
    • Newer: 2005/2006 model and in most cases still in manufacturers warranty.

    But next to the Mini the Golf is a bit boring. We've both had the older Mk4 model Golf before which were really nice, but of the new ones most examples are grey inside and in our price range we'd be going for a lower end model without any zany sporty bits like alloy wheels and painted in anything other than grey, black or silver.

    The Mini is the looker and the heart option, the Golf is the trusty, head option.

    What do you guys think?!
  2. swiftaw macrumors 603


    Jan 31, 2005
    Omaha, NE, USA
  3. furious macrumors 65816


    Aug 7, 2006
    Make the choice yourself. After all you have to live with it. And damn it is not that hard of a choice.

    Who is paying for it?

    And another thing what about a Ford or Holden equivalent? would be much cheaper.
  4. OnceUGoMac macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2004
    The new Mini is just as good as the older Mini. Both great muscle cars.
  5. AlBDamned thread starter macrumors 68030


    Mar 14, 2005
    We'll make the choice, it's just interesting to see what people think. Haven't you ever asked for an opinion before? ;)

    We're both paying for it and we don't really like the comparative Fords or Holdens. Well, I like the Focus Zetec but my girlfriend hates it. The Astra came up but we didn't like the inside (same with the Mazda 3). Plus, Holden's and Fords depreciate like lead balloons fall to the ground.
  6. mfacey macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2004
    The choice is pretty tough, they're two completely different cars. May I ask which versions of each car you're considering? Like a Mini Cooper, VW Golf 2.0? That could be a pretty vital part in your decision making process.
    I've never driven the new Mini so I can't say much about it. I can imagine that the standard 1.6 "One" version isn't all too exciting though. Same goes for the Golf (which I have driven). The 1.6 is horribly dull. The 2.0 is better. What about a used Audi A3 or BMW 1-Series (are they even available in Australia?)
  7. Queso Suspended

    Mar 4, 2006
    If you buy either you'll have to change your avatar :)

    I vote Golf. More boot space for scuba gear (and other stuff, but unless you're carrying things around, may as well stay on two wheels).
  8. CEAbiscuit macrumors 6502a


    Jun 28, 2006
    The Kitchen
    Get the newer golf. The mini will be just as boring in a month. The cool factor wears off pretty quick once you own a car like that... especially if the space is cramped for you.
  9. AlBDamned thread starter macrumors 68030


    Mar 14, 2005
    You're right, they are two quite different cars.

    We'd be looking at a Cooper or a Cooper S. They never exported the plain old Mini One down here for some reason.

    For the Golf, it's wide open really. There are examples of the 1.6 Trendline (basic) 1.6 Comfortline (better trim), 2.0 FSI, and 1.9 diesel all within our budget.

    We could definitely get more for the money with the Golf. As said, it's the sensible decision, but we both love the Mini (!). I'm just concerned about the age. We've seen a few that are 2003 with just 30k kms on. But that still makes it 4 years old and out of warranty. If it went wrong it would be pretty pricey I'm sure. That's my main worry with the Mini really - even if it is a BMW.

    The A3 is a bit out of budget (Audis seem to fetch a big premium here, even more than BMWs) and I can't physically stomach the site of the lines on the 1-series.
  10. mfacey macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2004
    Fair enough, the BMW 1 is quite an acquired taste :rolleyes: . The Audi A3 is essentially the same car as the Golf, but then with a slightly better finish, so I wouldn't bother especially if its considerably more expensive.

    So for my opinion. I think I'd personally go for the Mini, but only if its the Cooper S. Purely because I don't care much about boot space and I never have anybody in the back. Its supposed to be a great handling car, which excellent build quality (built by BMW). Parts and repairs will probably be expensive though.

    If I needed more space (like for SCUBA gear :D ) I wouldn't even consider the mini. I'd steer clear of the low power Golfs. They really are very boring indeed. The 1.9 TDI is very popular here in Europe, but the 2.0 FSI would be my engine of choice. Oh and don't go for the 3 door version. The doors are huge, and a pain in the @$$ if you're in a tight parking spot.

    In the end I'd go for a Ford Focus, but I'm biased, because I have one myself :D
  11. janey macrumors 603


    Dec 20, 2002
    sunny los angeles
    i love the mini.

    personally trying to figure out if buying an all black mini is feasible at the moment :p
  12. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    But you'll be on the inside driving it. ;) any 1 Series spanks the MINI behind the wheel.... they're edgy little things too. :D

    Sounds like you're besotted with the MINI though... so you'd better go with that. Even if they're hampered by one of the worst engines known to man. ;)
  13. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    iGav, I swear you're the only person who actually listened to BMW when they said it'd be called MINI. Haha! :D

    Anyway, Holden has a good service and support setup here if you can get over the Astra's interior. Otherwise I voted for the MINI since it looks fun and hasn't started looking dated here yet.
  14. AlBDamned thread starter macrumors 68030


    Mar 14, 2005
    To be honest neither of us have driven one properly yet. A couple of years ago I drove one for about a mile and a half (up to the roundabout and back again from the office) and did a couple of press trips when they first came out involving one because the "cool" thing for PR companies to do at the time was organize these events where all the journalists got picked up in a Mini and driven to whatever press event. We're taking one for a proper (read corners and roundabouts, industrial estates with long flats, bit of city driving etc etc) test drive on Saturday. :D

    Have already driven the 1.6 Golf and it was ok. Beautifully built, solid etc. But.... very grey inside. They're great cars, definitely.

    I actually like the 1-series apart from the side panels. But even so, sadly it's too expensive and my girlfriend doesn't like any panel of it. It's a new experience buying a car with a girl I have to say - colour is very important!

    Yup, also great cars but voted out of the equation. A new one here is AU$20k too, with a used Zetec well within our budget.

    Now that's some good advice on the doors! I almost bought a 1.9TDI Golf (Mk4) before but ended up going with the 1.8T instead. Seen a 1.9TDI here that's within budget too.

    Not been on two wheels for a few years sadly! I've always love Alpinestars kit though. Reminds me of happy days spent at Brands Hatch :)
  15. AlBDamned thread starter macrumors 68030


    Mar 14, 2005
    MINI - Mini, do they really capitalise it?

    The Holdens (or Vauxhalls as I know them ;) ) are ok. I really wanted a Monaro - but too expensive and they guzzle petrol, insurance would be crazy etc.

    They're also pretty similar prices to the Golf pound for pound and there's no doubt the Vee-dub is the better car.
  16. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    ;) :D


    A Mini is the original.

    A MINI is BMW's superficial recreation..
  17. AlBDamned thread starter macrumors 68030


    Mar 14, 2005

    I'll consider it a MINI from now on. Amusing that they actually differentiated like that. Strange that there was no Leyland before it wasn't enough... ;)
  18. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    They are. 'S a pet peeve of mine. I try to always type it as 'MINI.'

    I'm biased, I really am. Drive an '04 MCS. Er, I mean, I motor in an MCS. :p

    That said, the '02 and '03s had a ton of issues. If you can't afford at least an '04, skip it. Seriously

    And although they have the same general build, I could never be happy driving a Cooper, gotta be CooperS. Hell, I even have a 14% or 15% reduced pulley (gives a nearly 15 hp boost) and it's still sluggish. These are not light cars by any means. But damn are they fun to drive.

    And the feeling of looking out a window or walking towards your MINI in a parking lot? Makes my heart ache every time. :eek: *dreamy sigh*

    Note: Because I am so conflicted and damned indecisive, I haven't voted in your official poll yet. :p Plus, I'm waiting to see if there's any way you can for sure get a newer older MINI.
  19. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    I can't remember the reasons for BMW wanting to differentiate between them, I'm not sure if there was a particular legal reason or whether they just didn't want to further piss off fans of the original by taking it's name in vain. ;)

    Doesn't bother me how it's typed to be honest... I just use MINI out of habit, because as MJ pointed out, I remember BMW's PR. :D

    Personally I think the MINI would've benefitted from a BMW 3 cyclinder engine, okay I know BMW don't have a 3 cylinder, but they should've taken the straight six and lobbed 3 cylinders off it for the standard car, and added a supercharger for the Cooper S, which meant the engine would've been good for 150-170BHP in N/A configuration and 200+BHP in forced induction guise.

    But you both sound besotted to be honest, so I say buy a MINI... otherwise whenever you see a MINI whilst behind the wheel of a Golf, you'll just kick yourself for not buying the other one. ;)
  20. Hummer macrumors 65816


    Feb 3, 2006
    Queens, New York NY-5
    My friend has a MINI S I would say a MINI hands down. BTW, I'm 6'4" and I'm okay in the back seats, but then again my friend and his mom have no problem moving the seats up.
  21. twoodcc macrumors P6


    Feb 3, 2005
    Right side of wrong
    get what's going to make you happy, so i voted Mini
  22. Chrismcfall Suspended

    Aug 10, 2006
    The VW's the sensible choice, but the cheap ones arent as fun as a GTI or a R32.

    Maybe an Audi A2? Ask iGav, He's got one I think.
  23. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location

    A car is the one thing I don't want to have troubles with.

    VW Golfs aren't the funnest cars in the world, but it would be cheaper to repair than a MINI, and like you said, it has enough space. Why would you buy a car that doesn't have enough space for yourself?

    If you buy the MINI, you may be in love with it, but after you own it and need to use it to actually "do" things, you may grow to realize you made a bad choice.
  24. AlBDamned thread starter macrumors 68030


    Mar 14, 2005
    There's plenty of space for me in there, my only concern with space is that if I'm in the front, nobody can sit behind me as the seat is quite far back. From that perspective it's a bit impractical (next to the Golf). I can fit in it no problem. Would definitely not get a car I wasn't comfortable in, that would be crazy. :)

    You're right on the troubles though and I don't want a car that's prone to them. Thanks Devilot for the valuable knowledge! I'd love to go for an '04 model, but I think unless we were really lucky to find one, they're just beyond our reach and maybe, given the history of the earlier models, that's a deal-breaker.

    That's very true, too. Just in the last few days I've seen loads of MINIs and Golfs on the road, quite often in the same traffic queue, and there's no contest in the desirability stakes.
  25. pseudobrit macrumors 68040


    Jul 23, 2002
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    The overriding question, since you're trying to be smart about it, is which car would be paid off first.

    The best car is the one that's paid for.

    If you're looking to be crazy about something and just throw common sense out the window for passion, sell everything you own, mortgage your dog and buy a Lotus.

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