2019 MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door vs. 2019 Ford Fiesta

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door offers optional City Safety, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Fiesta doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Fiesta doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has standard Park Distance Control to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, optionally, in front of the vehicle. The Fiesta doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

Both the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door and the Fiesta have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and rearview cameras.

Warranty

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Fiesta’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Fiesta’s (12 vs. 5 years).

MINI pays for scheduled maintenance on the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door for 3 years and 36,000 miles. MINI will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Ford doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Fiesta.

Reliability

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Fiesta’s camshafts. If the Fiesta’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s reliability 20 points higher than the Fiesta.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that MINI vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks MINI 9 places higher in reliability than Ford.

Engine

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s standard 1.5 turbo 3 cyl. produces 14 more horsepower (134 vs. 120) and 50 lbs.-ft. more torque (162 vs. 112) than the Fiesta’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door S’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 69 more horsepower (189 vs. 120) and 95 lbs.-ft. more torque (207 vs. 112) than the Fiesta’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door Manual turbo 3 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the Fiesta Manual (28 city/37 hwy vs. 27 city/35 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Fiesta doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door Auto’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Fiesta doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

A six-speed manual is standard on the MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door, with closer gear ratios for better performance and a lower final drive ratio for quieter highway operation, less engine wear and better fuel mileage. Only a five-speed manual is available for the Fiesta.

To help the driver achieve optimum performance and fuel economy, the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has a standard up-shift light to indicate when to shift based on power needs and conditions. The Fiesta doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door S Auto’s optional launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Fiesta doesn’t offer launch control.

The MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door manual has a downshift rev synchronizer that automatically raises engine speed to make downshifts perfectly smooth. This keeps the car from lurching during downshifts, preventing loss of control during cornering. The Fiesta doesn’t offer a downshift rev synchronizer.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Fiesta:

 

Cooper

Cooper S

Fiesta

Front Rotors

11 inches

11.6 inches

10.2 inches

Rear Rotors

10.2 inches

10.2 inches

7.9” drums

The MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Only rear drums come on the Fiesta. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Fiesta (205/45R17 vs. 195/50R16).

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Fiesta’s optional 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door offers optional 18-inch wheels. The Fiesta’s largest wheels are only 16-inches.

The MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Ford Fiesta only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Fiesta doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Ford Fiesta has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door flat and controlled during cornering. The Fiesta’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Fiesta’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s wheelbase is 3.1 inches longer than on the Fiesta (101.1 inches vs. 98 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door is 1.1 inches wider in the front and 1.8 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Fiesta.

Chassis

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door is 1 foot, 4.1 inches shorter than the Fiesta Sedan, making the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces. The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door is 2.3 inches shorter than the Fiesta Hatch.

The front grille of the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Fiesta doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has .8 inches more front headroom, .4 inches more rear headroom, 1.1 inches more rear legroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Fiesta Sedan.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s rear seats recline. The Fiesta’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has a larger trunk with its rear seat up than the Fiesta Sedan (13.1 vs. 12.8 cubic feet).

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s hatch uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the cargo area. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the Fiesta Sedan’s useful trunk space.

Servicing Ease

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Fiesta uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Fiesta doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s standard power windows allow the driver or passenger to lower and raise the windows without leaning over or being distracted. Power windows are only available on the Fiesta SE/ST-Line.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s front power windows open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Fiesta SE/ST-Line’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Fiesta can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Fiesta doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Fiesta’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Fiesta doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Fiesta has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the SE/ST-Line.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Fiesta doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Fiesta doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To better shield the driver’s vision, the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has a standard dual-element sun visor that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The Fiesta doesn’t offer a secondary sun visor.

To shield the driver’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side window, the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has a standard extendable sun visor. The Fiesta doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Ford offers heated mirrors for extra charge, but only on the Fiesta SE/ST-Line.

When the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Fiesta’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Fiesta offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s optional dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Fiesta doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door offers an optional Active Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Fiesta doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Fiesta doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The MINI Cooper comes in convertible, two-door hatchback and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Ford Fiesta isn’t available as a two-door or convertible.

Economic Advantages

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door will retain 44.48% to 46.21% of its original price after five years, while the Fiesta only retains 32.01% to 34.95%.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Ford Fiesta isn't recommended.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door first among compact sporty cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Fiesta isn’t in the top three in its category.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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