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The Cooper Clubman has standard Automatic Emergency Braking, 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 500L doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.
The Cooper Clubman offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The 500L doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.
The Cooper Clubman 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 500L doesn’t offer a front parking aid.
The Cooper Clubman’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The 500L doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
The Cooper Clubman has standard Assist eCall, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The 500L doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the Cooper Clubman and the 500L 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, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.
The Cooper Clubman’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the 500L’s (12 vs. 5 years).
MINI pays for scheduled maintenance on the Cooper Clubman for 3 years and 36,000 miles. MINI will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Fiat doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the 500L.
A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Cooper Clubman’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the 500L’s camshaft. If the 500L’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 Clubman’s reliability 37 points higher than the 500L.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that MINI vehicles are more reliable than Fiat vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 130 more problems per 100 vehicles, Fiat is ranked 31st.
The Cooper Clubman S’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 29 more horsepower (189 vs. 160) and 22 lbs.-ft. more torque (206 vs. 184) than the 500L’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The JCW Clubman’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 141 more horsepower (301 vs. 160) and 147 lbs.-ft. more torque (331 vs. 184) than the 500L’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.
On the EPA test cycle the Cooper Clubman S FWD seven-speed Auto gets better fuel mileage than the 500L (26 city/34 hwy vs. 22 city/30 hwy).
Regenerative brakes improve the Cooper Clubman’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The 500L doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Cooper Clubman 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 500L doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
An eight-speed automatic is available on the MINI Cooper Clubman, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the 500L.
The Cooper Clubman offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The 500L doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.
The Cooper Clubman stops much shorter than the 500L:
60 to 0 MPH
For better traction, the Cooper Clubman has larger tires than the 500L (225/45R17 vs. 205/55R16).
The Cooper Clubman’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 500L Pop’s standard 55 series tires. The Cooper Clubman’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the 500L Trekking/Lounge’s 45 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Cooper Clubman has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the 500L Pop. The Cooper Clubman’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the 500L Trekking/Lounge.
The MINI Cooper Clubman’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Fiat 500L only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.
Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the Cooper Clubman can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The 500L doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
For superior ride and handling, the MINI Cooper Clubman 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 Fiat 500L has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.
The Cooper Clubman has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Cooper Clubman flat and controlled during cornering. The 500L’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.
The Cooper Clubman 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 500L’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Cooper Clubman’s wheelbase is 2.3 inches longer than on the 500L (105.1 inches vs. 102.8 inches).
The Cooper Clubman S handles at .87 G’s, while the 500L Lounge pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.
The Cooper Clubman S ALL4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2 seconds quicker than the 500L Lounge (26.5 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .58 average G’s).
The Cooper Clubman is 8.6 inches shorter in height than the 500L, making the Cooper Clubman much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).
The front grille of the Cooper Clubman uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The 500L doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Cooper Clubman’s available cargo door can be opened just by waving your foot, leaving your hands completely free. The 500L doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
When different drivers share the Cooper Clubman, the optional memory seats make it convenient. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position. The 500L doesn’t offer memory seats.
The Cooper Clubman 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 500L doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The Cooper Clubman’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The 500L has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.
If the windows are left open on the Cooper Clubman 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 500L can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The Comfort Access standard on the Cooper Clubman allows you to unlock the driver’s door and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Fiat 500L doesn’t offer an advanced key system.
The Cooper Clubman 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 500L doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.
The Cooper Clubman’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 500L’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.
Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Cooper Clubman to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The 500L doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Cooper Clubman offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The 500L doesn’t offer headlight washers.
The Cooper Clubman 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 500L doesn’t offer automatic headlights.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Cooper Clubman detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The 500L doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Cooper Clubman has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The 500L doesn’t offer cornering lights.
The Cooper Clubman 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 500L offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
Both the Cooper Clubman and the 500L offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Cooper Clubman has standard rear air-conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The 500L doesn’t offer rear air-conditioning vents, only heat vents.
To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Cooper Clubman 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 500L doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the MINI Cooper Clubman offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The 500L doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
The Cooper Clubman’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The 500L doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The Cooper Clubman will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Cooper Clubman will retain 41.56% to 50.8% of its original price after five years, while the 500L only retains 33.82% to 34.96%.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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