2020 MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door vs. 2019 Ford Fiesta ST

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/20

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door 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 Fiesta ST 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 ST doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

Both the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door and the Fiesta ST 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

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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 ST’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 ST’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 ST.

Reliability

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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 ST’s camshafts. If the Fiesta ST’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 38 points higher than the Fiesta ST.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door first among compact sporty cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Fiesta ST isn’t in the top three in its category.

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 Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 27 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

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.

Fuel Economy and Range

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Regenerative brakes improve the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Fiesta ST 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 ST doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door higher (7 out of 10) than the Ford Fiesta ST (3). This means the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Fiesta ST every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door offers an optional automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. The Fiesta ST doesn’t offer an automatic transmission.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door offers an optional 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 Fiesta ST doesn’t offer an SMG.

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 ST 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 ST 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 ST doesn’t offer a downshift rev synchronizer.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Cooper Hardtop 4 Door

Cooper Hardtop 4 Door S

Fiesta ST

Front Rotors

11 inches

11.6 inches

10.95 inches

Rear Rotors

10.2 inches

10.2 inches

9.96 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door offers optional 18-inch wheels. The Fiesta ST’s largest wheels are only 17-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 ST 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 ST doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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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 ST 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 ST’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 ST’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 ST (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 ST.

Chassis

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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 ST doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has .8 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more rear headroom, 1.1 inches more rear legroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Fiesta ST.

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

Cargo Capacity

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The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the Fiesta ST with its rear seat up (13.1 vs. 10.1 cubic feet). The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has a much larger trunk with its rear seat folded than the Fiesta ST with its rear seat folded (40.7 vs. 25.4 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

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The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Fiesta ST 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.

A Service Interval Indicator is standard on the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes and brake pad replacement, vehicle inspection based on actual driving conditions. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Ford doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the Fiesta ST.

Ergonomics

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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 ST doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 ST’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 ST can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Fiesta ST’s power mirror switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

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 ST 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 ST’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 ST 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 ST doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

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 ST 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 ST doesn’t offer cornering lights.

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 ST 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 charges extra for heated mirrors on the Fiesta ST.

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 ST’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 ST has 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 ST 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 ST doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

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

Model Availability

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

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/20

Consumer Reports® recommends the MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Ford Fiesta ST 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 ST isn’t in the top three.

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

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