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The Cooper SE has a standard PostCrash iBrake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Clarity Fuel Cell doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.
The Cooper SE’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 Clarity Fuel Cell doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Cooper SE and the Clarity Fuel Cell have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.
The Cooper SE comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Clarity Fuel Cell’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
The Cooper SE’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Clarity Fuel Cell’s (12 vs. 5 years).
MINI pays for scheduled maintenance on the Cooper SE for 3 years and 36,000 miles. MINI will pay for tire rotations, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Honda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Clarity Fuel Cell.
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 Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 27 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that MINI vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks MINI 2 places higher in reliability than Honda.
The Cooper SE’s electric motor produces 7 more horsepower (181 vs. 174) than the Clarity Fuel Cell’s electric motor.
On the EPA test cycle the Cooper SE gets better fuel mileage than the Clarity Fuel Cell (115 city/100 hwy vs. 67 city/66 hwy MPGe).
Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the Cooper SE can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Clarity Fuel Cell doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
The Cooper SE 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 Clarity Fuel Cell’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The Cooper SE has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Clarity Fuel Cell doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
For better maneuverability, the Cooper SE’s turning circle is 3.3 feet tighter than the Clarity Fuel Cell’s (35.1 feet vs. 38.4 feet).
The MINI Cooper SE may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1000 pounds less than the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell.
The Cooper SE is 3 feet, 5.3 inches shorter than the Clarity Fuel Cell, making the Cooper SE easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The Cooper SE is 5.9 inches narrower than the Clarity Fuel Cell, making the Cooper SE easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Cooper SE’s rear seats recline. The Clarity Fuel Cell’s rear seats don’t recline.
To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Cooper SE’s hatch uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the cargo area. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the Clarity Fuel Cell’s useful trunk space.
The Cooper SE’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Clarity Fuel Cell’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.
The Cooper SE uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Clarity Fuel Cell 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.
Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Cooper SE to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Clarity Fuel Cell doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Cooper SE has a standard rear wiper. The Clarity Fuel Cell doesn’t offer a rear wiper.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Cooper SE detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Clarity Fuel Cell doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Cooper SE offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Clarity Fuel Cell doesn’t offer cornering lights.
When the Cooper SE 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 Clarity Fuel Cell’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.
The Cooper SE’s optional rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Clarity Fuel Cell has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the MINI Cooper SE offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Clarity Fuel Cell doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
The Cooper SE’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Clarity Fuel Cell doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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