2011 MINI
Cooper
vs. 2011 Volkswagen
Golf TDI

2011 MINI Cooper

9.6

starting from

$20,100
"Endearing retro styling, highly customizable."
edmunds.com | talking about the Cooper's external styling
"Excellent all-around performance."
edmunds.com | talking about the Cooper's transmission

Reasons to buy the MINI Cooper

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Power mirrors
Standard
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Longer basic warranty
50,000 mile
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Longer-lasting basic warranty
4 year
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Leather
Optional
2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI

9.5

starting from

$24,295

Reasons to buy the Volkswagen Golf TDI

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Turbocharged engine improves performance
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Average-sized back seats
41.8 ft3
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Fantastic range on the highway
609 miles
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Power outlets
Standard
Luxury Features 10.0 vs 8.2
2011 MINI Cooper Winner: Cooper
[details]
  • Almost the same
Safety Features 8.5 vs 10.0
2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI Winner: Golf TDI
[details]
  • Almost the same
  • The Golf TDI has 1 more airbag (including Rear Curtain), 5 vs 4
Practicality 8.8 vs 10.0
2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI Winner: Golf TDI
[details]
  • Almost the same
  • A single tank lasts more than 20% longer, 609 miles vs 488 miles
  • Passengers in front seats enjoy around 10% more room, 51.3 ft3 vs 46.8 ft3
Cost 10.0 vs 9.3
2011 MINI Cooper Winner: Cooper
[details]
  • Basic warranty lasts 14,000 more miles, 50,000 mile vs 36,000 mile
  • Basic warranty lasts 1 more year, 4 year vs 3 year
  • The best price we've seen is $4,195 cheaper (around 20% less), $20,100 vs $24,295
Road Tests 10.0 vs 9.4
2011 MINI Cooper Winner: Cooper
[details]
  • The Cooper needs around 10% less space to stop from 60mph, 125 ft vs 132 ft
  • Almost the same, 0.86 g vs 0.84 g
  • Almost the same, 9.1 seconds vs 9.4 seconds
Performance 10.0 vs 9.8
2011 MINI Cooper Winner: Cooper
[details]
  • Almost the same, 35.1 ft vs 35.8 ft
Entertainment System 9.8 vs 10.0
2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI Winner: Golf TDI
[details]
  • Have your pick of music from around the world with the Golf TDI's satellite radio; in the Cooper , too, but it'll cost
  • The Golf TDI has 2 more speakers, providing a better entertainment experience, 8 vs 6
Crash Test Ratings - vs -
Missing information
[details]
Overall 9.6 vs 9.5

Luxury Features

MINI
Cooper
2011 MINI Cooper
2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI Volkswagen
Golf TDI
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moon roof Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers a sun roof
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power seats Not Available vs Not Available Neither has a power seat option
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keyless entry Standard vs Standard Both have keyless entry
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leather Optional vs Not Available Have your choice of leather or cloth seats on the Cooper

Safety Features

MINI
Cooper
2011 MINI Cooper
2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI Volkswagen
Golf TDI
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antilock brakes Standard vs Standard Both come standard with ABS brakes
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Stability control system Yes vs Yes Both have electronic stability control
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Airbags 4 vs 5 The Golf TDI has an OK number of airbags while the Cooper has very few (missing Rear Curtain)
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Rear brakes Disc vs Disc Both have the usual brakes for this class of vehicle
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child door locks Not Available vs Standard Keep kids safe in the rear seat with standard child door locks on the Golf TDI; optional upgrade on the Cooper
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Roadside assistance system None vs None

Practicality

MINI
Cooper
2011 MINI Cooper
2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI Volkswagen
Golf TDI
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Passengers 4 vs 5 The Golf TDI has the usual number of seats, while the Cooper has very few
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Highway driving range 488 miles vs 609 miles The Golf TDI gets fantastic distance on a single tank, and the Cooper gets OK distance
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Cargo space 5.7 ft3 vs 15.0 ft3 The Golf TDI has OK cargo room, while the Cooper has very little
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front seats 46.8 ft3 vs 51.3 ft3 Very cramped front seats
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folding rear seats Standard vs Standard Both have a rear seat that folds down for extra storage space
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power outlets Not Available vs Standard The Golf TDI's standard power outlets will keep your gadgets charged; not available on the Cooper
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roof rails Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers roof rails
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navigation system Optional vs Optional Both offer an upgrade to a navigation system
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Cupholders 3 vs 4 OK number of cupholders
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front air conditioning Standard vs Standard A/C for hot summer days comes standard

Cost

MINI
Cooper
2011 MINI Cooper
2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI Volkswagen
Golf TDI
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MSRP $20,100 vs $24,295 The Cooper has a great price and the Golf TDI is pretty reasonable
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In-city gas mileage 29 mpg vs 30 mpg Both very efficient in the city
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basic warranty miles 50,000 mile vs 36,000 mile The Cooper 's %s warranty covers lots of miles, but the Golf TDI's doesn't cover many
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basic warranty years 4 year vs 3 year The Cooper 's basic warranty is long lasting, but the Golf TDI's is very short

Road Tests

MINI
Cooper
2011 MINI Cooper
2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI Volkswagen
Golf TDI
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0-60 mph 9.1 seconds vs 9.4 seconds Both have sluggish 0-60 times
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Braking distance at 60mph 125 ft vs 132 ft Both have average braking ability for this class of vehicle
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1/4 mile 17.0 s s @ 83.0 mph mph vs 17.1 s s @ 81.0 mph mph Both have pokey 1/4 mile times
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Lateral acceleration 0.86 g vs 0.84 g Both have unremarkable cornering abilities
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Top speed 124 mph vs 125 mph Both have a very low top speed

Performance

MINI
Cooper
2011 MINI Cooper
2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI Volkswagen
Golf TDI
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Horsepower 121 HP @ 6,000 RPM vs 140 HP @ 4,000 RPM Underpowered
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Number of gears 6 vs 6 Average number of gears
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Transmission Manual transmission vs Manual transmission Both offer a manual transmission, unlike most in this class
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paddle shifters Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers paddle shifters
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Air compressor None vs Turbocharger The Golf TDI's Turbocharger lets it maximize power output, quite rare for this class of vehicle
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Power-to-weight ratio 20.9 lb/hp vs 21.4 lb/hp Both {better} and {worse} are sluggish relative to their competitors
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Drivetrain type front-wheel drive vs front-wheel drive Neither has a good drivetrain for off-road or bad weather driving
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Curb-to-curb turning radius 35.1 ft vs 35.8 ft Both cars corner comparably to other vehicles in their class

Entertainment System

MINI
Cooper
2011 MINI Cooper
2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI Volkswagen
Golf TDI
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Number of speakers 6 vs 8 The Golf TDI has an OK number of speakers, while the Cooper has very few
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Has speed sensitive volume Yes vs No The Cooper 's stereo cranks the volume to compensate for road noise, but the Golf TDI does not
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CD player Standard vs Standard CD player comes standard
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premium radio Optional vs Standard Have your pick of music from around the world with the Golf TDI's satellite radio; in the Cooper , too, but it'll cost
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Has auxiliary audio input Yes vs Yes Both have an audio-in jack so you can plug in your own MP3 player to the stereo
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Has subwoofer No vs No Neither has a subwoofer; audio won't have that deep thumping bass sound
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entertainment system Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers an entertainment system

Crash Test Ratings

MINI
Cooper
2011 MINI Cooper
2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI Volkswagen
Golf TDI
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Rollover resistance 5 stars vs Unknown
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Front driver crash test Unknown vs Unknown
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Driver side crash test Unknown vs Unknown

Other Vehicles to Consider

2011 MINI Cooper 2012 Fiat 500 Pop Cooper vs 500 Pop
2011 MINI Cooper 2011 Smart fortwo Passion Cooper vs fortwo Passion
2011 MINI Cooper 2011 Honda Fit Cooper vs Fit
2011 MINI Cooper 2012 Honda Civic Si Cooper vs Civic Si
2011 MINI Cooper 2012 BMW 135i Cooper vs 135i
2011 Volkswagen Golf 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Golf vs Jetta TDI
2011 Volkswagen Golf 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan SE 4Motion Golf vs Tiguan SE 4Motion
2011 Volkswagen Golf 2011 Toyota Prius Four Golf vs Prius Four
2011 Volkswagen Golf 2012 Ford Fiesta SE Golf vs Fiesta SE
2011 Volkswagen Golf 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium Golf vs Passat TDI SEL Premium

Comments Which car would you recommend, and why?

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