2009 Mini Cooper S Convertible

It's funny that David Zenlea looks at the price of this car and instantly thinks the Ford Mustang convertible is a better deal. I look at the size of the car first and can't help but wish our Four Seasons Honda Fit were even half as much fun to drive as this Mini. So many Americans look at small cars and cheap gas and think there's no reason to drive anything that isn't powered by a V-8, but there is still a market for small cars that drive well even when fuel is cheap.

I was among those cursing the new EPA mandate for improved fuel economy last week because the announcement coincided with a night in the Honda Fit. In light of the new fuel economy standards, the Fit felt like a penalty box. Today, cruising to work in the Mini, with the top down, seeing approximately 34 mpg on the in-dash display, those standards seem much more palatable to me. Sure, the turbo four isn't hugely powerful, but the Mini certainly isn't slow and it's very obvious Mini has a skilled chassis development team. This is certainly a car for enthusiasts.

I know the Fit and Mini aren't direct competitors, but many people go for a vehicle based on size alone and it's nice to know small cars can be desirable and involving, too.

Phil Floraday, Senior Online Editor

New Car Research

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