Which pocket rocket is more fun – Fiat 500 Abarth or the Mini Cooper S?
Motion town we have always been big fans of hot hatches, but in these Buhari times, it seems nobody has extra money to spend on the pocket rocket anymore. It seems our roads have been taken over by humble looking Hyundai i10s and Kia Picantos.
Recently, we got our itchy hands on two cute pocket rockets that pack more fun than a day at the beach; the Mini Cooper S and Fiat Abarth 500…Of course, the natural argument is which is more fun?
The Fiat 500 Abarth.
This is a proper definition of the phrase “ tiny but mighty “ with its small body dimensions this a car with heritage (thinks of the 60s Fiat 500) and looks that make it stand out among its rivals, a real head turner, though the Abarth will be turning most heads with its snarly exhaust note.
The biggest perk of this car is its pocket rocket quality, with its turbocharged 1.4L 4 banger engine, this little car will move you around town like a stabbed rat……when the turbos kick in, a little bit of turbo lag thanks to its tiny engine. On the highway doing more than normal speeds, it feels like a go-kart without the reassuring feeling of it being planted as you dart through traffic.
In terms of practicality and ride comfort, it fails woefully with backseats better suited for kids and on bumpy roads you’re better off coming down to push it……that is if you bum has lost all its shock absorbing abilities, if not then it’s not that harsh.
The Mini Cooper S.
Britains favourite hot hatch hasn’t really changed that much since its introduction in the 60s, even with its acquisition by BMW in the early 2000s which revived the brand and brought back that signature peppy handling style Mr Bean loved.
The Mini we got our hands on though was a far cry from the original Mini, with way bigger proportions, a stronger engine and backseats befitting of a full-size adult. Asides the go fast stripes on the bonnet, the car has a kind of understated vibe about it……built for the conservative driving enthusiast.
A wonderful torquey 2.0L turbocharged 4 cylinder engine upfront means power on tap as you pull out of that corner. Unlike the Fiat, it feels really planted on the road making it reminiscent of those high powered 300cc go-karts.
Ride comfort is also quite good, you can take it on interstate trips which makes it more than just a city car…….not a grand tourer though, but it does the job well.
If you’re a creative minded, average car lover looking for something funky with a snap, crackle, pop exhaust note then look no further than the Fiat 500 Abarth. It is unique, turns heads, puts in quite a performance on the road.
The Mini, on the other hand, is for over-the-top, petrol-loving, closet BMW-freak Gear Head. Over the years, It has evolved without losing the essence that makes it fun. It might be somewhat bigger but still packs the go-kart handling and acceleration that brings you alive on a Sunday run.
Great cars for different sets of people. What’s your pick?
Also, read about other mainstream pétit cars on the Motiontowners guide to cars.
Written by Tunde Oyeyode