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One is a hotshot upstart eager to make an impression. The other is a warhorse with a pedigree. When the two meet, you can expect the conflicting personalities to clash and then gel for our viewing delight -- the old "opposites attract" precept never fails, right? It worked for Messrs. Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt. Based on those two archetypes, you can guess where this comparison is going. Let's ID our vehicular contestants. Suspect 1: baby-faced Hyundai Veloster Turbo in arrest-me Boston Red. Suspect 2: a seasoned Reef Blue Mini Cooper S Clubman with stripes over a fair portion of its body. But unlike in the movies, there'll be no buddying up today.

Need back stories? The Veloster Turbo is straight out of its South Korean academy, the upgrade for a still-fresh, bizarrely styled three-door hatchback sold by a brand better regarded for its economy cars. True to its value-oriented family roots, the bottom line is in its favor, with a $22,725 base price bringing 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque (46 and 47 percent more, respectively, than the standard Veloster), plus a body kit. For an as-tested $25,320, tech goodies like navigation and backup sensors compete with the lovely panoramic sunroof for attention. In contrast, Mini should petition to be renamed David, given its documented prowess in turning out giant-slaying fun-mobiles. I like to think all modern Minis have a "Keepin' It Real Since 1959" engraving hidden somewhere. But value? Only if you lean on phrases like "the long list of options and packages is totally worth it."

Read more: 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo vs. 2012 Mini Cooper S Clubman Comparison - Motor Trend
 

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Well that sure as heck was not a glowing endorsement for the VT...
It reads like a lot of other comparison reviews I've read. Still getting a VT (maybe monday). I have 2005 Cooper S that is a lot of fun to drive (wife's car). I don't think of the VT as a hot hatch wanna be. I think of it as a daily driver that is pretty cool, with a bit of get up a go, as well as good MPG. No review has mentioned how good the stereo sounds, which is a factor to me. The reviews get me down a bit, then I realize that I've driven all the cars they say they prefer, and I didn't want them.
 

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I haven't put any weight in a single review until I wrote my own..

This car is hands down the best looking, best all around car while maintaining great mpg without the need for premium fuel available today. Not only is it the best looking with its bold design but it has so many cool STANDARD techy features. 7" LCD, bluelink, awesome stereo system... Stock leather with heated seats and a bunch of driver adjustments... LED accents.. stock 'body kit'.. the optional pano-roof is AWESOME... great shifter.. and it is pretty quick to boot for the price.

I don't regret my decision over its 'competitors' (if you can even call them that) one bit.

I have never received so many compliments on a car in my life. People go out of their way to give a thumbs up out of the window, walk up in the parking lot and say how cool the car is, etc. Wouldn't ever get that in a boring looking Mini, GTi, etc.

I don't think this car belongs in the 'hot hatch' group, even though its power and marketing may suggest otherwise but I think in the real world it could hang with the hot hatches with minor owner modifications (while still costing less than a 'real' hot hatch)

All in all, if you are looking for a pretty quick car that has the potential to get great gas mileage and those are your two most important criteria, you should look no further than this car.

The Mini, GTI, FR-S, BR-Z and even the Focus ST all get less mpg AND require premium fuel which means they are not only less fuel efficient but they will cost more per gallon to fill up.

Also, I know it was mentioned in the article about the price but I wanted to mention that here also..

If I were to spec out a clubman S in M/T and orange as closely as I could to our VTurbo it would be an MSRP of: $32,272. That also has 17" vs. VT standard 18" wheels. That is almost 6800$ more than I paid for our Ultimate Vitamin C M/T. Combine that with the price difference over 5 years in gas + premium and you are at a WHOPPING 7500$ difference.

7500$ is a major difference in my opinion.
 

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OK i had a 03 MINI S and i think they'er over hyped, plus the maintenance schedule and $$$$$ is enough to make you pull your hair out. there are so many specialty tool you have to buy so you can do your own maintenance, and they were pretty difficult to perform. i drove my MINI for two years (90k miles) and got ride of it when it started to fall apart. repairs (not maintenance) were costing me around $3k a year; my moms sonata has 30k miles and 0 breakdowns; the mini couldn't go 15k with out leaving me stranded... with all that said, the performance was just ok, a little bit slower than my 86 ZC CR-X, as well as through the corners.

Update my roommate has a MINI and his Transmission is taking a crap, lets just say $$$$... So is my X-runners trans. but it has 300K hard miles on it....F**K the MINI (wanna be BMW)
 

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There are 'better' cars in the VT's category right now, its a fact. Sure we can squeal about MPG's and the amount of technology in the VT, but in the end of the day, for a driver, most may want a big smile on their face during the driving experience with the windows down, sound system off, the engine purring, and taking turns with confidence. Styling is subjective too, it is eye-catching, but not in the OMG a Ferrari sort, its the WTF is that, why is it so weird looking? For better or for worse.


The VT just doesn't do this well enough in comparison, as much as one would want to say. Rarely on the top of a list of a good drivers car is MPG, technology and price. They may exist on the list, but priority is never at the top.


However, the VT is a first year model, the whole platform is two years old, so there is plenty of improvements, tinkering and in the future, the VT may become a contender in the fairly small category of hot hatches, but its made a big splash so far, though not necessarily in the correct categories, but in the categories Hyundai specializes in.
 

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For some reason, I can't edit my post (dunno), so I wanted to add:


The VT may never win hot hatch comparison tests, but it'll gather votes as a safe pick. People don't buy cars to save money, cars are money drains, some people may prefer to use cost of running, insurance, fuel mileage, etc. as important while others just want to have a smile on their face, regardless of running costs.
 

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I had a 07 Mini Cooper and I much prefer my VT. The Mini was a great handling car, but thats it. Premium fuel, premium maintenance costs, premium price (it was almost the same price as my 13 Genesis) and it was far from the most well built or reliable car Ive ever owned.

The VT might not be the best at anything, but its a damn good all around car for the money and Im very happy with mine.
 
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