Is a Mini too Small?

Jan 24th, 2004, 09:53 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I usually go up one classification - like to a VW Polo even when going solo - but the minis will certainly do if you are not doing much long distance driving.

IF ONLY you could rent a capital "M" mini for that price!!!!
janis is offline  
Jan 24th, 2004, 10:02 AM
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OK, forget everything I said to this point.
But Bob Brown, now you have me concerned. We were planning on an Opel Agila or similar (Fiat Punta?). We're renting in Venice and driving immediately to Montepulciano. Not concerned with luggage as it can go in the back seat for that day. Then we're just driving around Tuscany for a week, mostly short day trips. Then we'll drive up to San Remo to turn in. I thought it would be fine for the two of us. You really think there won't be enough power and we'll hate it? We know it won't be ANYTHING like our usual Peugeot 306/307 turbo diesels, but for this limited driving, we thought it would be fine and we're being cheap.
Patrick is offline  
Jan 24th, 2004, 10:26 AM
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1.Take in the Peak District nearby to Manchester.
2.What IS the difference in price; it can't be much, can it? Better to be safe than sorry.
TuckH is offline  
Jan 24th, 2004, 10:30 AM
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Please can we stop following neurotic myths: the late Princess Diana was killed in a large Mercedes saloon. An upgrade one category will not make you any safer whatsoever!

m_kingdom is offline  
Jan 24th, 2004, 11:47 AM
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urban myths? Sure people can be killed in all sizes of cars, but are you seriously asking us to believe, m_kingdom, that there is no increased safety in cars as they get bigger? Surely you can't be serious.
Patrick is offline  
Jan 24th, 2004, 11:59 AM
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No, but it will give you slightly more luggage space.

Two of us drove around Europe in a Peugeot 206, which I believe is a "compact/economy" size. I could just barely fit my 21" vertically in the "boot". My friend could easily fit in her 19". Then we had a bit more space for other things, but not enough for another 19-21".

Another consideration is whether your luggage will be exposed or not. Do the Ford KA or Nissan Micra have covers to hide your luggage under?

That is, however, a great price. Does it include all fees, taxes, and other extras?

A mini is great for driving in Wales! There are no great big "freeways" in Wales, but there are great big buses and lorries - LOL! If I'm to be squashed between a great big bus and a rock wall/cliff, let my car be a mini please!
easytraveler is offline  
Jan 24th, 2004, 12:01 PM
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The Opel Agila is the entry level Opel. It is not sold in the USA to my knowledge.
The largest gasoline engine in it is a 1.2 liter, 4 cylinder model that is very efficient. The top speed on it is rated at 155 kmp, which converts to about 95 mph. (Höchstgeschwindigkeit von 155km/h.)
The size is little by my thinking.
It is 3535 mm long and 1620 mm wide.
That converts to just over 11 feet.

The Hyundai Accent is a good car to compare it too. It is the smallest sedan I could find listed for the American market. The Accent is 14 feet long, about 3 feet longer. A Dodge Neon is about 14 feet, 6 inches. The Mazda Miata is an inch or so under 13 feet, but it is shaped differently and is not designed for carrying objects.

The new Beetle is about 13 feet 6 inches long, so as small as it is, it is still a couple of feet longer than the Agila.
(We can debate if the Beetle is a sedan later.)

The Agila is about 64 inches wide, which is a little over 5 feet. The Accent is 66 inches wide.

I think if you want to get an idea of how small is small, try a Hyundai Accent on for size. Remember it is larger than the Agila by just a little.

What would bother me would be the speed of the car as well as its size. If neither bothers you, fine. But we are not accustomed to driving cars that small or with that limited acceleration.

Also, I don't see how anyone can make a tour of Europe with only 1 medium suitcase each. I need more than that for a 3 week trip. Perhaps I am a clothes horse, and I do take along hiking boots, day pack, rain suit, and other equipment for hiking.
Take that stuff out and I would have more room.

The Opel Astra is about the same size as the Hyundai Accent only about 5 feet 10 inches wide compared to 5,6.

See what you think you can live with.
bob_brown is offline  
Jan 24th, 2004, 12:15 PM
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Withdraw all comments. But from the responses you will see that a mini is a Mini. Hoover, after all make kettles, but EVERYONE knows that a hoover is a vacuum cleaner
sheila is offline  
Jan 24th, 2004, 12:23 PM
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Well I googled the Micra and the Ka and they looked SO CUTE! Even looked into the UK Ka club, they were big on the KA . Did not really specify about the trunk however. Asked my DH to look at them, and see if he would feel safe in them, and he said the Micra looked similar to the car we had in Ireland, He said he thinks it would be fine. Easytravler: This price was basic, not the "enhanced" package. We have AMEX, Visa MC platinums and I think one of them covers collision.
Judyrem is offline  
Jan 24th, 2004, 12:27 PM
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Judyrem, we've rented a variety of cars in Europe, from very small to very large. If you can afford to go one step up from the "mini"(as opposed to THE Mini), you will probably appreciate it. I have been in a few Kas and the ride is pretty rough for a long trip. A VW Polo would probaby be more comfortable. Of all the small cars we've driven recently, the most fun and zippiest was in fact the Citroen C3, which looks kind of neat, too (we call the C3 the "bubble"). We drove it all over the Netherlands and part of Germany a few months ago and it handled very well on both highway and back road driving and was more comfortable than we expected. Had enough room in the trunk/boot to hold your two medium suitcases, keeping them out of sight.
Of course, you could keep your original reservation for the smallest car and cross fingers that they're out the day you arrive (happens often enough) and you get a free upgrade to a larger size.
No experience with the Micra. I've seen a few around and they look ok.
BTilke is offline  
Jan 24th, 2004, 12:31 PM
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Meant to add, that there's no guarantee that you'd actually get the Ka or the Micra in that category--they always reserve the right to rent you something "similar", perhaps a Toyota Yaris.
BTilke is offline  
Jan 24th, 2004, 12:36 PM
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I really HATE Micras. Kas are pretty cool, but notwithstanding what I said above, I wouldn't hire one for a fortnight's holiday with my husband.

Both have closed boots, not hatchbacks. But I'm sure you'll have to have stuff on the back seat.
sheila is offline  
Jan 24th, 2004, 01:15 PM
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I always go for the Vauxhaul/Opel Corsa slash Ford Fiesta size. So far the price difference has been minimal. The pictures of the Fiat 500 make it look cute but scary.

Once in France it had a 1 liter two valve engine which peaked at 110 kmph.

Once in England it had a 1.4 litre four valve engine. That one was a true pocket rocket.
icithecat is offline  
Jan 29th, 2004, 05:23 AM
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Mr Kingdom is right in this instance, but it depends how you analyse the data.

There have been many programmes on UK TV about this as people are getting fed up with the number of SUVs taking up most of our road space over here.

Many motoring programmes have been showing how in many crash situations; being in a larger and heavier vehicle increases your chance of death or serious injury.
UKUKUK is offline  
Jan 29th, 2004, 05:30 AM
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"Many motoring programmes have been showing how in many crash situations; being in a larger and heavier vehicle increases your chance of death or serious injury".

The other day I passed a wreck which had just happened. A medium sized car was sitting out in an intersection crumbled into practically nothing. The paramedics were working at getting someone out of the car. I have no idea if the occupant was dead or alive. I saw a Range Rover sitting near by and a couple other cars but couldn't figure out who hit this car which must have pulled out from a stop sign into traffic. On my way back about 15 minutes later, I saw that Range Rover from the other side. There was a slightly banged up corner of the car which broke his headlight. Obviously that's the car that hit and crumbled the much smaller car.

It will take a lot to convince me that being in a big SUV is more dangerous than being in a small car. Somebody's kidding somebody!!
Patrick is offline  
Jan 29th, 2004, 06:17 AM
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"Many motoring programmes have been showing how in many crash situations; being in a larger and heavier vehicle increases your chance of death or serious injury".

I read that too. But the meaning behind it was the following. It was in regard with frontal collisions. The big SUV frames are to rigid and do not have a sufficient 'chassis' deformation. No aid from the frame in shock absorption. This means that a higher percentage of the impact force is transmitted upon the driver/passenger. The head moves to violently due to the impact force, causes brain damage and ...exit you go.
baldrick is offline  
Jan 29th, 2004, 06:39 AM
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I agree with baldrick. They tried the big and rigid approach a few decades aga and while the cars looked as if there was little damage, the drivers often ended with serious injuries or even dead.

If a car with modern safety standards has a serious accident it looks utterly destroyed, with the exception of an inner cell which should stay intact and into which no other parts of the car should intrude.

But larger cars have still the advantage to smaller cars that they can have a greater deformation zone, using up more kinetic energy than a car with a small deformation zone.
Hans is offline  
Jan 29th, 2004, 06:45 AM
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But still the larger cars also due to their larger size has a lot more mass, and this NEED a lot larger deformation zone to compensate. And I've always beleived that the SUVs use the classical rigid frame construction but that might be wrong.
Not to mention that if you have a heavy car your chances of leaving the road through the protective railing is larger.
So my main point is that a larger car does not necissarily mean a safer car.

Cobos is offline  
Jan 29th, 2004, 07:37 AM
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I'm with baldrick on this one. One year my brother-in-law slammed his ugly looking Saab right into a tree at 60mph and walked away with a couple of scratches. On the other hand, the daughter of a friend of ours made a left turn from a full stop, the SUV skidded off the road, and the girl suffered severe injuries. Big doesn't always mean safer.

Judyrem: Last year I got a manual shift mini for about $120 for one week in GB, basic rate. Maybe you could shop around a bit. I like the manual transmission, gives me a feeling of having more control of the car.

If you are going to rent for 17 days or more, I highly recommend LEASING. The insurance covers everything, but everything! Try Europebycar, I've sometimes gotten better rates from them than from AutoEurope.
easytraveler is offline  
Jan 29th, 2004, 07:39 AM
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Last summer we rented a Clio, which is a mini/subcompact (Renault's Twingo is smaller). It was fine for two, the trunk space is larger than I expected, and it definitely was not underpowered--it had decent acceleration and we cruised comfortably at 150kph on the autoroute.
Michael is online now  

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