Small cars have always had a place in the automotive pantheon, but it was car racing that gave the world its first "hot" small cars. It was the Mini Cooper which gave Ford a run for its V8 money when the tiny, lightweight car was able to repeatedly beat the mighty Mustang. Fiat on the other hand, made its name with small, practical cars built for Italian cities, that they would sometimes modify to make bonkers machines that qualified more as performance art than as transportation.
The directions these two companies have taken could not be more different. Today, Fiat is a behemoth which owns many other car companies, and shares the technology and parts with many of those subsidiaries. Fiats are universally beloved in Italy, its homeland. Mini Coopers, while still beloved, have become a bloated, "late in life Elvis Presley" version of themselves. Now owned by another company, Mini is no longer the plucky, independent upstart, but a vassal to one of the mega-automakers. Still, both brands know their markets.
While Fiat makes many models, the Fiat 500 is the best known one in the US, with several trim levels and a reasonable price. Mini makes ... one car? Many cars? It's hard to tell since all of them look exactly the same. Still, the basic recipe remains the same, and with their superior electronics, they are a step up from the basic Italian cars. How much do you know about these cars? Take the quiz and find out!