Winding Road, one of our favorite automotive publications, has put up a great comparison that included the MINI.

>Staying sort of true to the squared-off, tin can feel of the original 1360-pound 1960s Mini Cooper S, our nouveau Cooper S hit the nearby scales at just 2601 pounds, or 574 pounds less than the C30 T5 at 3175 pounds. Having the least horsepower here at 172, therefore, didn’t make too much of a difference in overall performance through the curvy hills. The new, all-aluminum direct-injection 1.6-liter engine created with PSA Peugeot-Citroën provides greater bite overall than the old Brazilian Chrysler unit, the 11.6-psi turbocharger (with 13.8-psi overboost available from 1600 to 4500 rpm) adding very nicely to the duration of your powerband. If you can live with the new engine’s pronounced direct-injection tick-tick sound at idle, there’s nothing mechanical to grouse about.

They go on the rate the cars on everything from handling to flat-out straight line performance, interior and ride quality. This is a great read because it really is a comparison for comparison’s sake, not a shoot-out.

[ Volvo C30 vs. MINI Cooper S vs. Volkswagen GTI]