Having driven all three cars extensively apart from the new 500 which I only drove for a few short miles.
I also have owned/driven all of the original cars extensively.
First time I drove the new Beetle was in left hand drive as quite a number were imported to the UK ahead of their official launch by those that could not wait, my first impressions was the car lacked power and it felt a bit strange not having the original vehicles characteristics, noise, braking etc.
We have owned 2 of the new Beetles in the family not the most practical of cars but they did grow on you the more you drove them, Not sure I would prefer the older model over the present car say over 20,000 + annual miles .
The new Mini is fun with a capital F, also having two in the family, I like the performance and road holding and the whole driving experience of the Mini, Another car that is an impractical car for so many to own, rear seat needs to be folded for most shopping trips., bits of the interior are rather fragile.
The new Fiat 500 is a great little car, The amount of extras interior/body options is just mind boggling.
I owned one of the original 500s and enjoyed the car , not sure I would want to revisit the car as a daily use vehicle, maybe as an occasional use car.
I made a very quick profit on the new 500 without ever taking delivery of the car.
Manufacturers are more and more looking to niche vehicles, the residuals of the current mini still remain one of the best in the industry, I'm not sure residuals of the current estate model will be the same due to a basic safety flaw for right hand drive vehicles raer passengers having to exit on the right .
The retro look over the last number of years is a vogue that seems to have crept into all aspects of design from home furnishings/electricals to the motor industry not sure why ?
If someone wants to drive a car from days gone by with all the characteristics of the period, poor road holding, performance, braking, reliability etc I suggest they try Proton or some of the other makes from Indonesia/Korea ET all.
I would never really criticise anyone for their choice of car, each to their own, We all see different things in different cars, we all drive particular makes/models for a number of reasons whether it is for practicalities/economy/affordability.
Happy motoring folks in what ever your choice of car is enjoy