Feature

Mini One vs Audi A1

Looking for a stylish and classy small car that won't break the bank? Then these entry-level versions of the Mini and Audi A1 should fit the bill, but which is best?

Words ByWhat Car? team

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Audi A1 rear

What will they cost?

The Mini is the cheaper car to start with by Β£850 after discounts. However, the Audi A1 hits back with its slower depreciation and lower insurance premiums. All things considered, these two hatches will cost you virtually the same amount to own over three years.

If you’re a company car driver you will be financially better off with the Mini, though. Its lower CO2 emissions place it two tax bands below the A1, which means 40% taxpayers will have to sacrifice less of their salary each year in Benefit in Kind tax.

Both of these hatchbacks come with air-conditioning, electric front windows, remote central locking and a DAB radio. The one notable omission from the Mini’s equipment list is alloy wheels – something nearly every buyer will want to add at a cost of Β£300. The A1 gets alloys as standard, but you have to pay extra for keyless start (Β£390), which the Mini gets as standard.

Even more crucially, the Mini’s standard infotainment kit includes Bluetooth and a USB socket. Both are available on the A1 but you have to spend Β£760 to get them, because while Bluetooth itself costs a reasonable Β£250, you’re forced to add a multi-function steering wheel (Β£320) and the optional Driver’s Information System (Β£190).

If you’re hoping to personalise your Mini One you might be a little disappointed to find you can’t add racing stripes or a contrasting roof colour – you’ll have to step up to the Cooper for that. Equally, it’s a pity that SE trim A1s aren’t available with the contrasting roof lines that feature on the car in our pictures.

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