New Audi A1 vs new Mini 5dr: costs

The original A1 may have been small, but it was also luxurious and great to drive. Has Audi repeated, or bettered, that trick with the latest model, or would you be better off with a Mini 5dr?...

Audi A1 driving

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security

Almost whichever way you slice it, the Mini is the pricier option. It’s more expensive to buy with cash, it will cost a company car driver in the 40% band more than £1,000 extra in benefit-in-kind tax over three years, and it demands more on a three-year PCP finance deal. It will also be thirstier, according to the official average economy figures, and pricier to service. 

You do get more kit for your cash in the Mini, though. As tested, it has extras such as 17in wheels, climate control and heated seats. The A1 comes with no such trinkets; in fact, it’s pretty sparse.

Mini 5dr driving

If you’re comparing safety kit, on the other hand, it’s the Mini that looks parsimonious. While the A1 gets automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assistance as standard, you have to spend on the Driving Assistant Pack to get these safety aids on the Mini. That also adds adaptive cruise control and traffic sign recognition, though; the former is an upgrade on the A1, while the latter isn’t available. 

The Mini isn’t rated very highly by Euro NCAP, either, managing just four stars out of five. The A1 hasn’t been tested yet, but we have it on good authority that it’s likely to emulate the Polo’s excellent score.

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