New Audi A1 vs new Mini 5dr: verdict

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 and Mini hatch

Our verdict

In its revised form, the Mini hatchback has actually slipped backwards a little. It’s noisier on the motorway than previously and, as before, doesn’t ride particularly smoothly, but you now can’t mitigate the latter issue as cost-effectively, because the price of adaptive dampers has nearly doubled. That said, it certainly provides flexible performance and top-notch interior quality.

The new Audi A1 racks up a couple of extra stars over all the categories. Its notable strength is how stress-free it is to drive, with a soft ride and hushed air on the motorway. It has fewer weaknesses than the Mini, too. However, it no longer feels like it’s a cut above, and with less to differentiate it from the cheaper and better-equipped Volkswagen Polo, it’s a fine car but not the distinctly premium option it once was. 

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1st – Audi A1 Sportback

Audi A1 front

For Smooth ride; tidy handling; quiet at speed; impressively strong resale values

Against Poorly equipped; doesn’t feel any more premium than the Volkswagen Polo

What Car? rating 4 out of 5 stars

Read our full Audi A1 review here

Find a great Audi A1 deal

2nd – Mini 5dr

Mini 5dr front

For Strong pace; smooth engine; first-class infotainment; high-quality interior

Against Choppy ride; so-so handling; imperfect driving position; poor safety kit

What Car? rating 4 out of 5 stars

Read our full Mini 5dr review

Find a great Mini 5dr deal

Specifications: Audi A1 30 TFSI Sport

  • Engine 3cyl, 999cc, turbo petrol
  • List price £20,045
  • Target Price £19,374
  • Power 114bhp @ 5000-5500rpm 
  • Torque 146lb ft @ 2000-35000rpm
  • Gearbox 6-spd manual
  • 0-60mph 9.1sec
  • Top speed 126mph
  • Gov't fuel economy 57.6mpg (WLTP combined)
  • CO2 emissions 111g/km

Specifications: Mini 5dr Cooper Sport Comfort Pack

  • Engine 3cyl, 1499cc, turbo, petrol
  • List price £21,835
  • Target Price £20,570
  • Power 134bhp @ 6500rpm
  • Torque 162lb ft @ 1480-4200rpm 
  • Gearbox 6-spd manual
  • 0-60mph 8.5sec
  • Top speed 129mph
  • Gov't fuel economy 47.1mpg (WLTP combined)
  • CO2 emissions 123g/km

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