New Audi A1 vs new Mini 5dr

The original Audi A1 was small but luxurious and great to drive. Has it repeated, or bettered, that trick with this all-new model? The recently updated Mini 5dr is the best point of reference...

Author Avatar
What Car? team
10 December 2018

Audi A1 driving
Audi A1 driving

Our verdict

The revised Mini hatchback appears to have 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, so it feels pretty swish.

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. 

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here


1st Audi A1 Sportback - 4/5

Audi A1 rear

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

Read our full Audi A1 Sportback review here

Find a great Audi A1 Sportback deal


2nd Mini 5dr - 4/5

Mini 5dr rear

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

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

Read our full Mini 5dr review

Find a great Mini 5dr deal


Specifications: Audi A1 Sportback 30 TFSI Sport

Engine 3cyl, 999cc, turbo petrol

List price £20,010

Target price £19,723

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 £21,830

Target price £20,459

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

< Previous

Page 6 of 6