New Mini 5dr vs Audi A1 Sportback vs Ford Fiesta

The Mini hatch has had a revamp to keep the likes of the Audi A1 and Ford Fiesta Vignale on their toes. Which is the best premium small car?...

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What Car? team
14 July 2017

Our verdict

If we’d said at the start that a Fiesta would run a Mini fag-paper close in a premium small car comparison, you’d question what was in the What Car? coffee, right? As it happens, the Mini does squeak the win, because it’s more practical overall, classier inside and quieter on the move, plus it has a better infotainment system. So, while it’s more expensive, it’s worth it.

But the Fiesta still seems remarkably good value when you consider all the kit you get, including the standard safety aids, and if you’re a keen driver you’ll find it more rewarding than the Mini. With a more distinguished interior or better infotainment system, first place might have been on the cards.

It would take a whole new car for the A1 to pull itself up from last place. It impresses as far as performance, driver enjoyment and quality go, but it’s well off the pace in other areas. Good job for Audi that an all-new A1 will arrive later this year, then.

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1st – Mini 5dr

New Mini 5dr vs Audi A1 Sportback vs Ford Fiesta

For Calmest ride; quietest on the move; smart interior; roomiest in the front; flexible boot; best infotainment

Against Priciest to buy and run; key safety equipment optional; so-so handling

Recommended options Driving Assistant Pack (£800)

Rated 4 out of 5

Read our full Mini 5dr review

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2nd – Ford Fiesta

New Mini 5dr vs Audi A1 Sportback vs Ford Fiesta

For Sweet handling; most well equipped; biggest boot; lots of safety kit; brilliant driving position; affordable to buy and run

Against Iffy interior quality; standard panoramic roof cuts head room; tight for rear leg room

Recommended options LED headlights (£600)

Rated 4 out of 5

Read our full Ford Fiesta review

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3rd – Audi A1 Sportback

New Mini 5dr vs Audi A1 Sportback vs Ford Fiesta

For Sharpest to drive; sparkling performance; superbly finished interior

Against Firmest ride; noisiest at speed; mediocre infotainment; poorly equipped; tight for rear leg room; small boot

Recommended options Metallic paint (£390)

Rated 3 out of 5

Read our full Audi A1 Sportback review

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Specifications: Audi A1 Sportback 1.4 TFSI 125 S line Nav

Engine size 4cyl, 1395cc, turbo, petrol

List price £20,895

Target Price £19,993

Power 123bhp @ 5000rpm

Torque 148Ib ft @ 1400-4000rpm

Gearbox 6-spd manual

0-60mph 8.3sec

Top speed 127mph

Gov't fuel economy 55.4mpg

CO2 emissions 119g/km


Specifications: Ford Fiesta 1.0T Ecoboost 140 Vignale 5dr

Engine size 3cyl, 999cc, turbo, petrol

List price £21,295

Target Price £19,767

Power 138bhp @ 6000rpm

Torque 133Ib ft @ 1500-5000rpm

Gearbox 6-spd manual

0-60mph 9.0sec

Top speed 125mph

Gov't fuel economy 58.8mpg

CO2 emissions 110g/km


Specifications: Mini 5dr Cooper Chili/Nav Plus

Engine size 3cyl, 1499cc, turbo, petrol

List price £22,845

Target Price £21,519

Power 138bhp @ 6000rpm

Torque 133Ib ft @ 1500-5000rpm

Gearbox 6-spd manual

0-60mph 8.5sec

Top speed 129mph

Gov't fuel economy 54.3mpg

CO2 emissions 119g/km

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