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Used test: Audi A1 Sportback vs Mini 5dr: costs

The Audi A1 and the Mini 5dr both offer a luxury feel in a small car package, but which one makes the most sense when bought used? We have the answer...

Audi A1 Sportback infotainment screen

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety

New, it’s the Mini hatchback that would have cost you more to buy, but here at three years old, it’s pretty even-stevens, with both setting you back around £17,000. Both cars, it seems, have pretty rock-solid residual values, although the Audi A1 nudges it a little in this area, and should cost you less in depreciation in the long run. Both cars will also have benefited here from the recent rise in the prices of used cars following on from the increased demand for them caused by the shortage in the supply of new cars.

The Mini is also slightly thirstier, according to the official average WLTP economy figures, at 47.9mpg against the A1’s 48.7mpg, and it's pricier to service, too. Both should cost the same to insure and to tax, though.

Mini 5dr infotainment

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

If you’re comparing safety kit, however, it’s the Mini that looks parsimonious. While the A1 gets automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assistance as standard, you’d have had to spend £800 on the Driving Assistant Pack to get these safety aids on the Mini when it was new, and it’s likely that not all will have been specified with this option.

Audi A1 Euro NCAP crash test

The Mini isn’t rated very highly by Euro NCAP, either, managing just four stars out of five, whereas the A1 managed top marks - five out of five. 

In our 2021 Reliability Survey, the Mini finished in a mid-table seventh position in the small car class, while the A1 came in 14th out of 25 cars. Audi as a brand also came in a slightly disappointing 18th place out of 30 manufacturers in the same survey, while Mini came in a more commendable sixth place. 


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