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Used test: Audi A1 vs Mini 5dr vs Peugeot 208 costs

You can save around £5000 on these classy hatchbacks by buying nearly new, but which should you spend your money on?...

Audi A1 side - white 19-plate car

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security

In the forms tested, all three of these cars come with luxuries such as climate control and rear parking sensors. And all three cost around £4,000 to £5,000 less than they did when new, meaning the 208 will set you back £16,000, the A1 £16,500 and the Mini £17,500.

It's the A1 that was most efficient in our test, though, averaging 46.5mpg. The 208 wasn't far behind, managing 44.7mpg, but the Mini delivered only 38.9mpg.

Mini 5dr side - black 69-plate car

As for road tax, all three will currently cost you £155 per year because they're petrol cars registered after April 2017. 

When it comes to safety, the Mini is the weakest performer. Euro NCAP didn’t rate it all that highly even when the model was introduced way back in 2014, and testing standards have become a lot more stringent since then. One shortcoming is the fact that not all examples will have automatic emergency braking (AEB) – it was an £800 optional extra from new.

Peugeot 208 side - blue 69-plate car

The 208 didn’t fare brilliantly in its safety appraisal, either, although it does come with AEB and lane-keeping assistance. The A1 gets a similarly sophisticated AEB system that can recognise pedestrians and cyclists as well as cars, but it makes do with lane-departure warning (which alerts you if you stray out of your lane, rather than actively steering you back into it). It scored higher marks than the 208 for keeping adult occupants safe in an accident, while the 208 was found to be fractionally better at protecting child occupants.

Only the Mini featured in the 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey, placing a respectable 11th out of 21 small cars. The 208 and A1 were too new at the time, but their manufacturers – Peugeot and Audi – ranked 25th and 22nd respectively out of 31 brands. Mini fared better, coming in fourth. 

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