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MINI Cooper S Takes on Audi A1 on First Comparison

Now that the new MINI Cooper was unveiled, the British company can take a good look at exactly what competitors it’s going up against, to make sure that the MINI enthusiast will still get the best bargain possible.
MINI Cooper S vs Audi A1 Sportback 21 photos
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One of the competitors is the Audi A1. Whether in Sportback version or the standard one, the A1 is one of the cats the MINI will have to break, in order to make it to the number one spot in the hot hatch segment. The guys from Auto Motor und Sport got them together for a quick comparison.

The new MINI had a problem ahead of it, before designers started working their crayons. How do you stay faithful to an 60-year old design and take the car into the future at the same time? It was a really hard task but I think they managed to comply.

The front fascia of the car is rather surprising, with a ‘frowny’ look that might seem odd at first. However, you’ll soon find out (from a MINI salesperson next to you, probably) that this was done to make sure pedestrians are protected in case of an impact, thus making you feel guilty that you ever misjudged the little hatch.

The new DRL LED embedded into the headlights are a completely different story though, and look a lot cooler than the what the previous model had to offer.

Inside, there’s been heavy evolution, as the center speed was moved behind the steering wheel and was replaced by the infotainment system. In the back, you’ll find more space than before, putting the A1 to shame, even with 2 extra doors. The Audi wins in luggage space though but not by much.

The range of optional features you can get on a MINI now is another of its strong points. The Inglostadt-based manufacturer is also quite potent in this regard but not quite as big as the British. You can now get parking sensors, electrically adjustable seats, camera-based cruise control with emergency braking, parking assistant or even a web-based entertainment system on the MINI, things you rarely see in its segment.

On top of all those, you can even get adaptive dampers that offer you 3 different driving modes, a first on a MINI. Another first is the 2-liter, 4-pot engine under the bonnet that makes 192 HP and takes over where the old 1.6-liter unit left off.

The highlight of the engine range will be, at least in Europe, the 1.5-liter 3-cylinder engine of the Cooper D model that is supposed to return a fuel consumption as low as 3.5 l/100 km (67 mpg) with its 116 HP. I’m a bit reluctant but we’ll just have to wait and see.

In the end, prices might make the difference and that’s another strong point for the MINI, as the Audi is more expensive compared to a similar model.

 
 
 
 
 

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