Judging by the latest sales numbers, Audi is clearly shaping up to become BMW’s biggest competitor in the premium cars segment, especially in Europe. So it comes with no surprise that the two companies are competing head-to-head in many segments. The last addition to the Audi family, the entry-level A1 model, is targeting the same customer demographic as BMW’s highly profitable MINI brand.
Audi labels the A1 as the first and only small premium car, but with many parts shared between the A1 and its “brothers” VW Polo and Seat Ibiza, one needs to wonder what is the message passed on by the Ingolstadt-based company.
Both cars are unmistakably appealing and while the MINI has the advantage of having behind a very loyal customer base, the Audi A1, on the other hand, brings to the table their latest design language and a larger appeal to the younger demographic.
Price wise, both models are competitive on the European market, the Audi A1 is priced at € 34,690, € 35,900 respectively for the MINI Cooper.
One area where the Audi usually shines is the interior design and quality of materials, but the A1 breaks this myth with plenty of plastic materials and hard plastic components. One can argue that it’s an entry level model that needs to be priced competitively and we can certainly agree with that statement.
The exterior design remains one sensitive and subjective area, and to avoid any “fanboyism” labeling, we will use our right to stay silent on this. But one point to take home is that the two exterior design languages are essentially quite distinct and as we mentioned earlier, the Audi A1 caters to a younger demographic, more adventurous and fond of a flashier design, while on the other hand, the MINI features the same classy, yet appealing and intriguing design that made the British brand one of the best investments ever made by BMW.