Best alternatives to the MINI

Best alternatives to the MINI

Looking for a car with similar styling and driving dynamics to the MINI Hatchback, but want something cheaper or just a bit different? Here we take a look at five alternatives to the famous MINI.

The MINI Hatchback, also known as simply the MINI, is one of the most iconic names in the small car market. Nowadays, the MINI Hatchback is still renowned for its distinct, eye-catching styling, and its drive which is both comfortable and engaging.

However, while the MINI Hatchback is a good and popular entry in the small car market, it is also one of the more expensive entries around. The amount of decent competition for the MINI Hatchback is also substantial nowadays.

For a similar or even less amount of money needed for a new MINI Hatch, a supermini with similar strengths could potentially be bought instead. Here we look at five of the best new cars to buy as an alternative to the MINI Hatchback.

DS 3

Designed with the prospect of beating the MINI Hatchback in mind, the DS 3 is a similarly fashionable supermini which attracted many rave reviews and awards when it first arrived to the market.

Not only does it look the part, the DS 3 is also decent to drive, particularly if you go for a DSport model which has a stiffer suspension set-up. This does make the ride firmer, but also makes things more fun behind the wheel.

Pricing-wise, the DS 3 range is very similar to the MINI. However, when comparing the closest-matching specifications in each car’s range, the DS models tends to be a small amount cheaper. Also, like with the latest MINI, you can get a soft-top version of the DS 3, if having a small, distinctive convertible is exactly what you’re after.

Audi A1

For those who want premium flair in a small, supermini package, the Audi A1 is definitely worth considering. It has an upmarket badge and a smartly designed cabin with decent leg room all-round and a sizeable boot for its class.

With the A1, you can opt for either the standard three-door or the five-door Sportback for extra practicality. Unlike the MINI Hatchback, the A1’s drive does not really focus on driving entertainment but the amount of grip the Audi offers is genuinely impressive.

The engine range for the A1 nowadays is pleasing as well, as it includes some diesels with plenty of pulling power and TFSI petrols with a fun amount of oomph.

Fiat 500

The Fiat 500 is one of those rare small cars that can seriously challenge the MINI hatchback in terms of heritage and the size of its iconic status.

It is smaller and less practical than the MINI, but the Fiat 500 can also be significantly cheaper than the MINI as well. If, therefore, you want to buy a small car and styling is a major priority, then it’s worth considering going for a more affordable 500.

As well as matching the MINI in terms of eye-catching exterior and interior looks, the Fiat 500 also offers loads of styling customisations and a really frugal TwinAir engine.

Mazda 2

Sporting a noticeably cheaper price range than the MINI and some of its direct rivals, the Mazda 2 has one of the smartest designs for a supermini when it comes to both the exterior and interior.

It’s not just the looks that delight either. The latest Mazda 2 benefits from the Japanese manufacturer’s latest line-up of efficient SKYACTIV engines, which delivers solid options whether you prefer petrol or diesel power. The sharp steering and minimal bodyroll is impressive too, so this Mazda feels sporty without sacrificing comfort.

The Mazda 2 has enough of a classy vibe about it to feel like a suitable alternative to the likes of the MINI and Fiat 500, and it feels solid enough all-round to seriously challenge the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa too.

Renault Twingo

If you’re interesting buying a fashionable small car with a bright, vibrant paint job, but don’t have the budget for a MINI, then consider the more affordable Renault Twingo. With a starting price comfortably below £10k, the Twingo is certainly more accessible to new car buyers.

The conspicuous paint jobs and rear-engine, rear-wheel drive layout helps the Renault Twingo to stand out more amongst the rest of the small car competition.

Other plus points include the supple suspension and the incredibly small turning circle – the latter can certainly come in handy when driving in town.

Latest Guides

Join the newsletter

Get the latest news, reviews and guides every week. Update your preferences at any time.