Stylish Supermini Shoot-out

  • Five of our favourite fashionable small cars
  • Engine and trim levels chosen too
  • Find out which one comes out on top

They’re not everyone’s cup of tea but stylish superminis like the Fiat 500 and MINI have been a popular choice for years now, especially for young drivers.

Not exactly famed for their practicality or low running costs, what these superminis do offer is fashionable appeal and – dare we say it- ‘street cred’ among your friends too.

Although here at Parkers we like a car that turns heads, we also know how important it is to buy one which isn’t going to cost an arm and leg to run and comes with plenty of modern day toys which will make a real difference to everyday life on the road.

So, we’ve decided to pit these fashionable hatchbacks against one another to find out which offers the all-round best package.

Looking for a used car deal? Don’t forget to check out our Cars for Sale section here. 


New from the ground up last year, the iconic MINI hatchback is not only longer, wider and taller than the model it replaced but it’s also now available as a five-door as well as three for the first time.

There are three trim levels to choose from, entry level One has plenty of kit as standard including  15-inch steel wheels, daytime running lights, DAB Radio, Bluetooth, keyless start, air-con, and a tyre pressure monitoring system.

When it comes to running costs, the most economical MINI of the range is the One D diesel with an impressive combined fuel economy figure of 83.1mpg and CO2 emissions down to 89g/km meaning zero tax to pay.

While it may not be the quickest MINI on offer, the car’s nippy and agile handling helps to maintain the characterful driving fun that has made the MINI famous, plus in this combination still costs less than £15,000 to buy.

Price range: £13,750 – £25,905

Pick of the range: 1.5-litre One D 5dr 

Fuel economy: 83mpg 

Annual tax cost: £0 

Kit highlights: Bluetooth, keyless start, DAB Radio

Boot space: 278 litres

Parkers rating: 4.5 stars

Read our full review of the Mini hatchback here

For the latest Mini leasing deals click here


Citroen DS3

First launched in 2010, the Citroen DS3 is not only pleasing on the eye, it’s practical too, offering the biggest boot in our list here.

Arguably more comfortable over longer journeys then the 500, Adam and Mini, the DS3 also offers a high-quality interior.

There are three main trim levels to choose from. We would opt for the mid-range DStyle which offers plenty of standard kit with cruise control, tinted rear windows, air-con, Bluetooth, gloss black interior trim, 16-inch alloys, LED lights, USB port and electric door mirrors and electric windows among the hightlights.

When it comes to engine choice the 1.2-litre PureTech petrol offers a good mix of performance and efficiency with 108bhp on offer which enables the car to sprint from 0-62mph in less than 10 seconds and an official combined fuel consumption figure of 60mpg.

Price range: £12,865 – £23,220

Pick of the range: PureTech 110 DStyle 

Fuel economy: 60mpg  

Annual tax cost: £20

Kit highlights: air-con, cruise control, electric door mirrors

Boot space: 285 litres

Parkers rating: 4 stars

Read our full review of the Citroen DS3 here

Check out the latest Citroen DS3 leasing deals here.

Audi A1 hatchback

Arguably a more grown up choice, the A1 offers luxurious and premium surroundings plus that four-ringed badge which will be the envy of your friends. All that luxury comes at a price though as Audi’s of all shapes and sizes certainly don’t come cheap.

However, even in entry-level SE trim the car comes very well equipped which means there’s very little premium for choosing it over the other cars in our list here. Standard kit includes 16-inch alloy wheels, DAB Radio, heated rear windscreen, tyre pressure monitoring system and air-con.

Our pick of the engine range would be the all-new 1.0 TFSI three-cylinder petrol which joined the range late last year. On paper the figures are good with only 99g/km of CO2 meaning zero tax and an official fuel economy figure of 60mpg. 

Price range: £14,315 – £20,375

Pick of the range: 1-litre TFSI SE 3dr 

Fuel economy: 60mpg  

Annual tax cost: £0

Kit highlights: DAB Radio, 16-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth

Boot space: 270 litres

Parkers rating: 4 stars

Read our full review of the Audi A1 here

Click here to find the latest Audi A1 leasing deals

Fiat 500

A car which sometimes divides opinion, the Fiat 500 has marmite looks, compact dimensions and bags of character. Great around the city, the 500 is uncomfortable over longer journeys though.  

There’s a choice of petrol and diesel engines here, our choice would be the 0.9 TwinAir petrol powertrain as it offers a good balance of performance and efficiency with 103bhp available and an official combined fuel consumption of 67mpg. Also, because of its low CO2 emissions of 99g/km, it’s tax free too.

The range comes in various trim levels, our pick would be Lounge as it offers a good amount of kit as standard including electric windows, 14-inch alloy wheels, air-con, Bluetooth, USB port and CD player.

Price range: £10,420 – £16,070 

Pick of the range: 0.9 TwinAir 

Fuel economy: 67mpg 

Annual tax cost: £0 

Kit highlights: Bluetooth, alloy wheels, air-con 

Boot space: 185 litres

Parkers rating: 4 stars

Read our full review of the Fiat 500 here

For the latest Fiat 500 leasing deals click here

Vauxhall Adam

With the Adam it’s all about personalisation with a range of different accessories on offer to make your Adam feel unique. From different alloy wheel designs (Boomerang is our personal favourite), a variety of roof options and exterior decal designs on offer, you’re bound to find an Adam to suit your taste perfectly. According to Vauxhall the Adam can come in one million different combinations.

Where character and youthful appeal are the cars highlights, one of the biggest drawbacks is its practicality and interior space with the Adam offering the smallest boot in our list.

When it comes to trim levels there are four main ones to choose from; Jam, Slam, Glam and Grand Slam. Even in entry level Jam there is plenty of kit as standard with Bluetooth, DAB Radio, 16-inch alloy wheels, air-con, USB port, daytime running lights and a tyre pressure monitoring system among the highlights.  

There is a wide range of engines available but our pick would be the brand new 1.0i Turbo, introduced to the range less than a year ago which has an impressive 113bhp available and 170Nm of Torque enabling the car to accelerate from 0-62mph in less than 10 seconds – the only other car in our list to do this is the Citroen DS3.

CO2 emissions across the range are trailing the competition though, with this car producing 114g/km making it the most expensive to tax in our list.

Price range: £11,455 – £16,995

Pick of the range: 1-0T EcoFLEX Jam 3dr 

Fuel economy: 58mpg  

Annual tax cost: £30

Kit highlights: Bluetooth, alloy-wheels, air-con

Boot space: 170 litres

Parkers rating: 3 stars

Read our full review of the Vauxhall Adam here

Click here to view the latest Vauxhall Adam leasing deals


Parkers pick

It’s a close call as all the cars in our list have strong points and are closely priced but for us the Mini has the edge as an all-round choice. Just make sure you watch out for those pricey options.