The Audi A1 is the baby of the range. A baby it may be but it sits at the top of the city car pile making it attractive premium marque for those who want compact convenience in a stylish package. However there is also a premium price tag.
Available with two petrol and two diesel engines. Petrol: 1.0 TFSI Ultra with 95bhp and 1.4 TFSI with a choice of 125 or 150bhp power outputs. Diesel: 1.4 TDI Ultra with 90bhp and 1.6 TDI Ultra with 116bhp. All models are available with a choice of 6-speed manual or 7-speed S-tronic automatic transmissions with cylinder on demand technology available in the 1.4 TFSI petrol model. Performance from both the petrol and diesel across the range is strong with the 150bhp 1.4 TFSI providing additional potency. Avoid the S-tronic auto with the 1.0 TFSI as it struggles to find a medium with the 3-cylinder petrol making for consistent jumpy starts. S1 model tops the range.
Sharing its underpinning with the Volkswagen Polo means that the A1 offers a composed ride while Sport and S-line models get lowered and stiffened suspension. Levels of grip is decent no matter which model you choose while feedback from the steering is sharp and engaging. We would recommend opting for the normal suspension for that extra level of comfort. The SE spec probably offers the best ride, with handling being improved if you opt for the newest and lightest of the engine range the 1.0 TFSI Ultra. If you are looking for more fun in the drive, the Mini 3-door pips it for driver enjoyment.
The A1 is a good looking city car taking many styling cues from its larger sibling the A3. With the recently revised A1, the SE specification gets a much sportier look. Add a set of nice alloys together with the contrast paint finish, who needs the S-line. Its cabin is probably one of the best on the market and lives up to its premium price tag. It’s packed with high grade and quality materials throughout with a neat pop-up screen from the dash controlling the infotainment system. There is also plenty of adjustment in the steering wheel and seats making it easy to get comfortable.
This is an Audi so quality is not a question and you get what you pay for. The interior is sturdy and durable while the engine line-up is tried and tested throughout the Volkswagen Group at this stage. The new 1.0 TFSI engine is the pick of the bunch. Practicality can be an issue with the 3-door as the boot space and room for rear passengers is small. The Sportback is worth looking at if you require the extra space.
The A1 scores a 5 star NCAP safety rating and features front, side and head airbags and a side impact system as standard. Like all Audi’s in their range, it is also fitted with ISO-FIX as standard too. Anti-slip regulation (ASR) Electronic stability control (ESC) and Electronic differential lock (EDL) also feature as standard.
Boot space in the A1 3-door is modest offering just 270 litres of space, but that is still larger than its closest stylish rival, the Mini 3-door, by 59 litres. The rear seats do offer a 60/40 split opening up the rear cabin to 920 litres. The 4-door A1 Sportback offers more practicality in terms of space for a third passengers in the rear, additional headroom and 6mm additional legroom, making it the better option for a small family. Air-con, electric windows and Bluetooth connectivity come as standard.