Review

Audi A1 hatchback

Price  £14,355 - £25,420

Audi A1 hatchback

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Stylish looks
  • High-quality interior
  • Strong resale values
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Firm ride
  • MINI is more fun to drive

At a glance

The greenest
1.6 TDI SE 116PS 3dr £15,430
The cheapest
1.0 TFSI SE 95PS 3dr £14,355
The fastest
2.0 TFSI 231PS quattro 3dr £25,420
Top of the range
2.0 TFSI 231PS quattro 3dr £25,420

"The Audi A1 is a supermini with the interior quality and technology of a luxury saloon."

If you want a supermini with a bit of class, the upmarket Audi A1 is a great choice. It features a luxurious interior and a wide choice of efficient engines. Quality is excellent throughout – but you do pay for it. The prestigious Audi badge commands a premium over more humdrum brands, so it's up to you if you think it's worth paying more for. In this sense, the A1's chief rival is the equally stylish MINI hatchback.

There's a choice of economical petrol and diesel engines, but we think the former better suits this car. Only choose the diesel if you're a regular motorway user or cover a lot of miles per year, as the petrols are smoother and quieter in everyday driving.

Our preferred Audi A1 engine is the 138bhp 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol, which returns impressive efficiency and strong performance thanks to its smart cylinder-on-demand system. The smaller and less powerful 1.0-litre petrol is more economical, but we prefer how the larger engine drives.

When it comes to standard equipment, the entry-level SE car does fairly well and should include everything most people need. Yoy may want to spend extra for the additional dash of style that the Sport model brings, however – and this version may also be easier to sell on in a few years.

Sport cars also have Audi's sports suspension, which we think is too harsh for UK roads, but you can choose the normal SE suspension instead at no extra cost. Beware, however, that S line cars can only be fitted with the firmer setup and larger alloy wheels. While these look nice, they make the car's ride quality significantly worse and we wouldn't recommend this combination.

MPG, running costs & CO2

4.2 / 5

The Audi A1 is impressively cheap to run, but not class-leading

Engines, drive & performance

3.5 / 5

The Audi A1 offers wide-rangingperformance and competent handling

Interior & comfort

2.4 / 5

Premium interior, but sports suspension is uncomfortable

Practicality & boot space

3.2 / 5

The Audi A1 has a bigger boot than the MINI

Reliability & safety

4 / 5

Five-star crash rating, with impressive technology and great build quality

What the others say

4 / 5
based on 3 reviews
4 / 5
AS small as a MINI, as well built as a Bentley – The Audi A1 is the upmarket supermini that proves good things really do come in the smallest packages. Currently, Audi A1 drivers can choose between three engines: two petrol, and one diesel. Entry-level petrol cars get fuel efficient 86bhp 1.2 and 122bhp 1.4-litre TFSI petrol engines. The engine with the highest MPG is a 105bhp 1.6-litre TDI diesel.
4 / 5
The A1 doesn't handle as well as the MINI, which feels more balanced and agile in the corners, but it would be a crime to overlook the Audi for those less obsessed by ultimate driving finesse. 
The A1 is beautifully made and its cabin is the apogee of automotive design and assembly, but you would never consider driving this car for joy alone and the design is instantly forgettable.
4 / 5
The Audi A1 has supreme build quality, luxury and technology to match the Mini - and a proper sized boot. But the styling is conservative and driving experience uninspiring.
What owners say 
4.1754471616047
4.2 /5 based on 123 reviews
62%
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
16 Mar 2015
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