Audi A1 hatchback

Price  £14,530 - £25,595

Audi A1 hatchback

reviewed by Carbuyer

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

At a glance

The greenest
1.6 TDI SE 116PS 3dr £15,605
The cheapest
1.0 TFSI SE 95PS 3dr £14,530
The fastest
2.0 TFSI 231PS quattro 3dr £25,595
Top of the range
2.0 TFSI 231PS quattro 3dr £25,595

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

There are plenty of cars in the supermini class but few feel as refined and upmarket as the Audi A1. Audi has a reputation for making some of the best interiors on the market and the inside of the A1 is another justification for this; quality and style are both impressive. The downside is that these two things combined with the Audi brand image means the car is more expensive than many of its rivals, with only the MINI hatchback standing as its direct competition in both the style and price categories.

Buyers can choose between a range of economical petrol and diesel engines but it's the petrols that make the most sense to us. If you plan to take your A1 on long trips and motorways, then the diesel is worth considering, but for the average commute and nipping around town, the smoother and quieter petrol engines are the better choice.

The three-cylinder 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine is our pick of the range, as it's very economical, returning 67.3mpg and 97g/km in CO2 emissions for tax-free motoring, but also very responsive.

If performance is particularly important to you too, the 148bhp 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine is the one to go for. Efficiency is impressive, thanks in part to a smart cylinder-on-demand system that switches off parts of the engine when all its power isn’t required, and performance is excellent too thanks to its power output, which is high for a car of the A1's size.

There are only three trim levels to choose from when buying an A1 and this reflects the fact that even the entry-level SE specification car comes with plenty of standard equipment (which you’re entitled to expect given the car's above-average starting price). Though SE models have everything most people need, the Sport trim does add a dash more style and the extras may make the car more valuable when you want to sell or trade it in.

Many people will find the standard firmer sports suspension on the Sport spec car too harsh for UK roads, so it's worth knowing you can ask for the suspension on the SE car at no extra cost. The top-spec S line models are only available with the firmer suspension setup and larger alloy wheels – it's definitely advisable to test drive this setup before you buy it, as the hard ride won’t be to everyone's taste.

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 decent performance and competent handling

Interior & comfort

3.6 / 5

The Audi A1 has a premium interior, but the 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 4 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."
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."
8 / 10
"The A1 is a proper Audi in pocket-sized hatchback form."
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 
4.2 /5 based on 124 reviews
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
25 Aug 2015
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