Audi A1 hatchback
Price £14,355 - £25,420
- Stylish looks
- High-quality interior
- Strong resale values
- Firm ride
- MINI is more fun to drive
At a glance
"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.
The Audi A1 is impressively cheap to run, but not class-leading
The Audi A1 offers decent performance and competent handling
The Audi A1 has a premium interior, but the sports suspension is uncomfortable
The Audi A1 has a bigger boot than the MINI
Five-star crash rating, with impressive technology and great build quality