Review

Audi A1 hatchback

Price  £14,115 - £24,905

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 105PS 3dr £15,175
The cheapest
1.2 TFSI SE 86PS 3dr £14,115
The fastest
2.0 TFSI 231PS quattro 3dr £24,905
Top of the range
2.0 TFSI 231PS quattro 3dr £24,905

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

The Audi A1 is one of the most upmarket cars in its class, with a good choice of engines and a luxurious interior. It's very well finished inside and out, but whether you think it represents good value or not depends on how important you think the premium Audi image is. Yet the same can be said for the MINI, which any prospective A1 buyer will probably also consider.

All the engines in the A1 range are reasonably economical, but the petrols suit the car best. The diesels are a good choice if you’ll frequently use the car on the motorway, however they aren’t as smooth or as quiet as the petrols.

The standout engine in the range is the 138bhp 1.4-litre turbo petrol, which, thanks to clever cylinder-on-demand technology, returns impressive economy and good performance. It's actually more economical than the smaller, less powerful 1.2-litre petrol engine, so if you can afford the higher list price, it's definitely the one to go for.

The higher starting price of the A1 relative to other cars in the supermini class means that entry-level SE cars have fairly good standard equipment. Moving up to Sport trim brings you more toys, which give the Audi an upmarket feel and will make the car more desirable when you decide to sell it.

Sport cars also feature Audi's sports suspension, which we think is too firm, but you can ask for the normal SE suspension to be fitted instead at no extra cost. This is not the case in S line cars, which can only be fitted with the firmer setup and larger alloy wheels. While these look good, they make the ride quality significantly worse.

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-ranging levels of performance 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.

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What owners say

4.1729411838435
4.2 /5 based on 119 reviews
62%
 people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated
16 Jul 2014
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