Used Audi A1 review: 2010 to 2019 (Mk1) - Reliability and common problems

The Audi A1 doesn’t have the best reputation for reliability, but it’s safe and the interior is well built

Carbuyer Rating

3.5 out of 5

The Audi A1 has an upmarket price, but it seems owners haven’t enjoyed an upmarket ownership experience. Over the years when it was on sale, our Driver Power customer satisfaction survey revealed issues with the car experienced by owners, and there are a handful of common faults to keep an eye out for as well. However, there are no glaring flaws that would cause us to steer clear of the car as a used buy – it’s just something to be aware of when you’re buying.

How reliable is the Audi A1?

Regular maintenance will be the best way to prevent any issues occurring with the Audi A1. The brand offers a service plan for older models up to 15 years old, which is a monthly cost over 24 months and covers it for two services in that time. You can also pay up front, at about £500. Most won’t be in warranty any longer, because the newest Mk1 A1s are from 2018 and there was only a three-year warranty from new. This means a handful might have some warranty left if the owner bought an extended package, but don’t count on finding one.

Are there any common problems or things to look out for?

Common issues with the Audi A1 include a rattle from the front doors (easily fixed with a cable tie), damage to the light housings caused by hot xenon lights, and sticking electric windows. The biggest worry may be turbocharger issues on the 1.4-litre petrol model, which could be costly to fix. Look out for smoke coming out of the exhaust, as it’s an obvious sign of turbo failure.

If you like to travel with a spare wheel then it’s worth knowing that some versions don’t have space for one even if you want to add one. Find one that had this option ticked from new rather than relying on adding it later.

What about recalls?

There was only one recall during the Audi A1’s time on sale from 2010-2018, which was in February 2017. The recall addressed an issue where the airbag may not deploy in an accident, so you should check any prospective purchase to see if the repair work was carried out before you buy.

What do owners think?

The Audi A1 was rated poorly for reliability when it was on sale - for example, in our 2017 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, of the owners who responded, 8.8% reported experiencing a problem with their car at least once. The A1's sister cars, the Volkswagen Polo, SEAT Ibiza and Skoda Fabia, all fared better. 

The A1 came in 150th place in the 2016 poll as well, and owners cited poor reliability there as well. However, in 2018, the car had risen to 53rd place. In the 2021 Driver Power poll, Audi came in 23rd overall, so it appears the brand still has a way to go when it comes to the ownership experience of its products.

Tell us about your car in the Driver Power survey...

Recommended

Audi A1 hatchback review
Audi A1 hatchback
Audi A1
9 May 2022

Audi A1 hatchback review

Used Audi A1 review: 2010 to 2019 (Mk1)
Used Audi A1 review: 2010 to 2019 (Mk1) - front
Audi A1 hatchback
10 Jan 2022

Used Audi A1 review: 2010 to 2019 (Mk1)

Top 10 best luxury small cars 2022
BMW 118 M Sport
Best cars
30 Jun 2021

Top 10 best luxury small cars 2022

Most Popular

Speed awareness course: how much does it cost, how long does it take and how do you do one online?
Police car - open boot
Tips and advice
19 May 2022

Speed awareness course: how much does it cost, how long does it take and how do you do one online?

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers
Fiat 500 deals
Deals
20 May 2022

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers

New car delivery times: how long will you have to wait?
Mazda3s at Bristol port
Car buying
17 May 2022

New car delivery times: how long will you have to wait?

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
23 Mar 2022

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Car buying
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
25 Apr 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Nissan Leaf front
Best cars
3 May 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
3 Feb 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022