As one of the most affordable Audi models, there's no easier way to get a taste of what the premium brand can offer. A luxury cabin and innovative tech are just a few stand-out features to get excited over.
Let's take a look at some of the Audi A1's pros and cons.
Beautiful interior - feels luxurious
Expensive compared to competitors
Fiesta is more fun to drive and is cheaper
If you want to get your hands on an Audi, the Audi A1 is the cheapest way to do it. With that in mind, the A1 is still an expensive car for its size and is significantly more costly than rivals that are arguably on a similar level. You're paying a premium for that badge, and the luxuries that come with it. It's unfair to compare the A1 too much to the Mercedes A-Class Hatchback and BMW 1 Series, which are both significantly bigger cars!
Unfortunately, the sporty 3-door version is no longer for sale, so it’ll have to be a 5-door. Still, the A1 Sportback is a great car. There are 7 trims, so plenty of options for you to choose from, and it's entertaining to drive. There are performance engines available if that's your thing, and it handles excellently, both on the motorway and in the city.
On the inside, this five-door Sportback lives up to its manufacturer's reputation. The dual-screen infotainment touchscreen system is a highlight and adds an element of high-tech class to the cabin and the front seats are really comfortable. There are a few compromises in material quality compared to more expensive Audi cars, but that's to be expected. It's not noticeable unless you're looking for it (or writing a car review)!
The A1's Sportback design makes it one of the best small luxury cars in this category, and it still offers some practicality. With the seats down, there's plenty of boot space. Seats up and the 335-litre boot space is bang-average. The seats in the back will fit two tall adults comfortably, but fitting in the middle position will be a squeeze for most adults. Again, the A1 falls short in the practicality department, with both the Volkswagen Polo and the Seat Ibiza proving more practical for small families. Nevertheless, it's still a good family car.
Expensive upfront, the A1 is thankfully reasonably cheap to run. You can find models in insurance groups as low as 9, and the MPGs on all models are pretty decent. Of course, the more sensibly you drive the A1, the lower the running costs!
Overall, the new A1 is a great car and offers a much-needed touch of luxury to the small hatchback class, where the closest premium supermini is the Mini Cooper. If you don't care about luxury, posh styling choices, and advanced tech, you might want to look elsewhere. The A1 drives well, but it can't compete with the cheap and sporty Ford Fiesta. If you need your new car to be luxurious though, the A1 is a great option.
The cheapest of the 7-trim line-up, the Audi A1 Sportback Technik offers a decent amount of tech for an entry-level trim. With the Technik, you get 15-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, and an 8.8-inch MMI infotainment system.
Including everything in the base trim, the Sport also upgrades the wheels to 16-inch alloy wheels, and comes with a sportier seat and grill.
Going for the sportiest look possible, the S Line comes with 17-inch alloy wheels and a more aggressive body style than the Sport. The S Line comes with a lower sport suspension, as well as 'S' embossed interior upholstery.
S Line Competition
An upgraded S Line, the Competition trim adds a hot hatch look to the A1, coming with an even lower suspension with adjustable dampers. It also comes with some design changes, like red brake callipers and nicer exhaust pipes.
S Line Style Edition
The Style Edition offers a different aesthetic twist on the S Line, coming with exclusive paints, re-upholstered leather fabrics, and LED Ambient Lighting. It also comes with 18-inch ‘5-Spoke Y' design alloy wheels.
S Line Contrast Edition
Another S Line trim, the Contrast offers a different style. It comes with front sport seats in Alcantara, 18-inch ‘7-spoke rotor' design alloy wheels, and darkened LED headlights.
Top of the range, the Vorsprung comes Audi's Virtual Cockpit, heated front sport seats and 18-inch ‘5-double-arm' design alloy wheels.
For more information on pricing head over to our Audi A1 Sportback deals page to see how much you can save on your next lease.
Small hatchbacks rarely look premium. They're cheap, cheerful, and serve a purpose. The Audi A1 Sportback takes that thinking and throws it in the bin. Sleek, stylish, and looking like an actual Audi, the A1 is a great looking car. At this price point, you're not going to get anything posher.
You can get the Audi A1 in a six-speed manual gearbox, or a seven-speed automatic. Both are solid performers, so this is a matter of preference.
The entry-level A1 is the petrol engine 1.0-litre 25 TFSI 95bhp, which hits 0-62mph in 10.8 seconds. The cheapest engine to buy up-front, the 25 TFSI is also pretty cheap to run, with a respectable 50 mpg.
For a faster option, check out the 2.0 40 TFSI 200bhp, which hits 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds. Fuel economy is still pretty good, with 40 mpg up for grabs. With a top speed of 146mph, the 40 TFSI 200 is an excellent option for those that want some power.
The most expensive engine is the 1.5-litre turbo 35 TFSI 150, which returns 44 mpg and has a 0-62 of 7.7 seconds. While this isn't the fastest, or the most efficient, it offers the best of both worlds - albeit at a premium price tag.
With a highly adjustable steering wheel and seat, the A1 Sportback offers an excellent driving position for the majority of people. You can recline the seat quite a bit, so those hovering around the 6-foot mark will have no problem driving this car. For particularly tall people, it might be challenging to get a good position - but it's a small hatchback, not an SUV.
If you go from a bigger Audi, say the Audi A4, to the A1, you'll be amazed at the nimble handling. Due to the car’s small size, the A1 handles well and makes for a fun drive around country roads. Unfortunately, despite the much larger price tag, the A1 just can't compete with the likes of the Fiesta for driving fun.
On the road, the A1's standard Dynamic suspension is pretty good for driving around dodgy city roads. It handles potholes well, and you don't feel like you're on a rollercoaster. If you opt for bigger wheels and the Sport suspension, the ride is a bit too firm for constant city-driving, but it's better than the standard on the motorway.
If you're not set on the A1, there are plenty of other options to consider. If you've got the budget for it, the slightly more expensive Audi A3 offers a more upmarket feel, with better fuel economy and higher standard tech. For an idea of how they differ, check out our Audi A1 vs Audi A3 comparison post.
Audi A1 Interior
It's an Audi - so it's got a cracking interior. Despite being a small car and the cheapest Audi on offer, the A1 Sportback still manages to look posh and refined.
The dash design is great, and the cabin is well designed. With a huge selection of 7 trims, there's plenty of customisation if you prefer a sportier-looking design to the subtle standard variant. There are a couple of cheap plastics dotted around the cabin, but we'll let Audi off here. An Audi A1 vs A3 comparison isn't very fair here! In its class, the Audi A1 offers an excellent interior.
Audi comes as standard with dual infotainment screens. The one on the top shows your sat nav and media, while the bottom lets you control the car. These are well designed and easy to use. On certain trims, you get a digital instrument display, but we recommend upgrading to the Virtual Cockpit. This essentially gives you a third infotainment screen and is excellent for using sat nav as you don't need to look away from the road. Other great features can be unlocked by adding on the Audi tech pack.
The A1 Sportback is a small car but makes good use of its space. It's comfortable in the cabin, and the two main back seats are spacious. The middle position is a bit grim, but that's not unusual in such a small car. With back seats down, the A1 is spacious enough for a spontaneous Ikea trip.
5,172-5,302 mm L x 1,945 mm W x 1,473-1,486 mm H
The 'Sportback' design makes for quite a practical car while remaining small and easy to drive. The roof is fairly high, so it's decent car for tall people.
Seats up: 335 litres
Seats down: 1090 litres
The boot on the Audi A1 isn't anything special, but you could chuck in your golf clubs or a couple of small suitcases. Folding the back seats down, and you have a boot space that'll suit the vast majority of people.
The well-designed body style of the A1 Sportback makes the car pretty comfortable for four tall adults (including the driver). The middle seat is pretty cramped and offers minimal legroom, but it would do for a short trip - you might get a few complaints, though. Fitting an Isofix child seat is a breeze so it's a good family car for young families.
The A1 Sportback isn't an expensive car to run. It has a decent mpg, relatively low CO2 emissions, and the insurance groups (if specced right) can be reasonable.
Running costs are pretty good for the Audi A1, partly due to its small size. You can expect a real-world mpg of between 40 and 50, depending on what engine you choose.
The greenest Audi model, the 25 TFSI generates 107 g/km of CO2, and the biggest culprit, the 40 TFSI returns 136 g/km. Moderately powered engines will lie somewhere in between.
The A1 is a reasonably cheap car to insure, although it's maybe not the best first car choice. The lowest insurance groups are group 9, with the highest models going all the way up to 33.
|Cheapest Trim||Lowest Insurance Group||RRP|
For Audi reliability in general, scoring is poor on the Reliability Index, with average repair costs coming quite high compared to most manufacturers. That being said, you can prevent many issues with regular servicing, and the Audi warranty is reasonable as well, should things go wrong.
Audi offers a 3yr/60,000 mile warranty. With brands like Kia offering huge 7-year warranties, this is nothing special. Audi's fellow German rivals BMW also provide a better warranty - offering three years with no mileage limit, as does Mercedes, with their UK warranty of 4 years, 50,000 miles. For extra peace of mind, you should consider signing up for an Audi extended warranty.
There are a number of Audi service plans to keep your machine in tip-top shape. For those who drive short distances and in town a lot, Audi recommends a fixed service schedule - every 9,000 miles or one year.
If you're typically driving long distances on the motorway, they recommend flexible - up to 19,000 miles or every two years.