According to a UK dictionary, A1 means 'Very good or well. Excellent'. If a ship is described as A1 it means it is equipped to the highest standard. All these definitions apply to the Audi A1 hatchback, featured here as a ‘Sport’ model. Launched in 2010 and in a variety of styles and trim levels including a racier ‘Sportback’ version, this compact car is widely available globally although regional differences to specifications may apply.
On The Outside
From the outset buyers flocked to this car. You get what you pay for and for a diminutive car the Audi A1 is elegant and sophisticated. Featured in our images in a smart Nano Grey with a contrasting silver roofline, there is no sign of its otherwise close familial relationship to the Volkswagen Polo. Attractive two-tone 17” alloys complete the ensemble.
The test car was a three-door which meant the usual clamber to get into the back seats. You can get a five-door but it could be said that the convenience is set against the lose of some of its style in three-door format.
On The Inside
It seems superfluous to describe the interior in detail, because all modern cars from the German brand look alike on the inside. Very comfortable and supportive seats are embellished with leather and Alcantara. Again, regions vary and some levels have cloth trim. There’s the to-be-expected soft-touch dashboard materials and even more leather dotted around the cabin.
There’s plenty of the latest technology, as will be expected at this price point, plus quality audio from the speakers. There is not much on the market to challenge Audi's premium class interior and it just feels so expensive when behind the wheel.
The Audi A1 is designed as a four-seater and like many in this segment, it can be cramped in the back for taller occupants. Okay for children certainly. The boot isn't the biggest in class at 210L with the rear seats up, so overall we think this is an ideal little car for two with the occasional passengers catered for.
On The Road
The admittedly very economical 1.6L diesel commands a premium price in some markets and, particularly in this day and age, petrol engines are preferable in this car. There's a feisty 2.0L quattro if more power is required and a less powerful 1.4L petrol version too, but the best of the Audi A1 engine choices is probably the 1.0L TFSI petrol unit with 94bhp as featured in the test car.
0-62mph takes eleven seconds but it is a revvy, lively and refined engine that makes the car fun to drive. It has enough grunt to keep up with the major highway rush and for most buyers should be the engine of choice. Choose from a manual or an automatic DSG gearbox.
Some say that the ride is too firm but that’s a matter of personal preference. It really is a great car to pilot around town or country highways and byways. The suspension, which varies with model choice, the softest being on SE versions, keeps the Audi A1 well controlled in the corners and there's minimal lean. The steering, although inevitably lacking feel, is accurate and light, making parking a breeze.
Good to drive and easy to park, the Audi A1 is a sophisticated, albeit expensive, choice in the supermini marketplace. It may cost a little more but buyers will appreciate the overall quality of construction and materials. Well worth considering. Get in touch with us about importing your next car and we'll be delighted to help.