Yellow Audi A1 Sportback on the road

New Audi A1 Sportback

From £19,760

Featuring a refreshed, sportier design the new A1 is sharper and more angular all around. Taut, streamlined lines down the sides draw your attention from the angular headlights at the front to the spoiler at the rear.

The most noticeable difference with the new A1 is the 3 slits just above the grille, inspired by the Audi Sport quattro rally legend from 1984. From the side you’ll notice further similarities to the Audi UR-quattro and Sport quattro ancestors with the wise, flat sloping C-pillar that almost seems to be pushing the car forwards. The contrasting roof, available in two dark colours, ends above the C-pillar.

How big is the new A1 Sportback?

  • ​​Length 4.03 metres
  • Width 1.74 metres
  • Height 1.41 metres (excluding aerial)

Compact, yet spacious

Inside the sporty cockpit is all driver focused, with a centre console angled towards the driver for easier visibility. An optional contour and ambient lighting package will bring your interior to life in the dark with a choice of 30 colours.

The cabin of the new A1 Sportback is much more spacious, giving added comfort for the driver and passengers, with plenty of head and leg room for adults. Luggage capacity is now 335 litres, with the seats up, and increases to 1,090 when you fold them down.

Beauty and brains

Full of intelligent technologies from a high-resolution all-digital instrument cluster to the 10.25-inch digital cockpit display and multifunction steering wheel, all available as standard. Packed with the latest driver assistance systems and safety technology the A1 features the latest generation of voice control for clear dialog between you and your ride.

What trim levels are on the Audi A1 Sportback?

Technik:

  • 15” ‘5-arm’ design alloy wheels
  • Automatic start-stop
  • LED headlights with LED rear lights and dynamic rear indicators
  • Radiator grille in Matt Black
  • Heated, electrically adjustable door mirrors
  • Standard seats in Delta cloth
  • 3-spoke leather multi-function plus steering wheel
  • Light & rain sensors
  • Auto-dimming rear view mirror
  • 8.8” MMI colour touch screen with DAB radio

Sport:

In addition to Technik:

  • ​16” ’10-spoke turbine’ design alloy wheels
  • Audi Drive Select
  • Radiator grille and rear diffuser in Matt Titanium Black
  • Front side air inlets in Matt Black, grained with C frame in Titanium Black
  • Side front spoiler lips in Matt Black, grained
  • Front Sport seats in Novum cloth
  • Aluminium interior elements
  • Cruise control
  • Rear parking sensors

S line:

In addition to Sport:

  • 17” ‘5-twin-spoke’ design alloy wheels
  • Sport suspension
  • S Line exterior styling
  • Front sports seats in Pulse cloth / leatherette with embossed ‘S’ logo
  • 3-spoke leather multi-function plus steering wheel with ‘S’ badging, grips in perforated leather and contrast stitching.
  • Door sill trims with aluminium inlays and ‘S’ logo
  • LED interior lighting pack
  • Front and rear floor mats in Black with contrast stitching in fine Silver

Black Edition:

In addition to S line:

  • 18” alloy wheels in Anthracite black, gloss
  • Contrast roof in Mythos Black
  • Black exterior styling pack
  • Privacy glass

Serious power, sportier handling.

With a wide range of engines available, the Audi A1 Sportback is ready to handle any journey. The most powerful in the range is the S line engine, at 1.5-litres the TFSI can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 7.7 seconds plus with electromechanical power steering and suspension you’ll experience a dynamic performance.

Strikingly sporty

A wide, low-sitting singleframe grille, flanked by the side air inlets on the Audi A1 give a distinctly sporty and dynamic look, whilst near-daylight illumination of the LED headlight ensures low energy consumption.

Blue Audi A3 TFSI e charging

The Audi A1 Test Drive Review

What is it?

The Volkswagen Group is brilliant at making the most of what it has – and the A1 is a chief example. Using the same MQB chassis and engine architecture enjoyed by the latest VW Polo and Seat Ibiza, it’s a really premium product that bears only a passing resemblance to its siblings – and every resemblance to its bigger brothers within the Audi range.

The previous A1 was a roaring success, thanks to its fashion-led design and trademark solidity, trading blows with the likes of the Mini Cooper. The new car swaps cuteness for sharp angles and motorsport-inspired styling, while hopefully retaining everything that made its predecessor so popular.

What’s new?

As mentioned, the A1 now rides on the MQB A0 platform – a selection of chassis components that underpin most of the Volkswagen Group’s small car range. That endows the A1 with a choice of engines, from which Audi has chosen just three – all petrol.

The interior’s also been given a makeover, with a newly spacious feel courtesy of the MQB platform and its long wheelbase – plus bags of technology, befitting Audi’s high-tech positioning.

Best of all is the personalisation on offer. The new A1 can be had with a wide choice of exterior colours, contrasting colour packs, alloy wheels and interior ambiences – which can be mixed up any way the buyer pleases.

What’s under the bonnet?

There are three petrol engines on offer for the A1. The entry-level is a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder unit with 115bhp – expected to be a big seller in the UK.

Next up there’s a 1.5-litre four-cylinder with 148bhp or a top-spec 2.0-litre with 197bhp – lifted from the VW Polo GTI, but not badged as one of Audi’s hot ‘S’ models. The lowlier pair of engines can be had with six-speed manual gearboxes or optional seven-speed dual-clutch autos, while the 2.0-litre is automatic-only.

The 1.0-litre is a really sweet engine, with a welcome slug of torque between 2,000 and 3,000rpm making relaxed progress very easy. It’s very refined at a cruise, with just a hint of three-cylinder thrum at low revs. It pairs well with the six-speed manual, too, which has a reassuring solidity to its action.

The 1.0-litre isn’t especially fast, but then nor is the 1.5-litre – and that’s noisier, thirstier and less pleasant to use. Topping the range is the 2.0-litre, which is powerful and turns the A1 into something of a hot hatchback.

What’s it like to drive?

The A1 handles much like its siblings from within the VW Group – the VW Polo and Seat Ibiza. That’s definitely not a bad thing – there’s an expensive feel to the way this car rides and handles, with sharp edges taken off all the bumps and a pleasing weight to the steering.

How does it look?

The new A1 is a really smart-looking little thing, and it’s blessed with the ability to wear lower-spec trims without looking like a poor relation. Our ‘Sport’ model had 17-inch alloy wheels as well as a flat paint colour and didn’t suffer for it – mainly thanks to sharp LED running lights front and rear that lend a high-tech look to the car.

There are divisive elements – there’s a rather wide C-pillar, inspired by the Q2, and the triple slots between the bonnet and the grille lend an aggressive edge to the car. But it’s possible to customise the A1 to within an inch of its life, so you need never see two the same – available for testing were some really eye-catching combinations. Sea-green bodywork with bronze wheels, anybody?

What’s it like inside?

There’s far greater room in here for passengers and luggage – thank the MQB platform for that – and the A1’s 335-litre boot is on a par with anything else in this segment. The seats are also very comfortable and well adjustable even on more basic models.

There’s great technology on offer, too. The driver has digital dials as standard, upgradeable to a full 12-inch Virtual Cockpit as an option, while the top-spec touchscreen infotainment system is superb. Controls are also simply laid out and easy to follow.

What’s the spec like?

Our mid-range ‘Sport’ model (named ‘Advanced’ in the German range) came with all the essentials. The LED head- and tail lights really enhance the exterior look of the car, as did smart 17-inch alloy wheels – sadly, the latter are optional. What you do get as standard are 16-inch alloys, sports seats, rear parking sensors and cruise control, as well as Audi’s MMI plus infotainment system.

Step up to S line and you’ll gain 17-inch wheels as standard, LED interior lighting, even firmer sports suspension and leather-trimmed upholstery. The options list holds goodies such as heated seats, a connected upgrade for the infotainment system, the aforementioned Virtual Cockpit and a top-end Bang and Olufsen 3D sound system.

Verdict

Audi gave us almost everything we expected with the A1 – impeccable driving manners, sharp styling and a range of high-end equipment, plus the personalisation touches that will make it so popular with the crowds of buyers who might otherwise choose a Mini. This is an excellent supermini!

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