Audi A1 hatchback (2010 – ) first drive – Auto Trader UK

21 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Audi A1 hatchback (2010 – ) first drive – Auto Trader UK
Audi A1

Audi A1

hatchback (2010 #8211; ) first drive

Wednesday 16 June 2010

Prior to the introduction of the A1, many car buyers would have seen a new Audi as beyond their budget.

But with prices for the A1 starting from just over £13,000, the dream of owning a new Audi is now achievable for thousands more motorists.

Here Auto Trader gives its verdict on the entry-level model in the Audi range.

A new Audi for just over £13,000? Surely that means cutting some corners?

Not according to Audi, which claims it has “shrink-wrapped everything it stands for to create the new A1”.

The A1 is a three-door, four-seat hatchback pitched as a rival to the Mini Hatch. Alfa Mito. Fiat 500. Citroen DS3 and 500 Abarth and is positioned as the first “premium” car in its class.

The smallest member of the Audi family aims to introduce a whole new audience to the all-conquering marque which has increased its model range from 17 to 36 models in the past 10 years.

The A1 will be available with a choice of three engines and three trims running from the entry-level 1.2 TFSI SE at £13,145 to the range-topping 1.4 TFSI S Line with 7-speed S tronic gearbox topping the range at £18,280.

The big seller is expected to be the more pragmatic 1.6 TDI which starts from £14,180.

Looking good

First impressions at the international launch in Berlin were of a very smart-looking car with no visible compromise to the Audi reputation for build quality.

The A1s featuring the optional roof contrast line were the standouts but all models looked sharp and modern with the continuous shoulder line running from the front grille to the horizontal rear lights. The A1 looks like an Audi and it doesn’t look cheap.

The interior goes even further to support Audi’s premium claim for the cheapest model in its range.

The dashboard has the robust quality feel expected from the German manufacturer, while the aeroplane-inspired design, with turbine-style, round air vents and central flip-up sat-nav and entertainment screen, should satisfy Audi’s style-conscious, target motorists.

The initial range of engines provides a broad choice between frugal motoring from the diesel and performance and affordability from the two petrol models.

The key points for each engine are:

1.2-litre TFSI 85bhp mated with a five-speed manual gearbox

•    0-62mph in 11.7 seconds

•    Top speed 112mph

•    118lb/ft of pulling power

•    55.4mpg

•    118g/km CO2

1.4-litre TFSI 120bhp petrol mated with a six-speed manual

•    54.3mpg

•    119g/km CO2

1.6-litre TDI 104bhp diesel mated with a five-speed manual gearbox

•    0-62mph in 10.5 seconds

•    Top speed 118mph

•    184lb/ft of pulling power

•    70.6mpg

•    105g/km CO2

The A1’s sporty aspirations are further supported by an ESP system with electronic differential as standard. This initiates brief, controlled braking to the inside front wheel when cornering while transferring power to the outer wheel to increase stability.

After an hour behind the wheel of the entry-level 1.2 TFSI, we came away very impressed by Audi’s cheapest car.

Audi A1 gallery:

Audi A1

Good value

It feels zippy thanks to that turbo input while being unexpectedly refined at higher speeds. It feels like the car has a bigger engine. It is also well-balanced through corners.

Audi’s claim that this is a very competitive price to pay for a premium car is justified.

As expected, the 1.6 diesel makes easier work of cruising and provides increased comfort and more economical motoring.

In both cars the seats are well-made and there is plenty of shoulder room for a driver and front seat passenger. Space is not so generous in the rear with tight headroom an outcome of the aerodynamic design. But it does the job of ferrying two adults in the back.

The A1 boot can shift 267 litres of luggage in a boot which is easy to access. The load space is quite shallow but measures up well against rivals and flipping the split rear seats opens up a total up-to-the-roofline capacity of 920 litres.


The A1 will be available in SE, Sport and S line trims aside from the 1.4 TFSI model which offers no SE model. Sport is expected to be the big seller with only ten per cent of buyers likely to go for the entry-level trim.

Standard features include 15-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, electric front windows and mirrors and CD/radio with iPod connection.

Opting for a Sport model adds £1,800 and buys 16-inch alloy wheels, sports suspension, sports seats, Bluetooth interface and multi-function steering wheel.

Going for S Line adds £1,515 to the price and adds 17-inch alloy wheels, S line body and interior styling, cloth/leather upholstery and LED interior light package.

Options include BOSE sound system featuring DAB radio, the Multi Media Interface infotainment system incorporating satnav and 60 gigabyte hard drive (20 gigabytes is available for music), cruise and parking distance controls.

As with rivals the Mini and Fiat 500, Audi offers myriad personalization opportunities for the car, with 800 combinations available for the exterior appearance alone.

Technology, Comfort, Media Style and Competition line packages can also be specified while that distinctive Audi touch of Xenon headlamps and LED daytime running lights can be specified as an option on S Line models.

Audi is confident the A1, with 500 orders placed already, will be a success and from what we could see it is be hard to disagree.

The Audi A1 is available to order now with the first models expected to hit the UK in November 2010.

Key facts:

Model tested: Audi A1 1.2 TSI

On the road price: £13,280

Price range: £13,280 – £18,280

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