I’ve never driven the A1 before yet always fancied it from a looks perspective. The new A1 shifts the look from curvy to angular. It’s different for existing converts but I preferred the curves.
I suppose after 8 years of production a change was inevitable. The rear lights are of note with novel indented ridges and angles. It uses the MBQ platform that’s also used in the VW Polo and Seat Ibiza. The cars dimensions haven’t changed much and I was surprised how much room there was in the back and the boot (335ltrs). There’s the same 1.0TFSI engine available with 116bhp too. This gives a good opportunity to see which is better when chassis and engine are similar. It’s hard unless you are a statistician to compare pricing across the three of them but from my analysis there is a premium of approx. €3,500 for the A1 over the Ibiza. However, that’s a very basic A1 whereas the Ibiza is better specified. When the nice bits were added to my SE trim model they added over €8,775k to the €26,550 price. You could lose the run of yourself with an Audi options list.
The interior quality of the A1 is excellent as expected. Some harder than expected plastics do exist but not enough to detract from the overall sense of quality. The dash has a kink in it that properly angles the infotainment display towards the driver. All infotainment systems should be like this. There is a wonderful digital dash too that’s especially appealing when in aerial satnav view.
On the road the car felt every bit the same as my memory of the Polo and the Ibiza. No lean in the corners and remaining practically level. It lacks a bit of brio though and is not a car you’d buy for thrashing about in. It’s for the measured and refined driver. The power available at 116bhp is more than enough for the weight of the car and it felt nippy enough. I can’t say the addition of the Audi badge has upped the already excellent levels of quietness over the Polo and Ibiza.
As the baby Audi it is surprisingly suitable for a small family or empty nesters. It’s a premium choice and those 4 circles come at a cost premium. Audi aficionados, and there are a lot, wouldn’t be satisfied with anything else.
Under the Hood
Model Tested - Audi A1 Sportback SE
Engine - Petrol, 999cc, 116BHP, 200Nm
0-100km/hr - 9.5s
Top Speed - 203km/hr
Urban Fuel Consumption - 5.9l/100kms
Model Tested - €35,325
Prices from - €24,650