Review: Audi A1 Sportback
The current model of the A1 - the second generation - has been around since 2018 but it doesn't look particularly dated and still has plenty of style with a premium feel throughout.
Now available exclusively as a five-door Sportback - or hatchback, if you like - it is one of the most practical superminis there is.
Despite many manufacturers moving away from small cars there will always be a need for them - particularly for folk who live in cities and have to fight for parking space.
Unlike the majority of the Audi range there are not a lot of engine or trim choices but what there are covers most of the bases.
The only ones on offer are the entry-level Sport, then it’s S line (as tested) and finally the Black Edition.
Sport comes with rear parking sensors, cruise control and sports seats in the front. Move up to the S line and you get a lower, firmer suspension and a smarter interior. The wheels are 17in alloys, up from the 16in ones in the Sport.
The additions to Black Edition are all cosmetic - 18in alloys, black styling with black rings, privacy glass, contrast roof in Mythos Black (available as an option on S line for £425) and a black exterior styling pack.
In addition, our test came kitted out with a comfort and sound pack (11-speaker stereo, parking camera, and heated front seats and a technology pack (upgraded navigation, wireless charging, and Audi Connect), metallic paint and a contrasting roof which added £3,695 to the £27,290 recommended price.
When it comes to engines, as mentioned, the pickings are slim. There are three of them and all are Audi’s TFSI powertrains
For starters there’s the 25 TFSI which is a one-litre three-cylinder delivering 94bhp with either five-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmission.
Next in line is the 30 TFSI, also a three-cylinder. This comes with 108bhp, a six-speed manual gearbox or the seven-speed automatic.
Finally we have a 1.5-litre four cylinder offering which packs a hefty 148bhp and is only available with the automatic transmission.
The interior is roomier than expected with plenty of adjustment whether you’re somewhat on the small side or your head usually grazes the roof.
Luggage room is 335 litres with all seats in place and 1,090 litres with them folded flat
The cabin is smart and very driver focused with a large touchscreen. The seats are comfortable.
Our test car came with the 30 TFSI. With the 108bhp at its disposal it kept up splendidly with motorway and fast A-road traffic yet was just as much at home in the city. The six-speed manual gearbox it was paired with was short-shifting and a pleasure to use.
Audi has said that the A1 will probably be discontinued in the not so distant future as the company concentrates on its range of electric cars. No date has yet been set for this to happen but when it does it will be a shame.
Audi A1 Sportback
Price: £27,290 (£30,985 as tested)
Engine: 1.0-litre, three-cylinder TFSI
Transmission: six-speed manual
Top speed: 126mph
0-62mph: 10.5 seconds
CO 2 emissions:126g/km