Audi A1 exterior side

Audi A1 review (2018-2023)

The Audi A1 is a compact hatchback that gives you the quality and tech you associate with Audi in a small, cost-effective package.

Pros

  • A great looking supermini
  • Excellent build quality
  • Good range of engines

Cons

  • Suspension is a little firm for some
  • Audi name can mean higher prices
  • Not the most fun to drive

Summary

“The A1 is a sophisticated supermini that combines style with technology.”

The Audi A1 is a brilliant premium small car with great technology, good engines and excellent comfort.

The second-generation model (officially called Audi A1 Sportback) covered here was introduced in 2018 with a sportier look and more technology than the previous model and is available only as a five-door hatchback whereas the previous Audi A1 was also available as a three-door.

Audi offers lots of personalisation options, for the A1 such as choices of upholstery, seats and paint finish, so it should be easy to find a used A1 to suits your needs, driving style and budget.

What's the interior like?

“Well made with quality materials and a good amount of space for a small car.”

The A1 has great ergonomics, comfortable seats and just the right amount of technology. The air vents look great and the infotainment system works well with additional remote controls on the steering wheel.

The latest A1 Sportback model has five doors and a boot capacity of 335 litres that makes it very practical for a small car.

What's it like to drive?

“More about premium comfort than fun, the Audi A1 is a very composed drive with some great engines.”

The A1 drive feels solid with a range of engines, from efficient diesels to the sporty S1 and everything in between. Because it’s built to be driven quickly, the suspension can feel a little firm, especially the S-Line sporty model.

The one-litre models are a great choice for city based driving, but if you often venture further afield then it’s worth going for a 1.5-litre or one of the diesel options.

The driving position is excellent and there's a fantastic six-speed manual gearbox, although for those who spend a lot of time in traffic, the S-Tronic automatic is a good way to go.

Is the Audi A1 cost-efficient to buy and run?

“The A1 may not be the cheapest small hatchback but most versions are very fuel-efficient”

You'll pay slightly more for an Audi A1 than for the equivalent Volkswagen Polo or Ford Fiesta, but prices are generally similar to its main rival, the Mini Hatch. Diesel-engined cars provide excellent economy, with up to 76 mpg, but the small turbocharged petrol engines aren’t far off delivering up to 60 mpg.

Servicing costs can be slightly higher than main rivals and while some models fit in low insurance groups, the higher versions can get more expensive particularly for younger drivers. Road tax is average, but you’ll pay extra for the higher performance versions.

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Which one is best for you?

The diesels are the most economical unless you do a higher annual mileage of around 12,000. The petrol version is a great choice as its responsive and quieter.


The S-Line trim models have the best looks and equipment levels, although the combination of stiffer suspension and larger wheels means that the ride on these can be rather firm

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