Audi A1 - Used Car

Review

Audi A1, front
Audi A1, side
Audi A1, rear
Audi A1, front
Audi A1, interior

THE Audi A1 was the company's answer to the BMW MINI and while it's nowhere near as funky and special, it is very high quality and drives beautifully.

There can be few cars that won so many accolades within such a short time of launch and having driven three or four different versions, I can see what all those judges meant.

The quality can be seen wherever you look, from the soft touch materials all around to the excellent technology and the way every switch works so beautifully.

The smooth range of petrol engines available from 2010 starts with an 85bhp 1.2, followed by a 1.4 with 120 and the range topping 180bhp 1.4.

Diesels are the standard VW range 105bhp 1.6 and 140bhp 2.0-litre.

There was a facelift in 2015 and from that time another engine - a 1.0-litre turbo - was added to the range, replacing the 1.2.

There are two models to choose from, the standard three door hatch and a five door called the Sportback, which came onto the market in 2012.

But be warned, access into the Sportback's rear seats is difficult and there is only very small rear legroom in either model.

Drive is to the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox with a swift, easy change and a light clutch.

Audi's S-tronic version of the VW group DSG automatic is available on many models, and standard on the top 1.4.

It is one of the best automatics on the market, but adds a lot to prices because it is so expensive new.

Performance is fair to excellent across the range and all the engines are smooth and quiet.

The ride is lumpy over rougher surfaces at slow speeds - and sometimes quite uncomfortable in town - but it does smooth out as speed rises.

Both models are really only three seaters if there's a tall driver, but this and the ride are the A1's only faults.

The driving position is excellent for all sizes and the handling and road holding are wonderful, with huge grip, even though the steering is lacking in feel.

Audi A1s come with a lovely, soft-feel leather covered steering wheel, well shaped hip and back hugging seats, MP3 stereo, climate and self-levelling headlights.

They also have traction and stability control, alloys, electric front windows, 60/40 split fold back seat, voice activation and a trip computer.

Pay about £10,600 for a ‘13 13-reg 1.2 S-Line, or £10,300 for a ‘14 14-reg 1.6 TDI SE. Sportbacks command about £400 more.

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