Audi A1 Sportback 30

TFSI S line S tronic

Audi A1 Sportback, front action
Audi A1 Sportback, full front static
Audi A1 Sportback, front static
Audi A1 Sportback, side static
Audi A1 Sportback, rear action
Audi A1 Sportback, rear static
Audi A1 Sportback, dashboard

SUPERMINIS have been increasing in size for a while now - so it's no surprise to find the second generation of Audi's A1 Sportback has expanded considerably.

As well as being two inches longer, the five-door only, front-wheel drive model sees boot space increased to 335 litres with maximum capacity now 1,090 litres with the rear seats folded flat.

Not only does it mean you can now get several more bags of shopping in than before but it also improves interior space for all occupants and makes the A1 far more family friendly.

So there is plenty of head and legroom in the back for two adults - a third can be accommodated although a raised transmission tunnel will make it a bit of a squeeze.

Up front the driver can attain a decent driving position as the seat and steering wheel are fully adjustable.

Priced from £17,700, the compact hatchback has much in common beneath the skin with sister brands VW Polo and Skoda Fabia but is better looking and more luxurious inside and out justifying the extra cost.

The A1's exterior styling has been tinkered with resulting in a much more in-your-face appearance. The top specification S line version gets large air intakes at the front as well as ducts just below the bonnet.

Natty indicators scroll sideways while super-bright LED automatic headlamps operate via a push button on the dash.

The latest 1.0-litre turbo-charged three-pot petrol engine lurking under the bonnet of this car - badged 30 TFSI thanks to Audi's new naming system - is both punchy and frugal.

It reaches 62mph from a standing start in a shade over nine seconds on its way to a top speed of 126mph while motoring on motorways and in the urban jungle saw a decent average fuel economy figure of 47mpg according to the read-out on the car's digital display - helped by an efficient stop-start system - while carbon dioxide emissions are 108g/km.

This S line model featured a slick seven-speed S tronic dual clutch automatic gearbox with seamless changes as well as a stiffer sports suspension.

The handling is neat and accurate while the steering is sharp giving a good feel for what is happening on the road. The ride is firm without necessitating the need for any dental work and multi-mode drive settings can alter the car's responses to suit your mood.

The S line's £23,180 price-tag inevitably increases as the options menu is raided for things like the £1,650 technology pack which adds a 10.1-inch touchscreen navigation system and Audi's virtual cockpit instrument panel.

A £995 comfort and sound pack - including a 560 Watt Bang and Olufsen premium audio system - may also prove tempting, but £150 for a front centre armrest that really should come as standard may prove too much to bear.

The optional extras included on this car took the final cost to £29,930 - which in all honesty is a lot, even for a premium supermini.

But for that you do get adaptive cruise control, a reversing camera, classy ambient lighting around the instruments and in the doors plus dual zone electric climate control. Audi throw in driver assist features such as an automatic braking system and lane departure warnings.

Hooking up your mobile to the car is easy and a wireless phone charger was also fitted in this model.

FAST FACTS

Audi A1 Sportback 30 TFSI S line S tronic

Price:£23,180

Mechanical:116ps, 999cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed:126mph

0-62mph:9.4 seconds

Combined MPG:48.7

Insurance Group:20

C02 emissions:108g/km

Bik rating:25%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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