By Maggie Barry on 2019-08-24 - Experienced car journalist.
Audi A1 Sportback 30
EVERYONE loves an Audi - and now here's another one to drool over.
Small and perfectly formed the Audi A1 Sportback is the latest incarnation of the company's pocket rocket - this time with only five doors, the three door version has gone.
Lower and longer than its predecessor, it also comes only as a petrol model, another sign of the automotive journey we are currently on.
It is a looker too. In the Sport version I am driving it sits on 16-inch alloys with a deep, black almost three dimensional grille and air vents below with a black shark's fin antenna on the roof. The Sport version also has sports seats in the front.
The hatch opens to a reasonably-sized boot with 335-litres of space that grows to 1,090-litres if you put down the back seats.
But what is really surprising about this car is that the model I am driving is a 1.0-litre version. There are a few 1.0-litre cars on our roads at the small end of the market but this one has some real pep to it.
The 1.0-litre is turbocharged and has been tuned, in this model, to 116ps and that gives you some pretty good driving. I took it on the motorway and into town and it did not disappoint. It is agile and willing and nimbler on corners and bends. It reacts very positively to anything you ask of it and behaves like - well an Audi.
My version was the six-speed manual which I admit I loved. The gear changes were smooth and slick and added to the fun - but if you prefer it comes also as an automatic.
Inside the cloth seats are in granite grey Novum cloth with Steel grey stitching and there is plenty of piano black gloss around too. It is roomy and elegant with angular almost architectural lines.
There is a touchscreen and in this model Audi have added their Technology Pack (£1,650) which gives you extra features like enhanced sat nav, wireless charging, and Audi Connect which allows you to hook up your smartphone to the 8.8" touchscreen.
Of course being an Audi it is also packed with safety systems like lane departure warning and pedestrian and cyclist recognition.
There is plenty of legroom in the front and dual climate control should the driver and passenger live in different zones.
Now while this car will probably appeal as a small family car it is also likely to attract the would-be girl and boy racers because of its sporty bodystyle. And here I have good news. The new A1 Sportback comes with a real live handbrake in case there are any fast turns needed. No poncey electric brakes here.
Audi A1 Sportback 30 TFSI
Mechanical: 116ps, 999cc,3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max Speed: 126mph
0-62mph: 9.5 seconds
Combined MPG: 52.3
Insurance Group: 15
C02 emissions: 108g/km
Bik rating: 25%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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