We use cookies on whatcar.com to improve your browsing experience and to provide you with relevant content and advertising, by continuing to use our site you agree to this. Please see our privacy policy for more details. Continue

What Car? says

5 out of 5 stars

For A small car with Audi qualities and the Audi badge can't fail. All the petrol engines are good, and quality is up to the usual Audi standards. The A1 has a far bigger boot than the rival Mini.

Against As you progress up the trim hierarchy, you get firmer suspension, bigger wheels and a firmer ride. Diesel engines are noisy.

Verdict The Audi A1 makes a fine used buy. It has all that's good about the brand in a package less than four metres long. However, unless you can live with a hard ride, avoid the firmest suspension and biggest wheels.

Go for… 1.4 TSI Sport

Avoid… Anything Sportline

Audi A1 Hatchback
  • 1. All the A1's engines are up to the job, while fit and finish meets the usual Audi standards of quality.
  • 2. As you progress through the trims, you get stiffer suspension, bigger wheels and a firmer ride. Don't expect any bargain basement deals.
  • 3. The A1 is all that's good about the Audi brand, in a package less than four metres long. However, unless you can live with a firm ride, avoid the stiffest suspension and biggest wheels.
  • 4. The A1 is the quietest premium supermini there is. The diesel engine can rattle when pulling away, but the petrols are always smooth and quiet, and you’re always well insulated from wind- and road noi
  • 5. The A1 has proved durable, but electrical gremlins can cause warning lights to appear for no apparent reason.
advertisement

Audi A1 Hatchback full review with expert trade views

A near-perfect driving position, an elegant dashboard and solid controls immediately demonstrate that the Audi is a classy car, but it’s not a case of style over substance. The A1 has agile handling and responsive steering. There’s the option of a firmer suspension set-up, but whichever option you go for, the ride is always comfortable.

Refinement is also top notch, and you’re well insulated from wind- and road noise, even at higher speeds. The car’s sloping roofline means the back seats are best suited to children, but there’s decent legroom compared with other stylish superminis, such as the Alfa Romeo Mito and Mini Cooper. The boot is a decent size, at 270 litres, while some A1s get a split-level boot floor.

Trade view

The interior is top quality and choosing diesel gets you fantastic fuel economy.

Rory White
Used car writer

If you intend to spend most of your time in town there’s no need to look past the 84bhp 1.2 TFSI. However, if you want to make the most of the car’s spirited drive, the 121bhp 1.4 TFSI delivers hot-hatch-like performance. There is an ultra-frugal 1.6-litre diesel, but it’s still too pricey as a used car to be good value.

The 1.2 petrol returns 55.4mpg, while the 1.4-litre isn’t far behind at 53.3mpg. There’s a bigger difference when it comes to VED, with the 1.2-litre costing £30 a year and the 1.4 at £95.

The entry-level SE trim is well equipped, with electric windows, air-con and alloy wheels; Sport adds firmer suspension, bigger wheels, sports seats and Bluetooth. Every model comes with engine stop-start and energy-recuperation technology to keep running costs low. However, be wary of overpriced A1s loaded with expensive options such as sat-nav; they won’t be worth a lot more in the future.

Trade view

Used prices remain high, but the A1 is a sound investment.

Rory White
Used car writer

Diesel models emit just 99g/km CO2 and have average economy of more than 74mpg, so are the cars to go for if out-and-out efficiency is important to you.

That said, the petrol variants are good, too. Both 1.2 and 1.4 TFSI engines in all but the 185bhp tune manage more than 50mpg and road tax won’t cost lots, because most models sit in band D and below.

The Audi A1 is still relatively new to the used market, so most used examples will still carry the manufacturer's warranty. It’s best to make sure they do, because repairs outside it could be costly thanks to its premium badge.

Trade view

The interior is top quality and choosing diesel gets you fantastic fuel economy.

Rory White
Used car writer

The A1 has proved durable, but electrical gremlins can cause warning lights to appear for no reason. The Bluetooth system can also misbehave, and the boot-locking mechanism can rattle

Trade view

Used prices remain high, but the A1 is a sound investment.

Rory White
Used car writer
Haymarket Logo What Car? is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media
What Car? is part of Haymarket Motoring
© Haymarket Media Group 2014