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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For Superbly built, practical, well equipped - and it drives reasonably as well

Against The A2's engines are loud when worked hard, and the ride could be more settled

Verdict Can be expensive, but a good buy even so

Go for… 1.4 TD SE

Avoid… 1.6 FSI

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Audi A2 Hatchback full review with expert trade views

The kind of classiness that Audi is famous for is a rarity in cars this small, but the A2 is one of the few places you’ll find it. No other small car is built this well. Many would expect Audi’s attention to detail to wane in its smallest, cheapest cars, but not a bit of it.

The cabin is also sufficiently roomy for four, although five is a squeeze, and the boot is just about big enough to make it realistic small-family transport.

The A2's not bad to drive, either. Being built largely from lightweight aluminium, that helps it feel nimble and controlled on backroads, while motorway cruising is solid and fuss-free. The ride is more fidgety than we’d like, though.

Refinement is good. Wind and road noise are impressively contained, but the engines aren't so good: rev them hard, and they make a lot of noise, especially the diesel.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Prices very firm as demand outstrips supply, petrol and Sport spec sell easily

James Ruppert
Used car guru

Two engines lasted the whole of the A2’s life, the 1.4 petrol and the 1.4 TDi diesel. Both have 75bhp, which is plenty enough to haul the A2’s lightweight aluminium construction around.

The diesel’s low-down pull and fuel economy of 64.2mpg is great. However, the petrol is almost as good to drive, and while the fuel economy of 46.3mpg is some way short of the diesel's, it's not to be sniffed at, especially when it’s much cheaper to buy as a used car.

Two other engines appeared at various stages, an 89bhp version of the diesel and a 1.6 petrol. Both had their talents, but there wasn't really any need for this more powerful diesel, and the 1.6 costs significantly more to insure.

Rather than the basic or Sport trims, SE is the one you want, because you’ll get climate control to add to its already generous standard kit.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Average reliability, electrical and fuel injection faults with a higher than average repair bill

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct

The A2 isn’t as cheap to buy used as some cars of this size because its prestige badge and desirability mean it holds its value tenaciously from new. Whichever version you choose, you’ll be forking a lot of cash.

It’s much better news on running costs. Fuel economy is terrific on every model thanks to lightweight construction and frugal engines.

Insurance costs are quite reasonable, too. Both the 1.4 petrol and diesel come with a group five insurance rating, and the 1.6 sits in group eight.

As you might expect with an Audi, you’ll pay more for routine servicing than you would for other cars of a similar size.

When you’ve bought your A2, be very careful how you drive it. The aluminium construction may have huge benefits in other areas, but it makes bodyshop repairs very slow and very expensive. Even the slightest prang can be costly to fix.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Prices very firm as demand outstrips supply, petrol and Sport spec sell easily

James Ruppert
Used car guru

The good news is that the A2 is a good deal more reliable than the average car, according to data supplied to us by Warranty Direct. This means that, hopefully, those big repair bills will be few and far between.

Over half the faults reported on the A2 are electrical, so take plenty of time to make sure that all the gadgets work properly, and check the service history for any past problems. Because electrical issues can be hard to spot on a short test drive, a pre-purchase inspection might also be wise.

The turbo on the diesel engine can fail, too, which is another costly replacement.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Average reliability, electrical and fuel injection faults with a higher than average repair bill

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct
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