Cost & verdict

Audi A1 Hatchback review

Manufacturer price from:£15,605
What Car? Target Price:£14,904
Search new deals
Audi A1 front
Review continues below...
11 Dec 2015 14:18 | Last updated: 27 Sep 2018 09:38

In this review

Cost & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Audi A1 hatchback running costs

On the face of it, the A1 is not a cheap small car; its prices definitely sit a notch above those of the Volkswagen Polo, let alone the Ford Fiesta or any of the more mainstream opposition. However, it is priced broadly in line with most Minis – especially if you take our advice and pick one of the more modest trim levels from the A1 line-up.

The good news is that the A1’s resale values are really strong. If you’re buying the car outright, this means you can look forward to getting a decent percentage of your purchase price back when you sell the car on in, say, three years. This trend is also reflected in the A1’s finance offers, which look particularly appealing; it’s a strong proposition on the types of PCP deals that are so popular in the small car market.

On paper, the cheapest petrol A1 to run is the 1.0 three-cylinder model, since it emits less than 100g/km of CO2 (with a manual gearbox). The 1.4 petrol’s emissions are still respectable, although you need to bear in mind that the figures go up as you bump up the wheel sizes.

Almost all diesel A1s emit less than 100g/km of CO2; you have to choose an automatic gearbox to nudge it above that magic figure. This keeps comapny car tax to reasonable levels.

Depending on the type of driving you do, service intervals can be up to every two years or 19,000 miles. Also, it’s well worth considering the Audi Service Plan, which covers the cost of routine servicing for five years or 50,000 miles.

Audi A1 hatchback equipment

Even entry-level SE versions come with a few bit and pieces, including 15in alloy wheels, air-con cruise control and rear parking sensors. We'd definitely fork out for the Bluetooth phone connectivity mentioned in the infotainment section, though. That comes as standard on Sport trim, along with other niceties such as a leather steering wheel, a driver’s information display between the instrument dials, sat-nav and 16in alloy wheels – making this our preferred trim.

The extra kit brought by S line and Black Edition trims is mainly focused on styling, so unless you’re really keen to have a sporty-looking A1, we think you’re better off saving your cash and spending it on a Sport model plus a few personalisation options, such as the contrast roof colour.

Audi A1 infotainment

Audi A1 hatchback reliability

The A1 has been around for a while and uses a well-tried set of components that are shared across many models from VWSeat and Skoda – but that hasn’t been reflected in the car’s reliability data. In our most recent survey, A1 owners registered a fairly average 27 faults per 100 cars. That was slightly better than what the Mini hatch managed, though.

Audi as a brand did better, mind you, finishing a respectable 12th out of 32 manufacturers tested, putting it just above Mini once again.

Audi’s warranty covers unlimited mileage in the first two years and up to 60,000 miles in the third year. The company offers extended warranties lasting four years and 75,000 miles or five years and 90,000 miles as optional extras.

Audi A1 hatchback safety and security

Every A1 comes with six airbags, stability control, Isofix child seat mounting points on the rear seats and a tyre pressure monitoring system.

However, there are no modern active safety aids, such as automatic emergency braking, blindspot warning or lane-keeping assist. And although the A1 scored five stars in its 2010 Euro NCAP crash test, the process has changed so much since then that this score does not stand comparison to rivals that received five stars within the past couple of years, such as the Fiesta and Seat Ibiza.

Security kit is comprehensive and includes an alarm and engine immobiliser. Security experts Thatcham Research awarded all versions top marks for resisting being stolen and four out of five for resisting being broken into.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

open the gallery256 Images

Verdict

The Audi A1 is an appealing small car with an upmarket interior and pert handling, but it's starting to feel its age elsewhere

  • Peppy petrol engines
  • Agile handling
  • Superb interior quality
  • Diesel is noisy
  • Firmer suspension hurts ride comfort
  • Poorly equipped for safety kit
There are 12 trims available for the A1 hatchback. Click to see details.See all versions
S Line Style Edition
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Petrol
S Line Contrast Edition
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Petrol
S Line Competition
We have not written anything about this yet...View trim
Fuel Petrol
SE
Entry-level SE trim gets some decent standard equipment, including 15in alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, cruise control, air-con, a 6.5in colour infotainment screen and a DAB radio. There are a...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£14,904
Average Saving £701
View Trim
OUR PICK
Sport Nav
This is our preferred trim level. It adds Bluetooth, sat-nav, a leather-covered steering wheel, sports seats (including lumbar adjustment) and aluminium interior highlights to SE’s kit roster. You...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£17,071
Average Saving £809
View Trim
SE
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£18,274
Average Saving £266
View Trim
S Line Nav
One of the most extreme of the A1’s regular trim levels, S line brings sports-focused styling modifications rather than a much longer standard equipment list. You get a bodykit, 17in alloy wheels...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£18,971
Average Saving £904
View Trim
Sport
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£19,723
Average Saving £287
View Trim
Black Edition Nav
Based on S line, this even pricier trim adds Alcantara sports seats, climate control and plenty of bespoke styling touches. The cheaper trims make far more sense financially, though...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£20,491
Average Saving £979
View Trim
S Line
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£21,348
Average Saving £312
View Trim
S1 Nav
The fastest A1 comes with plenty of standard equipment, including a sporty-looking bodykit, xenon headlights, aluminium flourishes on the door mirrors, part-leather sports seats, climate control an...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£25,908
Average Saving £1,232
View Trim
S1 Competition Nav
Essentially, this adds more visual styling details to the regular S1. It's not worth the extra, in our view...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£28,241
Average Saving £1,349
View Trim