Aggregated reviews, user reviews, videos, photos and stats
- Smart looks
- Excellent interior
- Grown up feel
- Not great to drive
- Ride quality could be better
- Little character
The Audi A1 reviews are largely positive. It may be the cheapest model in the Audi range, but the experts reckon it feels just as good as Audi's more expensive offerings.
The critics are impressed with the car's class leading build quality, along with its tidy handling and grown-up feel. However, the A1 isn't the best car in its class, and it certainly isn't the cheapest.
Just like every other Audi on sale, the A1's cabin is beautifully built, it looks smart and is one of the best in any small car. There's decent adjustability in the drivers seats and steering wheel, and there's a fair amount of room up front.
However passengers in the back may feel a bit cramped, with limited head and leg room, plus there are only two seats in the back. That being said, the boot is bigger than in almost any other small hatchback.
Thanks to a low weight and a short wheelbase, the A1 is one of the most entertaining Audis currently on sale - critics like the sharp steering and the darty front end. However, though the gap isn't as broad as you might believe, most testers reckon that cars such as the MINI are more fun to drive.
The A1 does start to redeem itself with its impressive overall refinement - the ride may be on the firm side, especially on the super stiff S-Line models, but it's still comfortable enough on most surfaces, and noise is well suppressed at higher speeds. Visibility all-round is also good, so it's easy to manoeuvre and park.
Critics say the stop/start system, which cuts the engine off when stationery, works well and isn't intrusive.
There's a broad range of impressive engines on offer in the A1, ranging from a 1.2 turbo petrol right up to a top-of-the-range 2.0 diesel.
Most of the testers are impressed with the petrol engines, especially the peachy 1.4 - whilst the smaller 1.2 engine feels a bit underpowered at times, the 1.4 has a fair bit of poke across the rev range yet returns decent fuel economy and suits the car's character quite nicely.
However, for the best running costs, you'll want to have a look at the diesels. They're not as zesty or as eager as the petrol motors, but they've still got enough go to be useful and return very impressive mpg figures. The super-economical 1.6 TDI is a bit slow, but offers seriously low running costs.
If you want an automatic gearbox then you'll need to go for one of the 1.4 TFSI engines, only manual gearboxes are available on the 1.2 TFSI and 1.6 TDI.
A super-quick limited edition version, called the Audi A1 Quattro, went on sale in 2012.
Value for money
Compared with some other rivals, the Audi A1 can look quite expensive. However, the phenomenal build quality and the desirable badge do go some way to justifying the premium, and there's a decent amount of kit that comes as standard. However, being an Audi, there are plenty of tempting options that can turn the A1 into a very pricey car indeed.
Running costs, though, should be fairly low, thanks to the efficient range of engines. Also, thanks to the car's desirability, it's expected to hold its value quite well.
There's a really good value 5 year servicing package that's a must.
Standard equipment is fairly generous for all models. The base SE A1s come with air-con, 15" wheels and iPod connections. The next level is the Sport, which gives sportier seats, Bluetooth and 16" wheels. Then there's the S-Line trim, with 17" wheels, a subtle bodykit, sportier suspensions and part leather seats.
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SE, Sport and S-Line trims all have different suspension, with increasing levels of firmness and also increasing wheel sizes (15" for the SE, 16" for Sport and 17" for S-Line). If you're not after a sporty set-up then go for the more comfortable SE models. Quite a few testers reckon the Sport and S-Line grades are a bit too hard and fidgety on rougher surfaces, so we'd recommend the normal SE trim if handling and dynamics aren't a major concern to you.
If you're interested in the A1 but think it's not practical, then there's always the A1 Sportback model. For a slight price increase, you get two extra doors, an ever so slightly bigger cabin and the option for three seats over the normal A1's two seats.
Overall, the Audi A1 is a capable supermini with plenty of things going for it. The build quality is superb, there's a great range of engines and it's impressively refined for such a dinky little car. However, it is one of the more expensive cars in its class, and there are equally capable cars in the market for significantly less money.
That being said, the A1 is still a desirable and very good all-rounder, and is easy to recommend.
- Price range:
- £13,790 - £22,340
- 47 - 74
- Safety rating (NCAP):
- Date released:
- Late 2010
- Replacement due:
- Not for many years
- Model history:
- In June 2011 the 1.6 TDI engine was made even more fuel efficient.
In November 2011 the 2.0 TDI was launched, as were Black and Contrast Editions. Full details - A1 Range Updates.The limited edition Audi A1 Quattro went on sale in 2012.
- Engine to go for:
- 1.4 TFSI - It mixes economy and power nicely
- Options to go for:
- The excellent sat-nav system
- Options to avoid:
- Some reviews say not to go for the S-Line trim, as the large wheels and sporty suspension aren't too comfortable.
- Other variants:
- There's a 5-Door version too, the A1 Sportback
- Engine naming:
- TDI engines are diesels, TFSI are petrols
|1.4 TFSI 185||1||7.0|
|2.0 TFSI Quattro||4||6.8|
Audi A1 User Reviews
I ordered the 1.4 petrol S-Line and have been extremely happy with it so far! Fuel range has been good, just got back from a long motorway trip and got 34mpg with four people in.
- By David S, who owns this car
My wife and I bought this car last year and have not yet had any gripes about it. So far so good.
All noise is effectively diminished, including the engine which, as well as being very smooth, is also highly responsive. The stop/start system works brilliantly. Although we've heard a couple of complaints from other owners about the ride being a bit hard, we find it comfortable, particularly with the dynamic suspension we opted for on the Sport.
The interior is high-spec and there are no cheap feeling parts at all. And even though it's a small car, it feels incredibly roomy once inside. The boot is also more than sufficient for our needs.
The A1 is a low insurance group and tax is cheap. All the more reason to own one!
- By Jacob Nielson, who owns this car
I purchased the 1.4TFSi Sport - at first thought it was fantastic but now I think otherwise.
The start/stop doesn’t work, found blue specks in the white paintwork, brakes have failed after 2 months and the rain sensor/auto wipers don’t work.
The dealer isn’t bothered, neither are AUDI UK or Germany.
If I were you don’t even think about buying one!
- By Cellojames, who owns this car
I’m delighted with my latest purchase. This car gets lots of attention, it’s of a high quality both on the inside and the outside, is on the large side for a small car which is very handy and is comfortable for long journeys for all passengers.
I’m averaging about 60 mpg at the moment which I’m very impressed with, no road tax is a nice bonus. It’s very responsive and handles well. Great car all round.
- By Adam Levinson, who owns this car
This car suits my partner and I perfectly. It’s a sexy small car which is economical and constantly admired! It’s surprisingly spacious (there’s ample boot and cabin space), feels very safe and is extremely nippy. The 1.2 engine is perfect for our needs.
The only complaint I’ve got is from a friend of ours who said that on a long journey the headrests in the back weren’t particularly comfortable. Think we can live with that though seeing as there’s only the two of us most of the time! However having said that I wouldn’t particularly jump to recommend it as a family car.
- By Sophia Brixter, who owns this car
Words can’t describe how Terible this car is… Why or why did I trade the mito.
- By Tony wiltshire, who owns this car
love style .drive and refined feel. dislike 3 dr rear headroom get sportback for adults. wish they did a 2l tdi auto?
- By a ogden, who owns this car
Bought an Audi A1 1.6 TDI just under a year ago, whilst i cannot fault the quality of the vehicle, the fuel economy falls well short of the published figures. When i say well short, i do mean well short. Driving the car very steady on regular trips of 60miles to work and back. I have never achieved more than 52 mpg. Recently with the colder months we struggle to get 50 mpg. This has been a big disappointment as the reason for the purchase was its published attractive fuel figures.
- By Phil Jordan, who owns this car
Bought my A1 TDI Sport last july (2012).I mainly bought this car because of the MPG which Audi stated but I have to say I’m extremely disappointed with the car, it delivers around 40 MPG at best, has been back to Audi who told me that they “reset” things…since that reset no improvement at all. At present I’m getting 390 per tank of fuel! The start/stop works when it feels like it, Audi told me that this does’nt work in very cold weather..well the temperature was +10 so another failure for the car. I had fiesta sports for a number of years and thought I’d give Audi a try. Yes the build quality is very good but overall this car is definetly not what its advertised to be.
- By john, who owns this car
I am a Driving Instructor, so after having a 1.4 tdci Fiesta I decided to upgrade to the Audi A1 1.6 TDI , after reading endless, great 5star reviews I went ahead the attraction being fuel consumption , a unique learner vehicle which every learner driver has loved to drive , wether to impress friends or ease of drive , it is a fabulous training car. Unfortunately the fuel consumption figure s don’t add up , at first I thought it was the erratic nature off the learner drivers, over revving, stalling , clutch control , fuel consumption readings were 40mpg max from the advertised 75 mpg this was a great short fall, so I road tested a full tank with myself driving , stop start on , correct revs at gear change , less engine breaking and still managed only 420miles to the full tank. Disappointed as the rest of the cars assets are perfect, the main reason I bought was for the fuel performance to help ease the burden of rising fuel prices,
- By Gary, who owns this car
I bought this car( A1 sport TDI ) in May 2011, since day one every time i drive the car over the speed humps on our estate and on bumpy ground the suspension fully compresses and extends making a thumping noise. I have taken it back to my local dealer from where i bought it , they have road tested the car many time and agreed that it is noisy . Audi technical department now tell the dealer this is NORMAL CHARACTERISTIC for this car . Any body else out there got the same characteristics . The fuel consumption is also not what the manufacturers claim either i do a fair few miles a month and the best i have averaged is 62mpg as the car has got older the mpg has got worse its now down to the mid to low 50s no where near the 74 quoted when i decided to buy one based on these figures Apart from the above the rest of the car is fine
- By TERRY C, who owns this car
Great review of the A1 from carbuyer.co.uk. They show us round the interior, share what it's like to drive and give their verdict.
Quick video review from autocar of the A1 1.6 TDi
Jon Quirk gives a quick tour of the Audi A1's interior. The video quality isn't great, but it's a useful video.
Useful video showing what features the A1 Sport has.
Official launch video for the A1
Short video looking at the different features of the A1 and some of the optional extras.