Audi A1 Sportback Review & Prices

The Audi A1 Sportback is a posh small car that is comfortable and practical. It’s easy to drive and has a good range of petrol engines but there aren’t any super-economical diesel units

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RRP £22,800 - £32,745 Avg. Carwow saving £1,330 off RRP
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Reviewed by Carwow after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • High-tech infotainment
  • Safe and comfortable to drive
  • Excellent choice of petrol engines

What's not so good

  • No diesel engine options
  • Alternatives are cheaper to buy
  • A Mini looks cooler – inside and out

Find out more about the Audi A1 Sportback

Is the Audi A1 Sportback a good car?

If you’re looking for a small, easy-to-drive car but don’t want to compromise on quality, the Audi A1 Sportback is well worth a look. It’s a bit like Fabergé egg, because it’s small and looks and feels expensive, but does cost a fair whack to buy in the first place, even if it’s pretty cheap to run after that. 

It’s actually the most upmarket small car around, although cars like the Volkswagen Polo or Mini hatchback run it close, and the Peugeot 208 isn't too far behind, either.

The A1 is a striking thing to look at. Take that intake-ridden front end, for example. Sure, a lot of the black plastic grilles don’t actually lead anywhere, but at least they make the Audi A1 Sportback look far sportier than a Mini hatch or VW Polo. It looks even better if you plump for a top-spec car with big alloy wheels and an eye-catching two-tone paint job.

That’s not to say you have to fork out for a range-topping car to get your Audi A1 Sportback with a nice interior. Every car gets a dual-screen infotainment system and a good number of posh-feeling plastics dotted about the place to make it feel more upmarket than most small hatchbacks. There are a couple of trims, notably on the doors, that let the side down a touch, though.

The Audi A1 Sportback is also a good deal more spacious than your average small family runabout. There’s loads of headroom in the front, plenty of seat adjustment to help you get comfy and there’s enough space in the back for two more adults to come for a ride without them feeling too hemmed-in. The boot’s pretty roomy compared with alternatives’ too, so you can squeeze in some suitcases or even a set of golf clubs without too much hassle and there’s space for a bike if you flip the seats down.

Hollywood might not have made a movie called ‘Honey I Shrunk the Audi’ but, if it had, the Audi A1 Sportback would be its headline act

Chances are that you won’t be using your Audi A1 Sportback for lugging heavy loads to and from the tip, though. More likely you’ll be nipping to and from town at rush hour where the A1’s small size, light controls and decent visibility make it a doddle to squeeze through gaps in traffic.

If you spend a lot of time in town, the three-cylinder 20 TFSI petrol model is the engine to go for. That said, there’s a selection of increasingly more powerful 30-, 35- and 40-badged four-cylinder models which are better suited for longer journeys and long motorway trips. They’re all pretty smooth and fairly economical, but it’s a shame you can’t get the Audi A1 Sportback with a fuel-sipping diesel engine for long cross-country slogs.

On the subject of long drives, the Audi A1 Sportback’s optional automatic gearbox helps the edge of long stints behind the wheel but it can be a bit jerky at slow speeds. The standard manual gearboxes are easy to use but, even with the slickest six-speed unit fitted, the Audi A1 Sportback isn’t as much fun to blast down a quiet country road as the more involving Mini hatchback.

Still, if you’re looking for an upmarket small car with a spacious cabin and loads of standard kit, few cars do quite as good a job as the Audi A1 Sportback.

Why not see how much you can save by checking out the latest Audi A1 Sportback deals and you can also see new deals for other Audis through Carwow. You can look at used Audi deals, and if you want to change your car completely, you can sell your car with the help of our trusted dealers.

How much is the Audi A1 Sportback?

The Audi A1 Sportback has a RRP range of £22,800 to £32,745. However, with Carwow you can save on average £1,330. Prices start at £21,713 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £263. The price of a used Audi A1 Sportback on Carwow starts at £13,414.

Our most popular versions of the Audi A1 Sportback are:

Model version Carwow price from
25 TFSI Sport 5dr £21,713 Compare offers

The A1 range is very straightforward, as the car is offered in Sport, S Line and Black Edition trim levels. Even more concise is the engine range, as the A1 can only come with a 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine under the bonnet.

You do at least get some power outputs to choose from. The range kicks off with a 25 TFSI (95hp), followed by the 30 TFSI (116hp) and the 35 TFSI (150hp). All engines can be fitted with a seven-speed automatic gearbox, but only the 35 TFSI comes with it as standard - the 25 TFSI has by default a five-speed manual gearbox, and the 30 TFSI a six-speed manual.

While most Audi models can have all-wheel drive, this isn't the case with the Audi A1. No matter the trim level or engine you go for, the A1 will always be a front-wheel drive car.

Performance and drive comfort

Refined and stylish it may be, but the A1 Sportback isn’t a car that will stir your senses

In town

Given its compact dimensions, you’d expect the A1 to be a town-focused car that is perfectly at home in congested streets. But while forward visibility is great the enormous rear pillars make manoeuvring harder than it should be, so it’s not as easy as it ought to be to park. 

That said, it’s a very pleasant and refined car in which to spend time and is a cut above the usual supermini if you’re going to sit in city traffic.

On the motorway

As small cars go, the A1 Sportback is very refined, especially at cruising speeds where both road and wind noise are very well suppressed for such a small car. That Audi badge means more than just status, it also means the A1 has bigger-car refinement. It feels like a quality machine.

On a twisty road

Whatever you do, don’t expect Mini levels of roadholding or agility here. It’s not that the A1 doesn’t handle well – it’s never anything but reassuring – but it just doesn’t have the sharp point-to-point feel that makes the Mini hatch so engaging.

It’s a civilised and grown-up small car but not a sporty one, though it does have good levels of grip and impressive, powerful brakes. Comfort-wise, it’s fine on smooth roads, but it tends to feel unsettled and jiggly on uneven and broken surfaces.

Space and practicality

Smartly designed and impressively spacious, the A1 Sportback is a practical supermini, but visibility isn’t great

Now in its third generation, the Audi A1 has evolved to become a grown-up five-door small hatch rather than the characterful small hatch it began life as. 

It’s compact by modern standards but is still 56mm longer than its predecessor, albeit narrower and lower.

The cabin is neatly and clinically styled with a premium feel, but the thick rear pillars mean rear parking sensors or cameras are a very useful option as rear visibility is pretty poor. 

It’s an easy car to get comfortable in though, with lumbar support on all but the entry-level model and firm yet supportive seats.

Space in the back seats

In the rear, the A1 Sportback offers a little more flexibility than comparative small hatches, and has the Mini knocked into a cocked hat. It’ll fit four adults in relative comfort, given it’s a small car, and is certainly near the top of the class for rear seat comfort. There are two ISOFIX mounting points. 

Boot space

The Sportback is generally pretty good in terms of luggage capacity, with 335 litres of space with the back seats locked in place and 1,090 with them folded flat. You’ll find a lot less boot space in a Mini (211 litres), but there’s more in a VW Polo (351 litres) or SEAT Ibiza (355 litres).

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

Interior quality matches the high-end hatchback price tag, although cheaper plastics are not completely eliminated

Part of the A1’s appeal (and justification for its premium price tag) is its interior quality and it certainly looks the part, with soft-touch materials on the dashboard, high-quality switches and piano black trim highlights. 

Look closely, though, as it’s not as high-end as it first appears, with cheaper grade plastics on the doors and around the handbrake and gear surrounds.

Traditional heating and ventilation knobs are welcome compared to the fiddly touch-screen controls of some rivals, but the dials and instruments are all digital, with the option of swapping the standard 10.3-inch display for a more configurable “Smart Cockpit”.

All models get Bluetooth, DAB and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring on the standard-fit 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen, while you can also add a 560W Bang & Olufsen stereo system.

MPG, emissions and tax

In terms of running costs the A1 is expensive to buy but holds its value better than its key rivals, with the highest residual values in the class.

All versions of the Audi A1 have a 1.0-litre petrol engine under output, with power outputs ranging from 95hp to 150hp depending on the version. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the 95hp version is the most efficient with a claimed 52mpg, though the other engines aren't much far behind - 116hp cars can return up to 51mpg, and 150hp models around 49mpg.

When it comes to your annual VED tax bill, the rate you'll pay won't vary much across the range. In most cases, you'll need to budget for £220, though the Audi A1 models with the highest emissions will fall into a higher tax band, so their tax bill for 2024/2025 will be £270.

In company car tax terms, most rivals will be cheaper thanks to the A1’s relatively steep list price.

Safety and security

The Audi A1 achieved a full five stars in Euro NCAP testing, and safety kit includes Audi Pre-sense ‘Front’ with pedestrian and cyclist recognition, which assists braking in the event of something shooting out in front of the car.

It also gets Lane Departure Warning, Hills Start Assist and a speed limiter that you can set from the driving menu. All A1 Sportbacks get the Audi Connect Safety and Service including e-call, which alerts the emergency services for you in the event of an accident.

Reliability and problems

Audi offers a pretty basic three-year/60,000-mile warranty on the A1 Sportback including breakdown cover and recovery, and the bodywork warranty is 12 years. There have been no UK recalls so far.

Buy or lease the Audi A1 Sportback at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £22,800 - £32,745 Avg. Carwow saving £1,330 off RRP
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