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, although there’s no super-economical diesel
If you want a small car that looks posh and has a range of customisable options then the Audi A1 Sportback is a great choice. It’s available with a range of contrasting colour schemes and alloy wheel designs that make it more eye-catching than Audi’s larger cars.
Inside, it looks brilliant. Even basic models get two huge infotainment screens that are like widescreen OLED TVs next to the tiny monitors you’ll find in alternatives, and you can brighten the interior up with large swathes of coloured trim detailing. But, while it’s brilliant to look at, the Audi feels cheap in places where a Mini 3-door is consistently plush and expensive.
In terms of practicality, the Audi A1 Sportback is a much better bet than the Mini. The Audi has enough space for four tall adults to feel comfortable on a long drive. Up front, you get a wide range of adjustment for the driver’s seat and steering wheel while the standard rear doors give your passengers excellent access to the back.
And, while a VW Polo does have slightly more luggage space, the Audi’s boot is still relatively big for a car this size. It also has a practical square shape and lots of handy features.
Hollywood might not have produced a movie called ‘Honey I shrunk the Audi’ but, if it had, the Audi A1 Sportback would be its headline act
The feeling you get from the interior – that the Audi A1 Sportback is a big car wrapped in a small body – is a theme that’s consistent with the way it drives. The Audi’s suspension soaks up bumps in the road very well and – because all models have a gearbox with at least six speeds – engine noise is well contained on the motorway. You also get safety features as standard that used to be reserved for larger cars such as automatic emergency braking and lane assist.
One thing you can’t have is a diesel engine, so the A1 won’t return the sky-high fuel economy of some alternatives. That said, the 116hp three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol version is still very cheap to run and perfectly nippy enough for town. The 150hp 1.5-litre four-cylinder model won’t burn that much more fuel and has extra power that you’ll appreciate when you want to make safe overtakes at faster speeds.
As well as going for the more powerful engine, if you often drive on the motorway it’s also worth considering some of the optional driving aids available with the Audi A1 Sportback. Active cruise control is one of the handiest, it takes the effort out of long drives by leaving the car to accelerate and brake itself.
Really, there’s not a lot to be lost by letting the car do the driving because, although the Audi A1 Sportback has lots of grip and doesn’t lean in bends, you won’t enjoy driving it like you will a darty Mini 3-door.
If that doesn’t bother you, there’s not much else to criticise the Audi A1 Sportback for – as long as you don’t mind paying a little extra for its posh image, that is.
Check out our Audi A1 Sportback deals to see how much you can save on one. Also, for more in-depth info, read the interior, practicality, driving and specifications sections of our Audi A1 Sportback review.