The Audi A1 Sportback is a posh small car that comes with significantly more standard equipment than most alternatives. Unfortunately, it costs more as a result
The Audi A1 Sportback is a compact five-door hatchback with an upmarket interior and sporty styling inspired by more expensive models in the Audi range. It comes with just as much in-car tech as the likes of the VW Polo and SEAT Ibiza but wraps it up in a flashier interior with plenty of colourful personalisation options.
Pay a little extra and you can get the door handles, centre console and air vents fitted with colourful rims ranging from lurid yellow to more sophisticated bronze. You can match these to the contrasting stitching on the Audi A1 Sportback’s seats too, or upgrade to real leather upholstery in high-spec cars.
Another upgrade you’ll want to consider is the 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system. This brings with it sat nav, wireless phone charging and the Audi Phonebox feature that’ll boost your phone’s signal while it’s in the car.
You don’t have to pay extra for a digital driver’s display in the Audi A1 Sportback, however. This high-resolution 10.25-inch screen replaces conventional analogue dials with a customisable screen that you control using buttons on the steering wheel. Pay extra for the Navigation Pack and this screen can even show a widescreen map display.
If you don’t fancy forking out for sat nav, don’t worry – the Audi A1 Sportback comes with smartphone mirroring as standard so you can use your phone’s apps through the car’s built-in screen instead.
So, you’ll be well catered for in terms of tech, but what about comfort? Well, all A1 Sportbacks come with height-adjustable driver’s seats as standard and a steering wheel that adjusts for height and reach so you’ll have no trouble finding your ideal driving position.
Space in the back of the new Audi A1 Sportback is much more generous than in the slightly cramped old car. All models come with front and rear doors as standard, so you won’t have to jump out to let your passengers climb in the back. Fitting a child seat will be much less hassle than in the old three-door model, too.
Once your passengers have jumped on board, they’ll find the new Audi A1 Sportback comes with significantly more headroom than the outgoing car. There’ll be space for six-foot-tall passengers to sit behind an equally tall driver (for short journeys at least) and there’s plenty of space under the front seats for their feet.
It isn’t just passengers that the Audi A1 Sportback can carry with ease. Its boot opening is wide and square and you can get an adjustable boot floor to help make it easy to load and unload heavy luggage. Its 335-litre capacity is significantly more than the old car could manage and just as much as the roomy VW Polo.
Flip the back seats down and this grows to 1,090 litres – enough space to load a bike. You’ll probably have to remove at least one of its wheels before it’ll fit, though.
The sporty looking Audi A1 Sportback comes with three vents in the bonnet inspired by the legendary Quattro rally car – if you believe Audi, that is…
Initially, you’ll get to choose from a range of three petrol engines in the new Audi A1 Sportback. There’s a turbocharged three-cylinder unit producing 115hp that’ll be ideally suited to short inner-city journeys and a 150hp 1.5-litre four-cylinder unit that’ll be a better bet if you do a mix of short and long journeys.
There’s also a more powerful 200hp 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged unit that’ll give the likes of the Ford Fiesta ST a serious run for its money. Following these models into showrooms will be a 95hp petrol version that’ll be worth waiting for if you’re sticking to a stricter budget.
Whichever engine you pick, you’ll get to choose from a six-speed manual or an automatic gearbox. Top-spec 200hp cars come with the option of a six-speed unit while all other versions can be had with an efficiency-focussed seven-speed ‘box instead.
You can also get the A1 Sportback with a sportier suspension setup designed to make it more fun to drive. This also comes with selectable driving modes, more powerful brakes and red-painted brake callipers – to make sure it won’t be confused with ‘lesser’ models.
If you’re more interested in comfort than sporty handling, you should consider paying extra for the adaptive cruise control instead. This helps maintain a safe distance to other cars on motorways by braking at accelerating automatically. Cars with an automatic gearbox can even accelerate and brake for you in heavy stop-start traffic – perfect for taking the stress out of the morning commute.
Thankfully, you don’t have to pay extra for automatic emergency braking. This system helps prevent low-speed collisions by automatically applying the brakes if it detects a car, cyclist or pedestrian in the road ahead. The Audi A1 Sportback hasn’t been crash-tested by Euro NCAP yet, but features such as this should help make it a very safe small car indeed.