The Audi A1 is a superbly well made small hatchback. Its upmarket appeal, composed driving experience and sophisticated looks are all reasons to pick one but, with so many rivals hot on the heels of this premium hatchback, is it still top of its game?
To help you decide, we’ve pitted it against some similarly-sized rivals. If you’re taken with any of these cars, put them in our car configurator to see how much carwow could help you save. Or, if you’re not sold on these options, put the Audi A1 in our car configurator to see the deals on offer.
The Ford Fiesta is one of the best all-rounders on sale. On the open road, it rides with the kind of compliance you’d expect from a much larger and more expensive luxury saloon. Get it on a twisty road, however, and its astonishingly good handling makes it feel like a junior hot hatch.
The engine range includes the multi-award-winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost turbo petrol in various power outputs. Its only downside, in fact, is the interior – while the rest of the car is modern, the cabin lags behind the competition with lower-rent materials and a confusing button-strewn layout. Drop the handbrake and set off, however, and you’re unlikely to care for all the fun you’ll be having.
See what reductions are offered by speccing up a Ford Fiesta in our car configurator.
The Mini hatchback offers much more fun behind the wheel than the A1 – sharp steering and seemingly endless grip give it a go kart-like feel. All the engines provide more than adequate power.
Unless you opt for the powerful 2.0-litre petrol in the Cooper S, the best all-round ability comes from the 1.5-litre diesel. It won’t be as practical though – there’s only 211 litres of boot space, compared to the A1’s 270.
The Citroen DS3 certainly has premium aspirations, but the overall quality can’t quite outdo the classy A1. That aside, it’s still very well-built and standard specification is generous. The bold looks help it stand out, too – while the A1 is restrained sophistication, the DS3 offers much more French style.
There’s a generous choice of engines, with a 1.2-litre petrol proving as responsive as it is frugal. The 1.6-litre petrol and diesels are still the best choice – they provide almost the same economy but also have more usable power. Inside, dimensions are very similar to the Audi, but you’ll find the boot to be more capacious. It’s good value, too – entry-level models cost around £1,000 less than an equivalent A1.
To save even more, use our Citroen DS3 configurator to get the best savings, straight from Citroen’s dealer network.
The Volkswagen Polo is the Audi’s understated, more mainstream cousin. With prices from just £11,300, there’s something in the range to suit everyone. The interior is a pleasant place to be but, once on the move, it lacks the enjoyment you get in an A1. That aside, you’ll get great refinement and fuel economy – the 1.0-litre petrol unit can achieve well over 60mpg.
It surpasses the A1 for practicality – it’ll be less of a squeeze to get adults in the back, and boot space is more than acceptable. If you want a beautifully-made German hatchback and aren’t too concerned about the badge, the Polo is a worthy A1 alternative.
Our Volkswagen Polo configurator will find you the best deals available, from Volkswagen dealers across the country.
Alfa Romeo MiTo
The Alfa Romeo MiTo certainly takes on the A1 in the looks department – for around £2,000 less than the cheapest A1, you’ll get Italian style that’ll help you stand out from the crowd. There’s enough choice for everyone – the 1.4-litre petrol is enough to give it pocket-rocket performance, while the smaller two-cylinder petrol and the 1.6-litre diesel both offer fantastic fuel economy.
Unfortunately, it’ll depreciate much quicker than the Audi, meaning you’ll lose some of the money you saved on the purchase price when you get rid of it. It’s also noticeably lower rent than the Audi – materials and their fit and finish simply don’t feel as nice as those in the German contender.
To see how much you could save, our Alfa MiTo configurator will get you the best deals available from the UK’s top Alfa Romeo dealers.
Another Italian alternative, the Fiat 500 comes with the same charm as the Mini, but with a continental flavour. The recent facelift brought a fantastic new infotainment system, along with a great range of petrol and diesel engines.
The 0.9-litre Twinair will provide punchy power when needed yet claims to return 68mpg. It doesn’t have the same classy feel as the A1, but it has a character the Audi can only dream of. A top-of-the-range model comes in around the same price as an entry-level A1, meaning fantastic value for money.
If you like the cute and quirky looks, see how much you could save using our Fiat 500 configurator – you’ll get the best deals from only the best Fiat dealers.
Being part of the Volkswagen group means the Skoda Fabia is just as well put-together as the A1 is. Inside the spacious cabin, the interior is a little more plain and uses slightly cheaper materials, but they are just as well screwed together. The latest generation’s styling has given the Fabia a new lease of life and it now looks almost as upmarket as the A1.
Practicality is also a strong point – having enough room for four adults and 330 litres of luggage puts it right at the top of its class. Engines are the same as others found in Volkswagen-based cars – the 1.2-litre petrol gets to 60mph from rest in under 10 seconds, while achieving over 60mpg. Priced from £10,700, it makes a great budget alternative to the Audi.
Save even more off the reasonably priced Fabia with our dedicated Skoda Fabia configurator – it’ll find you savings from the best Skoda dealers in the UK.
BMW 1 Series
The BMW 1 Series isn’t come cheap – entry-level models cost around £20,000, roughly the same as a top-spec A1. You’ll certainly get more car for your money – where the A1 is a premium supermini, the BMW is a true family hatchback. There’s 330 litres of boot space and more than enough space for four adults.
For most people, the frugal 1.6-litre diesel will be the engine of choice offering decent performance, refinement and efficiency. Being rear-wheel drive, it also offers a driving experience that the A1 can’t quite match.
It shares many of its components with the Polo, but the SEAT Ibiza offers a more agile and fun driving experience. Priced from around £12,000 – you can get a well-specified Ibiza for the price of an entry-level Audi. The third Volkswagen group car in this list, it’s impeccably well-made and you’ll find great materials throughout.
Engines are good, with the 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol being the newest addition to the range. It scores well on practicality too – it has a much bigger boot than the A1 and even manages to surpass the Polo. You won’t get that sought-after German badge, but you certainly get German engineering with the Ibiza – just like its Skoda sibling, it offers excellent value for money.
Save even more money off your new car with our SEAT Ibiza configurator.
The latest Honda Jazz adds funky looks to an already great package – legroom and headroom are still the best in class, but the new body looks noticeably more planted and aggressive. Costing between £11,000 and £20,000, you’ll find you get more as standard than you would on an equivalent Audi – entry-level models get air conditioning, DAB radio and USB connectivity.
There’s only one available engine though – a 1.3-litre petrol unit that produces 103hp. This’ll provide more than ample power for most people, and economy is good, too – Honda claims it’ll return 55mpg.
Use our Honda Jazz configurator to save money – you’ll receive only the best offers from the best dealers from across the country.
Save money on your new supermini
Use our car configurator to get the best deals on any of the above cars. If you’re still struggling to pick your next new car, our car chooser and deals page will help you whittle down the 400+ new cars on sale.