Audi has updated its A1 supermini, so we’ve decided to take a closer look at what exactly has been improved for 2015.
Just like the recent update to the Q3, Audi remains cautious when it comes to mid-life facelifts – understandable really, given the A1’s success. Audi has sold more than 500,000 of the small cars since its launch in 2010, so the smart styling and solid build quality certainly go down well with buyers.
If anything, the changes to the A1 are even more subtle than the recent Q3 refresh, with a tweaked grille and updated lights being the only tangible differences at the front. The side gains some subtly chunkier door sills, but otherwise remains identical. At the back, changes are limited to a redesign of the tail lights and a reshaped bumper which looks more squared-off than before. This adjustment adds 2cm to the overall length, while all other dimensions remain identical.
Inside, the overall design remains near-identical to the old model. That means that everything will be solidly made, and look smart in an understated monotone way.
It’s possible to liven up the interior with new trim options though, and optional blue fabric will make the cabin look brighter, as will the light grey available on the top spec S Line model (before the only option was black). A little piano black trim and extra chrome bits round off the changes.
Engine and drivetrain
The same number of engines feature, but one is all new to the A1, and the rest are updated. The first ever three cylinder Audi sits at the bottom of the range, the 1.0-litre turbo is both more powerful and more economical than the model that proceeded it. A figure of 94hp is a decent step up on the old 1.2’s 88hp, while economy and emissions now stand at 60mpg and 99g/km respectively.
The mid-range petrol model is an updated version of the 1.4-litre turbo that featured before. Power is boosted to the tune of three horsepower, now standing at 123hp, while emissions have dropped from 124g/km to 115g.
The more powerful 1.4 now offers 148hp, and thanks to cylinder on demand technology – where two of the engine’s four cylinders shut down when the engine isn’t under load – the resulting CO2 figure is a frugal 112g/km. The 1.6 diesel is also more efficient than before, returning 80.7mpg according to Audi.
In the older A1, this engine returned 74.3mpg, so the new figure is certainly not to be sniffed at. The diesel is now available with the seven speed automatic for the first time, and the same unit remains an option on the other engines.
Adjustable suspension can now be specified as an optional extra on the Sport and S line models, allowing the driver to vary the damper settings for comfortable cruising or more spirited driving. The new power steering set up should inspire more confidence too, as it remains light at low speeds for easy city driving, and weights up the faster you go.