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Audi A1 Sportback - Supermini, Super Class

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The DriveWrite Archives Topics:  Audi A1

Audi A1 Sportback - Supermini, Super Class

Geoff Maxted
DriveWrite
November 30, 2013


Audi A1 Sportback
The car you are viewing is the Audi A1 Sportback S Line, on this occasion in 143PS four-cylinder turbocharged diesel form. There is a trend these days for a whole array of personalisation options to be available from most car manufacturers to highlight our preferences and lifestyle choices. Some of the variations appearing would be best left in the catalogue frankly, and it makes me wonder how the buyers think they are going to sell their more outrageous personal selections on in due course.

Audi have such options available but thankfully they have held back on the more hysterical ideas and opted for a more ‘timeless classic’ route. Which is why, if I were buying an A1, my first port of call would be the colour palette you see before you. The car is finished in a colour called Scuba Blue which would be a gorgeous enough hue on its own, but with the addition of the metallic Ice Silver roof makes it a stand-out paint selection. When two-tone is done well, it’s hard to beat for an auto colour scheme.

What is these days described as the ‘supermini’ sector is a packed arena with very many excellent offerings across the brands, of which Mini, arguably, seems to stand pre-eminent and this is the target market that the A1 is squarely aimed at. Like the Mini, the Audi is not a cheap car. There are vehicles available that do similar things for a lot less money. The trouble is, they don’t do them so well.

The A1 oozes class. The seats are firm, comfortable and supportive and the dashboard is orderly and well laid out. Fit and finish as you would expect is excellent. The car featured has the option of a technology pack which, although expensive, brings connectivity and a great navigation screen, which you can see deployed. The boot is on a par with the competition but legroom in the back is a tad on the tight side on this five-door model. The car will seat four but tall people will be asking for the front passengers to shuffle forward a bit, although I would suspect this is the case for most cars in this class.

Out on the road the punchy diesel turns the diminutive A1 into a surprisingly quick hatchback. With 141bhp on tap, the traffic light sprint comes up in around eight seconds and sixth gear is ideal for long-legged motorway cruising. The Audi A1 is really good fun to drive with punchy mid-range performance. Audi will tell you that well over 55mpg is possible with Stop/Start, but with real world driving and the fact that the car is so eminently driveable you should maybe figure for a little less. CO²emissions of 108g/km (and long service intervals for the diesel) mean the A1 should be cheap to run, aided by strong residual values.

If diesel isn’t for you then the 138bhp petrol engine may be a preferred choice with the added advantage that it shuts down two of its cylinders when cruising to save fuel, but it happens so smoothly you would be hard pressed to notice.

The S-Line version adds body kit with firmer suspension and a bigger set of alloy wheels, both of which I like, but it is not essential as there are three major and variable trim options available. Which is why the car featured costs - with a host of extras - a hot £25,000, but with the range starting at around £15k there are choices available to suit most budgets. Whichever is chosen the important thing to remember is that Audi quality. Even if the top-of-the-range models are beyond your price range you’ll know that you are still buying a very capable car that would also make a wise used car choice. Recommended.



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