Audi’s smallest hatchback gains a new, grown-up lookAudi’s A1 proved a major success for the company, bringing Audi standards of interior design and material quality to the supermini sector. Now the second generation is bigger and more refined inside with all the street cred of its bigger siblings.
All models have lane departure warning and Audi Pre-Sense with pedestrian/cyclist recognition to make life safer in urban streets; this can automatically initiate an emergency stop should it recognise a potential hazard. Park Assist and radar-guided cruise control are worthwhile options; specify the latter with automatic transmission and it can bring the A1 Sportback to a halt in stop-start traffic before smoothly moving off again.
original A1 was often described as ‘cute’ and perhaps the new A1 Sportback has
lost a little of that character in growing up. By way of compensation, there’s
more space inside – and it’s still a great-looking car. It’s available in
five-door form only and offers 43mm extra shoulder room and 28mm more elbow
room within a longer, lower body. At the front, Audi’s distinctive singleframe
grille has a hexagonal-pattern mesh flanking the familiar four interlocking
rings, with three air intakes just below the bonnet apparently inspired by the
original Audi Sport quattro. Full LED headlights are standard across the range.
Inside, the lines are clean and uncluttered with most functions controlled by
MMI infotainment touchscreen rather than buttons.
access, live traffic updates and Google Earth into the infotainment system.
Verdict: the new A1 Sportback has matured into a great-looking supermini hatchback that can usefully accommodate four adults, with more luggage space as well. Audi’s interiors are still a class apart and it’s well-equipped as standard, with plenty more technology in the options and package lists. It’s the lowest-price way to get into a brand new Audi, and the good news is it doesn’t feel like you’re economising on quality.