Audi A1 Sportback
The Audi A1 Sportback is the more practical five-door version of the A1 supermini which is designed to take on the MINI. When the Audi A1 was initially released in 2010. There was the only going to be a matter of time before the practical five-door joined the lineup. Audi revealed it in 2011 opening up the smallest model to the style conscious market. This was long before MINI decided to offer it’s a stylish hatchback with another pair of doors.
All the models get an upmarket interior with all the premium materials. As well as an additional 6.5inch display and three-spoke steering wheel. This is a hugely desirable entry-level Audi for buyers looking to downsize from the more significant A3 or A3. The sport back has a premium of around £600. This is with a variety of TDI diesel and TFSI engines that are available. The trim levels consist of SE, S line and Sport with the range which peaks in the super-quick S1 Sportback.
The Audi A1 Sportback remains a small car with a limited amount of practicality. These extra doors, however, do make it a feasible option for families with small children. There is a wide range of diesel and petrol options. All turbocharged with an additional stop-start for commissions. Audi is expecting the A1 Sportback to make up two–thirds of A1 sales.
The car has been given a facelift from 2015. Although you would find it hard to see the difference. The front grille and lights have been slightly modified. As well as the bumpers and new wheel design. When stepping inside, the interior has been unchanged and where the most prominent changes are under the bonnet. They have decided to put a 1-litre three-cylinder VW engine which is also found in the VW Polo.
Underneath the skin of the A1 Sportback is identical to the original to the three-door car. Therefore it drives just as well. The low weight and its compact size make it agile in the corners. With an incredible electronic differential that is fitted as standard. Which gently brakes the wheel with the least grip, so it resists any understeer and grip hard when you force the power.
In late 2014 many diesel fans had their options shorted to a single 1.6 litre TDI. Although while it is punchy and smooth, it doesn’t feel particularly sporty. The petrol options include the intense 94bhp 1-litre TFSI and a 1.4 TFSI with either 148bhp or 123bhp. Which are all can be ordered with the twin clutch seven-speed S Tronic gearbox. These engines suit the character of the car a lot more as they feel the nerve to rev and growl from the exhaust.
The A1’s compact dimensions, light controls and decent visibility assure the Audi is easy to manoeuvre in tight city centres. When out on the open roads and you will find the wind and noise from the road are not much an issue for this car. The engine noises are reasonably suppressed.
Although this is just as distracting as the stiff ride. Which causes the car to thump over potholes and bumps. However, things improve at speed but yet still fidgets over poor roads and surfaces. It is possible to determine the softer SE spec at no extra cost, but this still has a firm edge. One good thing about this is a firm body control with composed and agile handling. Unfortunately nowhere near as engaging as the MINI but the Audi steering is precise and well weighted and with a secure grip.
Audi A1 Interior and Practicality
The design of the A1 has been around for a few years, yet the A1 class appeal remains unchanged. The trademark Audi styling cues are all still there including the gaping front grille. Swept- back headlamps and the clamshell tailgate. All of the models get clean alloy wheels, and body colour finish for the mirrors and door handles. The models further up the range will receive larger wheels and extra chrome trim.
As it is one of the leading competitors with MINI, there is plenty of scopes to personalise your A1. It is available contrasting roof colour can be added. With also some different body kit options. However inside is where you will find the best opportunity for customisation. Everything from the colour of the seat trim and air vents can all be colour coded. The extra £2695 Audi exclusive option covers the seats, steering wheel and gear lever in beautiful Nappa leather.
Thanks to minor adjustments to the chassis. There are extra headroom and legroom. o The A1 Sportback has a little more room than the three-door A1. All UK cars come with five seats as standard but don’t expect loads of room in the back. So tall people will find it a tight squeeze to sit behind one another. The boot space is reasonable with 270 litres of space with the rear seats up. 920 litres when the seats are folded flat. You can also adjust the height of the boot floor to so you can create the perfect loading level tip.