Audi has created a five-door version of its posh A1 supermini. Is it any good?
What is it?
The A1 Sportback is a combination of quality, efficiency and technology all wrapped up in the most compact five-door ever. Adding to the huge 42-model line up, this little bit of vorsprung durch Technik will make Audi even more accessible and broaden their customer base further.
What's under the bonnet?
Some very clever and efficient units. All bar one of the available engines are VED-free in year one too. There's a choice of two petrol engines: A 1.2 TFSI developing 85bhp and a 1.4 TFSI with 120bhp and topping out with 183bhp. There are two diesel engines: a 1.6 TDI with 104bhp and a 2.0 TDI pumping out 141bhp. Audi expects to sell more petrol than diesel.
What's the kit like?
Prices start at just £13,980 with the usual suspects such as air con, alloys and alarm. We drove the 1.4 TFSI Sport priced at £16,475, optional extras including 17-inch wheels, Connectivity package (sat nav and bluetooth etc) taking the OTR price to £19,560. There is a bunch of technology in this car.
The A1 Sportback has very few rivals. There's the Mini Clubman – the estate version of the hatchback – but lacks true five-door practicality. There's also the Chrysler Ypsilon – it's cheaper but lags far, far behind in the quality stakes.
Is it any good?
It is, yes. The Sport has a no cost delete option
of softer suspension, but we found it better to stick with the standard, stiffer set-up. This particular car had a few creaks and rattles, but all in all is a solid little thing. Although it is called the Sportback, don't be fooled. It isn't that sporty at all. The 1.4 TFSI Sport that we drove was swift, but not the grown-up hot hatch that some people might think.
The AOL Cars verdict
In a nutshell, we think it is a good looking, well-built supermini. It lacks true character like you get from a Mini, but the British badge cannot offer a proper rival. If you're after a premium five-door city car, it's the best around.
Model: Audi A1 Sportback 1.4 TFSI Sport S Tronic
Price: £19,560 (as tested)
Engine: 1.4-litre, petrol
Power: 120bhp, 200Nm
Max speed: 126mph
MPG (comb'd): 53.3