Audi A1 Diesel Hatchback
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Review Of The Audi A1 Diesel Hatchback
The new Audi A1 Diesel Hatchback has three doors, stylish looks and boasts a line-up of efficient engines. It’s arguably one of the most desirable superminis’s on the market and comes stuffed with lots of advanced tech.
That said, it also demands a bigger price tag than a lot of its rivals, including the MINI Hatchback and Volkswagen Polo. Is it worth it? OSV finds out with our 2018 Audi A1 Diesel Hatchback review.JTNDY2VudGVyJTNFJTNDaWZyYW1lJTIwd2lkdGglM0QlMjI1NjAlMjIlMjBoZWlnaHQlM0QlMjIzMTUlMjIlMjBzcmMlM0QlMjJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnd3dy55b3V0dWJlLmNvbSUyRmVtYmVkJTJGZ0VKcTRkb09XbEklMjIlMjBmcmFtZWJvcmRlciUzRCUyMjAlMjIlMjBhbGxvdyUzRCUyMmF1dG9wbGF5JTNCJTIwZW5jcnlwdGVkLW1lZGlhJTIyJTIwYWxsb3dmdWxsc2NyZWVuJTNFJTNDJTJGaWZyYW1lJTNFJTNDJTJGY2VudGVyJTNF
On The Road
The way the A1 feels on the road is hard to describe. It’s a small car but it feels much bigger. It’s a “small big car,” if you like. It definitely feels more mature and comfortable than a lot of its less expensive rivals, but that means it’s also less entertaining.
It’s also not as agile or as balanced in bends as, say, the MINI.[vc_single_image image=”66701″ img_size=”article-image”]
In fact, it’s more competent than exciting, but it still gets responsive steering and is thoroughly enjoyable on twisting country roads. The suspension is a bit on the firm side, and if you opt for the S Line model it will probably feel too firm. Thankfully, if you don’t like it, Audi will take it out for you. We reckon most buyers will choose to remove it and stick with the SE setup, as the S Line’s suspension can make things very uncomfortable.
In terms of its engines, there is just one diesel engine to choose from. A 1.6-litre diesel unit will be the most popular with buyers. It does 0-62 in an impressive 9.4 seconds, but lacks the smoothness of its petrol counterparts. That said, if you’ll be spending most of your time out on the motorway, it makes the most sense.
Like the 1.0-litre TFSI petrol engine, this 1.6-litre diesel comes fitted with a 5-speed manual transmission. There’s now an option of a manual, and you can also specify the quicker 7-speed S Tronic auto ‘box. We prefer the 6-speed manual transmission as it injects some much-needed fun into the proceedings.
Audi A1 Diesel Hatchback Interior, Design & Build
[vc_single_image image=”66700″ img_size=”article-image”]Inside, the Audi begins to show why it demands a higher price tag than a lot of its rivals. It’s got a premium cabin and if you stick to the SE suspension setup, it’s for the most part a comfortable place to spend your time on the road. That said, there are still worries where ride quality is concerned. Take it onto Britain’s more battered roads and there might be trouble.In terms of finish, upholstery and materials, few can match the A1 as far as supermini’s go. The attention to detail is also what helps to separate this car apart from its rivals, and there are soft-touch plastics literally everywhere.
The steering wheel is rake and reach adjustable and pretty much every aspect of the cabin can be customised, from the colours to the seats to the steering wheel. It’s easy to get carried away with the colour schemes and there are some pretty lurid ones available. So just be careful.
Where practicality is concerned, the three-door A1 naturally lacks the usability of a five-door. If you want five doors, the A1 Sportback might be a better option. If you decide to stick with this three-door model, you’ll have to accept that accessing the rear seats can be tricky.
Still, this model has an extra 100mm in length over the MINI, which means extra legroom and a 270-litre boot. That’s competitive for this class. Fold the rear seats and you can increase it to 920-litres, but if you add Quattro four-wheel-drive, the boot will lose 60-litres.
Equipment & Safety Of The Audi A1 Diesel Hatchback
The SE model is decently equipped. It gets a 6.5” touchscreen, a digital radio, alloy wheels and a stop-start system to keep running costs down. The Sport model adds sports seats, Bluetooth, sports suspension and bigger alloys, while the S Line trim gets LED interior lights, a body kit and 17” alloys.
The S Line Black Edition rounds things off with enhanced speakers, a colour-coded exterior trim, painted air vents and bright xenon headlamps.
Optional extras include a £995 Comfort and Sound pack which adds a Bose stereo and 14 speakers, LED interior lighting and heated front seats. For £350 you can get a contrasting roofline, while £500 gets you a colour coded lower console, air vents and door handles.
Is the Audi A1 Diesel Hatchback safe? Euro NCAP gave it 5/5 for its crash test while its standard safety kit includes a tyre pressure monitoring system, a warning triangle, a first-aid kit and tech that assists braking and prevents skids.
Costs Of The Audi A1 Diesel Hatchback
Prices for the new car start out from £15,560 and rise to £27,125. For more information on our leasing deals, check out our page here.
In terms of its running costs, the Audi A1 fares well. Its solitary diesel might not be quite class-leading on this score, but the 1.6-litre engine returns a very impressive 76.3mpg economy and emits less than 100g/km of CO2. The MINI Hatchback below has a cheaper engine but these numbers are still good.
Where insurance is concerned, the diesel occupies groups 19 – 21. For argument’s sake, the cheapest petrol occupies group 15.
Pros and Cons Of The Audi A1 Diesel Hatchback
Its smart looks make it one of the most handsome cars in this sector.
Top Notch Interior
It’s upmarket, it’s a bit posh, it’s got lots of tech; it’s a cut above.
Holds Onto Its Value Well
How much it holds onto its value will depend on how you customise it, but you could get around 57% of what you originally paid for it after 3 years.
The biggest elephant in the room is its price tag.
Not As Fun To Drive as the MINI
Audi A1 Diesel Hatchback vs MINI Diesel Hatchback vs Volkswagen Polo Diesel Hatchback
Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2018 Audi A1 Diesel Hatchback review.
Audi A1 Diesel Hatchback vs MINI Diesel Hatchback
The new MINI Diesel Hatchback has got the style, the character and it’s less expensive to buy than the Audi.
As ever, the MINI is a joy to drive. It’s a bit more mature than last time, adding more refinement and comfort to go along with its keen sense of fun. This is, of course, a good thing.
All models are capable of making you smile, while the steering remains super responsive. Some find that intimidating but if you’re a bit of an enthusiast, there’s a lot to love here.[vc_single_image image=”66698″ img_size=”article-image”]
The petrols are a bit more fun than the diesels, but the diesels have a better economy. There are two available, starting with a 1.5-litre unit that’s available with either 94 or 115bhp. Both are a bit rough and ready and they do make a fair bit of noise. But they’re performative and come with a dual-clutch DCT 7-speed automatic transmission that suits their character.
However, there’s no manual option available and no shift paddles.
The Cooper SD tops the diesel range. It’s powered by a 2.0-litre engine which can get you from rest to 62mph in just 7.2 seconds.
In terms of running costs, the 94bhp diesel is the most frugal, returning – according to MINI – 76.3mpg. We expect that figure to be around the 65mpg mark in reality but that’s still very good. The SD, meanwhile, returns 68.9mpg. Impressive.
Inside, the MINI looks and feels a lot more grown-up than ever. If any supermini can rival the Audi A1 for upmarket feel, it’s this one. The driver’s seat is supportive and adjustable, the dashboard is stylish and boasts top-notch materials, while a classy new infotainment screen replaces the old central speedometer.
Is the MINI Diesel Hatchback practical? It’s better than last time but there is still room for improvement. The boot measures a meagre 211-litres, which is way off the Audi and everyone else. The car is compact and easy to park, but so are all super mini’s. Tall adults, meanwhile, will struggle on longer journeys in the rear.
Audi – £15,560 – £27,125
MINI – £14,640 – £24,290
Audi A1 Diesel Hatchback vs Volkswagen Polo Diesel Hatchback
The new Volkswagen Polo Diesel Hatchback has been given a makeover. It now looks sexier than ever but still offers what it always has done – space, usability and a good driving experience. Unlike the Audi, it also offers the luxury of five doors.
On the road, the Polo feels more agile and sharper than last time. It’s always been quiet but it’s never been all that fun. Now it is. While the Audi and the MINI are both maturing, the Polo is going in the opposite direction, getting more playful as it gets older![vc_single_image image=”66697″ img_size=”article-image”]
Its suspension setup impresses, the introduction of electric power steering enhances how it handles, and there’s plenty of feedback.
In terms of its engines, a brand new 1.6-litre diesel has replaced the old 1.4-litre unit. It comes with 79 or 94bhp and both power outputs are smooth and highly capable. They’re also paired up with a 5-speed manual transmission which helps to put the driver in control.
In terms of its running costs, it’s no surprise that the diesels offer the best bang for your buck. Both the 79 and the 94bhp variants should be able to return 75mpg, and they both cost £140 a year to tax.
Inside, the Audi might be able to stake a very strong claim for being the most upmarket supermini available, but the Polo is the first car of this type to get a digital dashboard. Referred to by Volkswagen as Active Info Display, this dash turns the VW into one of the classiest cars in this market.
The graphics aren’t as showy as the ones in the VW Golf but the sheer presence of this digital screen elevates the Polo above its rivals and gives it a genuine USP.
Apart from that, the cabin can boast top-notch fit and finish, and while there is evidence of harder plastics, there are also softer plastics here and there, too.
Is the Volkswagen Polo Hatchback practical? It’s got lots of space and its 351-litre boot is much larger than the Audi. In fact, it’s grown by 25% and is even bigger than the Ford Focus which belongs to the class above.
Interior space is good, there is plenty of legroom in the rear, and because all Polo’s are now five-door only, access is easy. Storage spaces are plentiful too and include a reasonably sized glovebox, decent door bins and a big cubby that you’ll find under the heating controls.
Volkswagen – £13,855 – £19,530
Verdict Of Our 2017 Audi A1 Diesel Hatchback Review
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