Audi A1 Diesel Sportback
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Review Of The Audi A1 Diesel Sportback
JTNDY2VudGVyJTNFJTNDaWZyYW1lJTIwd2lkdGglM0QlMjI1NjAlMjIlMjBoZWlnaHQlM0QlMjIzMTUlMjIlMjBzcmMlM0QlMjJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnd3dy55b3V0dWJlLmNvbSUyRmVtYmVkJTJGUEk1NFVPUDMwQ2slMjIlMjBmcmFtZWJvcmRlciUzRCUyMjAlMjIlMjBhbGxvdyUzRCUyMmF1dG9wbGF5JTNCJTIwZW5jcnlwdGVkLW1lZGlhJTIyJTIwYWxsb3dmdWxsc2NyZWVuJTNFJTNDJTJGaWZyYW1lJTNFJTNDJTJGY2VudGVyJTNFThe new Audi A1 Diesel Sportback is the five-door version of the A1 Hatchback. This means it’s more usable, but it also means it lacks the out-and-out style that only having three doors can give a car.
There are plenty of customisation options available for buyers who want to put their unique touch on things and it’s a great way to own an upmarket small car at an affordable price.
OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our 2018 Audi A1 Diesel Sportback review.
On The Road
The Sportback has a bit more height than the standard A1 but that doesn’t mean it’s a large, awkward car to drive. It’s still compact, agile and it offers lots of grip. Its steering is pretty damn sharp too, although we’d have to say there are one or two rivals that offer a bit more entertainment on the road.
There’s still enough fun to satisfy most buyers here, though. In the town, it’s a piece of cake to drive, while its well-weighted steering makes winding country roads enjoyable.[vc_single_image image=”66851″ img_size=”article-image”]Electronic differential is standard on all models and this makes a big difference to the driving experience. It enhances grip when required and softens things up as much as possible. That said, the Sportback is still firmer than most in this class.
All diesel models come with a 6-speed manual transmission as standard, but you can swap it for a smooth 7-speed DSG auto ‘box if you so wish. It is, however, on the expensive side.
In terms of the engine, there isn’t much to choose from. In fact, there’s just one available for diesel fans, a 1.6-litre TDI unit that develops 114bhp. That’s a decent amount of power for a car of this size, and the engine has punch and feels nice and smooth.
It’s not especially sporty but a 0-62 time of 9.4 seconds is decent and pretty much par for the course as far as “fast” diesels go in this sector. If you do want a sporty diesel, we suggest taking a look at the MINI Cooper SD.
Audi A1 Diesel Sportback Interior, Design & Build
[vc_single_image image=”66850″ img_size=”article-image”]Inside, the A1 Sportback might only be small but its comfort levels are impressively high. The SE models are the most cosseting as they benefit from a softer suspension setup and smaller wheels. The Sport and S Line models are firmer, but you can specify the softer SE suspension if you want. It’s free.
The dashboard and the quality of the materials used in the cabin are predictably upmarket. The design is reminiscent of bigger, plusher Audi’s, while eye-catching highlights include the high-gloss black finished air vent sleeves and the three-spoke leather steering wheel. It’s classy stuff as ever.As mentioned earlier, there is lots of scope for customisation. Colours to choose from include, white, red grey and blue, while all models get a pop-up screen which displays the stereo info and trip computer.
How practical is the car? It’s roomier than the A1 Hatchback but the rear seats still lack as much space as rivals. The extra doors are a positive, of course, and access is good. But once they’re in there, adults won’t want to stay too long. Moreover, anyone sat in the middle will really struggle.
Headroom is reasonable, there are five seats available, while a rear quarter light improves visibility. The boot, meanwhile, measures 270-litres which is no bigger than the three-door model. Fold the rear seats and you can extend that to 920-litres. A small loading lip is a bonus, while the height of the floor is adjustable.
Equipment & Safety Of The Audi A1 Diesel Sportback
One of the drawbacks of buying an Audi is that standard kit isn’t always great. That’s very much the case here, and to get the best out of the A1 Sportback you’d have to add a few optional extras. The SE model misses out on Bluetooth but gets 15” alloys and a digital radio among its highlights.
The Sport and S Line models are also spartan, getting bigger alloys, daytime LED running lights and bright xenon headlights but no heated seats or climate control. A Black Edition model rounds the range off with an upgraded stereo, unique wheels, climate control and some neat exterior trim for the tailpipes and grille.
Is the Audi A1 Diesel Sportback safe? It was awarded all five stars when crash-tested by Euro NCAP while its standard safety kit across the range includes ISOFIX child-seat mounting points, electronic stability control, antilock brakes, a secondary collision brake assist system and 6 airbags.
Costs Of The Audi A1 Diesel Sportback
Prices for the new car start out from £16,180 and rise to £24,820. For more information on our leasing deals, check out our page here.
In terms of its running costs, there’s a lot to love. All the diesel engines come with stop-start technology, although they do miss out on cylinder-on-demand, which is reserved for the biggest petrol.
The 1.6-litre TDI diesel is the most frugal in the range, returning 76.3mpg while emitting just under 100g/km of CO2. That’s great for the environment, but you’ll still be paying £140 a year in road tax, thanks to the new rules.
Pros and Cons Of The Audi A1 Diesel Sportback
Top Notch Interior
The cabin is upmarket with plenty of premium features and materials.
Despite getting two extra doors, the Sportback is as stylish as the three-door A1 Hatchback.
Those extra doors increase its usability, and the Sportback is a very practical proposition.
Things aren’t too bad with the SE suspension, but the S-Line is especially harsh.
One of the biggest deal breakers for some buyers will be the price tag.
Audi A1 Diesel Sportback vs Alfa Romeo Mito Diesel Hatchback vs Vauxhall Corsa Diesel Hatchback
Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2018 Audi A1 Diesel Sportback review.
Audi A1 Diesel Sportback vs Alfa Romeo Mito Diesel Hatchback
The new Alfa Romeo Mito Diesel Hatchback is as posh as the Audi but lacks the engagement or the classy design language of the A1 Sportback.
The Mito looks like it would be a lot of fun on the road but the driving experience sadly doesn’t live up to the promise. Not only does it fall short of Audi’s driving experience, it’s also not as comfortable.
The brands DNA system saves it from being a total disaster on the road, and you can choose the Dynamic mode to make the Mito as sporty as possible. But it only really works to a degree. For example, switching to Dynamic means you as a driver have to work harder.[vc_single_image image=”66518″ img_size=”article-image”]Like the Audi, there’s just the one diesel engine available here. It’s a 1.3-litre unit that can’t keep up with the Sportback for pace, taking 12.5 seconds to cover the 0-62 “dash.” It’s a pretty loud affair too but comes with a 5-speed manual gearbox as standard.
One of the reasons you might choose this model is its extraordinary running costs. Alfa Romeo claims their 1.3-litre diesel engine can return 83.1mpg while emitting less than 90g/km of CO2. That qualifies it for a 20% BiK.
Inside, the Mito really struggles with exterior noise. Tyre and wind noise creep in easily and the cabin is not especially comfortable. It looks better and brighter than before, thanks to new plastics, but the same problems remain – poor fit and finishes, a quirky mix of materials and hard plastics.
But while most of the materials are of a poor quality there are some nice touches, including textured materials on the dashboard and the chrome-ringed dials.
Is the Alfa Romeo Mito Diesel Hatchback practical? Not really. It’s got three doors, rear access is poor and once inside back seat passengers will find themselves fighting for space. For those sitting in the back, the Mito is insufferable on longer trips. This is despite there being only four seats to begin with.
Storage space is also not a strength of the Mito and it’s a shame that the entry-level model misses out on a front armrest. Their boot, meanwhile, measures 270-litres and comes with an awkward high loading lip.
Audi – £16,180 – £24,820
Alfa Romeo – £13,840 – £21,380
Audi A1 Diesel Sportback vs Vauxhall Corsa Diesel Hatchback
The Vauxhall Corsa Diesel Hatchback is usually on most buyers’ shortlists when they’re looking for cars like this. The new model offers better value for money than ever, and while its interior isn’t as upmarket as the Audi’s it’s still very pleasant.
The Corsa has never really been known for its handling prowess but Vauxhall has upped their game this time around. The revamped suspension setup has boosted both body control and ride quality, and the car is more agile and fun as a result.[vc_single_image image=”57657″ img_size=”article-image”]In terms of its diesel engines, there’s just one available – a 1.3-litre CDTi unit – but there are two power guises to choose from. We’d recommend overlooking the 74bhp variant as not only is it tremendously slow (0-62 in 14.8 seconds anyone?), it’s also not as cheap to run as the larger 94bhp variant.
This variant can’t match the Audi for pace either, but a 0-62 time of 11.9 seconds is a bit more reasonable. However, neither engine does justice to what is an otherwise engaging car.
The 94bhp variant can claim excellent running costs, though, returning an outstanding 88.3mpg while emitting just 91g/km of CO2. That said, those numbers will change depending on which wheels and gearbox you go for.
Inside, the Vauxhall Corsa can’t claim to be as posh as the Audi but it boasts tactile materials and one of the best cabins that aren’t an Audi. Its overhauled suspension setup guarantees a comfortable experience, while the steering has been tweaked to help the car deal with Britain’s battered roads.
For the most part, the materials used are of a high quality. There are soft-touch plastics here and there and a number of customisation options, but the seats are a bit cheap and let the side down somewhat.
Is the Vauxhall Corsa Hatchback practical? There is the option of a three or a five-door model, and while both models look the same upfront, the three-door model gets a sloping roofline that eats into back seat headroom.
In both models there’s lots of headroom available, while storage space is impressive for the most part. The only thing that strikes us as odd is how small the glovebox is.
The boot just edges the Audi, measuring 290-litres. A false floor is an optional extra, but while you can fold the rear seats for extra capacity, the floor doesn’t go totally flat.
Vauxhall – £11,045 – £20,345
Verdict Of Our 2017 Audi A1 Diesel Sportback Review
The standard A1 is Audi’s smallest ever car. Deciding they needed a more practical version, they added the Sportback to their range in 2011. It’s become popular with buyers who are attracted to its agility, handling prowess, desirable interior and usability. It’s essentially a more practical version of the A1 Hatch.
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