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Audi A1 S Line Sportback Test Drive

Colour: Glacier White Metallic
Interior: Black pulse cloth/leatherette with silver stitching
Transmission: S Tronic 7-speed Automatic
Model Line: S-Line
Wheels: 17 inch 5-Spoke Alloy Wheels
Engine: 35 TFSI – 1.5 litre petrol
0-62: 7.7
Power: 150 PS

Engines

There are two manual gearboxes available; a 5-speed 1 litre Sport 25 TFSI that generates 95ps, and a 6-speed 30 TFSI that gives a much nicer 116ps.
In terms of automatics, there are four options available:

  • 25 TFSI S Tronic – 999cc – 95ps
  • 30 TFSI S Tronic – 999cc – 116ps
  • 35 TFSI S tronic – 1498cc – 150ps
  • 40 TFSI S tronic – 1984cc – 200ps

We were in an S Line 35 TFSI S Tronic, which is 7-speed automatic. This one had a 1.5 litre petrol engine that delivered 150ps – which to put into perspective was the same power we were getting from the much larger and heavier Range Rover Evoque, so this one went like the clappers in comparison. That being said, I think the 30 TSFI would be plenty enough power for such a small car.

Design

The paintwork on the car A1 we drove was Glacier White Metallic, which looked great, but you can also get some really exciting paint options to make the car a bit more unique (depending on which model line you go for). Inside, we had sports seats in cloth/leatherette upholstery with silver stitching. Again, some funkier options are available. As it was an S Line, we were treated to upgraded 17” alloy wheels, sports suspension and a sportier exterior styling pack with S Line badges.

There’s a strong sci-fi feel to the cockpit. It’s very angular and follows strong lines towards and away from the driver. This makes the driver feel very encompassed within the car, but potentially not so for the front passenger. The car looks sufficiently sporty, and Audi have done a good job of making the car feel very high quality, even as the smallest and 'cheapest' model in Audi’s extensive line-up. 

The Experience

It’s small, maneuverable and enjoyable to drive. It’s also nippy, and accelerates well. It was my first time out in an automatic Audi, and it takes no time at all to get used to. Really intuitive and something certainly not to be nervous of for those a bit cautious to make the transition from a manual car.

The car removes a lot of road noise, and somehow you get the feeling that you’re sitting in a much bigger, more expensive car. That’s another thing to note, you get a lot of kit as standard – something that you wouldn’t get with similar sized cars like the Ford Fiesta or the SEAT Ibiza – although both cars have a much lower starting price than the Audi. What you do get is an 8.8 inch colour display touchscreen, Audi Smartphone Interface – so Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a speed limiter, lane departure warning and pedestrian and cyclist recognition.

Technology and Connectivity

This one has rear parking sensors but no reversing camera. The car is small enough and the visibility good enough that a lack of camera really isn’t an issue. However, it is a costly car so may be something some drivers might expect to come as standard. If you want a rear camera, make sure you go for the optional Comfort and Sound Pack, which will also get you heated front seats and a Bang & Olufsen surround sound system.

A real selling point is the digital drivers display, which comes as standard on all of the A1 models. As well as speed, revs fuel etc., this also displays telephone info and media. Those who go for a car with the optional Technology Pack get additional features like a larger display, 3D Sat nav, real-time traffic information, and wireless charging. This pack isn’t a necessity however as if you just connect your phone; you can use Apple Car Play and Android Auto to show google maps.

Space

If you go for the optional storage pack it’ll get you an adjustable boot floor, which means you’ll have less of a boot lip, and somewhere to store the parcel shelf if you take it out. This is something to really consider as it’s a bit of a faff without it if you’re trying to carry heavy luggage: it’s got to battle with the boot lip, lips from the seats and also the addition of nowhere to store the parcel shelf.

Space in the back is really akin to your smallest city cars and hatchbacks. I was quite surprised as I found it pretty comparable to the Mini Cooper 5-Door Hatchback we drove a few weeks ago – certainly in terms of rear leg room, and head room. This, whilst snug, is certainly not anything to turn your nose up at. The seats are firm but comfortable, and obviously are made that little bit firmer because of the sports suspension.

If you're planning to use this as a family car, there's also ISOFIX points for the front passenger seat and outer rear seats. Ooh, and there's manual climate control and manually adjustable lumbar support.

Model Lines - What you'll get:

Technik

  • 15” Alloys
  • LED headlights
  • MMI Radio Plus with
  • 8.8” touch screen
  • Smartphone interface

Sport (In addition to SE)

  • 16” alloys
  • Sports styling
  • Sports front seats
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Cruise control

S Line (In addition to Sport)

  • 17” alloys
  • Sport suspension
  • S Line exterior styling pack
  • LED interior lighting pack

S Line Competition (In addition to S line)

  • 17” platinum grey alloys
  • Sport suspension with adjustable dampers
  • Red brake calipers
  • Platinum grey door mirrors

S Line Contrast Edition (In addition to S line)

  • 18” gloss black alloys
  • Darkened LED headlights
  • Python yellow paint
  • Contrast roof and door mirrors
  • Black exterior styling pack

S Line Style Edition (In addition to S line)

  • 18” ‘Y’ design alloys in bronze
  • Darkened LED headlights
  • Contrast roof and mirrors
  • Black exterior styling pack
  • LED Ambient lighting pack

Vorsprung (In addition to S line)

  • 18" matt titanium alloys
  • Audi virtual cockpit
  • Black styling pack

Overall, I thought the A1 was a neat little car with a good amount of space and a fantastic aesthetic. Definitely one to consider if you’re looking for a quality small hatchback, and don’t mind paying a bit of a premium for the badge.

View our latest Audi A1 leasing offers.

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Posted on 20th December 2019 at 1:32 PM

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