Audi A1 review 2012
By Tim Saunders, 10th June 2012
The perfect man drives an Audi, earns £48,000 a year and is six foot tall, according to 2,000 British women polled by clothing company Austin Reed.
No better time then to test the Audi A1 hatchback, which despite its diminutive size will accommodate taller motorists.
The test model finished in Samoa orange with a strikingly contrasting grey roof is the entry level five-door 1.6-litre TDi Sport. It’s an eye-catching example, which seems to appeal to the girls in the office.
Traditionally, if you were in the market for a small car then you would have to forsake luxury and instead be grateful for your Ford Fiesta or VW Polo. Therefore it is with great pleasure that you step inside the sophisticated A1 with its high quality finish. Interestingly, it does borrow much from the VW Polo. It feels as if it fits like a glove: the driver sits in what is not that far removed from a bucket seat and is just the type of seating that my temperamental back craves.
My main criticism is that the diesel unit is noisy from outside and slightly audible from inside at low speeds.
This is the first time I’ve driven an A1 and I am impressed with the slick gear changes and the perfect driving position. Never mind that this is the entry-level model, it beats many more expensive competitors in terms of look and feel.
A great many vehicles today seem to have six speed manual gearboxes and so it is slightly surprising that the Audi only has five. However, this little German consistently returns more than 55mpg over the course of the test, helped by automatic stop start. I wonder whether a sixth gear might push this over the 60mpg mark.
My daughter’s pushchair fits in the boot but the rear cabin is a little cramped, making it better suited to children.
Parkers, the car expert says: “A small Audi is big news in the car world. Signalling the brand‘s first ever head-to-head battle with Mini – a car made by Audi‘s arch enemy, BMW - the new A1 takes a very different, grown-up approach. Thanks to being well-built, efficient, a stylish hatchback, and cheap to run the Audi A1 1.6 TDi SE scooped the Parkers Cost of Motoring Award for the Small Hatchback category in 2011.”
The Audi A1 picked up another award this year, winning the Carbuyer Luxury Small Car of the Year 2012.
I suspect more awards will follow too, because it really is an engaging small car, which would make an ideal second vehicle for a well-heeled family.
At a glance: Audi A1 five-door 1.6-litre TDi Sport
On the road: £17,495
Road tax: £0
Top speed: 118mph
Watch the video review at: www.testdrives.biz