2019 Audi A1 Review | carsales

The Audi A1 has arrived in Australia – it’s
grown in size and it’s got more kit as standard but does Audi’s cheapest and smallest car
have what it takes to grown in appeal? The A1s first generation cuteness has taken
a back seat and we see a stronger front end design now that’s more in keeping with its
siblings. It feels a lot less entry-level and it fits
more comfortably with the whole Audi line-up. So the A1 comes to Australia with three engine
choices and two transmissions and a six and seven speed automatic – and of course there
are plenty of options to dial up the kit and the cost. I’m currently in the 35 TFSI – the mid-spec,
the 1.5-litre and its this one that Audi says is going to be the volume seller accounting
for up to around two thirds of sales. A one and two litre engine completes the trio
for the Australian market. With no quattro platform,there is
no S1. Priced from $32,350, Audi believes the A1
has the clout to challenge entry-level models from the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz. In terms of driving feel, there’s nothing
entry level about this car. Sitting in the 35 TFSI its got a nice bit
of punch, the steering is really communicative, it’s god really good feedback and tipping
through the corners, it feels really nice. All three drivetrains deliver a spritely and
smooth response, with the sense of urgency rising as you reach the sporty 40 TFSI where
four drive modes, paddle shifts and sports suspension with adjustable dampers carve a
unique character in the A1 line-up. For the price however, that three-cylinder
engine in the 30 TFSI is a ripper. Interior design is an unexpected highlight
for the A1. It feels more mature and a consistent and
restrained design approach means even your 30 TFSI still feels part of the family. Soft touch plastics and premium accents blend
nicely for a subtle progression up the ranks. Infotainment starts out good and gets much
better. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto act as a great
leveller and are standard across the range. The flush fit touch screen makes the difference
between the 8.8 and 10.1 inch screens barely noticeable. Audi’s virtual cockpit remains a bit of
a tech game changer – at least from the driver’s seat. The A1 has also grown dimensionally and it’s
now offered in a five-door body style only. now it may well be a small car but that doesn’t
mean we don’t expect a lot from it and interestingly the boot of the A1 has grown as well, making
it more versatile perhaps. Second row passengers benefit from a stretched
wheel base which offers decent head and leg room – but no there’s minimal storage
and no directional air vents. The A1 comes with a three year unlimited kilometre
warranty and Audi’s new three and five year service plans give buyers greater peace of
mind. The A1 gets a five-star ANCAP rating and autonomous
emergency braking (with pedestrian and cyclist detection) is standard on all A1 models. Matured, sporty looksa choice of
engines, packed with technology and five-star safety could well see the Audi A1 find its
sweet spot. Time will tell.

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