Audi A1 review - Reliability and safety
The Audi A1 offers a comprehensive safety package, and we expect a strong performance on reliability, too
The Audi A1 received a full-five-star rating when tested by Euro NCAP in 2019. It shares its platform with the VW Polo which scores highly in the Euro NCAP tests, and it’s also well equipped with features such as emergency braking and lane-keeping assistance. That said, you don’t get blind-spot monitoring or traffic sign recognition on the A1, which are two technologies that are finding their way down into the small car sector elsewhere.
The VW Group platform and technology sharing should also reassure buyers when it comes to reliability, with an engine line-up shared across the Polo and SEAT Ibiza ranges. Some of the more advanced stuff like the Virtual Cockpit display is perhaps less of a known quantity, but it has appeared widely higher up the Audi line-up.
Build quality appears impeccable too, notwithstanding the fact that some of the interior materials could feel a bit richer. It’s all screwed together impeccably, and the construction seems rock solid.
The A1 didn't feature in our latest Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, although there was solid placings for the A5, Q2 and Q5. Audi finished 21st out of 30 manufacturers in the 2020 poll.
The Audi A1 comes with the standard manufacturer warranty, which means you get three years and 60,000 miles of cover – the same as for a VW Polo. There are extended warranty options available at extra cost, but it’s not a particularly impressive offer. The MINI line-up comes with three years cover, but the advantage of unlimited mileage.
If you do a relatively low mileage, Audi recommends you use their annual service regime. If you’re going to drive over 10,000 miles a year, then there’s a ‘long life’ service schedule based on monitoring oil quality and sensors to tell you when a service is required. Audi also offers fixed price plans to help you budget for maintenance.
In this review
- 1VerdictThe Audi A1 is a luxurious and sporty-looking small hatch that gives the MINI a run for its money
- 2Engines, performance and driveA smooth ride, with crisp handling and exceptional refinement make the Audi A1 a pleasure to drive
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe Audi A1’s day-to-day running costs should be no more than rivals, and it may keep its value better, too
- 4Interior, design and technologyExcellent design is backed up with superior Audi Virtual Cockpit tech, but the cabin plastics could be nicer
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceFive-door practicality and a roomy cabin make the A1 a very family-friendly option
- 6Reliability and Safety - currently readingThe Audi A1 offers a comprehensive safety package, and we expect a strong performance on reliability, too