Audi A1 facelift 1.4 TSI review

The potent four-cylinder 1.4 TSI turbo engine makes sense in new facelifted Audi A1

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Powerful enough for every eventuality and whisper-quiet, this higher-powered 1.4 TFSI is a great match for the A1’s sophisticated character. We still think the new 1.0 TFSI is the best all-rounder, while the MINI Cooper S is faster and more fun to drive. Yet if quality, refinement and style are key, this A1 should definitely be on your shortlist.

We've already driven Audi’s facelifted A1 with the characterful new 1.0-litre TFSI petrol three-cylinder, and named it the pick of the range – but it won’t be the solution for everybody. So how did the more powerful 1.4 TFSI compare on our twisty test route?

The 148bhp engine is 10bhp up on the old version, shaving 0.1 seconds off that car’s 0-62mph time. Torque is the same, so it feels no quicker in-gear, but Audi claims emissions are slightly reduced by between one and two g/km.

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You’d struggle to tell the difference on the road. The A1 still handles well, albeit safely rather than with much sporting verve. Even in top-spec S line trim with Audi’s Drive Select system and firmer S line suspension, it’s not as much fun to drive as MINI’s Cooper or Cooper S.

That said, the A1 is serenely quiet. At town speeds it’s eerily hushed, even when you build speed. The clever Cylinder on Demand (CoD) tech comes in on a motorway cruise, when two of the four cylinders shut off to conserve fuel.

In terms of kit, S line models are the best equipped of all A1s. They’re also the most costly, and unless you really need all the gadgets, the mid-range Sport will tick most boxes for most people.

Still, the S line now boasts xenon lights, sportier styling and bigger 17-inch alloys. Inside, there are Milano leather sports seats, a three-spoke sports wheel and special contrasting stitching. Firmer S line sports suspension is standard, but customers can delete it in favour of the standard set-up if they want a more comfortable and compliant ride.

Our pick of the range remains the 1.0-litre TFSI, yet if you spend a lot of time on the motorway or rack up more than 15,000 miles a year, it’s worth considering one of the bigger petrol or diesel engines. This CoD version is impressively quiet even at high speeds, and the clever technology should keep running costs toa minimum, too.

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