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In-depth reviews

Audi A1 - Engines, performance and drive

A smooth ride, with crisp handling and exceptional refinement make the Audi A1 a pleasure to drive

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Engines, performance and drive Rating

3.5 out of 5

Price
£22,770 to £32,715
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The Audi A1 is very well resolved car to drive, and it copes well with the rigours of the UK’s desperately tired and potholed tarmac. At least, that's true of the smaller-wheeled versions, which ride with a pleasing degree of compliance. We’d recommend test driving the 18-inch options before you buy because they add a degree of jiggle.

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Some customers are likely to find the additional harshness they introduce to proceedings disappointing, although others will consider it a worthwhile trade-off for the extra style of the bigger wheels. The sports suspension set-up of the S Line cars is harsher too, to the extent that passengers may find longer journeys a bit of a chore.

Steering is accurate and well weighted, and in standard guise the A1 resists excessive body roll effectively, although it isn’t as responsive as a MINI which is more entertaining for the engaged driver. The A1 wins out for refinement though, as it feels as hushed as a premium saloon car two classes up.

The seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch auto works very smoothly, and is likely to appeal more to most customers than the manual which is ever so slightly notchy in operation. 

0-62mph acceleration and top speed

With 108bhp under the bonnet, the 1.0-litre 30 TFSI models can do 0-62mph in 9.4 seconds when coupled with the S tronic transmission – although high gearing means it doesn’t feel quite as fast as it might from the driver’s seat. Top speed is 126mph.

The 25 TFSI has 94bhp and is slightly more laboured, making its way from 0-62mph in 10.8 seconds. With 148bhp and 250Nm of torque, the 1.5-litre 35 TFSI is able to produce a more athletic performance, achieving a 0-62mph time of 7.7 seconds and a top speed of 137mph.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    25 TFSI SE 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £16,870

Most Economical

  • Name
    25 TFSI SE 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £16,870

Fastest

  • Name
    40 TFSI 207 S Line Competition 5dr S Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £26,350
Executive editor

Paul was employed across automotive agency and manufacturer-side sectors before joining Auto Express in 2020 as our online reviews editor. After a brief sojourn at a national UK newspaper, Paul returned as executive editor where he now works closely with our commercial partners.

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