In-depth reviews

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 hasn’t been crash tested by Euro NCAP yet, but as part of the VW group supermini stable, anything less than a top-ranking five-star result would come as a big surprise. For starters 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.

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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.

While it’s not necessarily a signifier of good future performance, the old A1 model performed pretty well in our Driver Power Customer Satisfaction Survey too. A relatively low 7.8 per cent of drivers reported any sort of fault in their first year of A1 ownership.


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.


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