Designed to compete with the Mini Clubman and the VW Polo, the A1 Sportback is Audi’s offering for the supermini segment.
Boasting all the trademark elements that make it an Audi, it displays the large grille on its fascia, while the headlamps resemble those fitted on larger models such as the A4 or A5. All cars come with body coloured mirror casings and allow wheels, while a two- tone exterior is available on demand.
The Sportback badge adds two extra doors to the standard A1, increasing accessibility to the rear seats. The boot is roomy and it has a minimal ridge, which means that it won’t be difficult to load heavy or large items. The rear seats can be folded, while under the floor there is another hidden compartment that is either able to hold a spare tire or another piece of luggage.
The cabin space is reasonable, as there is plenty of space for the driver and front passenger; also, the glove box is spacious. There are numerous storage spaces and the door pockets are able to hold anything from your keys to a 2 litre bottle. A pop-up screen is integrated into the dashboard and the car’s functions can be controlled through a knob. The sat-nav, if not purchased from the start, may be retrofitted. The controls are intuitive and numerous colours can be added to the interior to individualize your car from others on the road, but beware, as options are quite pricey.
While the driver is able to adjust the steering column and the driving position according to need and benefits from enough space to feel comfortable while behind the wheel, in the back the news aren’t so good, as the back seat, divided into three, is unable to comfortably accommodate three adults. The middle seat offers little room or freedom of movement and tall passengers may feel cramped, as the slanting roof will, at one point, touch their heads.
Although the addition of two extra doors has added a few extra pounds, the car is still very agile and runs very smooth, with minimal wind noise audible in the cabin at high speeds. In fact, the premium interior and the excellent insulation make it feel like a much more expensive model. The engine offer consists of two diesel units – a 104 horsepower 1.6 litre TDI and a 141 horsepower 2.0 litre TDI, which are smooth running, but feel a bit on the slow side
The petrol option is comprised of a 85 horsepower 1.2 litre TFSI and a 1.4 litre TFSI that has, according to configuration, 120, 138bhp or 182 horsepower. The 7 speed S-tronic automatic gearbox can be fitted to any one of them. Paired with the zippy transmission, the engines feel much moiré elastic and sporty than the diesels and are happy to rev higher. Another perk would be the noise, which puts the TDI’s to shame.