Audi A1 (2010–2015)

What's good

25-11-10: 5 star Euro NCAP rating: 90% Adult Protection; 79% Child Protection; 49% Pedestrian Protection; 86% Safety Assist.

05-05-12: Buyers of 'Sport' models can order 'SE' suspension as a free change of spec and get a slightly softer ride even though the car still comes on Sport spec wheels and tyres.

What to watch out for

With DSG and S tronic, protective software can delay the message from brake switch to ECU that brakes have been released, allowing car to enter a junction or roundabout on the fuel in the combustion chambers, then momentarily shut off mid-junction.

28-02-12: Diesels not suitable as driving school cars because of the rough treatment they get. Two different A1 clutch/DMF failures notified same day, both at 11 months old and 16,000 miles.

3-3-2012: Three further clutch/DMF failures notified, one at 12 months old, two more each at 9 months old.

22-03-12: Strange (hopefully one-off) case of catastrophic and incurable water ingress into Audi A1 1.4 TFSI Sport bought new on 22-11-2011.

10-12-2013: Nowhere to put a full sized spare wheel in a 1.4 TFSI because the battery lives in the spare wheel well. Audi offers a space-saver spare wheel fitting kit that locates the space saver over the battery, but reduces boot space slightly.

14-3-2014: Report that 2013 Audi A1 1.4 TSI needed new exhaust system including cat converter, costing £1200, after 20,000 miles, consisting mostly of short runs of 5 - 10 miles.

21-8-2014: Severe oil consumption reported by owner of 2013 Audi A1 1.4 TFSI 185 S tronic, purchased at 1203 miles in July 2013 that required four top-ups by 6,052 miles. Audi dealer stated that half a litre per 1000 miles is "acceptable".

27-9-2014: Reader report of sticking window seals on his 2011 Audi A1. Some postings on an Audi owner's forum state that early Audi A1s have a known problem with sticking windows which is due to a sticky residue in the manufacture of the seals. This is only temporarily 'cured' by lubricating the seals.

20-11-2014: Audi A1 manual suffered transmission failure at 24,500 miles and 3 years 5 months of age. A gearset had 21 teeth, some of which were found to have broken. When a replacement gearset was sourced it was found to have been modified to 19 teeth, necessitating a new 2nd gear on the shaft.

2-2-2015: Audi A1 apparently suffer from condensation problems at low temperatures: Reader has a 2013/63 A1 S Line 1.4 TFSI. Suffers with terrible condensation and on occasions it can take up to 20 minutes to De-Mist. Audi says nothing they can do as this is due to 'atmospheric' conditions. They admit there is a Technical De-Brief available on the vehicle which states that when temperatures hit 5 degrees or below the AC system will fail totally or not work correctly.

11-3-2015: Brand new Audi A1 1.6 TDI Sportback delivered with a loose nut on the fuel line from the high pressure to the fuel rail. Diesel all over the engine. Fire brigade called.

1-6-2015: Used 2011 Audi A1 purchased from Audi dealer in March 2014. Coil spring snapped in October 2014, replaced under warranty. In May 2015, turbo oil seals and DPF failed resulting in £2,850 of damage. Reader did not understand DPF regeneration. Basically, the DPF regenerates passively by itself every time you take it for a run of 20 miles or more, but to back this up the systems are pre-programmed to post-inject extra diesel to the engine every 250 miles or so to burn off any residual soot in the DPF. If the car is not driven far enough often enough, or if it is repeatedly switched off while active regeneration is taking place, some of the diesel introduced for the purpose dribbles down into the sump, eventually raising the sump oil level to the point where the damage you experienced occurs or, at worst, the engine starts to run uncontrollably on its sump oil, cannot be 'switched off' and blows up.

25-10-2015: Clutch of 2014 Audi A1 petrol model failed at 15,000 miles. Estimated £1,150 to replace. Could have been caused by failure of clutch slave cylinder.

28-10-2015: Noisy timing chain reported on 2 year old Audi A1 1.2 TFSI

22-1-2016: EA189 1.6 TDI diesel engine of 2011 Audi A1 mysteriously caught fire 800 yards after starting from cold in very cold ambient temperature. Audi is investigatiing.

20-4-2016: Report of Audi A1 1.6 TDI needing new clutch, dual mass flywheel and clutch slave cylinder. Quoted a reasonable £700 by independent garage.

17-5-2016: Report of failure of multi media (MMI) system on 2011/61 Audi A1 TFSI 185 S Line. Audi dealer quoted £3,500+ to replace it but also offered a £1,500 contribution if owner traded it in against a newer Audi.

20-8-2016: Another report of sticking front window channels, this time on a 2014 Audi A1. Dealer suppled a can of Brake and Clutch cleaner and told her to clean the seals with it herself.

8-10-2016: Yet another report of sticking front electric windows, this time on a 2012 Audi A1 on which they are reported to have been sticking from new. Window cable replacement on a Polo on which the A1 is based suggests it might be a window regulator cable problem.

14-11-2016: Numerous reports of front windows of A1 sticking. One reader tells us "the window door rubbers are coated with a shiny protectant which goes very sticky." Cures are to clean the rubbers and window channels with a cloth soaked in WD40, silicone spray or 3-in-One oil. The other reason for the sticking is th weak regulator mechanism adapted from the Polo donor car.

18-1-2017: Report of water sloshing about in the tailgate of a 2012 Audi A1 with 20,000 miles. Owner had read that rear light cluster seals fail. But could be that the tube to the rear washer nozzle popped off inside the tailgate.

23-1-2017: Another report of water sloshing about in the tailgate, this time in a 9 month old 2016 Audi A1. Water then leaks into the car creating moisture that concenses and freezes on the insides of the windows.

28-1-2017: Since the S tronic recall to replace synthetic oil with mineral in 7-speed dry clutch 'non maintenance' DSG, a maintenance regime of an oil change every 40,000 miles has been imposed.

11-4-2017: Report of Audi A1 Sport 1.6 TDI running much less responsively after NOx emissions fix. Drop in performance denied by the Audi dealer that carries it out.

3-7-2017: Report of EPC (Electronic Power Control) light coming on three times in an Audi A1. Local garage unable to fix. Likely to be the accelerator pedal switch needs replacing.

18-7-2017: Emissions light came on immediately after NOx emissions fix of Audi A1 2.0 TDI. Probably a failed EGR.

18-7-2017: Report of engine of September 2011 Audi A1 S Line 1.4 TSI Twincharger 185 completely failing at 65,000 despite the owner recently havind spent £3,000 on a repair to cure a "rattling noise". There had been low compression in all the valves, they removed the cylinder head, found the timing chain had stretced and the valves been damaged, they replaced the cylinder head, lots of gaskets were used, sealer seal rings, timing track and tensioners, etc replaced, oil filter coolant and supercharger water pump and they found supercharger pulley noisy also did a full oil service and filled with oil. 3 months later engine totally failed and dealer quoted £7,500 for a new engine which is more than the value of the car.

26-8-2017: Report of problems through the life of a January 2013 Audi A1 bought nearly new in April 2013: In September 2014 there was an issue with the power steering pump. This was followed in April 2015 by a fault with the fuel actuator; March 2016 a caliper sticking; April 2016 broken spring; and January 2017 another broken spring.

13-9-2017: Reader told that leaking rear damper on 23,000 mile 2014 Audi A1 found at its first MoT was "normal" for a modern car, would not be replaced under 3 year warranty, and if he wanted it replaced it would be £245.10.

3-11-2017: Report of Audi dealer making an 'advisory' of a weeping rear damper on another 2014 Audi A1 at 23,000 miles its first MoT while the car was still under warranty. Dealer wanted £265 to replace the damper. Owner asked Audi to honour the valid warranty and to replace the deteriorating damper, which they categorically refused, stating that most modern cars have this problem. Reader then wrote formally to the Head of Business for the Franchise where the car was purchased from new, asking for the damper replacement and he also refused. His description of the problem as ''Misting'' was the third excuse given by Audi, as the Service personnel had variously described it as ''Weeping'' and ''Leaking''. Reader taking it to Small Claims.

22-2-2018: Report of October 2014 Audi A1 1.6 TDI blowing up. 4.3 litre capacity sump contained 8.5 litres of oil. Car had previously been serviced at 13,807 miles 15 months previously and has passed its MoT with no advisories or excess fluid levels 3,102 miles and 4 months previously. We concluded that the engine suffered excessive post-injection of diesel to actively regenerate the DPF and that is what raised the oil level, causing it to blow up.

24-4-2018: Report that "numerous things have gone wrong" with 2014 Audi A1 1.4 TSI Sportback now at 20,811 miles. These were fixed under the 3 year warranty. Then in March 2018 the Turbo Charger Pressure Actuator had to be replaced. As this was 5 months out of warranty owner was billed £431.12, but was told that further investigation might be required. So far dealer has offered me 50% off next service in recompense.

30-6-2018: Mechatronics failure reported in 2013 Audi A1 Sportback 1.4 TFSi 122 S-tronic at 37,500 miles, bought used with full Audi service history.

21-8-2018: First, the turbo of a 2013 Audi A1 1.6TDI failed, then the ECU failed, both within 18 months of used purchase in 2017. Fortunately owner had a 2 year used car warranty.

24-8-2018: Report of corroded and pitted rear brake discs on 2015 Audi A1 1.4 TFSI TS150 at 29,000 miles. Discs and pads replaced with no Audi items at owner's expense.

14-2-2019: Report of turbo of lightly used 2015 Audi A1 1.6 TDI failing at 13,000 miles sending parts into the engine and causing catastrephic engine failure. Audi dealer said owner was entirely blameless and is securing a new engine and turbo from Audi free of charge (£7,000) but wants to charge £2,000 in labour to fit the new engine and turbo.

18-6-2019: Report of 2013 Audi A1 Sportback 1.4 TFSI Sport S tronic (DQ200) breaking down on 27th May 2019 at 27,000 miles. Diagnosis was "requires new mechatronics unit due to the seal and housing being out of shape causing it to leak". Owner wrote to Audi seeking their comments asking why the seal etc. was out of shape; had it been incorrectly fitted in the first place? Or following a previous service which had always been carried out by Audi. Original quote for the replacement unit was £2,104.94 incl. which was reduced to £1,824.87, plus major service and MoT.

19-7-2019: Report of 19,500 mile 2016 Audi A1 1.4 TFSI S Line manual failing to shift out of first gear wherever the lever is placed, accompanied by a strong smell of burning. After stirring the lever it eventually finds a gear it will change to, unsticks and the smell dissipates. Likely to be a failed cable gearshift head. 13-1-2020: Report of failure of DQ200 7-speed S tronic in Audi A1 1.4 Twincharger 185PS at 40,000 miles. Original dealer looked at it, updated the DSG software and can't find a fault. However a local Audi dealer recommends changing the DSG unit. It also has a knocking when cold when the idle is under 1000.


Due to electrolysis, the DSG 7-speed transmissions are susceptible to conductive deposits forming in the gearbox control units, possibly causing the gearbox fuse to blow. Should this happen, the clutch will fully open due to power supply failure, causing the vehicle to roll to a stop if in motion. In the majority of cases, the fault occurs when the engine is started with the vehicle stationary. If the fuse blows while the vehicle is in motion, however, a sudden loss of power at the wheels could in certain circumstances occur while the vehicle is being driven. This may pose a hazard to the vehicle occupants and other road users. All other functions of the vehicle (steering, braking, etc.) remain fully active.

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