Audi A1 Citycarver (2020) Review

Audi A1 Citycarver (2020) At A Glance

3/5
Honest John Overall Rating
Audi hasn’t strayed too far from its A1 Sportback model to create the Citycarver.

+Excellent 1.0 TFSI engine, smart styling, comfortable ride quality, lots of personalisation options.

-Expensive to buy new, not all that different to the standard A1.

For the Citycarver, Audi has chosen to set it apart from the A1 with a 4cm raised ride height and some styling nods borrowed from its Q models. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is an off-roader or even and SUV with some moderate muddy lane abilities. It’s not. The Citycarver is very definitely a supermini at its core and, as the name suggests, is a car meant to deal with the urban jungle rather than the wilds of Borneo.

Audi's A1 Sportback is still similar to the Citycarver’s opposition is also small hatch-based in the shapes of the Ford Fiesta Active, BMW X1 and Renault Captur, although those latter two are more dedicated in their styling to distinguish them from their parentage.

It comes with the obligatory underbody tray to give the impression of some added protection if you were to head off the beaten trail. The big octagonal front grille is also similar to the Q3’s, while at the back there’s also a ruftier, tuftier bumper compared the Sportback.

Inside, any pretensions the Citycarver is anything but an A1 on stilts is abandoned as the cabin is identical other than the higher ride height affording a better all-round view for the driver. That’s a good thing in our book and makes the Citycarver a little better suited to dealing with congested town roads than its sister A1 Sportback model.

In the cabin, you get the same 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit dash display and 8.8-inch infotainment screen. Not only does this look good to the eye, it’s easy to use and makes the Citycarver one of the more advanced cars in its niche for this kind of tech.

As far as space and practicality go, the Citycarver is exactly the same as the A1 Sportback, so you get plenty of room up front and decent space in the back for two adults or three kids. The boot is also a generous size and easily expanded by folding the split and tip rear bench.

Where the Citycarver does depart from the A1 Sportback script is in the way it deals with bumpy roads. Where most A1 Sportback models are blighted by suspension that is too firm, the extra height of the Citycarver means the firm-ish suspension does a fine job of containing body lean without feeling too brittle or jarring over the usual collection of hillocks and ruts that make up many roads.

On top of decent handling and so-so refinement, the Citycarver is offered with a pair of turbo petrol engines. The 30 TFSI uses a 1.0-litre three-cylinder motor with 116PS that’s fine in town but needs to be worked a little harder than you might expect on faster roads.

For this reason, we’d err more towards the 35 TFSI with its 150PS engine. Both can be ordered with either a six-speed manual or seven ratio S tronic automatic gearbox that are smooth and easy to use. This completes the A1 Citycarver’s package as a more rounded, but also more expensive, alternative to the A1 Sportback.

What does a Audi A1 Citycarver (2020) cost?

Buy new from £17,112 (list price from £19,035)