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Audi A1 Sportback (2012–2018)

Last updated 18 June 2019

Kerb weight 1060–1215 kg
Warranty 3 years / 60000 miles
Servicing 9,000–18,000 miles

Full specifications


The A1 Sportback may be a small car but it doesn't feel like one from behind the wheel. As well as having plenty of space inside it's refined on the move and more than happy on the motorway at speed with minimal wind noise. It handles well too thanks to taut suspension, excellent body control and those short overhangs.

As a result it's enjoyable and easy to drive but the steering feels a little on the artificial side. The A1 Sportback uses an electrohydraulic power steering system which is light at lower speeds and gets heavier the quicker you go. It's precise and responsive but if you get onto a more demanding corner-heavy road you'll notice the lack of feel.

There's plenty of grip from the front tyres though and the A1 Sportback also comes with an electronic limited slip differential. This clever bit of kit makes cornering more precise by slightly braking the inside wheel in a bend while extra power is sent to the outside wheel. The result is that you need less steering lock through a corner and it feels very stable even in the tightest of turns.

The ride is pretty firm too on Sport and S line models. These get a stiffer sports suspension set-up which adds to the sporty feel of the dimunitive A1 but can become tiring on bumpy roads.

The SE models come with a standard set-up which confusingly is called 'dynamic' suspension but is basically a lot more comfortable. Sport models can be specified with it as a no cost option.

The engine range in the A1 originally included a 1.2 TFSI. With 86PS and 160Nm of torque it has more than enough for the lightweight A1 Sportback which only weighs around one tonne. It's good around town and surprisingly nippy thanks to the turbo plus it's very economical averaging 55.4mpg.

This was replaced in early 2015 by the newer 1.0 TFSI. It may be smaller - and a three-cylinder rather than four-cylinder engine  but it's actually better all round. Power is up to 95PS while economy is also better at more than 67mpg with the manual gearbox.

However, the 1.4 TFSI is the engine to go for of you want a bit more in the way of performance. It suits the A1 Sportback perfectly with a sporty feel, a nice exhaust note and good in-gear pulling power.

The standard gearbox is a positive shifting six-speed manual but it's also available with an optional seven-speed S tronic dual clutch automatic that works really well with rapid changes and steering wheel mounted paddle shifts.

The performance model is the 1.4 TFSI which is fitted with a supercharger and a turbocharger to boost power to 185PS - a mighty figure for such a small engine. It can struggle to put its power down through the front wheels, especially in the wet, which makes for an often frantic driving experience. But it's still great fun to drive and genuinely rapid with a 0-62mph time of just 7.0 seconds. Yet it still has a claimed average economy figure of 47.9mpg.

But if you want economy the TDI diesels are the models to go for. There's a 1.6 TDI which is smooth and reasonably quiet, pulling well in gear thanks to 250Nm of torque. It's ideal as a motorway car as you barely ever have to change out of fifth gear yet still provides decent power at higher revs.

A performance 2.0 TDI with 143PS was launched in the summer of 2012. This is very quick in the light A1 Sportback, managing 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds and with a claimed 68.9mpg.


Engine MPG 0-62 Top speed CO2
1.0 TFSI 64–67 mpg 11.1 s 116 mph 97–102 g/km
1.0 TFSI S tronic 61–64 mpg 11.1 s 116 mph 102–107 g/km
1.2 TFSI 55 mpg 11.9 s 112 mph 118 g/km
1.4 TFSI 52–55 mpg 8.9–9.0 s 126–127 mph 118–126 g/km
1.4 TFSI 125 54–55 mpg 8.9 s 127 mph 117–123 g/km
1.4 TFSI 125 S tronic 57–58 mpg 8.9 s 127 mph 112–113 g/km
1.4 TFSI 140 CoD 58–60 mpg 8.0 s 132 mph 109–113 g/km
1.4 TFSI 140 CoD S tronic 58–60 mpg 8.0 s 132 mph 109–113 g/km
1.4 TFSI 150 59 mpg 7.9 s 134 mph 112 g/km
1.4 TFSI 150 CoD 57–59 mpg 7.9 s 134 mph 112–117 g/km
1.4 TFSI 150 CoD S tronic 57–59 mpg 7.9 s 134 mph 111–116 g/km
1.4 TFSI 150 S tronic 59 mpg 7.9 s 134 mph 111 g/km
1.4 TFSI 185 S tronic 48 mpg 7.0 s 141 mph 139 g/km
1.4 TFSI S tronic 48–58 mpg 7.0–9.0 s 126–141 mph 112–139 g/km
1.6 TDI 74 mpg 10.7 s 118 mph 99 g/km
1.6 TDI 105 74 mpg 10.7 s 118 mph 99 g/km
1.6 TDI 116 71–81 mpg 9.5 s 124 mph 92–104 g/km
1.6 TDI 116 S tronic 71–76 mpg 9.4 s 124 mph 97–106 g/km
2.0 TDI 69 mpg 8.3 s 135 mph 108 g/km
List Price from £17,730
Buy new from £16,262
Contract hire from £188.29 per month

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