Juliet reviews…the Audi A1

The brand-new Audi A1 has just been launched and I am so thrilled to say that it has grown up in so many ways. It was always considered Audi’s entry-level offering, and while it is still the more affordable of the Audi stable, this new generation Audi A1 feels more mature, more refined, and overall a more premium offering.

This compact hatchback is not so compact anymore either. It has grown in length by 56 millimetres and the wheelbase has grown by 94 millimetres. Although the width and height have been decreased, it still feels like a more spacious car. Even the boot has seen an increase of 65-litres, taking the luggage capacity to a total of 335-litres.

The interior also feels more grown up and the standard 8.8-inch MMI touchscreen infotainment system gives it an even more premium feel. There is a load of tech that has been thrown in to this baby Audi. Audi’s Virtual Cockpit is optional but Audi is now keeping things a whole lot simpler when it comes to the options list. They have developed packages for you to choose from which will incorporate a lot of your favourite things. So no more long lists of extras to sift through.

For example, if you opt for the Technology package at R9 900, you will not only get the Virtual Cockpit, but you will also get Audi Smartphone Interface (which integrates iOS and Android smartphones using Apple CarPlay and Android Auto into an environment in the MMI programmed specifically for them, and offers two USB interfaces) and Audi Sound System. Another option is Audi’s Phone Box which ensures improved reception quality with LTE support and charges the smartphone inductively via wireless charging. Other packages to choose from include Comfort, Lights (for 30 TFSI only), Sport, and S Line Interior.

You can choose between three engines, my favourite being the 2.0-litre found in top of the range 40 TFSI model. It is mated to a six-speed S tronic transmission and offers up 147 kW of power and 320 Nm of torque. It is a fantastically engaging engine. Your other options include the 1.5-litre or 1.0-litre units. The 1.5-litre found in the 35 TFSI produces 110 kW and 250 Nm. There is no manual on offer, these latter two engines are mated to a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission.

If you are an A3 fan but your budget doesn’t stretch to it, then take a look at the A1. With the extra space, extra tech and all-round more mature refinement, you might very well be happy with the A3’s baby (and now younger) sibling.


  • Audi A1 30 TFSI S tronic at R 359,900
  • Audi A1 30 TFSI Advanced S tronic at R 373,900
  • Audi A1 30 TFSI S line S tronic at R 388,900
  • Audi A1 35 TFSI S tronic at R 429,900
  • Audi A1 35 TFSI Advanced S tronic at R 443,900
  • Audi A1 35 TFSI S line S tronic at R 458,900
  • Audi A1 40 TFSI S line S tronic at R 488,000

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