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Audi A1 attracts new buyers

Created on 19/01/2016 @ 10:10
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Test Report by Graham Breeze

Becoming an Audi owner normally means dipping into the second hand car market if you don’t want to clean out the bank balance – unless you consider the A1 Sportback.

As an entry point to Audi ownership the 1.0litre TFSI Sport is a genuine option for those looking to find a premium car package at the right price.      

It’s no surprise to find that nearly 600,000 models have been sold since launch in 2010 thanks to a powerful stance, top spec equipment levels and a good solid drive.

The A1 is the first Audi to come with a three-cylinder engine, which was first used in the VW Polo, which means you can achieve over 65mpg.

There may still be a few ugly question marks hanging over the company when it comes to emission figures but Audi’s claim of only producing 98g/km means you will be friendly to Mother Nature and that equals free road tax.

Let’s be honest it doesn’t sound like any other Audi I have driven thanks to the three-cylinder growl but it’s a good performer both around town and on the motorway.

OK it doesn’t have the recognised punch we have come to expect from Audi when pulling away from a standstill, but once you get the revs up there’s no knowing there are only three cylinders and 0-62mph in 10.9 seconds is more than acceptable along with a top speed of 116mph.

Power is transmitted via the front wheels and the sport chassis also contributes to making the compact model from Audi sporty and agile. Electromechanical steering means the amount of power assist is reduced as vehicle speed increases.

Driving the TFSI Sport meant getting the Audi drive select dynamic handling system which lets the driver vary the engine characteristic, the S tronic and adjustable shock absorbers – another option – over the modes auto, efficiency and dynamic.

At the limits of performance, torque vectoring – an intelligent software functionality – makes handling even more precise and stable.

There are also a host of other customisable features available – from coloured air vent trims to decorative decals for the body for those looking to personalise.

The impressive thing about Audi is that there are no corners cut on interior quality, material and workmanship. Being insde the A1 is no different to being at the wheel of an A6 or A8 – you just know it’s an Audi.

The high-end solution in infotainment is MMI navigation plus with intelligent voice control and a monitor that folds out from the instrument panel. The module Audi connect including car phone connects the A1 to the Internet.

Sportback offers a bit more headroom at the rear, easier entry and an optional third seat row at the rear. The five-door model also boasts colour styling to span the entire roof dome.

The A1 Sportback offers a lot for the cheapest Audi on the road with an entry price of £16,440, though the test car came with metallic paint, leather upholstery, 17” alloys, a Sat Nav system, LED interior lights, hill start, a comfort pack door sill trims, parking assist, a BOSE surround sound system and other extras – taking the price up to £23,090.

There’s a whole range of engines and specs to choose from and the model tested offers a genuine opportunity to become a new Audi owner at the right price while keeping running costs down at the same time.

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