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Audi A1 review - Is Audi's smallest car one of its best?

evo staff
10 Jan 2018
Verdict:

A1 exhibits all the usual Audi traits, but lacks any real fun factor.

Evo Rating: 
Price: 
£14,990
For 
Exceptional quality for such a small car and still fun to drive
Against 
Expensive compared to its rivals
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Performance and 0-60mph time

Being at the entry-point in the Audi range there’s not too much emphasis on performance here, unless you’re after that S1 quattro model. The rest of the range has to make do with front-wheel drive only, and the smallest engine, a 1.0-litre TSFI three-cylinder petrol, makes do with 93bhp, which sees it reach 62mph in 10.9 seconds on its way to a 116mph top speed. Despite those numbers t's eager, happily running around to rpm and feeling brisker than the performance data would have you believe. The 1.4 TFSI unit adds 30bhp to the mix, shaving over two seconds off that benchmark sprint and adding 11mph to the top speed.

That 1.4-litre also comes in an altogether more tempting 147bhp state of tune, dropping the 0-62mph time by a further second to record a more respectable 7.8 seconds. The diesel’s focus on performance isn’t related to the stopwatch either, it taking 9.4 seconds. Instead the 114bhp TDI’s numbers that matter are associated with its fuel economy, it returning 80.7mpg on the combined cycle, or 76.3mpg if you’re seduced by a larger 18-inch wheel option.

Economy might be the diesel’s key selling point, but the 1.6 TDI’s mid-range is usefully muscular. Underlining the progress in small capacity turbocharged petrol engines though, is the fact that the 147bhp 1.4 TFSI matches the diesel in torque output. The shared peak of 184lb ft arrives in both at 1500rpm, staying in the TDI until 3250rpm and 3500rpm in the petrol. The lower output 123bhp 1.4 TFSI has 147lb ft of torque, its peak from 1400- to 4000rpm. 

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