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Audi A1 Sportback

THE ONE TO HAVE? (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

Audi's second generation A1 Sportback brings big car standards to the small car marketplace. Jonathan Crouch drives it.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 70

The Audi A1 has firmly established itself as the ultimate supermini - the essence of democratic down-sizing. This second generation A1 Sportback is smarter, more efficient and better-equipped - and remains a seductive package for small car buyers. Luxury makers often cut corners to drive down the cost of their smaller models and it shows. Not Audi. In any form you choose, this A1 Sportback will always feel reassuringly expensive.

Backgroundword count: 174

What if you really could distil the essence of a large luxury car into a smaller, more affordable one? Many brands have promised us this but in reality, only one model has actually delivered it. This car, Audi's A1. It was launched back in 2009 in three-door form, based on VW Polo underpinnings, with a five-door Sportback body style added to the range in 2011. Half a decade on though, the A1 was starting to feel its age, especially against cheaper Volkswagen Group models like the fifth generation SEAT Ibiza and the sixth generation Volkswagen Polo, both of which made use of the group's more modern MQB platform. That chassis now undergirds the second generation version of this A1, now offered only in five-door Sportback form and only with petrol power. It gets the pick of the Wolfsburg conglomerate's latest green pump-fuelled engines, plus cutting-edge infotainment and safety technology, plus the chance for buyers to specify the Audi Virtual Cockpit digital instrumentation screen that's gone down so well further up the range. Sounds promising.

Driving Experienceword count: 235

There's a choice of efficient TFSI petrol units with outputs ranging from 95PS to 200PS, all enhanced by turbocharging and direct injection. Things kick off with the '25 TFSI' derivative, which has a 1.0-litre three cylinder unit offering 95PS. Next up is the '30 TFSI' variant, which uses a 116PS version of the same engine. Moving further on, there's the '35 TFSI' model offers a 150PS 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine which uses a cylinder on demand technology. And if you want more power, there's a '40 TFSI' 'S line Competition' derivative using a 2.0 TFSI engine with 200PS. Diesel power is notable by its absence. All engines can be linked to either a manual gearbox or the seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission, with the exception of the 200PS variant which uses a six-speed S tronic transmission as standard. The chassis configuration is much as before, which means a straightforward torsion beam suspension set-up is still used at the rear. Tauter sport suspension is optional if you're happy to keep your chiropractor on speed dial, but it's better to upgrade yourseolf to adjustable dampers if you can. The SUV-style Citycarver variant gets suspension raised by 4cms. Driver-focused additions you can add include a sound actuator, red brake calipers, larger brake discs and the Audi 'drive select' adaptive dynamics system. This allows drivers to select from four modes that influence the driving characteristics: auto, dynamic, efficiency and individual.

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Pictures (high res disabled)

Statistics (subset of data only)

Min

Max

0-62 mph (s):

6.5

11.1

[40 TFSI COMP]

[25 TFSI Sport]

Boot capacity min (litres):

335

1090

Combined mpg:

44.1

58.9

CO2 (g/km):

104

158

[25 TFSI]

[40 TFSI COMP]

Height (mm):

1407

Insurance group 1-50:

16

26

... and 5 other stats available

Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Small Runabouts

Performance
70%
Handling
70%
Comfort
60%
Space
60%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

This is an excerpt from our full review.
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