REVIEW | Here'why the Audi A1 Sportback is urban lifestyle chic at its best

<i>Image: Deutsche Welle</i>
<i>Image: Deutsche Welle</i>

If you're looking for an eye-catching urban lifestyle companion in the form of a vehicle, the all-new Audi A1 Sportback makes a perfect fit.

It has a sportier design, comes with all the bells and whistles, and is available in an array of statement-making colours (ten to choose from).

Driving the A1 Sportback recently in the cradle of Mankind area was such a breeze and proves to be really enjoyable behind the wheel of this German marque. Power when you need it and all the stopping power to bring the car to a very quick halt. And, I have to say that whilst delivering a top-class Sportback, Audi were mindful that they had to keep the prices competitive.

Exterior Design: Striking and Sporty

The A1 Sportback has grown significantly in length – with an additional 56 millimetres, it now measures 4.03 metres. At the same time, the width has remained almost the same at 1.74 metres. The new-generation model is only 1.41 metres in height – including aerial, the car is 1.43 metres tall. The wide track and short overhangs provide for a taut, sporty look. The wide, low-placed grille and the side air inlets dominate the distinctive front. Below the edge of the bonnet are three flat slits – a homage to the Sport quattro, the brand’s rally icon from 1984.

Comfort AND Space

It's much more spacious making life more comfortable for the driver, front passenger, and rear passengers. Despite the compact exterior dimensions, and the sporty roofline, adults in the rear seats still enjoy plenty of head and legroom.

Luggage capacity has increased by 65 litres. Normal capacity is 335 litres; with the rear seats folded down, this increases to 1090 litres. Loading sill height is a comfortably low 67 centimetres.

Turn me on! I’m fully digital and connected

The A1 Sportback is fit for the digital future. Even the basic version comes standard with a fully-digital instrument cluster with a high-resolution 8.8-inch display. The optional Audi virtual cockpit with an extended range of functions presents comprehensive and diverse information such as animated navigation maps and graphics of some driver assistance systems in the driver’s direct field of vision.

The infotainment concept comes from the full-size class. The MMI radio plus comes as standard – it can be operated via the multifunction buttons on the steering wheel and the display in the digital instrument cluster.

In the top configuration, MMI navigation plus offers a 10.1-inch MMI touchscreen, which blends seamlessly into the black glass-look area. You will always be well -connected with either iOS and Android smartphones using Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. For your listening pleasure, you have the Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System at your disposal. 

Engine outputs

Whether running around town or going on a weekend excursion – its powerful engines, in particular, make driving this car so much fun.

There is a choice of three efficient petrol engines with outputs ranging from 85kW to 147kW. Turbocharging, direct injection, and a particulate filter are standard. Audi is making a seven-speed S Tronic dual-clutch transmission available for the 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre engines. The exception is the top-of-the-range, 2.0-litre engine, where a six-speed S Tronic transmission shifts gears as standard.


Since its initial launch in 2011, the A1 Sportback has found over 13 700 new buyers, the latest version features taut lines and a more assertive look.

Take it on the urban route, the national highways, and off-road on gravel, and you are bound to be impressed. Its dynamic design characterises this chic vehicle and makes it the ideal companion in the urban environment while also being well-suited for longer journeys.

With its infotainment and interior features on a par with the full-size class, the A1 Sportback is firmly networked with the digital world. New trim lines and package structures also provide ample opportunity for customisation.

Disclaimer: Wheels24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Wheels24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Wheels24.

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