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Facelifted Audi A1 Test Drive Review

Date: 15 January 2015   |   Author:

Category: City car
Key rival: Mini five-door
P11D: £19,925
On sale: March 2015

For the first time, Audi has added a three-cylinder 95hp 1.0-litre petrol engine to its range. The 99g/km unit will appear in the A1 range, which also comes with a revised 1.6-litre diesel to reduce CO2 from 99g/km to 92g/km.

However, the 1.0-litre petrol won't be available from launch and so, in terms of petrol, fleets have to choose from a revised version of VW Group's proven 150hp 1.4-litre Cylinder on Demand petrol, which has a CO2 of 112g/km, or the standard 1.4-litre TFSI, which has seen CO2 fall from 124g/km to 115g/km. It's a really strong line-up of engines, and while the diesel five-door might be the obvious choice, the new 1.0-litre petrol is more than adequate for the A1, offering some fizzy performance.

As before, the SE, Sport and S-line trim levels that make up the latest UK range feature specific suspension set-ups - SE versions run on more comfort-oriented dynamic suspension.

There were only the higher-spec S-line models available for BusinessCar to test, and Audi's trademark build quality is there in spades, while there's a bit more personality on the interior than most Audis with body colour surrounds on the aircon vents, which look quite funky.

The UK is the biggest market for the A1 in the world, and Audi had sold in November 2014 just more than 22,000 units year-to date. The firm is expecting sales to continue at the same level in 2015 with the facelift, and retail to fleet there will be a 70/30 split.

One area of weakness for the A1 Sportback is its loadspace - it has the smallest boot compared with the Mini five-door, which has 8 litres more at 278 litres, and the DS3, which despite being a three-door, has a 280-litre boot.

The A1's CPM of 39.8p beats the DS3 but it's behind the Mini and VW Polo respectively at 38.5p and 38.6p. This isn't due to a poor RV performance as the A1 retains 42.9%. It's the higher P11D price which pushes the CPM payments up and results with the highest BIK payments at £46 compared to its lower priced rivals.

Audi A1 Sportback 1.6 TDI S-line

Model price range                               £15,390-£21,640
Residual value                                   42.9%
Depreciat­ion                                       £11,375
Fuel                                                    £4013
Service, maintenance and repair       £1989
Vehicle Excise Duty                           £0
National Insurance                           £1237      
Cost per mile                                   39.8p
Fuel consumption                            80.7mpg
CO2 (BIK band)                              92g/km (14%)
BIK 20/40% per month                    £46/£92
Service interval                              1yr/10,000mls
Insurance (1-50)                            group 9
Warranty                                        3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space (min/max)                    270/920 litres
Engine size/power                          1598cc/116hp


Impressive efficiency and quality, but it comes at a price
  • Efficient new engines make it tough to beat
  • Smaller boot than rivals hurts practicality