New engines and subtle styling tweaks for entry-level Audi models, which open for ordering this month ahead of UK deliveries next April
13 November 2014

Audi has revealed lightly facelifted versions of the A1 and A1 Sportback some four years after they were introduced to the German car maker’s line-up.

Key among the mid-life upgrades to the entry-level Audi models, which are set to open for order later this month prior to deliveries next April, are new base three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines.

Also on offer is a reworked chassis offering optional adaptive damping, as well as Audi’s Drive Select function, together with a widened range of infotainment and connectivity options, including Audi Connect and a Wi-Fi hotspot function.

With over 500,000 sales to date, the visual changes brought to A1 and A1 Sportback are predictably subtle. They include a lightly re-profiled front bumper featuring an altered six-corner single frame grille, revised headlamp graphics, more defined sills underneath the doors, new tail lamps graphics and a redesigned rear bumper.

The mild exterior changes add 20mm to the length of the A1, which now stretches to 3980mm overall.

As before, customers can choose between either a standard monotone and optional two tone paint scheme – the latter featuring a contrasting roof colour. Two new specifications, design and sport, have also been added to the long list of customisation options.   

The facelifted A1 and A1 Sportback will be sold with the choice of six engines. Included are four TFSI direct-injection petrol units and two TDI diesels, all of which are described as being either completely new or heavily upgraded.

Making their premiere in the Audi line-up is a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder direct injection petrol and turbocharged 1.4-litre three-cylinder common rail diesel – both recently made available on the mechanically identical Volkswagen Polo.

The former, the first ever three-cylinder petrol engine to be offered in any Audi model, delivers 95bhp and endows the three-door A1 with claimed fuel consumption of 65.7mpg with average CO2 emissions of 99g/km.

The new 90bhp diesel, which provides the basis for the first ultra model in the A1 line-up - but is not yet confirmed for sale in the UK - is even more economical, providing official consumption of 83.1mpg and a CO2 figure of 89g/km.

Among the four cylinder engines to be offered is a 1.4 direct injection petrol unit with either 123bhp or 148bhp – the latter featuring cylinder on demand technology that closes down the middle two cylinder on part throttle loads for added fuel savings. They are joined by a 114bhp 1.6-litre common rail diesel and 189bhp 1.8-litre direct injection petrol engine.

Continuing to top the line-up is the four-wheel drive S1 and S1 Sportback, which retain the same turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder direct injection TFSI engine as before. With 231bhp, the engine provides respective 0-62mph acceleration times of 5.8 and in 5.9sec, a 155mph top speed, combined cycle consumption of 39.2mpg and 38.7mpg and CO2 emissions of 166g/km and 168g/km.

In a bid to provide the A1 and A1 Sportback with greater comfort and agility, Audi has reworked its chassis. Both models now come with the option of adaptive damping in combination with the German car maker’s Drive Select function. It allows the driver to alter the characteristics of the steering, damping, gearbox and throttle mapping in three stages at a turn of the car’s MMI rotary controller.

Further changes centre around the new Audi duo’s electro-hydraulic steering system, which is described as all-new and claimed to provide significantly reduced assistance at speed for added handling precision. Buyers can choose from a series of different wheel designs ranging in size from 15 up to 18-inch in diameter.

Pricing for the facelifted model starts at £14,315 for the 1.0-litre TFSI in SE trim, rising to £16,290 for the same model in Sport specification. The 1.4-litre TFSI starts at £16,690, while A1 models equipped with the 1.6-litre TDI start from £15,390. A1 Sportback models command a £620 premium, while opting for the S tronic transmission costs £1540 extra.

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Our Verdict

Audi A1

The A1 is a stylish, high quality and competent supermini, if a little expensive, but does it have the edge over the Mini hatch, Seat Ibiza and the Ford Fiesta?

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Comments
20

14 November 2014
Didn't they do a 2.0 diesel as well? Is this being dropped?

14 November 2014
superstevie wrote:

Didn't they do a 2.0 diesel as well? Is this being dropped?

Yeah, looks like it! They've also replaced the complex Turbocharged/Supercharged 1.4 with a (probably more reliable) 1.8 turbo. I'm sure the 3cyl turbo will suit it very well. I actually miss the A1 1.6TDI I had for 3 years until earlier this year. It was a car I enjoyed driving very much, the only downside being it was just too small.

"Why is http://www.nanoflowcell.com not getting more media attention? It could be the future... Now!"

14 November 2014
They have dropped the 2.0Tdi before the facelift.
Bit gutted as this is a great combo especially for Motorway and town use.
The economy on the motorway and dual carriageways is great. I love mine but sadly no replacement to be found, unless they do a 2.0Tdi quattro but doesnt look good so far and I dont want a A3 really but want to stay with Audi.

14 November 2014
I see no point in paying extra for an A1 over a Polo, just so you have an Audi badge.

 

I'm a disillusioned former Citroëniste.

14 November 2014
Frightmare Bob wrote:

I see no point in paying extra for an A1 over a Polo, just so you have an Audi badge.

Or for a Polo over a Fabia or Ibiza ;-)

14 November 2014
hardshoulder wrote:
Frightmare Bob wrote:

I see no point in paying extra for an A1 over a Polo, just so you have an Audi badge.

Or for a Polo over a Fabia or Ibiza ;-)

You're not wrong there.

 

I'm a disillusioned former Citroëniste.

14 November 2014
Well, it is a very nice badge, isn't it? And it makes people think you're simply too rich for a VW Polo. Which I suppose you would have to be, having shelled out more than you needed to so that you could own one.

14 November 2014
To be fair, while the A1 definitely has a much higher starting price than the Polo, there's actually only a few hundred quid difference between the equivalent models because the Audi A1 range starts off with far better engines and more standard equipment. Like the older soon to be discontinued Audi A1 1.2 86 SE Sportback; it is only around £500 more expensive than the VW Polo 1.2 90 SE 5dr and has roughly the same equipment level. The same still applies between the Golf and A3; there's still not much of a price difference between their equivalent models, with matching engines and specs even up to their hot models. So it's really gonna come down to tastes in the end.

14 November 2014
Cars are often bought on how they LOOK. So someone who already has a larger Audi and just wants a smaller version with the look and feel of an Audi would not consider a Polo. It has nothing to do with the price difference.
Hence why BMW 3 Series/Audi A4 often outsells Mondeos and such. People want the car they like the look of and enjoy being in, not necessarily the cheaper price/deal they could have.

14 November 2014
The A1 is a handsome car, so is the Polo.
But putting an A1 next to an A2 shows how much more modern an A2 looks, and more innovative in its engineering too.
'Vorsprung durch Technik' perhaps, but 'Vorsprung durch Design' I don't think so.

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