The 2nd generation of the Audi A1 is bigger, faster and so much hotter! The A1 underwent a complete makeover and came back with a bang – giving other hot hatches a run for their money!
The A1 is riding on an all-new platform and is 56mm longer and has a 94mm longer wheelbase, making it a bit bigger and wider than the previous generation. This is probably the first thing I noticed about the car. Apart from its size the A1 has an overall new look. It has a bulkier body, sporty and defining accent lines and sharper corners giving it a more dramatic and athletic look and feel.
My test model was the 40TFSI S Line and was fitted with the optional Edition #1 package (R19 000). This option adds sporty styling to the exterior – like the gorgeous 18-inch alloy rims, black Audi rings and black model and performance badges.
In the previous A1 you could tell that you are buying a baby Audi by looking at the interior. It just wasn’t on the same level as, for example, the A3. But now, that has changed! Inside the new A1 you can clearly see that Audi has included features and design elements from their more premium models. When I first got into the car I noticed the big infotainment screen and that is clearly angled towards the driver, along with the climate control and some other buttons.
Audi’s optional virtual cockpit is another fantastic feature. This turns the instrument cluster into a digital screen that the driver can customise with different layouts. The screen is very clear and has a sort of matte look to it.
The leather and cloth combination front seats are comfortable, the backseats are less comfortable and quite firm, but totally fine for medium length drives. Legroom for backseat passengers is pretty decent thanks to the A1 being a little bigger. The boot is an adequate 335-liters and has a handy luggage net to keep all your loose items together.
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
Under the bonnet of the 40TFSI is a 2-litre turbocharged engine that producers 147Kw of power and 320Nm of torque. The engine is mated to a punchy 6-speed automatic dual-clutch transmission. This is the same engine found in the Polo GTI.
I found the drive to be very engaging and enjoyable! This hot hatch packs a lot of punch and is very, very quick. It was pretty hard to keep myself from driving fast all the time! I felt like a kid playing with my favourite toy. Fuel consumption is claimed at 6.1 l/100km on average and more towards 8.2 l/100km when driving in and around town. I found it best to drive in the eco driving mode when in town as that will help keep consumption low.
Apart from eco, you also get the comfort and dynamic driving modes. Of course dynamic is the fun one! When you select this drive mode an image of the A1, seemingly on a race track, appears on the infotainment screen. In this mode, the engine sounds more aggressive, the gear changes are different and the steering feels more responsive!
ANY COOL FEATURES?
The A1 comes with decent standard features and like every other premium brand, you have a long list of extras to choose from. But if you are indecisive like me, going to through a long list of additional extras can be overwhelming. Audi was smart and grouped extras into “packages”, which makes choices a lot easier if you are willing to spend some extra cash on your A1!
Technology package (R9900) – This option gives you Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. As well as the Audi Virtual Cockpit and Audi Sound System.
S Line interior package (R9200) – Sport front seats with “S” embossed into the backrest, stainless steel pedals, roof lining in black cloth and a few other sporty features.
Audi phone box (R5500 – This is a special compartment specifically for your phone – it has wireless charging and improves reception quality with LTE support.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The A1 range starts at R378 500 with the 30TFSI S tronic and goes up to R488 000 for the 40TFSI S line, which makes it quite a bit more expensive than its rival, the popular Polo GTI.
So why go for the A1 40TFSI S line instead of the Polo GTI? Well, although they have the same engine, the A1 just looks and feels more exciting than the Polo!