Audi A1: Mid-term verdict

  • Pros and cons of the first three months
  • Performance continues to impress...
  • …but there’s still a major stumbling block

My first three months in the excellent Audi A1 seem to have flown by, and while I’ve been impressed there is still a rather large elephant in the room.

Let’s start with the plus points. The best part of the A1 has to be the excellent 1.4-litre TFSI engine. Its full potential shines through when you find yourself caught behind slow moving vehicles, once you get a break the feisty engine lets you nip in and out effortlessly with a great burst of acceleration. The A1 feels quick and with a 0-62mph time of 6.7s, you can see why.

Then there is the seven-speed S tronic automatic gearbox. It’s lovely and smooth and the Sport mode gives it that added character and pace that you want. There is one thing though. If I was to spec the car again I would definitely opt for the flappy-paddles as this would really complete the feel of this car.

Something else I’ve noticed as the months have gone on is that it is surprisingly comfortable and has a very good seating position. With the bumpy ride I was worried a 140 mile round-commute would leave me with the back problems of a 90-year-old hod carrier, but not once have I got out of the car in pain. At the same time you get a nice low seating position that can be easily moved for any other drivers to get comfortable.

There are a few issues though. First off, recently, there seems to be some kind of squeak and creak that's developed somewhere in the front passenger side of the car. I have no idea what it is and inspected the usual suspects of glovebox – doing the classic pressure test as you drive along – and door card.

The ride also leaves a lot to be desired thanks to the sports suspension and the 18-inch alloys. Things get particularly bad as you hit some of the challenging roads of North West London. The challenges are not hairpins and chicanes, but more the potholes that litter the streets.

Finally there is one very large elephant in the room. It costs £25,660 to equip the car with all the kit that we have. This means it is currently the second most expensive car on the Parkers fleet second only to the Vauxhall Astra. You can even get the Skoda Superb Estate we’re currently running for £1,395 less. I know it all feels lovely and premium, but that’s a lot of money for a small hatchback.

Current mileage: 3,681 miles

Average mpg: 34.9mpg


Surprsingly comfortable seats, but the passenger squeak is off-putting


The 1.4-litre engine offers excellent acceleration a nice touch of character