Long Term Review - Audi A1 Sportback S-Line.

Here's 5 good things and 5 bad things about owning an A1.

3y ago

Having owned an A1 for 15 months, I thought I'd put together a video telling you the things I love, and the things I hate about the car.

Want to see the video? click the link:

Good things:

​1. The Engine - Cylinder On Demand.

When you're light on the throttle or off of it completely, the engine shuts half of itself down. That's two of it's four cylinders going into sleep mode in order to save some precious petrol! This process is silent and completely flawless. When you go back on the power, it wakes up the other two cylinders without a moments hesitation!

2. The engine - TFSI 150.

150PS from a turbocharged 1.4L TFSI engine. It doesn't sound a lot, but boy does she shift when you need her to! Go back 10 years and 150PS was in hot hatch territory. It's quick off the line and achieves 0-62mph in 7.9 seconds. Not bad for a 1.4L!

3. The Looks.

​My A1 has the S-Line trim which gives the car a more aggressive and sporty look. If you compare it to a standard spec A1, the differences are largely noticeable. It has a wider bumper, a small spoiler and a nice set of dual exhaust pipes. Inside, you get plenty of 'S-Line' badges along with black headlining.

4. Daytime running LED headlights.

Ultra-bright daytime running LED's are common in most modern cars but just look at the A1's. With it's sharp and eyebrow-like appearance, no other road user is going to make the excuse that they didn't see you coming.

5. It's a Supermini.

It's fast, it's efficient and it's small. If you need something that's quick off the line, light and good in tight spaces you get a supermini. It's also easy to park too.

Bad Things:

1. The Steering.

​At high speeds, the steering feels loose and unconnected to the wheels. There's plenty of give in the steering wheel meaning that you find yourself forever making small adjustments to the car in order to keep it straight. This only relates to 50-70mph driving. At the end of the day, it's a city car and in the city the steering is fantastic.

2. No USB.

Yes, you read that right. Audi provides an MMI USB cable that connects to a port located inside the glove box. This cable however is only around 15cm long and so your phone will have to stay inside the glove box. As good of a safety feature that is, I rely on my phone as a Sat-Nav rendering this as completely useless for me. I've had to go old-school and get a 12v socket USB adapter! C'mon Audi, this is utterly mad. I'm sure the next gen A1 will have better placed one!

3. The Infotainment System.

​The A1 is pretty old now, and it shows it's age with it's Infotainment set-up. You get DAB, Traffic Alerts, Bluetooth and access to the car's settings but you don't get much else. If you want Nav, you'll have to pay around £500 extra! I'll use my phone, thanks! The system is controlled with a large wheel and a few buttons. It's easy to use, but it feels ancient now. I'm sure the next A1 will also have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

4. Gear changing/Clutch

​The gear changes are notchy and uncertain at times. This can be frustrating, especially when driving at speed as it's possible to grind the gears or even slip the clutch. It's not a common problem for me, but I've also heard other A1/S1 drivers complaining about the same issue.

5. The Looks (Back End)

​Now, I've already praised the looks in my good points so I'm kind of contradicting myself here but I'm not a huge fan of the back end of the car. Whilst I like the exhausts and the diffuser, I don't like how 'bottom heavy' the car looks. It's not a huge issue but I think it could've been styled better as it looks like a skinny person with a big bum.


So there's my thoughts on the A1 Sportback S-Line 150PS TFSI. Overall, it's a great, premium city car but It's in desperate need of an interior modernisation which should hopefully come towards the end of this year or next year with the next generation A1.

Will I keep the car for the full term? No. It's a great car but I'm not in love with it.

Please check my video of this review, halfway through I hit the worst pothole in the world!

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#audi #audia1 #sportback #sline #cylinderondemand #hatchback #smalltribesrule

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