Audi A1 1.0 TFSI 18 | 04 | 2016Scotcars rating

    It's back to basics as we drive Audi's entry-level A1 1.0TFSI ... and it's a supermini hoot!

    THINK AUDI, THINK EXPENSIVE? Well, that doesn’t need to be the case, because if you shop cleverly, you can have the famous four interlinked circles on your drive for less than £15,000. Say hello to the entry-level A1 1.0TFSI.

    It may be the entry point into Audi ownership, but the 1.0-litre TSFI delivers a significant premium small car package without having to deal with the associated costs.

    Reasonably well equipped, the 94bhp 1.0TFSI is definitely fun to drive and is equally at home scampering about the city centre, or sitting at the legal max on a motorway. It may be small in size, but it’s big in stature.

    The three-cylinder turbo delivers peppy performance, combined with strong refinement and good fuel economy. This A1 1.0TFSI — Audi’s first ever three-cylinder, but shared with the VW Polo — returns 67.3mpg, emits 98g/km CO2, and will hit 62mph in 11.1secs. Audi says it’ll also hit 116mph.

    So far then, so good. And the good news just keeps on coming.

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    Inside the cabin, it’s as you would expect: all high quality fittings and surfaces, plus beautifully sculpted switchgear which wouldn’t look out of place in a car twice the price.

    It’s a nice place to be, and many owners will find the standard 15in wheels and softer suspension on the entry-level SE spec better-suited to the car than the 16in or 17in you’re likely to find on the Sport spec.

    While many buyers will opt for the more powerful 1.6-litre A1, the wee 1.0TFSI is something of a blast. It scoots through town, the thrummy three-cylinder engine never overbearing like some rivals’ engines. The Audi unit spins freely, ensuring you’ve got that wee bit of poke on tap for whenever you need it.

    Take the car on to the motorway, and you’ll reap the benefits of the long ratios of the five-speed gearbox which ensure relaxing cruising. The ratios all contribute to the quietness in the cabin, and the attractive fuel economy: who needs a diesel?

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    Now, ok, we have an admission: the test car, though £14,465, did come with a rather scary number of pricey options — taking the test price to an eye-watering £20,055 — including the £1550 Black Milano leather sports seats; £840 Comfort Pack; 500 quid silver interior elements in a contrast colour; £350 CD changer; £390 metallic paint, plus another 390 quid for the contrasting colour on the roof; and the £255 Audi sound system.

    Quite honestly, all I’d probably add to the standard price is the £255 sound system — which is excellent — and electronic climate control at £205. That would still keep the total under the 15 grand limit at £14,925.

    We tested the three-door, and while access to the rear seats does require a little twisting and turning, it isn’t a deal breaker. I actually prefer the styling of the three-door.

    But if you do require five-doors, then they’ll only cost you an extra £620. The five-door Sportback not only allows easier rear-seat access, but also features a small third back seat.

    We’ve always loved the A1: it’s a classy supermini which does everything you require, but with quality. And in the shape of the A1 1.0TFSI, you can have all the quality associated with an Audi for less than £15,000. Oh … did we mention that before?

    Related: Roadtest — Audi R8 V10 Plus

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    Jim McGill

    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £14,465 / £20,055
    Engine / Power: 1.0-litre 3cyl turbo petrol, 5spd manual / 94bhp
    How fast?: 0-62mph 11.1sec; / Max 116mph
    How big/heavy?: L3973mm W1746mm (excl mirrors) H1422mm / 1060kg
    How thirsty/CO2?: 67.3mpg combined / 98g/km CO2
    InsGP/Road tax: n/a / n/a
    Alternatives: Mini, Ford Fiesta, Fiat 500, Vauxhall Corsa

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