The cheap­est new Audi yet, the prac­ti­cal five-door cuts few cor­ners

Herald Sun - Motoring - - On The Web - CRAIG DUFF craig.duff@cars­

First drive of the cheap­est new Audi ever, the A1 1.2 TSI. Nicely priced at $26K — just don’t think about sat­nav

OWN­ING a pres­tige car is a life­long am­bi­tion for many of us. To help achieve it, the Euro­peans are de­vel­op­ing en­try-level ranges that plumb pre­vi­ously un­charted lev­els of af­ford­abil­ity. The Mercedes A-Class is such a car— but it’s not here yet. Audi’s A1 Sport­back is. It is a pre­mium light car for the cost of a small main­stream hatch and its five doors ex­tend its ap­peal be­yond car en­thu­si­asts.


The A1 Sport­back range starts at $26,500 for a 1.2-litre tur­bocharged engine matched to a five-speed man­ual gear­box. It’s no strip­per.

The same engine, with more power and at a lower price, is in the Volk­swa­gen Polo and Golf — and theVWgets a six-speed box. But nei­ther cheaper car has Audi’s badge or its soft­touch plas­tics— a big part of the A1’s ap­peal. It’s the dif­fer­ence be­tween dress­ing in syn­thet­ics or silk.

Ex­clu­siv­ity is the other draw­card— it doesn’t mat­ter what model Ford, Hyundai or Kia you buy, some­one else on your street will have one too. That ain’t so with the Audi.


Stan­dard gear ex­tends to cruise con­trol, auto head­lamps and wipers, Blue­tooth phone con­nec­tiv­ity and a 6.5-inch infotainment dis­play. The only op­tion I’d want is sat­nav but it’s bun­dled with a 20GB hard drive, in­ter­face for iPod/USB con­nec­tions and an ex­tra SD card slot for $3600.

To put that in per­spec­tive, $3400 will put prospec­tive own­ers in the 1.4-litre A1 with 16-inch al­loy wheels, sports sus­pen­sion, front fog­lights, a front cen­tre arm­rest, bet­ter­bol­stered front seats and black air-vent sur­rounds.

Buy an after­mar­ket sat­nav and up­grade the mem­ory on your smart­phone in­stead.


It looks like an A1 but with ex­tra doors. That’s smart

Af­ford­able: The A1 Sport­back takes Audi to anewlevel — a $26,500 start­ing price

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.