Audi A1 Sportback Video Review - Carshop Drive 7


 14 Jun, 2015

Audi A1 Sportback Video Review

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The Audi A1 gives the MINI Cooper Hatch stiff competition in the boutique hatchback segment, where funky and customisable looks are the name of the game. Is Audi's smallest car an affront to the badge, or is it worthy of that premium pricetag?

Audi is quite proud of the fact that since its local introduction in 2011 they’ve shifted nearly 9000 A1 models. They say the A1 outsells the closest premium rival by 3 to 1. Which is impressive.

By ‘premium rival’ I presume they mean the MINI Cooper, but if we look at the official NAAMSA sales figures for May, Audi sold 168 A1s while MINI moved 158 Coopers. Not quite 3 to 1 Audi? More ‘neck and neck’.

Anyway, besides the sales numbers, what is of more interest is that the A1 conquests more customers than any other Audi. This makes sense, as the baby Audi in the range the A1 should appeal to a younger audience.

How young, well my gut tells me that unless you have large trust fund, parent’s with deep pockets or you’re part of the ‘upwardly mobile generation’, at a base price of R265 000 for the 1.0T 3-door, as a set of your self-funded first wheels, it’s probably out of reach for most.

So is this a new, new model we see here?

The model you see here sits in the middle of the range and is the 1.4-litre TFSi SE S-Tronic Sportback model and has a base price of R323 500.00. That might sound like a lot, and it is. But, consider the top-of-the-range S1 starts at an eye-watering R452 000.00 and the model you see here seems cheap by comparison.

So what’s new on the A1? Well visually not all that much, there’s a new front bumper, grille and headlight arrangement however, if you can spot the differences without the previous generation model sitting right next to it, well done you, because I can’t.

It’s still in my opinion, one of the best looking models in the Audi range, together with the A3 sedan of course (queue heated discussion) and with the optional Audi Active Kit, the new A1 is sexier than ever. Active Kit includes ‘platinum grey’ front and rear bumper aprons, as well as wheel arch covers, side sills and wing mirrors in the same grey chrome-look plastic.

Customisation is the name of the game in this boutique hatch market. With the option to have a contrasting roof colour, a variety of wheel designs and the aforementioned Active Kit, you can spec your A1 just how you want it.

Speaking of specification, the test unit I drove for example, had R80 000 worth of optional extras, taking its base price from R323 500.00 to a staggering on the road price of R404 490!

Now Read >> Audi A1 Review - 1.4T FSI Sportback SE S-Tronic

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