2019 Audi A1 arrives in South Africa

1 February 2019

The new Audi A1 is a refined sportback, with superior build quality. The cabin is almost completely soundproof and features innovative technology.

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The Audi A1 is still a fairly new model to the Audi brand. After the first generation was released in 2010, the A1 only received a facelift in 2015. However, the new 2019 model is completely redesigned and features new Audi technology and the new car does not share any parts with the older models as every single part is completely new. 

Audi has even gone so far as to rename the engine model names such as the 25 TFSI, 30 TFSI, 35 TFSI and the range topping 40 TFSI. The Audi A1 (as before) is based on the Volkswagen Polo as it shares the chassis and engines from the Polo, but this car should not be mistaken as a Volkswagen with an Audi Badge as everything else is premium Audi build quality and luxury. It’s a premium vehicle, and the price fits this, with Audi A1 price list starting at around R350 000. (Price correct at publication.) 

Engine specs and exterior

  • • Starting off the Audi A1 range is the 25 TFSI, which manages to kick out a reasonable 70kW/175Nm which is an economical engine, perfect for town driving.

  • • Second is the 30 TFSI with a more punchy with a 85kW/200Nm engine, which is found in the 1.0 liter TSI Volkswagen Polo.

  • • Third is the 35 TFSI which is easily powerful enough for any type of driving with an output of 110kW/250Nm.

  • • Finally the range topping 40 TFSI, with a 2.0 liter turbocharged 4 cylinder engine, which is the same as the Volkswagen Polo GTI. It kicks our a massive 147kW/320Nm for a sporty daily drive.

The Dual clutch S-Tronic is available in all models and features paddle shifts behind the steering wheel. This is a standard feature in the 40 TFSI, with a 6-speed that manages to get the Audi A1 40 TFSI from 0 to 100km in just 6.5 seconds. Unfortunately, only front wheel drive is available and the famous Quattro all-wheel drive system won’t feature on the Audi A1. 

As for the exterior, the new Audi A1 looks modern and you can say it’s definitely a class leader in terms of looks. At the front of the bonnet you will find three open slats that pays tribute to the earlier Audi Quattro rally car. There is also an optional extra to get the wheels painted in white and brake calipers in red to look like a road legal rally car. (Read more: Are these optional extras really worth it? 

There are many sharp curves and edges that make the Audi A1 look more aggressive, along with some rather spooky looking tinted rear tail lights, and bright front LED day time running lights. 

Interior specs and features

The interior is probably the most impressive part of the Audi A1, as much of the layout is similar to the Volkswagen Polo, but is finished off in premium materials. The infotainment system is borrowed from the larger Audi models and is one of the easiest systems available today. You could also get the Audi A1 with Audi virtual cockpit, which is brilliant and allows you to use many more features than the Volkswagen digital display, such as navigation and power usage display. You also have the option of having the Bang and Olufsen sound system. There is more leg room in the back compared to the previous generation, and a reasonable size boot capacity up to 335 liters. 

The A1 has many other optional extras such as start/stop, auto-parking, lane departure warning, speed limiter and front/back park sensors. Certain safety features come as standard such as automatic emergency brake, lane-keeping assist and a large number of airbags, the Audi A1 hasn’t been tested in the crash test, but it should score pretty well, if not the best in its class, as the Volkswagen Polo did extremely well in the crash test. 

Verdict for the 2019 Audi A1 

The new Audi A1 is a refined sportback, with superior build quality. The cabin is almost completely soundproof and features innovative technology. As for the exterior the New A1 is a very attractive small sportback. The engines available are strong and efficient with good power delivery and can be nicely finished off with the dual clutch S-Tronic transmission that is perfectly smooth and responsive. Overall the new Audi A1 is an interesting small car. 

Looking for a new car? Check out our other reviews in the Car Review section of our blog. 


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