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From Late June




2020 Audi A1 Sportback launch

September 14, 2020

Bowen's Report Card

2020 Audi A1 Sportback launch


The new Audi A1 is like a two-year old that grew a full shoe size overnight. But in the A1’s case it has taken nine long years. Like any toddler it’s also starting to get expensive, but at the same time developing into a rather advanced and interesting concept. I took the three tier Audi A1 Sportback line-up for a spin in Tasmania back in December last year, it was fun, I don’t know why there are so many Tasmania jokes.


There are three models to choose from. The 30 TFSI, 35 TFSI and 40 TFSI. All engines are turbocharged petrol units. The Audi A1 tree ascends from a 1.0-litre three-cylinder followed by 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre powerplants. All engines performed very well as we headed south from Hobart. None lacked any overtaking prowess. Although each obviously requires slightly different timing, when it comes to the 4000 grey nomads down there.

The 40 TFSI takes it to a new level with 147kW and 320Nm of torque, but it drops a cog with a six-speed S tronic transmission fitted. It will dash to 100km/h in 6.5 seconds, which is properly quick!

The Drive

The A1 is well-balanced, one of the few Audi’s I felt totally connected with. It was nice to enjoy more of a raw experience minus the trickery of the outstanding quattro system and adaptive suspension. It goes to show Audi can fine tune a car’s dynamics, just as well as other well-known German brands.


This is where the A1 has really come of age. On the safety front Autonomous Emergency Breaking (AEB) with cyclist and pedestrian detection is standard, as is lane keep assist and Audi’s suite of safety sensor systems known as pre sense.

Cars are all about connectivity these days and the A1 really excels. Up front there is both a USB-A and USB-C port. The new Audi MMI system is displayed on an 8.8-inch or 10.1-inch touchscreen. The latter is an option on the 35 TFSI and standard on the 45 TFSI.

Wireless Apple CarPlay is offered for free on the two top models. If you like your apps, well Audi Connect Plus may interest you. Using an online connection, you’re able to perform a range of tasks away from and in the car, such as inputting an address before you get in.

Smartphones can do the same, so you’ll rarely do that.

Audi’s Virtual Cockpit is displayed via a 10.25-inch instrument cluster except on the 30 TFSI.

Value For Money

Pricing begins at $32,350 for the 30 TFSI, $35,290 for the 35 TFSI and $46,450 for the 40 TFSI. There are two different $2,990 style packages that can be purchased. The first sees the A1 score LED headlights plus larger alloy wheels for the first two models. There’s also a $3200 Technik package for the mid spec model that adds the advanced MMI navigation system and other tech goodies. If you want a black roof add $890.

Fuel consumption is good all round with a claimed figure of 5.4L/100km for the 30 TFSI, 5.8L/100km for the 35 TFSI and 6.4L/100km.

But at the end of the day, that’s a shed-load to spend on a hatch. Funnily enough Audi call it a Sportback, which it isn’t.

What I Love

The Audi A1 comes close to being one of the greatest European hatches. Plus as I mentioned the A1 is endowed with a raft of standard safety technology. But most importantly the hatch now has five doors making it substantially bigger. In fact, the 2020 Audi A1 is now 55mm longer with the most important figure being an increase of 94mm when it comes to the wheelbase.

Bowen’s Report Card

This is a great range to launch with. All have their strengths and weaknesses, but at each price point you’ll walk away with a very balanced car to suit your needs. For those shocked by the pricing, just remember it’s almost half a size bigger. Plus, it’s still German. It’s an 80  out of 100 from me.