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The new A1- Now available for in SA.

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The new A1- Now available for in SA.

cartorquesa September 4, 2019

Looking for a small hatchback, with features that you would find in a larger executive sedan? For years the options available were limited, and even those didn’t have quite the panache that young students and young professionals wanted. Audi answered with their A1 in 2010, and a new model has just been released in South Africa.

Based on the same platform as the VW Polo, the Audi A1 was first launched in 2010 as a more premium, small hatchback, which competed with the likes of the Mini Cooper and New Beetle. It shares the features found in larger Audi’s, in a more compact, stylish package. It did have problems though. Legroom was tight, especially in the 3-door version, and the tight boot meant it was less practical than its less premium competition. But what has Audi done to address these issues? Let’s find out.

Launched in late 2018 abroad, the new Audi A1 shares Audi’s new design language as found on the larger Q3, and Q8. The new front fascia features Audi’s signature octagonal grille as we’ve seen on all new Audi models. Interestingly, above the grille, and as a departure from the norm, we find 3 vents just below the bonnet, which feeds air into the engine. Flanking the grille, we find optional full LED headlights (as standard we only have LED daytime running lights), and below that we have large rhombus-shaped air-vents (in the S-Line trim), which give the bumper a sporty look.

 Down the side, we find the sharp creases which run all the way along the side of the car as in the A8. With an optional black roof, the forward-leaning C-pillar which is body coloured gives the stationary A1 a dynamic look, as though it is constantly moving. This look is enhanced by the optional 17” rims (15” rims are standard) which sit under squared-off wheel arches. The rear of the A1 looks similar to the outgoing model, with sharper L-shaped LED taillights, as well as black sporty-looking trim along the bottom of the bumper.

The interior sees the biggest departure from the outgoing model. The digital gauge cluster is featured as standard fitment across the range, and allows you to switch between the speedometer and rev counter, and be able to see your media, satellite navigation, as well as vehicle information all in the gauge cluster, controlled by buttons found on the new leather-trimmed steering wheel borrowed from the Audi TT. In the middle of the dashboard, we find a standard fit 8,8-inch colour touchscreen, which contains similar features as its larger siblings, such as Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Satellite Navigation, as well as various other features such as Bluetooth, voice control and Audi’s drive select which changes the cars drive mode.

As standard, the seats are covered in cloth, with leather available as a cost option. Speaking of the seats, rear legroom has been improved tremendously, with full-sized adults now being able to sit comfortably in the back of the A1. The boot is bigger too, with the boot now able to swallow 335 litres, which should prove ample for most applications.

The new Audi A1 is definitely a strong competitor in the premium small hatchback segment. Pricing starts at R359 000 for the most basic spec’ed Audi A1 35 TFSI with a 1,0-litre power plant and goes all the way to the R488 000 for the Audi A1 40 TFSI S Line, which features the same powerplant in the VW Polo GTI. If you have the cash, the splash it on the new A1.

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