The 1.2 TFSI Audi A1 Sportback sets a new benchmark for entry into the premium car segment, with a starting price of $26,500. That means for the first time you can find yourself behind the wheel of a new Audi for the price of a mid-spec Toyota Corolla.
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The current three-door Audi A1 range has done rather well in Australia so far, becoming the third most popular model in Audi’s arsenal (after the A4 and Q5). The introduction of the more practical five-door A1 Sportback at its remarkably low starting price will surely increase sales for the model.

The base model 1.2 TFSI manual A1, which is not expected to become a volume seller due to its manual-only offering, will no doubt help bring potential buyers into Audi showrooms. The Volkswagen Polo-based Audi A1 competes with BMW’s Mini Cooper range on price but finds the majority of its buyers as first-time entrants into the premium segment with a 90 per cent conquest rate (buyers coming from other brands).

The 1.2 TFSI engine generates 63kW of power and 160Nm of torque (1500-3500 rpm). The same engine is also employed in Australia by sister companies Volkswagen and Skoda, albeit in a higher state of tune that comes with 14kW more power and 15Nm more torque. Available only with a five-speed manual transmission, the five-door turbocharged A1 Sportback isn’t exactly a rocket ship, with the 0-100km/h dash taking 11.9 seconds. Fuel consumption is rated at 5.1 litres per 100 km.

Audi Australia has equipped the base model A1 Sportback with 15-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, 6.5-inch colour display screen that controls eight speakers (80-watt audio system), six airbags and an array of active safety technology. It also comes standard with both Bluetooth telephone connectivity and audio streaming technology, something the much more expensive Audi A4 misses out on as standard gear.

Of course if you want more there are three optional packages available. For $2,000, you can get xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, rear parking sensors and automatic air conditioning. Another $1200 will add more media functionalities and high-gloss black air vents, and if you absolutely must have satellite navigation that will set you back a rather hefty $4750 as part of the MMI navigation plus package that also adds a 20GB hard drive.

The popular variants are expected to be the 1.4 TFSI S tronic Attraction and Ambition, which retail for $32,250 and $33,800 respectively. CarAdvice drove the entire Audi A1 Sportback range recently so expect a review in the next 24 hours. Check out the gallery for more pictures.

  • Audi A1 Sportback 1.2 TFSI manual Attraction 63kW - $26,500
  • Audi A1 Sportback 1.4 TFSI manual Attraction 90kW - $29,900
  • Audi A1 Sportback 1.6 TDI manual Attraction 66kW - $29,900
  • Audi A1 Sportback 1.6 TDI S tronic Attraction 66kW - $32,250
  • Audi A1 Sportback 1.4 TFSI S tronic Attraction 90kW - $32,250
  • Audi A1 Sportback 1.4 TFSI manual Ambition 90kW - $33,450
  • Audi A1 Sportback 1.4 TFSI S tronic Ambition 90kW - $35,800
  • Audi A1 Sportback 1.4 TFSI S tronic Sport 136kW - $42,500