How Does The New Audi A1 Stack Up Against Its Predecessor?

Audi tried to paint a trendy picture for the first first-generation A1 when it launched the sub-compact hatch back in 2010. They signed Justin Timberlake as a brand ambassador, they released an A1-themed iPhone and iPad game, and then went on to build more than a dozen special edition versions of the car.

The name of the game was customization from the get go, as the original A1 came with colored air nozzles, available LED interior lighting packages, different color seat covers and of course, color-contrasting roof arches.

The 2019 Audi A1 is customizable too, right?

Indeed, you can definitely play around with colors when it comes to the brand new model, both outside and in. However, if we go by exterior design alone, the car is definitely less quirky and more grown up. You can take that literally too, thanks to its increased exterior dimensions at 4.03 meters (13.2 ft) long 1.74 meters (5.7 ft) in wide and 1.41 meters (4.6 ft) tall.

To put that into perspective, the older model is 3.95 meters (12.9 ft) long, 1.74 meters (5.7 ft) wide and 1.42 meters (4.6 ft) tall. Not a big difference, but if you park them next to each other, the new one should be visibly longer than the older model.

Another aspect of the latest A1 that’s different than before is, well, pretty much everything. The overall styling is completely new, the front grille is bigger, the headlight design is sharper, the shoulder line is more pronounced and the C-pillar a lot thicker.

Move towards the rear of the new A1 and you’ll find a set of brand new taillights, whose L-shape sort of reminds us of BMW, but let’s not go there.

All things considered, the all-new A1 is definitely the more aggressive-looking car, especially with that S Like exterior and those sharp LED headlights. But if you actually loved the original A1 because it looked “cute”, then this newer car might not be entirely to your liking.

Simple yet ultra-modern

We’re going to go ahead and say that the 2019 A1’s interior wins in a landslide, compared to its predecessor’s cabin. In fact, some might consider it better than the A3’s, if all you care about is on-board tech.

The all-new Audi A1 comes with a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster as standard, though if you’re willing to pay extra, the 10.1-inch MMI navigation touchscreen display makes for a great addition. Other impressive features include the heated front seats, ambient lighting package with 30 available colors, the connectivity package (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), two USB ports and the optional Bang & Olufsen premium sound system, boasting 11 speakers.

Then there’s all the driver assistance systems, like lane departure warning – it will actually steer the car back on course if you accidentally veer off from your lane. Future buyers can also opt for adaptive speed assist, park assist and the pre sense system, which uses a radar sensor to detect and warn drivers of potential hazards, ultimately applying the brakes if no human input is received.

Naturally, Audi says that aside from all the fancy tech, the newer car also has a higher quality interior, which isn’t hard to believe.

In the end, the all-new Audi A1 looks like a more than worthy successor to the first-gen model, as well as a strong alternative to the latest 5-door Mini. All that’s left is for us to find out how it drives.


    it was loosely based on skoda fabia again

    • Un Tipo Serio

      Indeed, I’ve never seen any more “loosely based on” cars in my whole life. Ever.

    • haudit

      The Fabia is based on a slightly evolved version of the old A1’s PQ25 platform. The new A1 is based on the brand new MQB-A0 architecture shared with Volkswagen’s Polo, and SEAT’s Ibiza and Arona.


        knew it already, fabia was been around since 2014

  • Victor Ferreira

    Well, it doesn’t have an interior that looks like it belongs in a $9,000 car anymore, so that’s good progress. Hopefully the A3 will ditch it’s horrible cheap interior soon as well.

    • wintergraan

      The A3’s interior is one of the nicest in its class. It may not look as fancy as the interior of the new a-class, but quality wise it’s still up to date. So how can it be horrible cheap? 🙂

      • Victor Ferreira

        Materials may be good, but the design looks horribly cheap (which is the point I made). The Golf is infinitely better, as is the new A1. No clue what they were thinking.

        • Vassilis

          That is not the point you made. Nowhere in your post did you make clear you’re talking specifically about design.

      • Nordschleife

        I personally like the A3 interior. I don’t think it looks cheap design wise either. Maybe a little austere but by no means cheap.

    • Daniela Wolf

      cheap and ugly?! Are u sure about that!

  • mihsf

    It looks terribly wrong.

  • wintergraan

    I always liked the design of the old A1, but compared to the new one it just looks so dull – even in these exotic colors 🙂

  • Philip George

    Makes the previous generation look like a damn joke.
    It’s still an audi though, therefore it is crap and should be scrapped.

    • wintergraan

      Autoexperte, is it you? 😀

      • Philip George


        • wintergraan

          You really don’t know him? He’s a very knowledgeable car expert and one of my favorite commenters 😉

          • Philip George


    • Daniela Wolf

      Audi hater again :p
      They kicked u out, right?^^

      • Philip George

        Either you’ve got me mixed up with one of your antagonists or you’ve had one too many. Either way, I do not like Audi, thats for sure!

        • Daniela Wolf

          Who cares ?

          • Philip George

            Certainly not me. You can take your life problems with you elsewhere.

  • DMax

    Well for one I’m glad that it seems we’re finally done with general design trend of stick-on Ipad infotainment systems, back to integrated screens look. Phew… that took a while.

  • Vassilis

    Well, versus the 5door there’s no comparison. The new is significantly better. Versus the 3door, less so.

  • enthusia

    I’m patiently waiting for a new design era for Audi. The mid/late 2000’s was the last remarkable era and their design has been stale ever since. As for the interior: its getting real difficult to distinguish Audi’s interiors from VW.

  • Miknik

    Whilst – unlike bigger Audis – it does look different enough to be recognized as a new model, it also looks less classy, more overdone and vulgar in detailing, and the interior materials seem (and from the first videos it seems reviewers find that too) cheaper, whilst the angled screen surely will be great to use in direct sunlight….

  • Nordschleife

    Agreed. You should expand it to audi’s Interior design old vs new.

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