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The A1 took our Most Cost Efficient Car award last year, and we’ve no reason to doubt our decision. All of Audi’s style and build quality but with rock bottom costs

Audi A1 Sportback 1.6 TDI SE

What is it?

 The Audi A1 Sportback 1.6 TDI SE, is our ‘Most Cost-Efficient Car for an SME Company Car Driver’ for 2013, and there are plenty of good reasons why.

It may be the smallest car that Audi currently makes but all of the luxury and style that is pumped into Audi’s more expensive models is present in the A1, too.

This Audi A1 Sportback 1.6 TDI model is the most efficient in the A1 range so it will certainly help to keep the running costs pared right back for SME business car managers, as well as keeping their drivers’ company car tax bills down.

What’s more, this five-door Sportback model offers practicality that the three-door model can’t quite match.


And the Sportback gives you 5-door practicality too – greatly extending the A1’s appeal

What’s hot?

  •  The A1 Sportback has the good looks of the standard car but with easier access to the back seats.
  • There is no other car in this class that can match the classy, well-built feeling of the A1 Sportback’s cabin. It certainly wouldn’t feel out of place fitted to Audi’s more expensive A4.
    No other car in this class comes close to the premium feel of the cabin
  • Despite the premium Audi badge, the 1.6 TDI diesel engine is impressively frugal, so running costs are held in check…
  • …and with 74.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 99g/km that mean a standard rate tax payer will have to pay just £36 per month in company car tax. And for SME firms that means reduced NI payments, too
  • With 104bhp it boasts a reasonable 0-62mph time of 10.5 seconds, too. What’s more it’s actually quite smooth and refined for a diesel engine, and at motorway speeds you’d could be fooled into thinking it’s a petrol.
  • The SE trim level may be the entry-point to the A1 line-up but with the 15-inch alloys and softer suspension than the Sport or S line models it’s actually much more comfortable.
  • There’s also a reasonable amount of kit on offer, which includes air-conditioning and electric windows all-round.


If there’s a compromise it’s here – snug for adults

What’s not?

  • While the extra doors boost access to the rear seats, the seats themselves are a little bit cramped for adults.
  • Unfortunately, the 1.6 TDI engine is only available with a five-speed manual gearbox so you can’t get the excellent dual-clutch gearbox on offer in some of the petrol-powered models.
  • While the handling feels predictable and reassuring, it’s never that exciting. A MINI provides feedback and involvement in a way the Audi simply can’t match.


Business Car Manager verdict

With the Audi A1 Sportback 1.6 TDI SE you get an ideal company car. Not only is it going to be cheap to run but it boasts incredibly cheap monthly company car tax bills and surprising long-distance comfort and refinement.

But no compromise on the road – refined and comfortable on long journeys

There’s no other car that can match the A1 for its big-car in a small-car package feeling, and its grown-up attitude is something that’s quite difficult to come across in this class.

What’s more, the SE not only comes with plenty of equipment as standard, but it’s also the cheapest and most comfortable A1 you can buy.

We made the Audi A1 Sportback our’ Most Cost-Efficient Car for an SME Company Car Driver’ in the Business Car Manager SME Company Car of the Year Awards 2012. Click here to find out why.

It’s the ideal company car – cheap to run, but packed with quality and refinement

The Low Down…

Doors and body style5-door hatchback 
Engine/gearbox 1.6 litre 4 cyl turbodiesel/5-speed manual
CO2 Emissions 99g/km
Economy 74.3mpg
Power/torque 105HP/250Nm
0-62mph/top speed 10.5secs/118mph
Insurance group 14

…and what it costs

P11D Value £15,415
Monthly business rental (ex VAT) From £223 (3yrs/30,000 miles)
Road tax (VED) Band A
Company Car Tax Bands 2013/14 to 2015/16 14%, 15%, 17%
Benefit in kind 2013/14 to 2015/16 £2158, £2312, £2621
Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (20%) £591/£49
Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (40%) £1182/£98
Annual/monthly company car tax (20%) £432/£36
Annual/monthly company car tax (40%)£863/£72 
Figures correct at time of posting 
For latest figuresUse our company car tax calculator
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  1. For less than a £1 a month more you can do as I did and get a Lexus CT200h silky smooth and good spec.


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