The Audi small car range has grown from hatchbacks to include sedans, convertibles and SUVs. All share the marque’s focus on superb driving performance with 5-star ANCAP safety ratings. Here’s a guide to Audi small cars, pointing out features to look for as a buyer and to highlight as a seller.
Next-gen Audi A1s arrived in 2019, replacing the three-door model with a 5-door Sportsback (Audi’s hatchback). It’s bigger than its predecessor—not only in its body—with a muscular stance and turbo performance.
There are three (all petrol) models, starting with the A1 30 TFSI that’s fitted with a 1.0-L 3-cylinder turbo. The 35 TFSI 1.5-L turbo has Audi’s Cylinder On Demand (COD) that shuts down cylinders to minimise fuel consumption. The A1 40 TFSI 2.0-L turbo is as fast as the high-performance VW Golf GTi.
The A1’s interiors are bristling with technology and features like Audi Pre-Sense, which can detect people and obstacles ahead. It’s a bit cramped inside for rear passengers but, on the plus side, there’s enough boot space for a long weekend away.
The Audi A3 exemplifies luxury in a compact package, on par with the BMW 2 Series. Leather seats and soft cabin lighting are complemented by sat-nav, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, eight-speaker sound and dual-zone climate control.
The range includes four engine sizes. Front-wheel drive is standard, with the 1.0 TFSI powered by a punchy 3-cylinder 1.0 L and the 1.4 TFSI carrying a 1.4-L 4-cylinder with Cylinder On Demand (COD). AWD is available in the top of the range 2.0 TFSI Quattro S Line.
With sharper lines than the Q3, Q5 and Q7, the Audi Q2 is a tech-laden compact SUV with a Virtual Cockpit Display, heads-up illumination and MMI Navigation. It also boasts Audi Connect—a Wi-Fi hotspot loaded with Google Street View and Google Earth.
While it looks small for an SUV, it’s actually taller than the Audi A3, so interior comfort and headroom are well taken care of. Under the bonnet, the launch-era (2017) Q2 packs a 1.4-L turbo front-wheel drive while the later Q2 2.0 TFSI turbo is fitted with a Quattro option. The Q2 40 TFSI can hit 100 km/h in just 6.5 seconds.
The Audi Q3 offers 1.4-L turbo-petrol and 2.0-L turbo-diesel and the option of front-wheel drive or Quattro AWD. This is a small car that looks great on the road and is superbly appointed. The 2.0-L turbo option is particularly fun to drive. Launched in 2012, later models added xenon headlights, parking sensors and rear cameras to the list of features. Interiors boast Audi infotainment, leather seats and dual climate control.
It’s a 5-seater, but the rear seats are great for kids, not adults. Boot space is limited, particularly in the Q3 Sportback, which is Audi’s sports coupe crossover that rivals the Mercedes Benz AMG A45. Then again, the Sportsback looks so stunning that’s it’s a price many will happily pay.