The new Audi A1 citycarver on test for Changing Lanes!
The new Audi A1 citycarver on test for Changing Lanes!

Caroline drives the new Audi A1 citycarver.

In 2019, Audi launched a new generation of the A1 city car. At Changing Lanes, we really like the A1 for its new angular, sporty styling, nifty driving dynamics and one of the best interiors in the small car class, dripping with the latest Audi technology features. While this is a premium small car bearing a premium car price, we couldn’t see anyone being disappointed with the overall Audi A1 experience.

For the first time Audi has now added the new Audi A1 citycarver derivative to the A1 range. Described as ideal for navigating the urban jungle, the citycarver is inspired by trends for crossovers. So Audi has raised the ride height of their diminutive city car, and thrown some more outdoors apparel at it.

What’s so special about the new Audi A1 citycarver?

There’s four centimetres more ground clearance which gives the A1 citycarver more presence, along with classic Audi Singleframe grille with honeycomb pattern. Two characteristic slots above the grille differentiate it from the A1 Sportback. Wheel arch enhancements, redesigned sills in a contrasting colour, unique bumpers, 17” alloys, and different interior seat fabric also give it a more unique look. At the rear, a new look bumper echoes the robust look of the front end. A contrast roof is also included.

When you meet the Audi A1 citycarver for the first time, you might be hard pressed to see the changes but the extra ride height is probably most notable. I love the A1’s angular charm anyway and cool slotted bonnet. Under the skin, there’s also a modified suspension.

The A1 citycarver is inspired by crossovers with more ride height and rugged styling
The A1 citycarver is inspired by crossovers with more ride height and rugged styling

Inside the new A1 citycarver

Inside, the Audi A1 citycarver has the same high quality cabin as the rest of the A1 range. I’m not shy to say it’s one of the best cabin experiences of any small car. It’s cool, grown up and sophisticated, taking features from larger Audis, like the 8.8” MMI infotainment screen and digital instrument panel with optional virtual cockpit. The instrument panel is tilted toward the driver. Aside from hard plastics in the door panels, the dashboard materials and switches look and feel good with lots of cool glossy black.

Aside from the digital tech, other features include LED headlights with dynamic rear turn signals, air conditioning, cruise control, Audi pre-sense front and lane departure warning

Inside it’s a nicely sized compact car with generous footwells in the rear and a 335 litre boot. Practical as it gets for a small car too. The luggage compartment package, features a net and is a handy feature for everyday life in the city!

The interior of the new Audi A1 citycarver
The interior of the new Audi A1 citycarver

Driving the Audi A1 citycarver

In terms of engines the A1 citycarver comes exclusively with the 30 TFSI, which is a good thing as the 1.0-litre TFSI has a decent 116 hp and running costs are competitive for a small car. It’s no sports car but is does feel nippy and fun to drive on the road. Over a week of driving my average fuel consumption was 5.9 litres per 100 km, including some motorway driving.

There is a bit more lean in corners with that small extra ride height, but there is so much grip it hardly matters behind the wheel. Comfort levels are good too by small car standards.

The Audi A1 citycarver is a high spec vehicle and retails from about €29,350 under current 2020 pricing. The Audi A1 Sportback range kicks off at €24,810 for a less well-equipped model. But a high spec sporty S line model with the same 1.0-litre engine with 116 hp retails for roughly the same money as the A1 citycarver so it’s a pretty straightforward choice for small car buyers who want something a little fun and exclusive.

The Audi A1 citycarver on sale from €29,350
The Audi A1 citycarver on sale from €29,350

The Audi A1 delivers on both counts. If you love the look of the A1 citycarver with its robust wheel arch cladding and contrast sills, then by all means this is a fabulous buy. At Changing Lanes we’re more excited about the A1 S line’s lowered, sporty look, but it is a matter of opinion and the citycarver certainly follows current market trends.

Not only does it look great, but it’s also still agile and fun for the city. Parking is easy and this is a well equipped car with the latest in car technology and features. Yes you pay a premium for that Audi badge upon the grille but this is a top quality small car and a pure delight. Loved it.

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Audi A1 citycarver 30 TFSI
Engine: 1.0-litre turbo petrol
116 hp
Torque: 200 Nm
9.4 seconds
Top speed: 203 km/h
Fuel economy (WLTP): 6.1-6.4 l/100km
CO2 emissions (WLTP): 139-145 g/km
Motor Tax:  €200 per year

The Audi A1 citycarver is expensive but cool and fun to drive
The Audi A1 citycarver is expensive but cool and fun to drive