Audi A1 Citycarver Review logo

Audi A1 Citycarver Review

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1/10

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2/10

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2019
      Body type
      Small hatch
      Fuel type
      Petrol
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“Taller riding A1-based crossover”

Best bits

  •  Extra ride height gives driver good all-round view
  •  Decent space in the rear seats
  •  High level of standard equipment

Not so great

  • Some cabin materials not as solid as we’d like
  • Smaller engine needs worked hard on motorway
  • Expensive next to key rivals

Read by

Audi A1 Citycarver Exterior Front

Overall verdict

Audi A1 Citycarver Interior

On the inside

Audi A1 Citycarver Driving Front

Driving

Audi A1 Citycarver Driving Back

How much does it cost to run

Audi A1 Citycarver Exterior Side

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict on the Audi A1 Citycarver

"Audi hasn’t strayed too far from its A1 Sportback model to create the Citycarver. This is generally a positive move as the Citycarver’s opposition is also supermini-based in the shapes of the Ford Fiesta Active, BMW X1 and Renault Captur, although those latter two are more dedicated in their styling to distinguish them from their parentage."

Audi A1 Citycarver Exterior Front

For the Citycarver, Audi has chosen to set it apart from the A1 with a 4cm raised ride height and some styling nods borrowed from its Q models. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is an off-roader or even and SUV with some moderate muddy lane abilities. It’s not. The Citycarver is very definitely a supermini at its core and, as the name suggests, is a car meant to deal with the urban jungle rather than the wilds of Borneo.


Even so, it comes with the obligatory underbody tray to give the impression of some added protection if you were to head off the beaten trail. The big octagonal front grille is also similar to the Q3’s, while at the back there’s also a ruftier, tuftier bumper compared the Sportback.


Inside, any pretensions the Citycarver is anything but an A1 on stilts is abandoned as the cabin is identical other than the higher ride height affording a better all-round view for the driver. That’s a good thing in our book and makes the Citycarver a little better suited to dealing with congested town roads than its sister A1 Sportback model.


In the cabin, you get the same 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit dash display and 8.8-inch infotainment screen. Not only does this look good to the eye, it’s easy to use and makes the Citycarver one of the more advanced cars in its niche for this kind of tech.


As far as space and practicality go, the Citycarver is exactly the same as the A1 Sportback, so you get plenty of room up front and decent space in the back for two adults or three kids. The boot is also a generous size and easily expanded by folding the split and tip rear bench.


Where the Citycarver does depart from the A1 Sportback script is in the way it deals with bumpy roads. Where most A1 Sportback models are blighted by suspension that is too firm, the extra height of the Citycarver means the firm-ish suspension does a fine job of containing body lean without feeling too brittle or jarring over the usual collection of hillocks and ruts that make up many roads.


On top of decent handling and so-so refinement, the Citycarver is offered with a pair of turbo petrol engines. The 30 TFSI uses a 1.0-litre three-cylinder motor with 116PS that’s fine in town but needs to be worked a little harder than you might expect on faster roads. 


For this reason, we’d err more towards the 35 TFSI with its 150PS engine. Both can be ordered with either a six-speed manual or seven ratio S tronic automatic gearbox that are smooth and easy to use. This completes the A1 Citycarver’s package as a more rounded, but also more expensive, alternative to the Audi A1 Sportback.


Is the Audi A1 Citycarver right for you?

Style conscious urbanites will love the Audi A1 Citycarver. After all, it has the mildly rugged feel of an SUV in a car that is compact enough to bung into any parking spot with ease. It also offers more ground clearance to waft over speed bumps and the suspension is more absorbent than the A1 Sportback’s.


You will have to be willing to a pay extra for the Citycarver’s charmed over the A1 Sportback, though. For that, however, you get a very well equipped compact crossover that comes with a classy Digital Cockpit dash display and central infotainment screen that sets it apart from most rivals.


Covering the basics, the Citycarver has plenty of space for front and rear passengers, a well-shaped and sized boot, and turbo petrol engines with low running costs. For picking the kids up or heading off for the weekend, the A1 Citycarver can cope.


What’s the best Audi A1 Citycarver model/engine to choose?

There’s a choice of two turbo petrol engines, starting with the 30 TFSI that comes with 116PS and a choice of six-speed manual or seven gear automatic gearboxes. For most drivers, this will be ideal in town and for the occasional jaunt to see Aunty Nellie down in the country thanks to good fuel economy, and the generous levels of standard equipment in the one-trim-only Citycarver.


However, if you’re piggy bank is feeling sufficiently fattened, we’d say to opt for the 35 TFSI version with its 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine. Its 150PS makes all the difference when accelerating away from the traffic lights in a hurry or cruising on the motorway. Like the 30 TFSI, it comes with a choice of manual or auto transmissions, and we’d have the light and easy manual for its greater involvement and marginally better fuel efficiency.


What other cars are similar to the Audi A1 Citycarver?

The Ford Fiesta Active is closest in approach to the Audi A1 Citycarver as it builds on the base supermini with added ride height and some faux off-road body add-ons. You get a wider choice of trims and engine options with the Ford, but the Audi wins out for premium appeal.


The Nissan Juke and Renault Captur are more overtly styled as compact crossovers and both deliver similar driving experiences and levels of practicality. Like the Ford, they give buyers more say in the trim levels and engine options, but neither has the draw of that Audi badge.


Learn more

Audi A1 Citycarver Interior

On the inside

Audi A1 Citycarver Driving Front

Driving

Audi A1 Citycarver Driving Back

How much does it cost to run

Audi A1 Citycarver Exterior Side

Prices, versions and specification

Similar models

Ford Focus
Nissan Juke