The Audi A1 is presenting me with a bit of a dilemma, setting fuel economy against probably the best fun I’ve had on four wheels for a long time.
The problem is I’m torn between slipping it into ‘sport’ mode and listening to that 1.4 TFSI engine or making fewer visits to the petrol station and saving some cash.
Audi offers a more fleet-friendly 99g/km version of its A1 – the 1.6 TDI diesel, but I’m trying out the 1.4 TFSI (185 PS) S Line S Tronic.
For starters the 1.6 TDI claims 74.3mpg combined, while the 1.4 TFSI claims 47.9mpg – still significantly higher than the 37.5mpg I’m currently achieving.
However, I’m not holding that poor return against Audi as I’m all too aware that my forays into the ‘sport’ mode and my fascination with an engine that produces 182bhp and can do 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds are making an improvement in fuel economy difficult to achieve.
However, it’s probably still no surprise that of the 10 petrol A1 derivatives available our 1.4-litre S line S tronic version is the most expensive to run.
A quick calculation using the Fleet News car running costs tool, provided by Kee Resources, reveals that on an operating cycle of four years/80,000 miles our A1 costs around 34ppm. That’s 10ppm more expensive than the 1.6 TDi (105) SE, which costs around 24ppm.
Fleets looking for a five-door version will welcome Audi’s recent launch of the new A1 Sportback, which has a £560 premium model-for-model over the three-door version, with deliveries expected in spring 2012.
Although its compact, city-friendly dimensions closely follow those of the three-door A1, the A1 Sportback is actually six millimetres taller and six millimetres wider, offering slightly more head room and shoulder room as a result.
It also makes provision for an extra passenger – up to three can pass through its rear doors and take a seat, each of them protected by a headrest and a full three-point seatbelt.
Standard features include alloy wheels, split/folding rear seat, front and rear electric windows, air conditioning, single CD audio system with MP3 compatibility and ESP with the latest differential lock system.
Fleets should therefore consider the more economical version, which will still give the driver an excellent all-round package, without the frequent visits to the petrol station.