Chic hatch is practical

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 June, 2012, 12:00am


Compact, well-styled and economical, the three-door Audi A1 has proven to be a popular urban runabout in Hong Kong.

Last Friday, the Bavarian marque held the Hong Kong launch of its five-door hatchback version, the Audi A1 Sportback.

This chic hatch could also prove a practical drive for Hong Kong parents who don't want to manoeuvre a bigger vehicle on household errands.

The Sportback is a parkable 3.95 metres long, but with '11mm more headroom', says Hong Kong dealers Premium Motors, with 6mm more width and easier access to the back seats than the three-door version.

The Sportback also has its own colour specifications from a range of 12 shades. While the three-door version offers a contrasting finish to just the roof arch, the Sportback extends the secondary colouring to the entire roof.

The A1 Sportback is available in three models, starting from the basic Attraction (HK$316,000) and Ambition (HK$349,000), with sporty seats and extra design touches. Both are fitted with a 122-horsepower, 1.4-litre, two-stage turbocharged petrol engine.

Top of the range is the 185hp version (HK$398,000) that can reach 100km/h in seven seconds, two seconds faster than its two siblings, and reach a top speed of 247km/h, the marque says.

Equipped with a seven-speed S-tronic gearbox, the A1 Sportback should be easier to handle and park with power steering and front-wheel drive, and its manoeuvrability and all-round view of the road might persuade some to trade in their bulky, old seven-seater vans.

The A1 Sportbacks might also reduce families' petrol bills, thanks to Audi's renowned ability to make smaller, more fuel-efficient engines.

Indeed, few two- or three-litre family vehicles in Hong Kong could match the A1 Sportback's average fuel sip of between 5.3 litres and 5.9 litres of petrol per 100km on combined runs.

The cars could also have all the space and speed you need in Hong Kong traffic, with adequate seating for four or five passengers, and with more head and shoulder room than in the three-door range. The 270-litre luggage compartment increases to 920 litres with the rear seats folded back.

The well-styled interior has an MMI infotainment system, with USB, iPod and iPhone playback and optional Bluetooth connections, and a 465-watt Bose surround sound system.