Got money for a VW Passat but still want something smaller? Is VW Golf too cheap for you? Don’t have money for an Audi A3 but still want an Audi? Then the Audi A1 8X solves your existential car dilemma. Here’s how, in today’s article.

Launched in 2010 on the platform of VW Polo and Skoda Fabia, the Audi A1 8X came to address those young people who want a new, city car and who have a lot of money. In essence, 2% of the world’s youth population. No wonder the Audi A1 8X is not the most popular modern Audi. With a starting price 2,000 euros higher than a Skoda Octavia and 2,000 euros lower than a Tiguan, the Audi A1 8X was and is an infernally expensive car. There are some models that cost 60,000 euros. In fact, I entered the current configurator and a new Audi A1, full option can cost 45,000 euros. 45,000 euros for a posh Polo. With all due respect, but Renault Koleos, one of my favorite cars right now, starts at 32,200 euros and stops at 40,700 euros, and comes with a BOSE audio system. No matter how much you are a fan, you can’t justify the comic price that the Audi A1 8X had and that the current Audi A1 has.

Moreover, the Audi A1 8X is the spiritual successor to the Peugeot 307, the official car of the people who use the “I feel lucky” feature on Google and who are often caught with their pants down. The idea is that an Audi A1 8X can be a disastrous car or it can be an absolutely reliable car, there is no middle ground. That still doesn’t excuse the humongous price of this glorified Polo.

Audi A1 8X Engines


  • 1.2 TFSI of 85 horsepower – An entry-level engine for a not quite an entry-level car. Ironically, if you want a city car without too many issues, then the 1.2 TFSI is the best engine for the Audi A1 8X, if you watch out about one single issue.
  • 1.4 TFSI of 122 and 140 horsepower – A relatively decent engine, which suffers from the common issue with 1.2 TFSI, has additional turbo problems and needs to be fed with quality petrol. The 140 horsepower is the most balanced engine overall for the Audi A1 8X, but you’ll spend more time in the repair shop than with a 1.2 TFSI.
  • 1.4 TFSI of 185 horsepower – This engine is the old “TwinCharger” originally launched on the Golf V and carries on its reputation for low reliability. Being a twincharger, it is both turbocharged and supercharged, making an explosive combination, quite literally. Which of them will give up first, only you can find out.
  • 2.0 TFSI of 256 horsepower – I’d talk about this engine, but it was built in a more limited series than the intelligence of many late-night shows. With only 333 copies, good luck finding an Audi A1 Quattro.



  • 1.6 TDI of 90 and 105 horsepower – The same 1.6 TDI on Golf VI that breaks down every 100 meters of driving in the city. More sensitive than Vinnie Jones, the 1.6 TDI suffers from serious issues with EGR, turbos and particle filter if you dare to drive it in the city.
  • 2.0 TDI of 143 horsepower  – The timeless 2.0 TDI has come under the hood of the Audi A1 8X and is really a decent engine. Equiped with common-rail technology, this engine that has become the village bicycle in the VW group only needs quality diesel to avoid soot contamination and has some occasional issue with the high pressure fuel pump. If you want diesel on your Audi A1 8X, I definitely recommend 2.0 TDI.

Audi A1 8X General Issues

  • The 1.2 TFSI and 1.4 TFSI engines had issues problems with the timing chain tensioner. The issue was resolved in 2013 when they switched to timing belts, so make sure the models with timing chain have had the chain tensioners replaced.
  • The automatic transmission called S-Tronic is just a DSG from VW. A gearbox full of issues, which needs a regular change of oil and filter every 60,000 km. There is also the classic issue of the Mechatronic unit that gives up its spirit and needs to be replaced for quite alot of money.
  • A common issue with the Audi A1 8X is that the windows sills are not properly lubricated, and so they harden and the windows do not close properly anymore. The only solution is to use WD-40 every 6 months and keep them lubricated.
  • In the sweet Ford style, some Audi A1s have rubber trunk insulation and as a result it rains in your trunk. Not everyone has this issue, but it is good to check the spare wheel for moisture before buying a car.
  • Diesel engines come with a dual-mass flywheel that wears out faster than you want. In fact, in extreme cases the flywheel decides to take the gearbox with it. So change the flywheel at the first signs of fatigue.

Audi A1 8X Verdict

If I had the money for an Audi A1 8X, I would’ve bought a Passat B7. And if I insisted for a city car, I would’ve bought a Polo GTI. If I wanted to be the most fashionable of earthlings, I would get a Toyota C-HR which is, by the way, 2000 euros cheaper than an Audi A1. I understand that you want that badge and them rings, I understand that you want that premium quality of the interior, but if you still want an Audi, take a slightly older model but from a bigger class. Because Audi A1 8X is not the last word in terms of reliability anyway.


Which engines do I recommend? If I had to pick a good engine overall, then I would go for a 140-horsepower 1.4 TFSI with timing belt. It is a decent engine that can be sporty and economical and lives without a dreaded particle filter.