Audi A1 (2010-2019) review - Interior, design and technology
Not only is the A1 gorgeous to look at, it has a high-quality feel, and space is reasonable
Even though this is the smallest car in Audi's range, the A1 upholds Audi’s reputation for producing classy interiors. In fact, it’s the style and the quality of the finish inside that lifts this model above the mechanically similar Volkswagen Polo. There’s no getting away from the fact that the Audi has the classier cabin, that justifies its higher price tag.
Even so, it’s a slightly uncomfortable fact for Audi – and worth thinking about for potential buyers – that the Polo and its Skoda Fabia and SEAT Ibiza sister cars are more closely matched to the A1 in real quality terms than you might think.
Also, approach the options list with caution. Not only are some extras expensive, it’s easy to start specifying some features (like body-coloured air vent surrounds, for example) that can detract from the classy look of the cabin, and make it appear it a little gaudy.
Tech options include Audi Drive Select (which allows you to choose between Dynamic, Comfort and Efficiency driving modes), as well as keyless entry and ignition. There are also sundry driver aids such as parking, rain and light sensors. So although the A1 is a small car, there’s every opportunity to spec it up like a proper Audi.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
By class standards, the Audi A1 has a pretty cutting-edge infotainment system. It can be specified with Audi Connect, which brings a Wi-Fi hotspot and can call up useful information such as the cheapest petrol stations nearby – although the set-up comes at a high price.
Buyers can also upgrade to a thumping Bose surround sound system, which is a considerable step up from the standard audio set-up. One slightly odd thing is that the central display screen in the A1 doesn’t slide electrically away as it does in the larger A3; instead you have to flip it up and down with your fingers. This seems a bit old-tech considering some of the other hi-tech additions the car has.
In this review
- 1Audi A1 (2010-2019) reviewThe Audi A1 packs sharp looks, a high-quality finish and good refinement into a supermini package
- 2Engines, performance and driveChoose between town-focused 1.0-litre petrol, 1.6-litre diesel for motorway driving and sizzling 2.0-litre petrol for thrills
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsEfficient engine range means the Audi A1 is at the cutting edge in its class for emissions and economy
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingNot only is the A1 gorgeous to look at, it has a high-quality feel, and space is reasonable
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThere’s no getting away from the fact that the A1 is small, but it’s still a comfortable car
- 6Reliability and SafetyAudis are solidly built, but the A1 hasn’t performed well in the Auto Express Driver Power satisfaction survey