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In-depth reviews

Audi A1 - Interior, design and technology

Excellent design is backed up with superior tech, but the cabin plastics could be nicer

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Interior, design and technology Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£22,770 to £32,715
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The latest Audi A1’s design is not particularly radical by the standards of other manufacturers, but its style is pretty funky compared to the German marque’s usual fare. The old model was definitely looking a little dated, but this one is arguably one of the sportiest looking models in the Audi line-up.

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That’s obviously the look the marque was going for, as the large trapezoidal front grille with matching black air intakes either side, and those three slots under the leading edge of the bonnet, are all style cues lifted directly from the Audi R8 supercar.  

You need to be a bit more of an Audi-phile to pick up on some of the other design cues. For example the lines pressed into the bonnet and shoulders above the wheelarches are both supposed to evoke images of classic Audi Quattro rally cars. Contrasting paint on the roof and screen pillars of certain models adds to the visual interest too.

The Audi A1 is built at SEAT’s plant in Martorell, Spain, and shares its MBQ platform with the VW Polo and SEAT’s own Ibiza Mk 5. But aside from the common engineering, there’s not a lot to place the stablemates in the same family, either outside or in the A1’s impressive cabin.

The digital dashboard design is visually highly appealing, and very high-tech, with Audi’s ‘Virtual Cockpit’ display optional for all model variants. It sits in a wrap-around binnacle with everything slanted towards the driver, and there are shades of the A8 limousine’s cabin style, although you don’t get the twin central touchscreens of Audi’s more luxurious models and have to use ordinary buttons for controlling the climate control.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The Audi A1 comes with an 8.8-inch infotainment screen, and an audio system with DAB and Audi’s Smartphone system which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. All cars feature Audi's 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit driver's display while the full (and very impressive) Virtual Cockpit is part of the optional Technology Pack Pro along with the bigger 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen display.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    25 TFSI SE 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £16,870

Most Economical

  • Name
    25 TFSI SE 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £16,870

Fastest

  • Name
    40 TFSI 207 S Line Competition 5dr S Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £26,350
Executive editor

Paul was employed across automotive agency and manufacturer-side sectors before joining Auto Express in 2020 as our online reviews editor. After a brief sojourn at a national UK newspaper, Paul returned as executive editor where he now works closely with our commercial partners.

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