In-depth reviews

Audi A1 review - Interior, design and technology

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

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. 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 latest 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 it’s 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 set-up, while the Vorsprung versions include a bigger 10.1-inch infotainment display.

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    25 TFSI Technik 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £18,030

Most Economical

  • Name
    30 TFSI 110 Technik 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £18,765

Fastest

  • Name
    40 TFSI S Line Competition 5dr S Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £25,470

Most Popular

New 2021 Mercedes EQA electric crossover arrives with 302-mile range
Mercedes EQA - front
Mercedes EQA

New 2021 Mercedes EQA electric crossover arrives with 302-mile range

The new Mercedes EQA is a premium rival for the Volkswagen ID.3 and Kia e-Niro, with a maximum claimed range of 302 miles
20 Jan 2021
BMW, Mercedes and Tesla owners could be at risk of higher insurance premiums
bmw x5 m50d tracking front
News

BMW, Mercedes and Tesla owners could be at risk of higher insurance premiums

Raw, uncapped insurance group rating data could be used by insurers to increase premiums on various high-end cars
19 Jan 2021
New Skoda Fabia spied in production panelling for first time
Skoda Fabia spy
Skoda Fabia

New Skoda Fabia spied in production panelling for first time

Latest Skoda Fabia supermini is due to arrive later this year – and our spy photographers have spotted a mule in sporty Monte Carlo trim
20 Jan 2021