Overall, the A1 is a fine car, being comfortable and tidy to drive and reasonably roomy, while it should be no more expensive to run than non-premium rivals. However, while it offers a better premium small car package than the Mini 5dr, the Volkswagen Polo has all the same virtues, plus it’s roomier and has a slightly smarter interior.get the best price
Entry-level SE trim is pretty sparse. Highlights include LED headlights, electric windows, automatic lights and wipers, manual air conditioning and 15in alloy wheels. You do get a sensible infotainment package that includes an 8.8in touchscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, but no sat-nav.
So far, this is the only engine in the range. It’s a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol unit with 114bhp, and it’s a frisky little thing, with a generous amount of shove from around 2000rpm, twinned with a keenness to keep pulling all the way to its 6000rpm-plus limiter. That makes it a flexible performer, so you don’t have to change gears continually to keep pace with traffic. It thrums away but is never coarse, and it comes with either a six-speed manual gearbox or optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.