The Audi A1 is one of the best small cars on the market and a former What Car? Car of the Year – and with good reason. It might share a number of mechanical parts with the more humble VW Polo, but the A1 feels every bit an Audi, with a gorgeous interior that’s nicely screwed together and the promise of superb resale values. There’s even a five-door edition, called the Sportback, if you need easier access to the rear seats.
The little A1 is proof that buyers are willing to pay a premium for a high-end small hatchback, too; so far, it has been a sell-out hit among buyers.
To be a true premium car, though, the A1 must do more than just look the part and wear the price. It needs to feel like one and drive like the car we’re led to believe it is. It needs to be as good on the road and to be as much fun as the Mini Cooper, for example, while still offering big-car levels of refinement.
So does this small but aspirational Audi pull that off? Read on over the next few pages to get our in depth impressions of the A1, along with our recommendations for which of those trim levels and engines to choose.