Audi A1 hatchback driving position
It’s reasonably easy to get comfortable behind the wheel of the A1. All models have a height-adjustable driver’s seat and a steering wheel that adjusts for height as well as reach, although it's a shame that you don't get a bit more range for the latter. Even the basic seat has decent side support (Sport versions and upwards get a more supportive one), so you won’t slide across it if you’re cornering quickly. Step up to Sport trim and you also get adjustable lumbar support.
The dashboard is simple, the instruments are big and clear, and an easy-to-use central control unit gives access to many of the car’s functions.
Audi A1 hatchback visibility
The A1 has quite small side windows, so you could be forgiven for thinking it’s going to be a struggle to see out. However, there’s still a relatively generous glass area, so it’s easy to position the car’s extremities. The rear window is relatively slim – and thick rear pillars don’t help the view over your shoulder – but rear parking sensors are standard on all models. You can add front parking sensors, although you don’t really need them on such a compact car.
S line trim and above come with xenon headlights that supply an effective white light at night to help pick out lurking dangers.
Audi A1 hatchback infotainment
Entry-level SE trim brings a pretty low-definition 6.5in colour display mounted high up on the top of the dashboard, plus a DAB radio and a CD player. Having to pay extra for Bluetooth connectivity at this end of the market is a mite stingy, though.
The system itself is pretty easy to use, although not as slick as Audi's more modern MMI systems fitted in the A3 and above; in the A1, it’s controlled via a similar rotary dial and a few buttons in the middle of the dashboard, but the menus aren't as intuitive and the system is more laggy. The iDrive system in the Mini is much better.
Stepping up to Sport trim adds a bit more of the kit you'd expect; as well as Bluetooth, you get audio controls on the steering wheel and Audi’s Music Interface, which allows you to connect your device (via an optional interface lead) and control it through the infotainment screen. You also get a black-and-white display between the instrument dials; it can show information such as the song and artist, the radio station you’re listening to or data from the trip computer.
Satellite navigation is an optional extra on SE but standard on the rest of the range. There are two systems, though; the standard version has its mapping stored on an SD card, while an upgraded version stores this on a hard drive for quicker loading.
There are also two upgraded audio systems available, including a Bose version that pumps out seriously impressive sound quality, even if it isn't exactly cheap.
Audi A1 hatchback build quality
The A1 may be the smallest and cheapest model in Audi’s line-up, but you'd never guess from looking at its interior. There are densely padded, squishy plastics in all the right places, and while a few more rugged finishes are present, they’re generally kept low down and well out of sight. The switches and buttons on the dashboard don’t let the side down, either; they look and feel expensive.
Sport models and above come with aluminium and gloss plastic interior highlights, so they look even more upmarket than entry-level SE versions.