Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
Audi's badging policy bears no relationship to engine size and, to prove the point, the A1 range kicks off with a 25 TFSI, which is actually a 94bhp 1.0-litre petrol.
We haven't tried that engine yet, but we have tested the 30 TFSI version with 108bhp and its performance is more than adequate. It pulls well from around 2000rpm and, if you let the revs build to 6000rpm before changing gear, 0-60mph takes a respectable 9.1sec.
S line trim is a different ball game. This comes with bigger, 17in alloy wheels and sports suspension, which inevitably firms things up and becomes less comfortable as a result. The ride is more brittle over potholes and the like in town, but calms down at motorway speeds. Unsurprisingly, we’d avoid the 18in wheels that are standard on top trims and optional lower down the Audi A1 range.
The Audi A1 is surprisingly grown-up to drive, in a similar vein to the closely related Volkswagen Polo. Its steering is well-judged – light around town, but with enough weight thrown in at faster speeds to give you confidence. Those virtues are backed up by enough accuracy to let you place the car's nose exactly where you want on a meandering B-road.