Audi A1 1.4 TFSI S tronic (122 bhp) Review: Small Wonder

Audi A1 1.4 TFSI S tronic (122 bhp) Review: Small Wonder

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
24 Mar 2011
What we like:
pros
Stylish looks inside and out
pros
best built cabin of any small car on sale
pros
refinement
pros
desirability
pros
lively performance
pros
spacious cabin
What we dislike:
cons
Not as sharp as the Mini's handling
cons
needs a sportier exhaust note
cons
optional big wheels come at the expense of ride comfort


Audi's cabins are the best in the business when it comes to premium quality and perceived luxury so the question on everyone's mind was can they do a cabin that is a worthy of the Four Rings for a small supermini like the A1. I now can tell you that they certainly did so.

The A1's cabin doesn't feel of poorer quality than, say a TT's despite its much lower price tag - every surface feels soft to the touch while the switchgear and controls all speak of tactile quality and class. In terms of style, the exterior's funky character continues inside - the dashboard is supposedly to look like an aircraft's wing with the four circular air vents mimicking the turbofan engine pods fitted on the wing. The air vents certainly look cool while the test car has a retractable LCD screen on the dash is the display for the MMI. The infotainment system on the test car also came with iPod connectivity as well as SD card readers, Bluetooth, voice activation and so on.

Like the Mini, the A1's personalisation options continues on the inside with customizable door handles, air vent surrounds, the surround on the console for the gear lever and so on. The test car's competition theme features the above interior panels and parts in the same matching colour scheme as the exterior graphics.

In terms of utility, the cabin is smartly packaged considering the diminutive exterior dimensions. Rear passengers have loads of headroom despite the sloping roofline and legroom is noticeably better than most of its direct rivals. Compared to the Mini's ‘glovebox-sized' load area, the A1's boot is a cavernous affair.

The A1 1.4 TFSI's nearest rivals are the Mini Cooper and the Alfa Romeo MiTo. The A1 is better built, more refined and offers more equipment than the abovementioned pair while offering its own distinctive style and looks and having the lowest price tag of the trio. The A1 is definitely an overwhelming A1 effort from Audi.

Credits: Small Wonder

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