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In-depth reviews

Audi A1 hatchback - Interior & comfort

The Audi A1 is beautifully designed and well equipped inside, but materials could be more tactile

Carbuyer Rating

3.6 out of 5

Owners Rating

2.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Interior & comfort Rating

3.5 out of 5

Choose the Audi A1 on 17-inch wheels or smaller and it proves a very smooth, quiet companion for long motorway journeys without sacrificing agility on twisty roads. The low interior noise levels are particularly impressive – we could barely hear the 1.0-litre engine of our test car at all.

While the latest A1's exterior is a sharper, sportier reimagining of the car that went before, its interior treatment is a much greater departure, and a very welcome one. It has virtually nothing in common with the first A1, and really does embrace the latest technology – even the entry-level Technik has a fully digital instrument cluster.

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The way the A1's exterior subtly hints towards Audi's rallying heritage is reflected in the way its dashboard wraps around the driving seat, putting you right in the centre of the action. We're a little disappointed by the standard of interior plastics, though – while the very topmost surfaces are made from a tactile, soft-touch material, those elsewhere are rather less appealing to touch.

Audi A1 dashboard

The latest Audi A1 represents quite a leap from its predecessor when it comes to on-board technology. You sit behind a fully digital dashboard, which can be upgraded to Audi's customisable 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit display as an optional extra. Likewise, the standard 8.8-inch infotainment screen grows to 10.1-inches if you order the optional Technology Pack.

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While the A1 eschews the high-tech dual-screen setup found in the larger (and far more expensive) Audi A6 and Audi A8 saloons, many will find its physical climate control buttons easier and more tactile to use.

If the default black and grey dashboard is too drab for you, you can colour code the air vent surrounds, door handles and gear selector to coordinate with the more adventurous upholstery choices in the A1 colour and trim catalogue.

Equipment

The Technik is the entry-level Audi A1 model, but you wouldn't guess it from the standard equipment list. It includes 15-inch alloy wheels, as well as LED front and rear lights that include a signature 'dynamic'' indicator animation. There's an 8.8-inch infotainment screen that controls the DAB radio and Audi's smartphone integration system – this incorporates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.

Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) is standard and incorporates Audi pre-safe, a system that can recognise hazards ahead, even in foggy conditions. There's also lane-departure warning and a speed limiter as standard.

The Sport has larger 16-inch alloy wheels, sporty exterior touches and sports seats, plus rear parking sensors and cruise control, while the S line has a racier setup with firmer suspension, a muscular-looking bodykit and 17-inch alloys. On top of this, there's the Black Edition, with 18-inch alloy wheels, a Mythos Black contrasting roof, black exterior trim and privacy glass.

Options

An Audi Technology Package includes the bigger 10.1-inch MMI infotainment screen and 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit instrument panel for around £1,500 and includes a 36-month subscription to Audi Connect Infotainment Services. There are also personalisation options to bring a little extra visual interest to the interior as well as a Plus Pack which adds privacy glass, climate control and a front centre armrest for £700. The Comfort and Sound Pack adds an 11-speaker Sonos 3D sound system, parking assist and heated front seats for around £1,200.

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Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    25 TFSI Sport 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £22,770

Most Economical

  • Name
    25 TFSI Sport 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £22,770

Fastest

  • Name
    35 TFSI S Line 5dr S Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £28,020

Andy is Carbuyer's managing editor, with more than a decade of experience helping consumers find their perfect car. He has an MA in automotive journalism and has tested hundreds of vehicles.

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