Audi A1: Six months begins

Audi's MINI rival arrives

If BMW has a model in a sector and Audi doesn't, it soon arrives. The same is true the other way around. If Audi has something that its Bavarian competitor lacks, you can wager it will come at some point. So while BMW's MINI racked up the sales, Audi must have been looking on with envious eyes. This all changed in 2010 when Audi grabbed VW's Polo put it in a fancy three-piece and kitted out with the premium trim and excellent engines now synonymous with the German brand to introduce the A1.

While everyone else around me opts for a sensible 1.2-litre Volkswagen Golf or the 1.6-litre TDCi Ford Focus, I decided to throw common sense out the window and opt for the top A1 model. The 1.4-litre TFSi comes with 182bhp and seven-speed S-Tronic automatic gearbox. You also get the S line trim that gives off the impression of a hard core Audi.

In the performance stakes it's the range-topping choice. The 182bhp powered engine will get the car to 62mph in just 6.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 141mph. While performance is this car's priority it will still return a respectable claimed 47mpg. Hopefully I'll get somewhere near this otherwise my 150-mile round commute could soon take its toll on my wallet.

This model starts at £20,710, which is a hefty amount of money for a small car. Not content with this base price I thought I should really go for it on the options and just see how much I could get the little premium offering up to. So on goes the Technology package with HDD sat nav and Audi Music Interface (£1,375), BOSE surround sound system (£690), Comfort package with rear parking sensors, cruise control, auto-dimming rear-view mirror and light and rain sensors (£605), DAB digital radio (£690), contrast silver roof line (£350), 18-inch alloys (£410), electronic climate control (£205), Missamo red paint (£510), aluminium look air vent sleeves (£100) and finally the front centre armrest (£125). All this brings the total cost of our Audi to £25,385.

That is pricey for a supermini, but is the Audi such a cut above the rest that it deserves such a price tag? Over the next six months we'll get to see how the little A1 adapts to life on the motorway as well as the tight streets of London. We'll see if it can handle the weekly shop and see how it fares against its biggest rival, the MINI Cooper S. Things are going to be interesting.

Current mileage: 103

Average mpg: N/A