Audi A1: Fingertip functionality

My colleague, Lewis Kingston, recently heaped praise on his Ford Focus long term car for the excellent trip computer and in particular how easy it is to navigate through the various bits of information and function with the steering wheel controls. This made me realise just how much I use the A1’s steering wheel controls but never notice it because they are so good.

Now, the trip computer isn’t quite as fancy as the Focus and it will display just a couple of pieces of vital information at once such as average MPG, mileage and time of journey, so in that sense it isn’t quite on par. However, if you want to do things like change the media or make a phone call then it’s just as good.

It’s easy enough to skip through from phone, trip computer and stereo with the scroll wheel, and then just click it in to select what you want. This makes things that little bit easier and instead of having to concentrate on the centre screen, you can still keep your eyes on the road.

With all this you can do everything from choosing which song from which album you want to play through to scrolling through the contacts in your phone. Now even though I find it easy to use and think it’s great, I do have to admit defeat to the Focus which possibly just pips it for ease of use. However, our Road test editor Simon McBride believes that the system is much better on the Audi when using the Bluetooth set-up.

Now there is one big problem amongst these functions, the voice command. I can’t get the Audi to understand me. No matter how clear I say something in my best Queen’s English perfect pronunciation, it still has problems - even Trevor McDonald with perfect pronunciation would run into trouble. In fact it would probably be easier to just ditch the thing altogether or maybe just one day it will decipher what I am trying to say….

Current mileage: 4,362 miles

Average mpg: 36.7mpg


Finding the person you need to phone is easy and you can even go to the last people you called


Controls are very easy to use although you can get a little lost sometimes