Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 5 3.9
  • A1’s interior feels solid and built to last
  • Quality doesn’t live up to price in places
  • But the tech available is top-rate

It was the interior that made the original Audi A1 stand out and it’s the same story with the second-generation model. With sharp contours across the dash, plus a large-screen touchscreen and plenty of interesting materials available, the A1 is surprisingly high-tech inside.

While the touchscreen media system looks upmarket for a car in this class (it’s taken from more expensive Audi models) – especially if you go for the upgraded setup available, it isn’t the easiest to use initially due to the number of menus available. This is exacerbated by the fact you have to prod the screen to change many settings – something that can be distracting while driving. To counter it, the screen is angled towards the driver and the ‘buttons’ you need to tap are all fairly big. The main issue is the dark theme that sometimes makes it more difficult to see. Once familiar, most will find it easy to operate without trouble.

Thankfully the digital dials can display much of what is on the media system screen and you can tweak a number of settings through the buttons on the wheel. You may have to pay a hefty amount more to get the Technology Pack which features the slickest A1 tech (bigger screen and upgraded Virtual Cockpit), but Audi’s smallest car is a sophisticated machine for a car of this size – you’ll struggle to find this level of tech on many other cars this size.

Unusually, the digital dials that replace the conventional analogue speedometer and rev counter are standard, and there are several different displays available, depending upon which information you want to prioritise. Tech fans, this could be the car for you.

Sadly, while the tech makes the A1 feel upmarket, some of the materials don’t back up this claim, even some of the more prominent bits, such as the top of the doors. The underside edge of the door handles is remarkably sharp-edged, too.

In fact, in some areas the interior of the old A1 looked and sounded like it was of much higher quality, which is a shame considering the price of this A1 can easily head north of £30,000. 

Is it comfortable?

  • Smooth enough suspension
  • Standard seats not very supportive
  • Lots of seat adjustment possible

Considering just how small it is, Audi A1’s comfort is impressive; very little wind noise gets into the cabin at speed, with the smallest petrol engine proving virtually inaudible. In fact, it’s so quiet that the 1.0-litre petrol unit is barely noticeable even at maximum engine speed. That’s impressive for a car in this class.

Sadly, a reasonable amount of tyre and road noise does make itself heard, detracting from the mini-luxury car impression somewhat. It’s even more pronounced on the higher-spec models with larger wheels and tyres – our long-term S Line Style Edition proving particularly noisy

The suspension in Sport models is reasonably smooth, though can get caught out by rough tarmac, failing to isolate occupants from the road surface as well as you’d hope. A MINI may have similarly-firm suspension, but it doesn’t feel as crashy as the Audi over some rough surfaces.

The seats, meanwhile, even in Sport versions that gain more supportive ones over base Technik models, are relatively flat and could do with greater lumbar support. If you’re considering the A1, it’s definitely worth spending some time behind the wheel to make sure you can get comfortable. 

S Line models, meanwhile, get more supportive sports seats and should hold you in place better. Heated seats, on the other hand, are available on all A1s, whichever trim you go for, but you’ll have to pay for them.