Audi A1 Road Test (2011)

Audi A1 (Interior)(2011)

Audi A1 Review

Audi A1 ReviewAudi A1 Review  | Part Two

The problem with the Satellite Navigation system despite being beautifully rendered (amongst the best), quick and accurate is that is does not seem to have a complete database of UK postcodes, for example our home location was missing.

Equipment Levels

The Audi A1 has three main trim levels SE, Sport and S line (there are occasional special editions) as well as the Competion Line.

We drove the S line model:

The A1 SE Specification includes:

Recuperation for optimal energy utilisation, energy saving tips feature in Driver’s Information System (where fitted), including gearshift indicator, 15" x 6.5J '7-arm' design alloy wheels with 205/55 R15 tyres, locking wheel bolts, tyre repair kit, concert radio/single CD player with MP3 file compatibility and 6 speakers in front and rear and 2 tweeters, SD card reader, iPod Connection, AUX-IN socket, 6.5" display screen - manually retractable, driver and front passenger seats with manual height adjustment, easy-entry front seats, split folding rear seats, Zeitgeist cloth upholstery, 3-spoke sports steering wheel, steering wheel adjustable for height and reach, air vent sleeves in matt black, manual air conditioning, front floor mats, electric front windows, heat-insulating glass windscreen and side windows, heated rear windscreen, non-smoking package, washer fluid level indicator, body-coloured door mirrors with integrated indicators, exterior mirrors – electrically operated and heated.

The A1 Sport model adds to the SE:

16" x 7J '10-spoke' design alloy wheels with 215/45 R16 tyres, sports suspension, mobile phone preparation - bluetooth interface, front Sports seats, manually adjustable lumbar support in front seats, Tornado cloth upholstery, 3-spoke leather sports multi-function steering wheel with aluminium inlay (with gear-shift paddles for S tronic transmissions), air vent sleeves in high gloss black, driver's Information System, aluminium trim for control switches, glove compartment, door handles and door sills, leather handbrake grip and sports gear knob with aluminium trim, contrast colour interior panelling, front fog lights, polished tailpipe(s).

The A1 Competition Line is based the on the Sport model and gains (for an extra £1800):

18" x 7.5J '5-arm Polygon' design alloy wheels with very low profile 225/35 R18 tyres, interior styling package and an exterior styling package – including Number ‘1’ on the bonnet and doors, front spoiler, lip, side-skirts, wheel arch surrounds and double blade roof spoilers.

The A1 S line gains over Sport:

17" x 7.5J '5-twin-spoke' design alloy wheels with 215/40 R17 tyres, S line Sports suspension, available in Black Sprint cloth or Silk Nappa leather upholstery with embossed S line logo, 3-spoke leather sports multi-function steering wheel with aluminium inlay, S line badging and perforated leather trim (with gear-shift paddles for S tronic transmissions), black upholstery with silver stitching, black cloth headlining, door sills with aluminium inlays and S line lettering, floor mats with piping, S line body styling, comprising radiator grille in high gloss black, front sports bumper, side skirts, rear bumper with diffuser, S line roof spoiler, S line badges on front wings.

Safety and Security

The Audi A1 3-Door Hatchback was tested by Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) in 2010 and scored an overall full five stars.  It scored 90% for Adult Protection, 79% for child occupant protection and gained a 49% pedestrian rating – plus for safety assist 86%.

Standard safety equipment includes Driver, front passenger and front side and head airbag system - there is also Electronic Stability Program (ESP), including ABS, EBD, ASR and EDL.

It would nice to see a ‘City Brake’ type system on the A1, especially as it is a fairly new model.


Our test car was fitted with the optional Technology Package (£1375) , DAB radio tuner (£305), Bose Surround Sound System  (£690).

Satellite Navigation system – HDD-based with Audi Music Interface, route planning and guidance using voice, pictogram and 3D mapping, includes AM/FM tuner with TP memo function, single front-loading CD/DVD player with MP3 compatibility, suitable for audio and DVD playback. Third generation MMI system including high resolution (850X480) 6.5” colour TFT display, two SD card readers and 40GB hard drive, 20GB of which can be used to store up to 8,000 songs. HDD Navigation functionality includes advanced speech recognition, 3D and topographical mapping display and advanced 3D building display.

The problem with the Satellite Navigation system despite being beautifully rendered (amongst the best), quick and accurate is that is does not seem to have a complete database of UK postcodes, for example our home location was missing.

The Dab Tuner is integrated into MMI to receive digitally-transmitted radio stations in addition to the range of analogue stations. It displays music track, artist and radio program, capable of ‘DAB Slideshow’ where transmitted, reception dependent on local digital network, automatic switch from DAB to FM reception if the network signal is not strong enough – it worked perfectly and was very good even in rural Devon.

The Bose Surround Sound System adds 5.1 surround sound with dynamic noise-compensation, 10-channel amplifier, 14 loudspeakers including centre speaker in the dashboard and 2 surround loudspeakers in the rear parcel shelf, total output of 465 Watts, speaker housings with bevelled edge plus lighting for door speakers, where LED interior lighting packages have been selected.

We were perfectly happy with the Bose system although personally we would want all of these options as it is what makes a great car even more enjoyable. Not sure if you would see much of your money back when it comes to resale time, but it would make it a lot more desirable to buy and of course you are buying the A1 to enjoy.

  • Abarth 500
  • Alfa Romeo Mito
  • Citroen DS3
  • MINI Cooper S
  • Volkswagen Polo GTi
What We Liked
  • Interior styling
  • Build quality
  • Exterior styling
  • Handling
  • When you open the boot – the indicator/side lights are replicated
What We Disliked
  • Some of the options are expensive
  • Poor lighting in the rear
What We Would Like To See
  • A quicker standard production A1 model
  • A powered multi-media interface screen

There is no doubt that the Audi A1 is a premium product and you are paying for it, our test car was priced at over £25,000 with the optional extras. The build quality, interior ambiance plus the S line handling makes the overall package very appealing and possibly worth the cost. In fact it was one of the few cars that we did not want to hand back – so it comes with a high price tag but is also highly recommended.

3 December 2011 Melanie Carter
Audi A1 ReviewAudi A1 Review  | Part Two
Audi A1 Road Test Data
Model ReviewedAudi A1 1.4 TFSI S line S tronic 185PS
Body Type3-door Hatchback
ColourMisano Red
Performance (manufacturers data) 
0 - 62 mph6.9 Seconds
Top Speed 141 mph
Transmission6-Speed S tronic automatic gearbox
Fuel TypePetrol
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
Urban37.7 mpg
Extra Urban55.4 mpg
Combined47.9 mpg
Insurance Group28
Euro NCAP Rating5-Stars
Warranty3 years / 60,000 miles
Price (when tested on the 03/12/11)£25,160 as tested

The information contained within this Audi A1 review may have changed since publication on the 3 December 2011. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Audi dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. © 2018