Here, more than anywhere, the Audi A1 needs to live up to its positioning as a high-end product and, in most respects, it does. The main switchgear is recognisable from other Audis (no bad thing), and in general there is an aura of solidity that befits the four-ring badge. Our initial review car came equipped with nearly £5000 worth of optional equipment, which is bound to add a sheen of luxury. However, even an entry-level model feels plusher than the average supermini.
When viewed from the driver’s seat forwards, the cabin generates an upmarket impression. The A1’s air vents are neat and the cabin layout is cleaner than that of larger Audis. It says something about the perceived quality that it would be no surprise if many elements of the A1’s interior filtered up the Audi range in future.
Look other than forwards, however, and the A1 feels much like a conventional supermini. The rear seats are big enough for average-sized passengers, but you’d find at least as much in most superminis.
The boot is equally average. Luggage capacity of 270 litres with the seats up is less than that of the Ford Fiesta (292 litres) and the Nissan Micra (300 litres), and way behind the new Seat Ibiza with its 355 litres of boot space, although it significantly betters the Mini’s rather apologetic 160 litres. Unfortunately, the five-door Sportback offers no more luggage space, its boot capacity being identical to the three-door's.