The Audi A1 Sportback’s interior is available with colourful trims that make it look vibrant, while its huge infotainment screens will make other small cars blush. Cheap plastics spoil it a little, though
The Audi A1 Sportback looks and feels quite posh for a small car.
Its most distinctive feature is the huge infotainment screen behind the steering wheel that gives the A1 a high-tech edge over alternatives. That and the large display in the centre of the cabin give the dashboard a clean design that’s largely free of conventional buttons.
That said, the kit you’ll often use – the stereo and the heater, for example – can be adjusted using large knobs that are easy to feel for when you’re driving.
At standstill, you can enjoy the interior’s smart appearance and wide variety of trim options allowing you to choose from conservative metallics or go for something more lively. These coloured trims make the A1 a more cheerful place to sit than larger Audis.
It’s just a shame the Audi A1 Sportback can’t match the interior quality of the company’s bigger cars. Positives include the reassuringly solid centre console and the squidgy plastics in the centre of the dashboard, but the plastics used for the lower half of the interior and the insides of the doors feel hard and cheap.
The Audi A1 Sportback’s standard pair of infotainment screens makes you feel like you’re in the digital age when everyone else is still analogue
One of the A1’s big selling points is that it comes as standard with a great infotainment system.
Even the basic centre touchscreen is large – 8.8 inches to be exact – and has colourful graphics that are pretty to look at. It doesn’t come with sat-nav but it does have Audi’s Smartphone Interface, so you can use your Apple or Android smartphone’s navigation apps on the car’s big screen.
The screen itself understands smartphone gestures like pinch and swipe, is responsive and easy to use when you’re parked up, but it can be easy to hit the wrong button when you’re driving. Annoyingly, the haptic feedback you get in larger Audis – that mimics pressing an actual button – isn’t fitted to the A1 and you also miss out on the fixed control between the two front seats that you get in a Mini.
The main upgrade you can go for is the Technology Pack. It gets you a larger 10.1-inch central screen and adds integrated sat-nav that’s more responsive and smarter looking than mirroring your smartphone’s screen. The Technology Pack also unlocks new features on the digital instrument binnacle, including the option to display the car’s sat-nav map behind the steering wheel. It looks cool, but is also really functional.
The Comfort Pack is another bundle of equipment worth considering. It upgrades the tinny standard stereo for a Bang & Olufsen setup with a powerful 560W output. Audi claims it’s the only surround sound stereo fitted to a small car and it’s 11 speakers really bring music to life. Along with the upgraded stereo, the Comfort Pack adds front and rear parking sensors and heated front seats.