(Disclaimer: Audi wanted me to drive this car so much they sold it to Sixt which rented it to me for 274.9 GBP for 8 days, premium location (Heathrow) and different return location with only 204 miles on it!)
Exterior: It’s a GTI in a nice 2 piece suit.with wheels stretched to the far corners, it offered decent handling in a small package. Something that would come in handy given the roads it would see.
Interior: Good seats. Comfy on rough Welsh roads, but still supportive and well bolstered.
Electronics: i found the navigation annoying to program as it kept switching to shortest route, taking me off the highway, and then trying to take me down the wrong way to Stonehedge. I gave up and used my phone. Also randomly the radio would come on while driving .
Wheels + Tires: Fitted with some rubber bands, they provided excellent traction on dry and wet roads, yet the low profile was less than ideal when I had to scooch onto a shoulder and just spun.
Brakes: After a morning of Twingo Tamer setting a steady pace for our group, we switched at the end to have an Elise lead. A sudden tractor caused a bit of a pucker moment where the A1 surpassed what I was expecting in stopping power.
Engine: With VW group 1.4tfsi featuring 120hp and 148 ftlb of torque the A1 was peppy and the low torque curve was nice on Welsh roads where it pulled it up steep hills without having to constantly downshift.
Transmission: Fitted with a 6-speed manual, gears were nicely spaced. Only 2 things that took a bit of getting used to, nuetral wasn’t perfectly vertical which was a bit of conteracting muscle memory. Second was for the first 6 days there was no feeling when the clutch was grabbing. I’m not suring if feeling the last day was due to wear-in, or finally getitng used to it.
Handling: The S-Line featured Audi sport suspension and handled Welsh roads firmly, but still in comfort.
Running costs: Over the week I put on 1189 miles with about 200 on highways, I averaged 41mpg (Imperial gal). I was satisfied considering the amount of time in Wales spent in 2nd going over hills.
Overall: A fun nimble hatch ready to take on country roads.