Some cars are difficult to part with. And the A1 is one of them.
It’s been with Fleet News for about four months – a month longer than was originally planned – and I can’t help wishing we could hang on to it.
I think we will be hard pressed to find another small car that matches up to it.
First off there’s the quality and premium feel of the A1’s interior which far out does any of the other superminis I’ve been in.
Admittedly the styling isn’t funky - you’ll have to look to the likes of the A1’s main rival the Mini for that – but it’s clear that nothing but the best quality materials have been used in the A1.
The technology on offer in the A1 is also taken from the premium class. The state-of-the-art infotainment and multimedia systems are from the A8 luxury saloon, for instance.
Headroom is a little restricted, particularly for tall passengers in the back, but the boot space can be increased from 270 litres to 920 with the seats down (considerably more than the Mini, although not as generous as the Citroen DS3).
And then there’s the A1’s performance.
We’ve been testing the top performing petrol A1, which has 182bhp and can do 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds.
The first time a colleague drove it round the block recently he was only mildly impressed but out on the motorway he was really impressed by the power.
Which brings me on to one of the downsides of the A1: fuel economy.
The official combined figure is 47.9mpg but we’ve been averaging around 10mpg less. The highest mpg to date over the four months has been 38.
And it’s a similar story for the A1 that sister brand Parker’s is testing.
If we were to run the A1 longer we’d be much better off in the 1.6-litre diesel especially now that Audi has revised it, improving fuel economy from 70.6mpg to 74.5mpg and bringing emissions down from 105g/km to just 99g/km.
Emissions for our 1.4-litre TFSI are 139g/km – the highest of the A1’s range.
The other negative point about the A1 is price. Our car comes in at just under £20,000 (including plenty of optional extras such as the £1,375 technology pack) which isn’t cheap for a small car.
Some how though, I think the A1 is worth it.