The A1 is a sharp-looking supermini that can be personalised with a combination of alternate roof and mirror colours. The roofline is available in contrasting finishes, giving the already good looks more kerb appeal. It’s not as cute or retro in its appeal as the Mini, though looks more sophisticated and mature as a result. Just like the Mini, the A1 combines a selection of large-car like design elements such as a clamshell bonnet and big alloy wheels to bulk up its premium image against traditional superminis, helping justify the extra purchase price compared to lesser rivals.
Although the five-door Sportback model is the higher seller, it's the three-door A1 that mimics the concept car most accurately, giving a distinctive, if familiar look on UK roads.
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That’s true inside too, the A1’s interior less try-hard than the showy Mini. There’s a classiness that permeates the entire car, which might lack the playfulness of its key rival but has its own appeal. The three-door model looks the best resolved, where the five-door looks like it has had its additional doors squeezed in - that's reflected inside where the B-pillar sits quite far forward. In the end, the A1 is a fine-looking, classy and upmarket supermini that’s difficult to fault, unless you put driving appeal at the top of your list of priorities.