The cabin quality is impressive for a small hatchback, although without the interior styling pack the interior is very dour. The switchgear is now showing its age, particularly since Audi launched newer models like the A4 (now offering neat touches like the Virtual Cockpit display), but at least the quality is still good and the overall design still works well; Audi kept things commendably simple with the A1 and S1's cabin.
The infotainment system does now feel a generation out of date, though, with clunky graphics and a slightly dim-witted sat-nav.
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Rear seat space is tight for adult passengers, but with the option of five doors the S1 is more practical for families than many other small hot hatchbacks.
In standard trim the cabin can be a very sombre place, but the optional Quattro interior styling pack (£1695) – which gives you the option of red or yellow seat backs and interior trim – does make a big difference. The S1 is also one of very few small hot hatches that can be specified with five doors in the form of the S1 Sportback. The extra practicality adds £735 to the price.
‘Small hot hatches are often quite tiresome over long distances, but the S1 is refined and comfortable. It’s the most appealing everyday proposition in the small hot hatch class and its cabin quality is well beyond that of a Ford Fiesta ST or Vauxhall Corsa VXR, but you do pay for it.’ – Dan Prosser, road test editor