Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Audi at Top of Its Game

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Audi at Top of Its Game

Article excerpt


HAVING heard good things about the Audi A1, I have to confess I was rather excited about getting behind the wheel - and I wasn't disappointed.

There are those who might think Audi are over-reaching themselves in their drive to have a model in virtually every segment.

But the company makes no apologies about its rapidly expanding model range.

However, the small car segment is new territory for Audi and it's one which probably doesn't fit naturally with the brand.

Yet some decidedly upmarket small cars have emerged in recent years and manufacturers are getting switched on to the fact that if you don't make one you could be losing out big time.

For a premium marque like Audi, a small car makes for a very affordable introduction to the brand. Entice those customers in and they could end up being with you for a very long time.

Gone are the days when small cars could just be any old cheap and cheerful contraption and, let's face it, if Audi are making a small car it's going to have to live up to high customer expectation. The small car market has been given a serious injection of style since the MINI broke cover and Fiat launched a new version of the classic 500.

Unfortunately, Audi didn't have a style icon from the past to use as its inspiration, so the A1 is an allnew creation.

In fairness, it doesn't have the retro chic of either the MINI or the Fiat 500, but it still has plenty going for it and much more besides.

It has the funky styling essential for a fashionable small car these days, managing to be elegant and eyecatching in equal measure.

Optional two-tone roof pillars offer scope for the kind of customisation made popular by the MINI, and I thought the ones fitted to the car looked rather good. I might ordinarily single out a "best thing" about any car but, in truth, there really are several elements of the A1 that help make it such a success. The premium character of the interior is certainly one. …

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