Audi’s A3 range offers Audi prestige within a compact package
and, up to now, a choice of both petrol and diesel power. A previous Plug-in
Hybrid Sportback A3 used to be available but was dropped from the range. Now
it’s back, with an improved specification and a lower list price. Although it
carries the new e-tron designation, the A3 Sportback 40 e-tron is the only Audi
e-tron that’s a plug-in hybrid, with both petrol and battery power, rather than
a pure electric battery electric vehicle (BEV). All clear? It soon will be.
Apart from the badges, there’s nothing about the A3 Sportback 40 e-tron to tell the casual passer-by that this A3 packs both a conventional petrol engine and a battery-powered electric motor. Even the flap for the charging cable is neatly concealed beneath the Audi four rings on the front grille. At the front, Xenon headlights with LED daylight running lights flank an Audi singleframe grille with polished metal horizontal bars (other A3 models have a black grille). Wheels are 17” five-arm design alloys, matching those offered with the conventional A3 Sport specification. Inside, there are front sports seats in twin leather (the previous A3 plug-in hybrid model had cloth upholstery).
The A3 Sportback 40 e-tron is powered by a 1.4 -litre TFSI petrol engine that produces 110kW or 147 metric horsepower, and additionally by an electric motor that develops 75kW, or about 100hp. Combined output isn’t a question of adding the two; Audi claims a maximum power output of 204hp and 350Nm of torque, which is enough to power Audi’s A3 plug-in hybrid to 62mph in just 7.6 seconds from a standing start. The electric-only range is 22 miles (WLTP measured) and the official CO2 figure is 45 g/km, which makes it highly attractive to company car users paying Benefit In Kind tax.
Standard equipment includes Audi Virtual Cockpit driver instrumentation, the MMI Navigation Plus infotainment system and the Audi Phone Box with wireless charging. Advanced Key entry and the Technology package are also standard, and so is the EV button that allows you to select between driving in full EV (electric only mode), hybrid mode (which uses both power sources), battery hold (retaining charge for later in the journey, for example a city congestion zone) and battery charge mode.
No need to raid the options list for a full array of safety and driver assistance systems; the A3 Sportback 40 e-tron includes most of the important ones as standard. These include forward collision warning (including autonomous emergency braking), Audi Active Lane Assist, High Beam Assist and Audi Pre-Sense front with pedestrian recognition.
Verdict: if, like many, your typical week includes a mixture of short distance urban journeys and the occasional longer run then a plug-in hybrid makes a lot of sense. The A3 Sportback 40 e-tron offers the potential efficiency of PHEV motoring, brisk performance, a complete specification and the prestige of the four-ring badge, all wrapped up in a good-looking five-door hatchback. Together, it’s an appealing package.
We have two Electric Vehicle Approved Centres! These are TAMWORTH AUDI and WARRINGTON AUDI.
EVA is a set of standards for all areas of automotive retail designed to recognise businesses’ excellence in the electric vehicle sector.This initiative is extremely important in demonstrating to consumers the knowledge and expertise that members have when selling and repairing electric vehicles. You can now have peace of mind that you are dealing with an expert in the electric vehicle sector.
Got any questions? Our qualified team are here to help.
The A3 Sportback is available in different versions, known as trim levels. These allow you to choose a version that reflects your preferred styling, driving experience and equipment level. Standard equipment and the choice of options both vary by trim.