Audi’s goal to create a tech-savvy plug-in electric without sacrificing its well-known brand benchmarks – drivability, quality construction and a “special car feel,” yielded the A3 e-Tron – Audi’s first plug-in hybrid – which debuted in 2014.
This is a sportback with one foot solidly placed in the luxury world and the other taking a step into the electric vehicle lifestyle realm. The 2018 A3 e-Tron will be the last A3 e-Tron produced by Audi. The A3 plug-in is being replaced by a fully-electric SUV and renamed e-Tron; an all-electric SUV which is scheduled to begin deliveries in 2019.
(The 2019 Audi e-Tron all electric SUV is reviewed separately on this website.)
The 2018 A3 e-Tron’s compact wagon body style provides the cargo space of a small SUV while providing the driving characteristics of a sporty car. Audi claims a fuel economy of more than 70 MPG is possible. The A3 e-tron's battery can be charged from a 240-volt outlet in 2.5 hours and in about 8 hours from a standard 110-volt outlet. The charging port is located behind the iconic four rings of the Singleframe front grille for easy access from either side of the vehicle. Onboard regenerative braking also adds some juice to the battery while the A3 e-tron is being driven. There's a driver-selectable switch that engages the gasoline engine and shuts out the electric drive. If you want to save electric power for specific occasions, this can be useful.
The A3 e-Tron’s liquid-cooled, permanent-magnet-driven electric motor generates 102 hp of e-power, a 75 kW rating and almost instantaneous torque. When combined with the 1.4-liter turbocharged TFSI engine, the car provides an excellent range of low-end torque and high end power. The car comes with Front Wheel Drive (FWD) and attains a top speed of 130mph.
How does it drive? Here’s what carbuzz.com reviewers say: “The e-tron proves to be very capable down a twisty road, it masks its additional weight over a standard A3 well and the suspension’s ability to soak up pockmarked roads is commendable. Responses to the controls are immediate and the A3 e-tron flows down a road in a confidence-inspiring manner. Compared to rivals such as the Chevrolet Volt and Ford C-Max it is definitely the sporty choice in this segment. The cabin is well-insulated and eerily silent when driven in pure electric mode, the gas-engine not adding much more noise when chiming in. When working in tandem, the gas and electric engines provide the A3 with class-leading performance. A 0-60 mph time of 7.6-seconds and strong in-gear acceleration thanks to the instant electric torque makes for fast and effortless progress.”
The 2018 Sportback e-Tron is available in 3 trims: Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige. The Premium base price starts at around $39,500. Premium Plus: $42,600. Prestige: $48,100.
Leather seating surfaces with 8-way power and 4-way power lumbar heated front seats, a three-spoke multifunction steering wheel and panoramic sunroof are standard for all three trims.
The Premium trim includes an expansive array of infotainment and technology features including: an Audi concert radio with 10 speakers and a single CD player with MP3 playback capability; a color driver info system; HD radio technology; Sirius XM Satellite Radio with a 90-day trial subscription; an SD card slot with 32GB operating capacity; cruise control with coast, resume and accelerate features; BLUETOOTH wireless technology for mobile phones; BLUETOOTH streaming audio for compatible devices; Audi advanced key (keyless start, stop and entry); a rear view camera; Audi pre sense basic and pre sense front; Audi drive select; and a rain/light sensor for automatic windshield wipers and headlights.
The Premium trim’s safety and security features include: driver and front passenger advanced airbags; front passenger occupant detection for airbags; ABS with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EDB) for brake assist; Electronic Stability Control (ESC); an anti-theft alarm system; a tire pressure monitoring system; safety belt reminders; lower anchors and teachers for children; and an electromechanical parking brake.
Audi says of their infotainment system: “Available with a rich infotainment system, the 2018 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron lets you live the good life. The available Audi virtual cockpit is a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument display that offers available Google Earth and allows the driver to customize information such as audio and available navigation, offering Classic and Infotainment viewing modes. The Audi virtual cockpit in the e-tron includes a special e-tron screen, with information about the vehicle.”
There are currently 4 primary incentives available to the California consumer that substantially lower the cost of buying or leasing an EV. CURRENT provides all the guidance or assistance you may need to apply for these incentives.