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Test Drive Review: Audi A3 TFSI e

Test Drive Review: Audi A3 TFSI e

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Designed to offer excellent running costs without any loss in performance, you can understand why Audi has incorporated this setup into its ever-popular A3. Let’s find out what it’s like.

Review: Audi A3 TFSI e PHEV


audi a3 sportback tfsi e

What is covered in his review:


What is the Audi A3 TFSI e PHEV?

Audi is currently in the process of electrifying much of its current line-up, adding mild- and plug-in hybrid powertrains to many of its most popular cars. It’s the same story for the newly introduced A3, which is now being offered with a plug-in hybrid setup in the A3 TFSI e we’re looking at here.

Designed to offer excellent running costs without any loss in performance, you can understand why Audi has incorporated this setup into its ever-popular A3. Let’s find out what it’s like. 


What's new about the latest Audi A3?

The latest-generation A3 - which shares a platform with the new Volkswagen Golf and Seat Leon - brought a sharper and more tech-heavy interpretation of the firm’s famous hatchback. With more screens than ever before and a bold new exterior look, the latest A3 has certainly moved the game on.

This new powertrain showcases Audi’s awareness of the need for electrification, while also providing a tempting offer for company car buyers who will no doubt see the TFSI e’s low emissions as a real bonus. 


What's under the bonnet?

The A3 TFSI e utilises a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine which is linked to an electric motor and a 13kWh battery. It’s got enough power to run for up to 37 miles on electric power alone, meaning that inner-city jaunts and shorter trips can be conducted solely with battery power. 

Together, it produces 201bhp and 350Nm of torque, which drives through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and powers the A3 from 0-60mph in 7.3 seconds. When it comes to efficiency, Audi claims that the A3 will return up to 234.4mpg with the batteries fully topped up while emitting just 29g/km CO2. Use a home wallbox and a full charge will take just four hours. 


audi a3 sportback tfsi e

What's the Audi A3 like to drive?

The A3 delivers a rather understated driving experience and for those who want a hybrid which won’t feel too dissimilar to a regular petrol car, then this will do just fine. There’s added zip to the car’s acceleration as a result of the batteries, while the quiet power that you get from running on electric helps the car to feel quiet and refined. 

The ride is a little more unsettled as a result of having the additional weight of the batteries, however it’s not intrusive or distracting. 


How does it look?

From the outside, you’d be hard-pressed to tell this hybrid apart from the rest of the A3 range. Save for the subtle badging and the additional flap for the charging port, this is identical to more conventionally driven A3 models. That’s not a bad thing, mind you, as the latest car’s sharp styling is well judged and likely to be appealing to many. 


audi a3 sportback tfsi e

What's it like inside?

The interior of the A3 is just what we’ve come to expect from Audi cars of late; solid build quality, high-end materials and a variety of high definition screens. It’s certainly a pleasant place to be, with a good amount of visibility out of the front helping to give the car a bright and airy feel inside. 

However, the fitment of the batteries has impacted practicality somewhat, with boot space dropping 100 litres on the regular A3 to 280 litres. 


What's the spec like?

The A3 is packing some genuine next-level technology, with features such as a 10.25-inch display which incorporates all of the key media and connectivity functions.

You also get Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit, which replaces the traditional dials. It’s configurable too, so you can easily change the display to relay key information such as satellite navigation or media controls. 


Verdict

This latest hybrid powertrain really does bolster the A3’s already very appealing choice of engines. Business drivers will find it particularly appealing, as will those who often drive around town or do shorter journeys where the A3’s electric power will pay dividends. 

It might not be the most involving of A3 models out there, but thanks to low running costs and well-made interior, there’s a good chance that many people won’t mind.

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