Audi is part of the big old Volkswagen umbrella. Being part of one of the largest – if not the largest – automotive groups on the planet definitely has it’s advantages.
For one, there is the share in development and usage of cutting edge technology. With Volkswagen and Audi, Audi has the access to the deepest pockets in the industry and Volkswagen gets the exclusivity and appeal of Audi. It’s all about the win-win.
Plus, Audi gets access to some great chassis and platforms for their cars, making them cheaper to produce. In this case, we have the Audi A3.
While I’m not particularly a fan of the A3 (separate topic for another time) It does fill a void in the automotive world for people who want to get their hands on an Audi without paying more than $40,000.
Unfortunately, Audi makes sure you know it’s the cheapest Audi you can get. The A3 sedan is just sad, honestly. And don’t get me started on the interior.
Anyway, things look much better for the Audi A3 E-tron. A hatchback silhouette that looks much more fitting for the baby Audi. Plus, the 2018 A3 E-tron is electric, which goes right along with what Audi wants to do with their line up. Audi’s been on a mission for autonomous and electric cars, and surprisingly, the A3 E-tron should be one of the first to put on the gloves.
The Specs-Audi A3 E-tron:
|Vehicle Type:||Midsize Hatch|
|Power Plant:||1.4 L 4-cyl w/electric motors|
|Gearbox:||6 speed auto|
|Top Speed:||127 MPH|
|0-60 MPH (0-120 KPH):||6.5 Seconds|
|Base Price:||$39,000 (est).|
The Exterior-Audi A3 E-tron:
Every time I write about any Audi, I’m compelled to bring up how plain they all look. I know that Audi’s have their massive fan base, but I personally expect more character of design out of my $40,000 car. Just my two cents.
Anyway, the Audi A3 E-tron wears the badge of a baby Audi much, much better. The sedan just looks like Audi’s rendition of a Honda Civic, but the Audi A3 E-tron is only in a “sportback” hatch form, which is fantastic. The small hatch brings Audi into a much more comfortable place with the E-tron.
The front end features a lot of horizontal elements, and has the face of pretty much every Audi model.
More of a distinction is made on the side of the Audi A3 E-tron, where you can see the sportback silhouette. The small Audi wears this hatch look much better than a sedan, and I’m happy the E-tron is only available in a hatch variant.
The side mirrors are also connected to the door panel itself, which makes the A3 E-tron look more luxurious in a way. It’s an element I really like.
The whole side of the car is very sporty, and doesn’t look like a hybrid, which is great.
From the back, the Audi A3 E-tron looks great. There is no miserable little exhaust pipe anywhere, and the body looks great keeping things hidden.
While the tail lights look strikingly similar to the Audi A4, the rear wears them nicely. Plus the little wing on the back is pretty sporty. Nice touch.
The Interior-Audi A3 E-tron:
Ahh, the interior of the Audi A3…I never liked the inside of the A3 and still don’t. It is so bare and cheap looking that I can never understand why people buy them. It’s like Audi just tossed the A3 together to sell to people who can just afford to get an A3, or people who just want to say “I have a new Audi”.
For $40,000, the only upscale feature you get inside of the A3 is the steering wheel and (if you pay extra!) the navigation-integrated instrument cluster; Which is very, very cool.
The interior of the Audi A3 E-tron still has pretty much nothing special about it. While I do actually appreciate the outside of the car, the inside is just sad. The only cool things are the Audi steering wheel and gauge cluster. Other than that, I can’t understand why that’s where you’d put $40,000 worth of car.
Granted, it is kind of cool that the screen slides away when the car is off, but that doesn’t excuse the whole interior looking like a 1994 Beetle’s.
The Performance-Audi A3 E-tron:
The Audi A3 E-tron only has a little 1.4 L four cylinder and an electric motor to power itself, and produces an actually above average (for a hybrid) 204 horsepower.
You can get up to 86 miles (highest tested) on electric power, and much more on both gasoline and electricity. The most impressive part is the 0-60 time, interestingly enough.
6.5 seconds from a stop to 60 is well above the average for a small hybrid. Usually cars like this post upwards of 11 seconds or 8 seconds, bottom end.
A perfect combination of fuel economy and performance? Maybe so.
Sum It Up:
I never really liked the A3, as I’m sure I made obvious to you by now. But, the Audi A3 E-tron seems to be the way to go if you want one; Even though it’s still hard to justify it’s price.
We’re moving into a time totally affixed on technology and moving the automotive world forward. In the pursuit of who’s more advanced than who, Audi seems to be paving a strong way ahead. The A3 sportback E-tron seems to be a great balance of decent performance and great fuel economy in a great looking package (exterior wise). I just wish it was a bit less money.