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Audi A3 Sportback 1.4 TFSI e-tron

Audi A3 Sportback 1.4 TFSI e-tron

Small Family Cars

1. Audi A3 Sportback

Model/Engine size:
Audi A3 Sportback 1.4 TFSI e-tron
Fuel:
Petrol/Electric
Fuel economy combined:
176.6 mpg *see text
Audi A3 Sportback 1.4 TFSI e-tron

Summary

Plug-in hybrids attempt to offer the best of both worlds. Combining some electric range with a conventional petrol or diesel engine allows all of the electric range to be used without any fear, whilst the fuel tank is big enough for ‘normal’ range if you can’t plug in for some time.

The A3 e-tron combines a 1.4 TFSI petrol engine with an 8.8 kW/h lithium ion battery pack which means an official electric range of 31 miles with a theoretical 556 miles available from the 40-litre petrol tank. That means that Audi reckons the A3 will manage 62 mpg when running on petrol and it will use 114 Wh/km of electricity when using battery power, both of which are very good results. Audi has paid particular attention to battery longevity and only uses around 70% of the battery capacity which should guarantee excellent battery life.

The official tests for plug-in hybrids lead to strange fuel economy results which can make it hard for buyers to compare, so we’ve tried the e-tron for you. We managed around 15 – 22 miles in electric mode, so if your regular routine involves journeys of around 15 miles between potential plug-ins you could easily cover it all without using a drop of petrol. For reference a 15 mile electric range is approximately 128 g/km whilst 22 miles is approx. 87 g/km.

If you regularly travel further it’s useful to know that on petrol power alone we averaged 46mpg (142g/km) and in a week of mixed urban and motorway with at least one charge each day we achieved 58.4mpg (112g/km). For a fast 5-door premium hatch this is a very good real world result.

The A3 is efficient in real world use and has enough electric range for average everyday use. However carrying around two powertrains does have some drawbacks. In this case it adds around 335kg of weight, reduces boot space to a supermini-rivalling 280 litres, takes 10 litres of the fuel tank and adds around 25% to the price compared to a convention 1.4 TFSI of similar spec.

There is no escaping the fact that the e-tron is pricey but it offers very good performance, the joy of instant electric torque, and with the batteries charged, brilliant refinement and a useable range which genuinely could allow daily trips to be completed on electric power, which is great news for local air quality and for the owner’s pocket.

Official electricity consumption: 114 Wh/km
Battery pack: 8.8 kWh lithium ion pack (6.2 kWh usable)
Recharge time: 240V 4 hours; 3.7 kW fast charge 2 hours 15 minutes

Read the Green Car Guide Audi A3 e-tron Review

Specifications

Fuel economy, extra urban:
N/A
Fuel economy, urban:
N/A
CO2 emissions:
Officially 37 g/km* see text. Estimated 64 g/km electric 30 mile range (average UK electricity), petrol mode at 62 mpg = 105 g/km
VED:
First year £0, then £130 a year
Weight:
1540 Kg
Company car tax liability ( 2017/18 ):
9%
Price:
£36,040 (Qualifies for £2,500 Government grant)
Insurance group:
29
Power:
148 bhp bhp
Max speed:
138 mph / 81 mph (electric) mph
0-62mph:
7.6 seconds seconds
Torque:
258 lb ft