Audi
A3 e-tron
2018
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Beverly Braga
July 31, 2017

Expert Rating

4.0 (Excellent)
MPG
City / Highway

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2018 Audi A3 e-tron OVERVIEW

Introduced in 2015, the A3 Sportback E-Tron was the latest vehicle to join Audi’s expanding lineup of plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles. The compact wagon has been a success for the brand, comprising almost 13 percent of A3 sales.

What's New for 2018

Refreshed just last year, the A3 Sportback E-Tron plug-in hybrid is a carryover model for 2018 but does receive some updates. Now standard for all models are Audi music interface and heated front seats (previously available on Premium Plus and above as a $500 option) while blind-spot monitoring becomes standard on Premium Plus trims. Also new for the Sportback E-Tron is a multi-spoke 18-inch wheel design is for the Sport package.

Audi A3 e-tron

Choosing Your Audi A3 e-tron

The front-wheel drive A3 plug-in uses a 1.4-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine and a permanent electric motor, which together produce 204 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The drivetrain includes a six-speed dual-clutch transmission.

EPA fuel economy figures for the 2018 model have yet to be released but with an unchanged powertrain, the vehicle should produce the same numbers as last year's model: 83 mpge in combined city and highway driving, or 34 mpg combined on premium fuel. In all-electric mode, the A3 E-Tron has a range of up to 16 miles. The vehicle’s total driving range is 380 miles, according to the EPA.

The 2018 A3 Sportback E-Tron is available in three trim levels.

Premium

Starting at $40,475 (including the $975 destination fee), Premium models see an increase of $600 MSRP while destination charges for all 2018 models (except the R8 supercar) are up $25.

Standard exterior features include Xenon headlights, LED running lights, LED taillights, and heated side mirrors. Interior comforts include dual-zone climate control, a 10-speaker audio system, a panoramic sunroof, metallic accents, leather upholstery, heated 12-way power front seats with 4-way lumbar adjustment. Adaptive cruise control, push-button start, a rearview camera, Audi drive select, and Audi Pre Sense Basic and Front.

Audi drive select offers a choice of four drive modes – EV, hybrid, hold battery, and sport. The hold battery feature utilizes hybrid driving in order to preserve battery life before the system can be recharged, while EV forces the car to run on electric power for as long as possible. Hybrid simply lets the computer dole out power as it sees fit.

Audi Pre Sense is a suite of active safety systems. Basic essentially primes the vehicle when it detects a impending forward collision by closing the windows and sunroof and pretensioning seat belts. Pre Sense Front is simply Audi's name for forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking – like systems from other automakers, it offers visual and audible warnings to avoid a front-end collision, followed by partial automatic braking if the driver does not react.

The available Sport package ($1,350) adds a 3-spoke flat-bottom multifunction steering wheel, 18-inch multi-spoke wheels with all-season tires, Sport front seats, and an S line roof spoiler. Aluminum roof rails also are an option for $300.

Premium Plus

Also seeing an MSRP increase of $600 is the Premium Plus. Now starting at $43,575, this trim adds full LED headlights, ambient LED interior lighting, premium inlays, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a rearview camera with fore and aft parking sensors.

An available Sport Package adds a flat-bottom steering wheel, 18-inch wheels, and sport seats, while the Technology Package brings a wealth of goodies, including smartphone integration, navigation, a touchpad with handwriting recognition, Audi Virtual Cockpit, and a trial subscription to Audi Connect Prime and Plus. A Bang and Olufsen sound system is available, as well.

Prestige

Starting at $49,075 (a $550 MSRP increase) Prestige models include high-beam assist, dynamic taillight turn signals, and power-folding mirrors with a driver’s side auto-dim. Moving to the top-end trim adds a few of the Premium Plus' option packages as standard.

Look for the entire array of Technology Package features, from Audi Virtual Cockpit to a navigation function for Audi's MMI infotainment system. Prestige owners will also enjoy the now-standard Bang and Olufsen sound system and its 14 speakers. In terms of optional equipment, the Sport Package is the main decision owners need to make – it offers the same features as on lower trims.

CarsDirect Tip

The Audi A3 Sportback E-Tron does not have any direct competitors amongst the luxury set and offers more cargo flexibility versus other hybrid models, which generally come in sedan-only form. With the year-over-year price increases being minimal considering the added features, the Premium Plus trim with Technology Package is the way to go for premium benefits at a lower price – Audi Virtual Cockpit is a must-have option, after all. Add the Bang & Olufsen audio and you’re still below the starting price of the Prestige, which doesn’t offer as much bang for the buck.

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