Audi A3 hybrid engines, drive & performance
The A3 TFSI e is both powerful and smooth to drive, but the ride quality leaves a little to be desired, especially on the larger alloy-wheel sizes
|0-62mph||Top speed||Driven wheels||Power|
Audi's plug-in hybrid engine is a good one: it's both powerful when you want strong acceleration and smooth when you just want to cruise along steadily. The transition between electric and petrol power happens almost imperceptibly, so in day-to-day driving the A3 TFSI e is very impressive.
Audi A3 hybrid 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration
With 201bhp to call on, the A3 40 TFSI e can reach 62mph from rest in 7.6 seconds. The upcoming 45 TFSI e version will be even quicker thanks to its 242bhp combined output. But it's not just 'away from the lights' acceleration that's impressive; the electric motor fills in any gaps in the petrol engine's power delivery very effectively, so you get strong acceleration at any speed.
This makes for very relaxed everyday driving, with swift overtaking moves and motorway on-ramps being dispatched easily. The top speed of the A3 hybrid is an Autobahn-friendly 141mph, so it hardly breaks a sweat when cruising at the UK motorway limit.
The standard A3 is a composed and satisfying car to drive, if not the last word in driver enjoyment. The hybrid version doesn't deviate from this too much, but we do have some reservations about ride quality – particularly in S line guise with sports suspension and large 18-inch alloys. It's not as rock-hard as some previous sporty Audis, but it's still too easily unsettled by typically bumpy British road surfaces.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe Audi A3 TFSI e boasts badge prestige, a beautiful interior and low company-car costs, but it's not the best value or most practical petrol-electric hatchback
- 2Range, MPG, CO2 & chargingThe A3 TFSI e compares well with its Mercedes A-Class rival in this regard, but you need to stick to 17-inch wheels if you want the best figures
- 3Running costsAs with all plug-ins, the A3 TFSI e has the biggest impact on running costs for company-car users; the financial case for private buyers is less clear-cut
- 4Engines, drive & performance - currently readingThe A3 TFSI e is both powerful and smooth to drive, but the ride quality leaves a little to be desired, especially on the larger alloy-wheel sizes
- 5Interior & comfortAudi continues to offer some of the best interiors in the business; this is one of the main reasons to choose the A3 TFSI e over its cheaper VW Group stablemates
- 6Practicality & boot spaceAs a five-door 'Sportback' hatchback, the A3 TFSI e is a pretty practical choice, but it does lose some boot space compared to the non-plug-in version
- 7Reliability & safetyThe A3 Sportback has good crash safety rating, however quite a high proportion of Audi owners report faults with their cars