In-depth reviews

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

Audi A3 TFSI e plug-in hybrid
Overall rating

3.5 out of 5

Engines, drive & performance rating

4.0 out of 5

0-62mphTop speedDriven wheelsPower
7.6s141mphFront201bhp

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.

Handling

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.

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