Audi A3 40 TDI Quattro Edition 1 5dr S Tronic [C+S]
Like all hybrids, there’s a certain amount of play value in the A3 e-tron. If you charge the batteries at a cruise, then save that juice for urban crawling, it’s a rewardingly intelligent way of getting around. You have to use brain power to decide on the correct mode for optimum fuel economy, but getting this right is all part of the satisfaction.
The flipside is that the e-tron isn’t actually fun to drive – the extra 150kg heft of the battery pack blunts the A3’s agility, and it can struggle to reign in that mass on bumpy roads. And while progress under e-power, for up to 31 miles, is quiet and brisk, the 1.4-litre TSI engine sounds incongruously thrashy when it chimes in. The weight again comes back to haunt the e-tron too – it isn’t as fast as a combined power figure north of 200bhp might have you believe, although the immediacy of the electric motor does mean it feels lively shooting off the line.
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