2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-Tron PHEV Review – High in Luxury

The 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-Tron PHEV is the company’s entry into the compact-sedan market of vehicles offering a more premium interior than its contemporaries hence a heftier price but you get one of the best German engineering in performance, comfort, safety, and interior features. The Audi 3 series is offered in various forms; from the standard A3 sedan, A3 sportback (or hatchback), the performance-oriented Audi S3, and now a new A3 sportback in the form of a plug in hybrid the A3 sportback e-Tron.

2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-Tron PHEV Review - High in Luxury

The 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-Tron PHEV Falls Short in EV

Nothing much separates the 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-Tron PHEV from the regular A3 sportback. All changes are kept subtle to the point where the charging port is hidden among the rings of the Audi logo on the front end. If you were to look at both the regular A3 and A3 e-Tron, there’s no distinguishing the two. Both vehicles look sporty and in no way show to the public that it is actually an eco-friendly plug in hybrid. Under the hood is a combination of an 8.8kWh battery-powered 102hp electric motor mated to a fairly over-engineered 1.4 Liter turbo four cylinder that puts out 150hp. The hybrid power plant puts out a combined 204hp and 258lb-ft when in hybrid mode.

On the inside, the 2016 A3 Sportback e-Tron PHEV fits that of a premium class vehicle such as Audi. On the center console is the intuitive and user-friendly Audi MMI and navigation system. Luxury features such as heated front seats, LED headlights, an iPod interface, plus a touchpad on the MMI control wheel and the addition of a 4G internet hotspot as a technology package round out the interior features plus safety features such as blind spot monitoring and backup cameras to name a few. Unfortunately the automatic transmission doesn’t come with paddle shifters for a sporty experience and the paddles comes as optional as part of the performance package which includes more leather for the cabin, additional seat bolstering and adjustable supports, and larger 18-inch wheels.

Driving the 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-Tron PHEV, it handles like a sporty vehicle but the hybrid engine puts priority in economy at all times clocking in at 6.2 seconds on the 0-60mph test. While the results are respectable especially for a hybrid vehicle, the e-Tron can only do this when the battery is fully charged. Braking performance is great with zero fade in between tests as the brakes get hot.


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