Used 2018 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron
Pros & Cons
- Plug-in hybrid powertrain is rare for an entry-level luxury car
- Attractive and practical hatchback body style
- Upscale and well-designed interior
- Excellent available technology features
- High price premium over non-hybrid A3
- Lackluster acceleration for a luxury car
- Desirable technology upgrades restricted to more expensive trims
Which A3 Sportback e-tron does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
The regular A3 sedan is very likable car thanks to its upscale interior, some excellent technology features and an engaging driving experience. But there's only one way to get a hatchback Audi A3 in the United States, and that's to opt for the plug-in hybrid e-tron. This version of the A3 gets you more cargo space, higher fuel economy and 16 miles of all-electric driving.
With Audi's diesel engines discontinued in the United States for the foreseeable future, the automaker's competitiveness in the fuel-efficient car field comes down to this plug-in hybrid. Notably, the A3 Sportback e-tron is the only luxury car of its size and configuration offered as a hybrid. It's not until you look at the more expensive BMW 330e that you'll find a plug-in hybrid powertrain in a luxury car.
The A3 e-tron's all-electric range of 16 miles is decent, and once you're running on gas it offers about the same estimated combined mileage as the last A3 diesel. But it also weighs about 400 pounds more than a regular A3 and costs thousands of dollars more. Government incentives and state tax credits can help offset the cost for new car buyers, though.
Overall, the A3 e-tron effectively fills its niche. But along with the 330e, we also think shoppers should look at similarly capable non-luxury plug-ins such as the Chevrolet Volt, Ford C-Max Energi, Toyota Prius Prime or even the all-electric BMW i3 with its optional range-extending gas generator option.
Audi A3 Sportback e-tron models
The base 2018 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron Premium is a well-appointed luxury compact, but it lacks the option for a lot of desirable technology upgrades. The Premium Plus offers more options, but only the top-of-the-line Prestige has all the technology and active safety features many luxury buyers expect.
All versions of the A3 e-tron are powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine paired with an electric motor. Total system output is 204 horsepower, and it's sent to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.
Standard equipment on the Premium trim includes 17-inch wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated power front seats, leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof, keyless ignition and entry, Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera and a 10-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and a USB interface. A forward collision warning system with automatic emergency braking is also included.
The only options package available for the Premium trim is the Sport package, which adds a flat-bottom steering wheel with paddle shifters, front sport seats, a roof spoiler and 18-inch wheels. This package can be added to any A3 Sportback e-tron trim.
Moving up to the Premium Plus gets you some upgraded interior trim as well as LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors, an auto-dimming mirror, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. You also get access to the Technology package, an optional extra that includes a 7-inch central display screen, navigation, a touchpad controller, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, Audi's Virtual Cockpit gauge cluster display, a premium Bang & Olufsen sound system and Audi Connect (a 4G LTE connection that integrates Google voice search and traffic information into the nav system and offers a Wi-Fi hotspot and a host of connected app services).
The Prestige trim includes the Technology package and also adds lane departure warning and intervention, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, two rear-seat USB ports, power-folding side mirrors with auto-dimming and heating. Unfortunately, opting for the Prestige trim is the only way to equip your A3 Sportback e-tron with a full suite of active safety features and driver aids.
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Our experts like the A3 Sportback e-tron models:
- Audi Pre Sense Front
- Prepares the car when a potential frontal collision is sensed in order to minimize factors that might cause injury to the driver.
- Audi Side Assist
- Monitors traffic alongside the vehicle and warns the driver of the presence of cars or of potential collision danger during lane changes.
- Audi Active Lane Assist
- Detects lane markers and makes steering adjustments to help keep the vehicle in its lane.
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How much should I pay for a 2018 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron?
The least-expensive 2018 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron is the 2018 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron 1.4 TFSI PHEV Premium 4dr Hatchback w/Prod. End 6/18 (1.4L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 6AM). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $39,500.
Other versions include:
- 1.4 TFSI PHEV Premium Plus 4dr Hatchback w/Prod. End 6/18 (1.4L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 6AM) which starts at $42,600
- 1.4 TFSI PHEV Premium 4dr Hatchback w/Prod. End 6/18 (1.4L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 6AM) which starts at $39,500
- 1.4 TFSI PHEV Prestige 4dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 6AM) which starts at $48,100
- 1.4 TFSI PHEV Premium Summer of Audi 4dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 6AM) which starts at $40,650
- 1.4 TFSI PHEV Premium Plus Summer of Audi 4dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 6AM) which starts at $44,150