Used 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron
List price range
2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

Pros

  • Sporty characteristics make driving fun
  • plug-in hybrid technology for the entry-luxury category
  • stylish, well-built cabin
  • versatile hatchback body style.

Cons

  • Modest all-electric range
  • cozy backseat compared to vehicles its size
  • no USB port for media devices.
Audi A3 Sportback e-tron years

Used 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron for Sale

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron 2016 1.4 TFSI PHEV Premium Plus 4dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 6AM)
25,936 miles
Used 2016
Audi A3 Sportback e-tron
1.4 TFSI PHEV Premium Plus
Porsche of Tysons Corner
14.9 mi away
ListNot Listed
View Details
Dealer Notes
FEATURES and OPTIONS%26amp;lt;br%26amp;gt;This vehicle comes equipped with Climate Control, Dual Zone Climate Control, Cruise Control, Power Steering, Power Mirrors, Leather Steering Wheel, Power Drivers Seat, Power Passenger Seat, Rear Air Conditioning, Clock, Telescoping Steering Wheel, Steering Wheel Radio Controls, Sunroof, Moonroof, Driver Airbag, Passenger Airbag, Security System, Rear Defogger, Intermittent Wipers, AM/FM, CD Player, Anti-Theft, Bluetooth, Carpeted Floor Mats, Center Arm Rest, Child Proof Door Locks, Daytime Running Lights, Heated Mirrors, HID Headlamps, Parking Sensors, Rear Fog Lamps, Rear Spoiler, Rear Spoiler, Rear Wipers, Rear-Side Airbags, Remote Fuel Door, Remote Trunk Lid, Reverse Camera, Roll Stability Control, Side Curtain Airbags, Tire Pressure Monitor, Vanity Mirrors%26amp;lt;br%26amp;gt;%26amp;lt;br%26amp;gt;

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Edmunds' Expert Review

As Audi's first foray into the plug-in hybrid market, the A3 Sportback e-Tron offers you all the goodness of the regular A3 plus 17 miles of all-electric range. It's a compelling car if you want a premium plug-in hybrid without breaking the bank. Read below to decide if it's the car you want to charge in your garage.

vehicle overview

While Audi offers diesel-powered engines for many of its vehicles and a hybrid variant of its Q5 crossover, it's never offered a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) until the debut of the 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-Tron. Based on the well-received A3 sedan, the A3 e-Tron utilizes a four-door hatchback body style, making it the only current-generation A3 hatchback available on our shores. In theory, the e-Tron's PHEV powertrain provides the best of both worlds, blending an electric vehicle's instant torque and petroleum-free propulsion with a standard hybrid vehicle's ability to cover extended distances on gasoline power.

In practice, though, there's only an estimated 17 miles of pure EV range, so the gas tank comes into play on anything other than short drives. But a lot of driving takes place close to home, so the A3 e-Tron lets you enjoy the benefits of EV ownership on short trips while providing familiar gasoline-fueled flexibility on longer ones.

Aesthetically, the e-Tron is very much a member of the existing A3 family, with the unique hatchback shape being perhaps its clearest distinguishing trait. The charging port is hidden in the grille behind the Audi rings, and the interior is the same high-quality affair found in the standard A3 sedan and convertible. Of course, with an expected fuel-economy equivalent of up to 86 mpg overall, the e-Tron is a very different animal when it comes to energy consumption. Once you run out of electric-only juice, the EPA says you can still expect 39 mpg in combined driving with the standard 16-inch wheels, dropping to 35 mpg with the larger 17s. For reference, the most frugal gas-powered A3 model achieves 28 mpg combined.

Plug-in hybrids are still just a tiny fraction of the market, so the e-Tron doesn't face much direct competition. There is the stylish 2016 Cadillac ELR, but it's pricey. We're much more fond of the redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Volt (the ELR is related to the previous-generation Volt), which offers substantially more all-electric range and a nicer interior this year. Another non-luxury option might be the 2016 Ford C-Max Energi with its well-equipped interior and 19-mile EV range. If you're wondering about the BMW i3, it's actually an EV, not a PHEV, and its total range tops out at a modest 150 miles with the optional gas-powered "range extender." All in all, we think the 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-Tron will be an appealing choice for a luxury-oriented plug-in hybrid.

2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron configurations

The 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-Tron is a small plug-in hybrid hatchback. It is available in three trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige.

Standard equipment on the base Premium trim includes 16-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights and taillights, automatic wipers and headlights, a panoramic sunroof, heated side mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, cruise control, eight-way power front seats (with four-way power lumbar), leather upholstery, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, LED interior lighting, dual-zone automatic climate control, Audi's MMI electronics interface with a 5.3-inch central display, Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors and a 10-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite and HD radio and an SD card slot.

The Premium Plus trim adds 17-inch alloy wheels, adaptive LED headlights, upgraded trim inside and out, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and Audi's proprietary digital music interface with an iPod cable.

Move up to the Prestige trim and you'll enjoy an upgraded MMI system that includes a touchpad that can read fingertip scrawls, Audi Connect online services (with a 4G LTE connection), a navigation system and a larger 7-inch display. Additional Prestige features include auto-dimming and power-folding side mirrors, a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system and a suite of driver assistance systems including lane-departure prevention, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and a frontal collision warning system with automatic emergency braking.

An Audi MMI Navigation Plus package available for the Premium trim adds the upgraded MMI system and Audi Connect, while a Technology package for the Premium Plus bundles those items with the blind-spot monitor. A Sport package available for both the Premium Plus and Prestige adds 18-inch alloy wheels, sport front seats and a sport steering wheel.

Stand-alone options include the Bang & Olufsen audio system (Premium Plus), the heated front seats and Audi music interface (Premium), aluminum roof rails and a black cloth headliner. The 16-inch wheels can be specified on any e-Tron trim for improved energy efficiency.

2016 Highlights

The 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-Tron is an all-new model.

Performance & mpg

The 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-Tron is powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter, four-cylinder gas engine teamed with an electric motor. A rechargeable 8.8-kWh lithium-ion battery pack is mounted beneath the rear seats. The gas engine makes 150 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque by itself, while the electric motor chips in 102 hp and 243 lb-ft. Total system output is rated at 204 hp and 258 lb-ft when both motors are in full swing.

Power is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed automated-clutch ("S tronic") transmission. Note that Audi's signature Quattro all-wheel-drive system is unavailable.

According to the EPA, the e-Tron with the 16-inch wheels achieves 86 MPGe (mpg equivalent) in mixed driving factoring in the 17-mile EV range. After that, expect 39 mpg combined in regular gas-electric hybrid mode. The larger wheels drop those numbers to 83 MPGe, a 16-mile EV range and 35 mpg combined, respectively. As with all plug-in hybrids, actual mileage will vary greatly and is heavily dependent on how much all-electric travel you do.

Importantly, top speed in pure EV mode is 80 mph, so the e-Tron is fully functional even when it's running solely on battery power. Just don't expect anything like Audi's estimated 7.6-second sprint to 60 mph, as that figure assumes all 204 combined horses are engaged.

The A3 e-Tron's battery can be charged from a 240-volt outlet in 2.5 hours using the factory-supplied charging cord and in about 8 hours from a standard 110-volt outlet. As with regular hybrids, onboard regenerative braking also adds some juice to the battery while the A3 e-Tron is being driven. There's a driver-selectable switch that engages the gasoline engine and shuts out the electric drive: useful if you want to save electric power for specific occasions.

Safety

All A3 e-Trons come with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front knee airbags, front and rear side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags, as well as automatic seatbelt pre-tensioning and window closing (Audi Pre-Sense Basic) when sensors determine a frontal or side collision is imminent.

The Prestige trim comes standard with additional safety features, including lane-departure prevention, blind-spot monitoring (optional on Premium Plus) and a radar-based frontal collision mitigation system (Audi Pre-Sense Front) that combines optical and audible warnings with automatic emergency braking to reduce damage in front collisions.

Driving

We haven't yet been able to put an A3 e-Tron through its paces on the track and will update this review once we've done so. In the meantime, our quick A3 e-Tron test-drive suggested that this plug-in hybrid delivers a supple ride along with excellent handling and responsiveness for a vehicle of this type. The e-Tron moves out sharply thanks to the extra torque its electric drive provides at launch, and with the low center of gravity that comes from packing several hundred pounds of battery below the seats, it feels exceptionally stable. The automated manual transmission shifts quickly and unobtrusively, and the A3 e-Tron's cabin is quiet — eerily so when running in all-electric mode.

Interior

The 2016 A3 e-Tron is pretty much identical inside to the standard A3. That's no bad thing, as the A3 has brought unprecedented panache to the entry-level luxury segment. From the minimalist dashboard design to the top-quality materials, the A3's cabin will impress you with its classiness. Intricate and well-finished details abound, such as the rotary air vent dials that surround the vents themselves and the MMI display that slides demurely into the dash top when not in use. If there's a disappointment here, it's that the e-Tron misses out on the USB connectivity that Audi has lately introduced in some other models. The older proprietary connector in the e-Tron just isn't as versatile.

The biggest difference inside the 2016 A3 e-Tron is that there's a power meter where a conventional A3 would have a tachometer. The round analog meter displays overall power output, the state of the battery's charge and the level of efficiency at which you are driving. An information display in the center of the dial shows range calculations and energy consumption for both gasoline and electricity.

The A3 is a compact car, and so the e-Tron's cabin isn't exactly overflowing with space. The rear seats are decently sized, but headroom and legroom could be an issue for taller occupants. Similarly, don't expect big things from the 13.6-cubic-foot cargo area, although if you fold the rear seatbacks forward, you've got easily the most versatile hauler in the A3 lineup.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Fantastic technology
Jenci bergen,04/24/2016
I sold my VW Jetta sportwagon TDI (which I loved) to take advantage of newer technology and safety features. It took me a couple tanks of gas to figure out how to use the computer system...but now that I understand, the results have been very impressive. I'm in sales and spend a lot of time on the highway...which is not the best place for a hybrid, but my fuel economy is still 40% better than my diesel. If I'm taking a short trip, I leave the computer in the default EV mode. Otherwise, I immediately put the system in the hybrid mode and the computer does a very effective job of balancing the battery and engine use. With about 5,000 miles on my car, I've been averaging 58 miles per gallon (with a lot of highway driving)....about 20 mpg better than my diesel. If you only drive highway miles, a hybrid might not be the best choice...but if you're like most people, a hybrid does an amazing job. This week I've done mostly local driving and I'm averaging around 74 mpg.
Perfect Fit
Jim C.,09/28/2016
We bought this car for my wife. She's wanted a plug-in electric as she has driven hybrids since 2007. We looked at the e-tron and the Volt. She was impressed with the Volt but after driving the e-tron, she said there was no comparison. She has never stated that a car was fun to drive. She did after driving the Audi. To her a car is an appliance. There is compromises with the e-tron particularly wit the range. In our case my wife has a 5 mile commute to work. The 16 miles of electric is sufficient. So far, she has ranged from a low of 16 miles, (90+ degrees out, AC running non-stop) to 23 miles (70 out, minimal AC). On a trip from our home in Hershey Pa to Charlottesville, VA we ran it on hybrid mode and got 42 mpg. Other than that road trip, she's not needed gas. It's been 4 weeks since we last filled it, driven 400 miles and it's still on Full. If the etron fits your needs - buy it! If you need more range, then the Volt is an excellent car too. In our case, with a short daily commute, the Audi is a perfect fit. With discounts, credits etc. we are in for $37k on the Audi versus $35k for the Volt. But we got power seats & moon roof for that difference in price. Update - We took a road trip from Hershey PA to Hackettstown, NJ. Approx. 100 mi. each way. We averaged 45 mpg running in Hybrid mode. We've now learned all the nuances of the selectable driving modes. For road trips, we put it in Hybrid mode to optimize the gas/electric mileage. For the daily commute, she leaves it in the default EV (electric only) and runs without the gas engine. Update 8 months of ownership - First off the gas engine's turbo blew at 3500 mi. Not a good sign. We've had it back awhile but since my wife uses it mostly on electric it hasn't been truly tested. As for the electric - it's great. She goes 600-800 miles between gas fill ups due to her short work commutes. She's averaging 89.0 mpg! Great little car. Now let's see. Great car that fits our needs perfectly! Update 18 months of ownership - the car has been perfect since the turbo issue. It's extremely reliable gets great mileage. My wife is up to 110 mpg since she can commute to work and back on electric. The interior is still perfect. The handling rock solid. My wife loves this car like none before it. She loves to drive it. She has said she'll get a new one when she's ready. Great car that fits our needs. Update after 2+ years - the car has not had an issue since the turbo issue. We are at 15,000 miles. Average mpg is 110. with the short work commute and most days it's electric only. Great little car, versatile with the sportback and a blast to drive.
Perfect? No. Good Balance? Yep.
Mark Cusac,03/01/2016
This is my first Audi and first plugin. While there are some things that aren't perfect (I'm looking at you radio/climate system), overall this is a very pleasing car. Who buys this thing? Gas is cheap at the time of this review, so you don't buy an Audi plugin to save money, exactly. Who buys it then is someone who likes the handling and style of the Audi and is willing to pay a bit more for it, but still wants to do the environment a good turn. I doubt they'll sell a lot of these. Still, for me, this car fit the bill. And I'm overall quite pleased. I've had it 2 months and still have over half the original tank of gas in it. I'm averaging around 270 MPG. I do that by managing how I drive and making sure to arrange things to drive on electric as much as I can. This clearly is not something everyone will want to do. For shorter trips and my daily commute, I run all EV. For longer trips, I put it into hybrid mode from the start and let the car decide when to use the battery. Performance: hate to disappoint performance enthusiasts, but I've never floored the car. I bought it for a reason and I stick to that. I have hit it harder in EV mode when I pulled out and misjudged the distance of the car coming. It went to around 60% and I was frankly shocked at the acceleration. This is because when you're driving it 'normally,' it seems to be tuned so that it feels weak. But noooooo, noooo, it's not weak. Cornering-wise, this thing is beyond awesome, but that's coming from a guy who has driven non-Audis before. Hey, it helps my MPG to go around corners without braking, right? I have two main complaints, mainly with the controls. Why can't I switch radio stations without taking my eyes off the road? Seriously, there are like 18 radio controls and they all require me to look at one of two LCD displays. Sorry, but I miss being able to hit button #3 and know that I'll get a certain station. They un-invented that. Second, there seems to be no way to just let clean air vent into the car in the winter. For a plugin, this does make a difference. Using the heater costs me miles. When it's not THAT cold out, I'd rather just vent rather than have a choice between a) fogged windows and b) use my battery to get the vent temp up. If you're looking for a racecar, why are you even reading this? if you're looking for the best plugin hybrid, you should probably go see a Volt. But if you are looking for a way to do a good turn for the environment, to do it in style, and to have some pep when you want to let it loose, this car is worth a look. Is it a good value? Depends. Mine cost around $35K after the Fed rebate. This puts in territory of normal small luxury cars and normal plugin hybrids. I'm not sure I'm 'saving' money exactly with this car, but I am pleased I bought it. Update after a year and a half of ownership: I don't have anything major to change and still think it's a 4 star car. I found that by pulling some tricks and putting in some effort I can boost the mileage I get on electric. But that begs the question: why do I have to work harder to get the most out of my Audi? The reason, as far as I can tell, is that Audi sits in a performance mindset, and for them the electric motor is a way to boost performance, with mileage an afterthought. I mean, car has a sports mode that is easily accessible, but no eco mode at all. That's the main gripe, but overall it's a very versatile and economical car.
Wishing more electrified miles
Benjamin Novida,01/31/2016
This 2016 A3 e-tron drives like a proper Audi. My previous car was a 2006 A3 Sportback, the first generation A3 in the US shores. This new car's driving dynamics is very similar to that car, which is a good thing. I do wish that Audi gave it a larger battery because driving in all electric EV mode in this car is very quiet and very satisfying. The 1.4 engine when it turns on is also quiet and more than capable. There were a few internet connection hiccups in the beginning with the e-tron connect service, but that eventually got sorted out. Update: With the warmer months approaching, I'm now able to consistently drive between 20-22 all electric miles (the on board computer usually reads 25-28 AER). The e-tron drives fantastic with just the electric motor. Audi made the right choice by giving it enough juice (85 kW) to pull away from traffic lights and freeway on-ramps on electric power alone. Selecting Hybrid Auto or Sport mode (Hybrid Hold), a driver has access to all 204 HP and 260 ft-lb of torque. One pedal driving with strong regeneration is possible with Sport mode or manual mode on the Tiptronic. e-tron connectivity service can sometimes hiccup. But I believe this is due to Verizon Telematic's finicky signal that is built-in to every e-tron.
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Features & Specs

MPG
N/A city / N/A hwy
Seats 5
6-speed automated manual
Hybrid
N/A
MPG
N/A city / N/A hwy
Seats 5
6-speed automated manual
Hybrid
N/A
MPG
N/A city / N/A hwy
Seats 5
6-speed automated manual
Hybrid
N/A
See all Used 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron features & specs
More about the 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron
Used 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron Overview

The Used 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron is offered in the following submodels: A3 Sportback e-tron Hatchback. Available styles include 1.4 TFSI PHEV Premium 4dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 6AM), 1.4 TFSI PHEV Premium Plus 4dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 6AM), and 1.4 TFSI PHEV Prestige 4dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 6AM).

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Should I lease or buy a 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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