2017 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron Review
Pros & Cons
- Sporty characteristics make driving fun
- Plug-in hybrid technology for the entry-luxury category
- Vrsatile hatchback body style
- Stylish, well-built cabin
- Modest all-electric range
- Cozy backseat
Edmunds' Expert Review
Our time testing the A3 Sportback e-tron has been brief, but so far we've been impressed with its supple ride along with commendable handling and responsiveness for a vehicle of this type. We'll update this review once we've put an A3 Sportback e-tron through its paces on the track and on our local roads.
This plug-in hybrid accelerates away from stoplights with some spirit, courtesy of the extra bump of torque provided by its electric motor. The automated transmission shifts rapidly and unobtrusively. Despite carrying a few hundred additional pounds of hybrid hardware, the low placement of the batteries below the rear seats hasn't drastically raised the car's center of gravity. As such, the car feels quite stable when in motion. It's eerily quiet when in electric-only mode, but we were pleasantly surprised to find that the A3 e-tron's cabin is well-hushed even when the gasoline engine fires up.
Though the 2017 A3 Sportback e-tron carries a substantially different powertrain than garden-variety A3s, they all share virtually the same cabin. That's a good thing because the interior is well-trimmed with quality materials and intriguing details such as elegant rotary vents and a screen that retracts seamlessly when not in use.
A power meter in the A3 Sportback e-tron's instrument cluster takes the place of where a tachometer resides in the regular A3. There's also an information display in the center of the gauge that shows range calculations and gasoline and electricity consumption.
Front seat space in the A3 Sportback e-tron's cabin is reasonably commodious for the segment, though backseat headroom and legroom won't suit full-size adults. Its 13.6-cubic-foot cargo area isn't especially large either. Audi doesn't provide a figure for maximum cargo space with the rear seats folded, but it should be more than the Volt's total space and closer to what you can fit in a Ford C-Max or Toyota Prius Prime.