Audi A3 e-tron

The Audi A3 is offered as a sedan, convertible, or 5-door Sportback. Available engines include a turbocharged 1.8L unit that produces 170 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque. This engine sends power to the front wheels through a 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox. A 2.0L turbodiesel (TDI) engine making 150 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque is a fuel economy hero in the A3 range, and Audi estimates 36 mpg in combined city and highway driving for the TDI. Like the 1.8 engine, the 2.0L TDI sends power to the front wheels through a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission.

A 2.0L turbocharged gasoline engine makes the A3 a little bit speedier, with 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Unlike the 1.8 and TDI versions, any A3 powered by a 2.0L gasoline engine sends power to all-four wheels via quattro all-wheel drive. A high-performance version of this same engine powers the Audi S3, where it makes 292 horsepower -- enough to go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds.

Finally, the A3 Sportback e-tron hybrid utilizes an electric motor that makes 102 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque, plus a 1.4L turbocharged gasoline engine capable of 150 horsepower. When combined, the two powerplants make 204 horsepower, making it one of the most powerful hybrids available. The Sportback e-tron can drive on purely electric power for about 17 miles,

The Audi A3 is available in three trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige, while the S3 is available only in Premium Plus and Prestige trims.

The Premium trim includes leather seating, a panoramic glass sunroof, bi-xenon automatic headlights, power adjustable side mirrors with integrated LED turn signals, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 12-way power adjustable driver's seat, rearview camera and parking sensors, "Alu-optic" interior trim, heated mirrors and washer nozzles, and a 10-speaker sound system with a 3-month subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio.

The Premium Plus trim adds 18-inch wheels, aluminum interior trim, and a keyless entry system. The Prestige package, meanwhile, includes everything in Premium Plus, as well as an S-line exterior body kit, a Bang and Olufsen sound system, a navigation system, Audi connect and LED headlights.

Safety features on the A3 and S3 include anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control and a tire pressure monitoring system. Airbags include advanced driver and passenger front airbags, knee airbags, thorax side airbags as well as side curtain airbags. An anti-theft alarm system comes standard, while Active Lane Assist, Audi Pre-Sense automatic braking, and adaptive cruise control are all optional on the A3 Prestige.

Editors' Review

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It's a sorry state of the world when every new entry into the premium EV segment is inevitably and near-exclusively compared with models from a single manufacturer. And you know which manufacturer I'm referring to. Tesla created that segment and deserves a lot of credit for doing so, but now that there are some legitimate emissions-free options out there, it's time to stop looking for "Tesla killers" and start appreciating each new model in its own right.

In that spirit, today I'd like to celebrate the $74,800 Audi E-Tron, a car I've been appreciating for nearly two months now. Audi's first production electric car takes a subtly different but distinctive path to all-electric glory. There's nothing ludicrous about this EV SUV and, frankly, I couldn't care less what its Nurburgring lap time is. What I do know is that this is among the most comfortable, most soothing cars I've ever had the privilege of driving, and that makes it something special.

It's OK to relax

I love EVs for the way they effortlessly zip away from traffic lights. Put an electric motor into even basic rides like the Kia Soul and you get a machine far more fun to drive than before. The Audi E-Tron has that spirit as well. With 402 horsepower and a 0-to-60-mph time of 5.5 seconds, the E-Tron is properly quick for a big (193 inches long), heavy (over 5,800 pounds) rig.

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The Good The 2019 Audi E-Tron's effortless comfort and a refined driving experience create a superb way to cover big miles.

The Bad Those miles are limited to 204 on a charge.

The Bottom Line Audi's first all-electric SUV is a masterpiece of refinement.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 8
  • Features 9.5
  • Design 8.5
  • Media 9

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