For a while, the only Audi A3 you could buy in the US was a hatchback, which Audi calls a Sportback for some reason. Then the A3 sedan came along, and the hatchback was relegated to a plug-in hybrid variant only. Now, after giving thea hefty refresh for the 2017 model year, Audi's gone and done the same with its more capacious little'un.
The most obvious change is in the front fascia, where theadopts the more aggressive countenance of its sedan brethren. LED headlights are standard on more expensive models, but all three trims receive a bunch of standard equipment, including a backup camera, panoramic sunroof, autonomous emergency braking and LED running lights.
There are plenty of changes inside the A3 e-tron, as well. Optional equipment expands to include Audi's excellent Virtual Cockpit, which replaces the gauge cluster with a massive, configurable screen. Tick the right options boxes, and you can also add Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, navigation and a 4G LTE modem with Wi-Fi hotspot connectivity. Opt for the Sport package, and you get a flat-bottom steering wheel, a roof spoiler and new 18-inch wheels.
The powertrain, on the other hand, remains exactly the same. Its 1.4-liter engine mates to an electric motor to produce a net 204 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Its 8.8-kWh battery provides enough juice to go about 16 miles without using the gas engine, which is on the lower side of current PHEV offerings, although most other plug-ins are a fair bit larger.
All that new stuff means, naturally, the price is going to jump up a bit. The entry-level 2017 A3 e-tron Premium now starts at $38,900, a $1,000 bump over the 2016 model. The price for the midrange Premium Plus e-tron holds steady at $42,000, and the top-tier Prestige now costs $47,500, up from last year's $46,800. Your price might be cheaper, though, depending on the availability of state and federal tax credits.