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Car & Driver: Refreshed 2017 Audi A3 e-tron Plug-In Hybrid Starts at $39,850


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hatchbach, sportback, hybrid, plug-in


Like the run-of-the-mill Audi A3 sedan and cabriolet, the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron enters the 2017 model year with a host of changes both inside and out. Unfortunately, though, Audi failed to update our biggest gripes with plug-in hybrid hatchback: Namely its high cost of entry and middling gasoline-electric powertrain.


With a starting price of $39,850 for the base Premium trim, the 2017 Audi A3 e-tron sees its base price jump by $1025 compared to its 2016 counterpart. Those extra bills do, however, bring new features: Audi’s digital gauge cluster (dubbed “Virtual Cockpit“), Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a panoramic sunroof, a rearview camera, and Audi’s Pre-Sense frontal-collision-warning system that can also apply the brakes on its own if necessary.


hatchback, sportback, hybrid, plug-in


A refresh wouldn’t be complete without exterior revisions, though, and the e-tron sports revised front and rear fascias, including head- and taillights, that evolve the hatchback’s attractive looks. A $1350 Sport package adds 18-inch, 15-spoke wheels and a roof spoiler, as well as sport seats and a three-spoke flat-bottom steering wheel with paddle shifters.


As before, the 2017 A3 e-tron continues to use a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine and electric motor to send 204 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. Although we were able to coax a 2016 A3 e-tron from 0 to 60 mph in a respectable 6.5 seconds, we were ultimately unimpressed with the plug-in powertrain’s EPA-rated EV range of just 16 miles, as well as its EPA-combined rating of 83 MPGe. Although the EPA has yet to release figures for the 2017 Audi A3 e-tron, we expect little, if any, change.


Along with the base Premium model, the 2017 A3 e-tron is also available in Premium Plus and Prestige trims, which start at $42,950 and $48,500, respectively.


virtual cockpit


Audi also released pricing information for the updated A3 sedan and cabriolet, and S3 sedan. As expected, many of the revisions made to the European market 2017 Audi A3/S3 come to the American-spec model. Arguably, the biggest change to the car is the loss of the base 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. All A3 models will now be powered by the company’s 220-hp 2.0-liter turbo four.


Just as on the the e-tron, the A3 sedan and cabriolet are available in three trims: Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. Sedans start at $35,150 for the base Premium, $38,400 for the mid-line Premium Plus, and $44,100 for the top-of-the-line Prestige—add $6100 for the cabriolet. Meanwhile, the 292-hp S3 sedan is available in Premium Plus and Prestige trims, for $43,850 and $49,350.


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