1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

A3 e-tron first impressions

PeterS Feb 29, 2016

  1. PeterS

    PeterS Member

    56
    15
    8
    So, almost two weeks in, some initial thoughts on the Audi A3 e-tron...

    It looks great in misano red I think, and it certainly makes a change to see a brightly coloured car on the drive after a string of greyish Audi/BMW/Mercs. The black leather/alcantara sports seats are very comfortable, and have plenty of adjustment. They're heated as well, which is good . The steering wheel is not the usual chunky S-Line one, and I think is all the better for it. It's the standard sports steering wheel and has a nice feel to it. And the panoramic roof lets in plenty of light... To be honest, it's not that panoramic in my opinion - it doesn't extend that much behind the front seats... It is quite wide though; maybe calling it a widescreen sunroof would be more appropriate...

    Size wise the A3 seems to have grown; the last one we had was a 57 plate. This one seems much bigger inside, and you seem to sit lower as well. I'm not sure it's much smaller than the first (B5?) A4 avant I had...

    But I guess what most people want to know is how is drives... Firstly, starting it is slightly odd. The car comes as standard with comfort access and keyless go. So you just get in a press the start button. But nothing happens....the dash lights up, and the MMI monitor slides up as well. But other than that, nothing... Completely silent... Stick it in drive and it really does pick up incredibly quickly. It defaults to starting in EV mode, and the 100PS motor has all 300Nm of torque available from a standing start I think. It'll accelerate pretty swiftly up to around 70 in EV mode - push it more than that and the engine will cut in.

    But in EV mode it really is quite weird; you're going quite quickly, but there no engine noise, no vibration, no indication of speed at all really. There's a hint of electric motor noise, but the real sound is that of tyres and road. When the engine does cut in that almost imperceptible as well - it has 150Ps, but the combined power claim is 201PS I think. When it does cut in its still not as loud as the general road noise. It really is very refined for such a small car. Perhaps the standard fit acoustic windscreen helps . But it's entirely possible to drive pretty quickly, certainly faster than I would on a normal commute, and never use the engine.

    I say never; the issue is one of range. Audi claim up to 31 miles on battery alone. The highest range I've seen after unplugging it in the morning is 27 miles. But they are not normal miles. Driven with no eye to preserving battery power - brisk acceleration on slip roads and roundabouts, 75 on the dual carriageway - my 10 mile journey to work will use at least 15 of those miles ☺️ But, I can plug it in at work so not really an issue for me...

    Slowing down is odd as well. The electric motor sits between the engine and the DSG (I think) box. It uses the gears, which surprised me. But it seems to have some sort of freewheel capability - take your foot of the accelerator and there's no engine braking at all. Or, drop down a gear using the flappy paddles and the regenerative braking is really quite aggressive. It's easy to misjudge the approach to a roundabout and end up having to ease on the accelerator again ☺️. On the plus side, regenerative braking means very little brake dust on the 18" multi spoke alloys. Which is a good think I think! Although it's a good 200kgs heavier that a standard petrol A3 I'm not sure I can tell that. I think the new A3 is pretty light for the size of car? Certainly as the additional weight is pretty much all battery, and is at the rear under the boot floor, it can only help weight distribution in a FWD car. And possible centre of gravity too?

    What is interesting is the economy. Audi claim a combined 130odd mpg per the EU cycle I think. I can get to work and back purely on battery power (with a top up charge). I've now done 500 miles and used a full tank (40 litres, used 36)of petrol. 100 of those miles were done on a run to Gatwick and back which was almost entirely on the petrol. The OBC is showing 114 mpg for the 500 miles, and my commute defaults to 300mpg - that seems to be the highest that the OBC will show

    But my commute is pretty much the sweet spot for it I think - 10 ~ 20 miles each way with the ability to charge at work is pretty much the limit for this PHEV in the real world. I'm happy - it costs around 80p to charge from empty, and I charge at work when it's around half empty. So it's costing me around £2 a week, and the company the same, for me to do around 110 miles. It's pretty swift and is perfect for the job. I'd forgotten just how nice the interior of an Audi (albeit a pretty high spec one) is. It's feels nicer, and more solid, than the Merc. The Merc feels more solid, though nowhere near as nicely designed, as the 520d that preceded it. I await with interest the 330e that if ordered - estimated delivery June - to compare. I hope it's EV mileage claim is nearer reality than the Audi though - no cheat software

    The other key advantage to the e-tron is the ability to set the interior temperature remotely, when the car is plugged in and charging. It the heats up (or cools down) using the power from being plugged in and not depleting the battery. So set the car to be 22 degrees at 07:45 and no more de-frosting. It'll even turn on the heated seats, if they were on when you last used it . You can do this by setting the timer, or using the A3 e-tron app

    As usual with these things (at least in my experience...) there was a degree of scope creep. The original plan was just to buy a 1.4T petrol A3, probably in sport trim, and ideally with xenon headlights and some form of navigation. No problem, there's a 150bhp 1.4T Sport Nav. That lists at £22,350. But then add metallic paint, xenon lights, heated seats, comfort pack and a few other bits and pieces and you're looking at somewhat north of £26k before discount. So assume no less than £22k after discount....

    I effectively paid £23,500 for the e-tron. It's got the full blown MMI +, LED headlights, comfort access, leather/Alcantara heated seats with lumbar, panoramic roof. So in summary I'm looking at it as a very well equipped petrol A3, with the bonus of a free electric motor and battery

    A few pictures here: http://s1296.photobu...n?sort=3&page=1
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Advertisement


  3. Eigdoog

    Eigdoog ±§~Quadzackular~§± Team Nardo Audi RS3 quattro

    345
    181
    43
    Good review!
     
    PeterS likes this.
  4. jetron

    jetron Active Member Audi A3 etron

    190
    63
    28
    A nice write up Peter. I concur with your observations although you'll find that you can't actually set the interior temperature from the app, you can switch the climate control on or off and it will aim to reach the pre-set temperature.

    I've had mine for over a year now and it still brings a smile to my face when I'm driving it. It is great to have no more scraping windscreens in the mornings and cheap if not free fuel for most of the time.

    May you have many happy journeys.....
     
    PeterS likes this.
  5. PeterS

    PeterS Member

    56
    15
    8
    image.jpeg image.jpeg I did take a look and see if I could find some cheap electricity...
     
    jetron likes this.
  6. jetron

    jetron Active Member Audi A3 etron

    190
    63
    28
    I manage to charge mine of my solar PV at home most of the time. The Audi supplied EVSE is an excellent if not properly understood piece of kit. It enables us Audi owners (and probably VW and porsche owners too) to connect up our vehicles to a wide range of voltage supplies from 110 VAC to 415 VAC. By using the modular input cables supplied and additional ones available from Audi, you can control the power input to the battery, in my case based on likely solar PV output. I can therefore select say a 5 A charge using the standard UK 13 A plug and choosing a 50% charge rate or a 16 A charge using a single phase blue commando plug and choosing a 100% charge rate. It continues to amaze me how many criticisms there are on this and other forums about the size/weight of the supplied EVSE. It is a solid piece of kit, but that's exactly what I want!
     
    PeterS likes this.

Share This Page