What it is: Audi's entry-level A3 line received a mild update for the 2017 model year, which brought styling updates, additional features and a simplified powertrain lineup. The A3 is available as a sedan, convertible and Sportback e-tron plug-in hybrid. In addition, the sedan is offered in the performance-oriented S3 guise. Competitors include the BMW 2 Series and Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class.
(Skip to details on the S3 and Sportback e-tron)
Two data and charging USB ports and heated front seats are standard on all models. Premium Plus models add Audi Side Assist, which monitors blind-spot traffic, and the optional Technology Package adds a Bang & Olufsen sound system to its contents.
The S3 is a performance variant of the A3 sedan with a 292-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, Quattro all-wheel drive and a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. A new S Sport Package is available for 2018 with red brake calipers and the Audi magnetic ride suspension.
- Performance tires on alloy wheels
- Sport suspension
- Larger brakes
- Unique grille and exterior and interior trim
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The Sportback e-tron is a plug-in hybrid hatchback — the only A3 hatchback offered in the U.S. It comes only with front-wheel drive and a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. A unique driver-selected mode lets you recharge the plug-in battery while driving on the highway. For 2018, new 18-inch alloy wheels are available with the Sport Package.
- Turbo 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine and electric motor combine for 204 hp
- 16-mile electric-only range
- Recharges in about two hours on 240 volts; eight hours on 120 volts
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