Is it really a year already? Time is flying these days! Let’s do the one year of ownership review then!
The Audi A3 40 TFSI e represents the entry level hybrid car of the A3 series. It starts at around 40k and has the standard 1.4 l VW platform four cylinder engine plus the electric motor. In the electric mode the car has 330 Nm of torque, in the hybrid mode 350 Nm, which accelerates the car in 7,6 seconds to 100 km/h. But those numbers are not really important anyways. The only thing you need to know is this. It isn’t slow, even if you drive in electric mode only. But don’t expect it to be the Autobahn hero. It’s not, but it’s a fuel consumption hero.
What I like
After 6.411 km’s I have done so far, the average fuel consumption is at 2,9 l/100km and 10,8 kWh/100km. Which is good! But you have to consider certain things before taking those numbers for granted. 1. I wasn’t driving much during the winter because of my recent health issues. 2. My driving style has nothing to do with the average driver behavior. I always drive on the perfect line and drive very sporty (less resistance when steering, higher corner speeds, no need to reduce the speed before roundabouts or corners). I let the car roll instead of the one pedal function. I check the tire pressures regular and keep them high! I have the smallest summer tires possible. I drive short distances purely electric. I drive longer tours not just in hybrid mode, but regulate the energy distribution myself.
The 330 Nm electric torque is priceless. The way the car accelerates, too much for the tires from a stand still. The car is never underpowered, even if the battery is empty. (And it’s never really empty by the way). If you want to let it fly, it flies! At least to 200 km/h or so. Above that, the car soon reaches its limit. It’s not build for that anyways, but it’s good to know that it can. And it’s a solid state of driving. Cruise control at 200 km/h and here you go. Easy! No problem!
At the end of the day the concept behind the Golf platform makes just sense. You can fit 5 people if necessary. You can load in a lot of stuff. You can transport a bicycle, your winter tires or whatever else we have to carry around. You always find a parking space. It’s neither too wide nor too low. I can find your perfect seating position. You get at least some useful buttons compared to the VW Golf VIII. Honestly, there is not much a daily driver should do better.
Compared to the Golf I had before, the road presence of the aggressive Audi design is quite good. People get out of your way! It is not as good as in a noisy Porsche of course, but it does the job! And honestly, it just looks good! You walk towards your car and can not avoid to smile!
Don’t get me wrong on that, it’s a heavy front wheel driven car! Audi can’t fight the laws of physics of course! But for the 1635 kg plus driver and the other stuff we carry around, the car performs good! Why? Because the weight distribution of the car has been changed due to the battery. The Golf platform has its engine and gearbox in the front and the fuel tank underneath the rear seats. Meaning that the car understeers like hell. With the battery added to the equation, the tank is now underneath the trunk. Meaning that the rear got heavier. Sure, weight is the one thing we do not necessarily need more of in a car, but it lowers the center of gravity and helps the concept to drive more neutral. You can steer the car at its tires limits around roundabouts perfectly! It’s still very heavy, sure, but batteries are heavy these days, deal with it.
The energy distribution game!
Is there something making more fun than this when driving around on public roads? Sure, I would prefer a flat six boxer engine, but besides that, playing the recuperating game can get close! Maybe that’s just my engineering brain talking, but I love it! The rules? Don’t brake, let it sail! But if necessary, don’t brake with your brakes but instead recuperate! And use the energy intelligently. Use the advantages of the different engine concepts and reduce their disadvantages. If done properly, driving becomes so much more than just getting from A to B. But I can not compare myself with the average driver of course, others might just don’t appreciate the possibilities as much as I do.
Is the future electric? Is the future hybrid? At the end of the day, money will take this decision for us. But what Audi has done with this car is a first or second step into the direction of electrification. The noticeable difference between the driving modes makes the car interesting for a wide range of drivers. It’s not just a car to get from A to B, it can also be quite quick doing that. For me, it’s the perfect daily driver considering the good leasing deal and the government support I got here in Germany.
See you next time!