Audi A3 TFSI 40 e driving
Ryan Darby

Ryan Darby

Ryan is the Content Marketing Executive at Carparison, keeping you up to date on our socials. He also takes the lead on our fantastic car reviews, and with his experience, is the perfect person to make sure you have all the information you need.

Read time of 6 minutes.

Premium design meets efficient driving

The Audi A3 has always been one of the most popular hatchbacks on the market, but now the German manufacturer are offering a highly competitive hybrid option for those seeking a more efficient daily drive.

Competing to be the premium hybrid hatchback of choice, the A3 faces stiff competition from the Mercedes-Benz A250e, Volkswagen Golf GTE MK8 or even the SEAT Leon e-Hybrid.

In this latest Carparison review, we’re behind the wheel of an A3 40 TFSI e S-Line, putting it through its paces, testing its range, technology, comfort levels and more.

Audi A3 TFSI 40 e face

What did we drive?

Engine: 1.4L S line 40 TFSI e S tronic

Model Line: S-Line 

Transmission: Auto

Power: Petrol Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV)

Colour: Daytona grey, pearl effect

Wheels: 18” ‘5-arm dynamic’ design alloy wheels

OTR from: £34,580          

Price of model driven: £36,480

*Prices correct at the time of publication

Audi A3 TFSI 40 e driving over bridge

Price

Prices for the A3 40 TFSI e start from £34,580 for the entry-level Sport trims, but you’re going to have to part with just under £36,500 for the S line trim that we’re driving.

If you want to explore the top of the range, then you’re looking at prices in the region of £38,230 for the S line Competition.

This is a hefty spike in price compared to the combustion engine option, where prices start from just under £25,000 for entry-level spec, while the range-topping Vorsprung edition is available from just under £39,000.

Rivals like the SEAT Leon e-Hybrid start from £32,945 and range up to £36,190 for the top-spec edition. Premium rivals like the Mercedes A Class come in slightly cheaper for entry-level spec at £33,980 and range up to £37,480. 

Carparison's latest Audi lease deals create a cost-effective monthly payment that greatly reduce the overall cost of driving away in a brand new A3. 

Audi A3 TFSI 40 driving down hill

Engines & Electric Range

You aren't spoilt with a great amount of choice when it comes to engines, but Audi have kept things nice and simple here. 

Each trim level comes with a specific engine choice for that edition of the A3, as outlined below. All engines are supplemented by a 13 kWh battery. 

  • 1.4L Sport 40 TFSI e S tronic – 204PS - 30–25 g/km – Petrol PHEV– from £33,290
  • 1.4L S line 40 TFSI e S tronic – 204PS – 30–25 g/km - Petrol PHEV – from £35,190
  • 1.4L S line competition 45 TFSI e S tronic – 245PS - 30–29 g/km – Petrol PHEV – from £36,940

The S Line Competition engine is of course the pick of the bunch when it comes to power output, but as we'll come on to discuss, we don't think that has to make it the engine of choice, as the 204PS options are also suitably powerful.

The A3 has a claimed range of just under 40 miles, which means for most UK drivers, your daily commute will be more than doable in pure electric mode.

Like many PHEVs, there is no rapid charge option, so you’re going to have to settle for a Type 2 charger. It’ll take you around four hours to go from empty to full, which is a more than respectable time from Audi. 

Charger dependent, the Golf GTE can take just under four hours to go from empty to full or 2-3 hours for the Mercedes-Benz A250e to go from 10-100%.

Audi A3 TFSI 40 e driving around a corner

Drive

The A3 looks sportier than it drives, but believe me, that doesn't have to be considered a negative. If you put your foot down, the petrol engine kicks in and you get a healthy burst of power to aid your acceleration. Audi claim it has a top speed of 141mph and a 0-62mph time of 7.6 seconds. 

However, throughout our review, we found the A3 performed best when it was cruising along, making use of that electric motor. The handling is slightly on the weightier side than some of the vehicles we’ve reviewed recently, but it takes no time at all to adjust and offers you a great sense of control when behind the wheel. It's a very easy and relaxing car to drive, which is exactly what you would expect from a premium manufacturer of Audi's pedigree. 

It was also noticeable the fantastic job Audi have done to limit the amount of cabin noise you hear, even at higher speeds, while the A3 also rides bumps well, despite its slightly firmer suspension. 

Audi A3 TFSI 40 e profile

Design & Interior

What impressed me the most about the A3 was the exterior design and the overall road presence it had as a result.

It’s bigger than the previous A3 models and you soon notice the difference. If you're searching for something that isn't your typical family SUV or saloon, this is a perfect size. This version of the A3 is bigger than your standard hot hatch and offers you that reassurance on the road. 

Our A3 came in the Daytona grey option and it looks so imposing - in such a good way. The design is so typically Audi. Be it the large front grille or distinctive angular creases, it looks perfectly at home alongside the rest of their models.

It's the small details that really make this A3. The combination of the chrome finish that runs across the dash and the Audi detailing really elevate the A3's class. 

Creating such a distinctive design in their styling has made Audi one of the premium manufactures of choice for so many over the years and when you see the stunning attention to detail up close in this A3, it shouldn't come as any surprise. 

Audi A3 TFSI 40 e boot space

Space & Practicality

Compared to its combustion engine alternative, this PHEV does come with compromised boot space. Well, that's what the figures will try and tell you.

The official boot capacity is 280L, which is around 100L fewer than what you'll find in the ICE models. However, what we found in our A3 was a very practical space and it felt larger than what the official figures suggested.

By no means is it the biggest you'll find in this class - rivals like the Mercedes A250e have around 30L more, but we're confident this could still be a very usable family space.

Taller drivers don't need to be put off by the prospect of choosing a smaller family car. There's still a great amount of headroom up front, with lots of flexibility to find your desired driving position.

As you sit back in the rear, head and legroom are both competitive for this class. You do have the option of carrying three passengers across the back, but we wouldn't recommend it for any longer than you really need to. The large centre tunnel limits the legroom available to the middle passenger and will no doubt annoy those on the outer seats!

udi A3 TFSI 40 e media

Technology

One of the biggest lures of Audi leasing is having access to their fantastic technology and I have to admit, I was incredibly impressed by the array of tech on offer in the A3. 

It's an Audi after all, what should I have expected? 

The projection from the 10.1" touchscreen is crisp and sharp. Audi haven't gone overboard in the design either - they've kept it simple and it just works. The system itself is responsive and easy to use. 

A special mention must go to the Audi navigation system. It has to be one of the best I’ve used personally. Such is the popularity of Google Maps and Waze, a trustworthy in-built navigation system is hard to come by these days, but this offers you a viable alternative.

The Audi Virtual Cockpit enhances this further, as it comes with a very practical amount of customisation, allowing you to control your navigation or infotainment straight ahead. It competes very well with the MBUX system on offer from their German rivals, while we would rank it above the relative offering from BMW. The ability to view your navigation straight ahead on the driver's display is one of the many welcomed perks of the system and it just makes the entire system very easy to use on the go.

You also get your typical connectivity options in the front of the vehicle, including two USB C ports and a 12V socket.

Audi A3 TFSI 40 e rear

Safety

If you plan to use this A3 PHEV as your family car, then its safety might be one of your deciding factors. If that is the case, you'll be pleased to know that the A3 range and the previous A3 Sportback e-tron have both received a five-star Euro NCAP rating, with an 89% score for adult occupants. 

One of the many benefits that come with an Audi A3 lease is the generous amount of safety technology and driver assists that come as standard. This includes traffic sign recognition, shock absorption, front and side airbags with head airbags and a speed limiter among others.

Audi A3 TFSI 40 e S Line

Model Lines and Equipment

Sport – from £34,580

  • 17” x 8.0J ‘5parallel-spoke’ style alloy wheels
  • Audi Drive Select
  • Seats in Twin leather
  • LED headlights with LED daytime running light
  • MMI Navigation Plus with 10.1” touch screen

S-Line – from £36,480

(In addition/or replacement to Sport)

  • 18” x 8.0J ‘5-arm dynamic’ design alloy wheels
  • LED headlights with LED rear lights and dynamic rear indicators
  • Privacy glass
  • Front Sport seats
  • LED Interior Lighting Pack

S-Line Competition – from £38,230

(In addition/or replacement to S-Line)

  • 18" x 8.0J '5-Y-spoke style', Graphite Grey, diamond cut alloy wheel
  • Red brake calipers
  • Black door mirror housings
  • Black accents in the area of the front grille and frame
  • Black accents around the window trims

*Prices and model lines correct at the time of publication

Audi A3 TFSI 40 e driving side on

Verdict

If you’re searching for a reliable family hatchback, but you’re craving that premium, high-quality finish, then this Audi A3 40 TFSI e is perfect.

Our time with the A3 was so enjoyable. It's a car that makes every drive oh so easy and when you couple that with its impressive efficiency, what more could you ask for? 

The combination of its stunning design and refined drive should make this Audi lease a very compelling option.

The average UK commute is believed to be between 20-30 miles, making this A3 hybrid perfect. Your daily drives to work can be done in pure electric mode, while there's still the offer of a very competitive petrol engine sitting in reserve.

Interested in Audi leasing? Browse our latest personal contract hire offers and business lease deals.