Essai – Audi A3 45 TFSIe (2022) : l’agrément avant l’économie

Essai - Audi A3 45 TFSIe (2022) : l’agrément avant l’économie

SOON

compact sedan

plug-in hybrid

63 km of electric range

From €46,270

In the Volkswagen group family, I would like the compact plug-in hybrid. Golf? No, Audi, in this case the A3. Technically identical to the Wolfsburg icon, the Ingolstadt one is, of course, wrapped in totally different bodywork and perhaps more dynamic looking. Furthermore, it is at this point that Audi will distinguish itself from Volkswagen, in terms of marketing, of course, rather than more exclusive positioning. In addition, the base price of the A3 45 TFSIe is almost €3,000 less than that of the Golf GTE, it is true that it is better equipped.

a known engine

Under the hood of the Audi, it is not surprising. We find the hybrid propulsion of the Volkswagen group, specifically a 1.4-liter direct injection gasoline turbo that develops 150 hp for 250 Nm of torque, coupled to a DSG box, sorry, 6-speed S tronic. On the electrical side, we have an 80 kW, 330 Nm synchronous machine, integrated into the transmission. It is powered by a lithium-ion battery of 13 kWh gross (10.4 kWh useful), rechargeable from the mains in about 5 hours at least, accepting the car’s system a maximum power of 2.9 kW. Frankly, progress needs to be made in this area, especially as the A3 doesn’t support fast charging.

Test - Audi A3 45 TFSIe (2022): pleasure before economy

The mechanics have a combined maximum power of 245 hp, by 400 Nm. It is identical to that of the A3 40 TFSIe of 204 hp, so the additional cavalry of the 45 is only the result of programming different software. All this allows, according to the WLTP standard, an electric autonomy of 63 km, as well as an official consumption that ranges between 1.1 and 1.2 l/100 km, or 31 to 34 g/km of CO2. Theoretically. Despite its considerable weight of 1,660 kg, the 4-wheel drive A3 45 TFSIe goes from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.8 seconds, and reaches 240 km/h, or 140 km/h in zero emission mode. . Figures that practically follow the model of those of the Golf GTE, although the Audi weighs an additional 36 kg.

Not so chic anymore…

The dashboard, despite its tormented shapes, is practical and impeccably assembled.  Too bad the plastics on the bottom are so unattractive.
The dashboard, despite its tormented shapes, is practical and impeccably assembled. Too bad the plastics on the bottom are so unattractive.

Does this mean that the sensations at the wheel are identical between the two cars? Even. The A3 already benefits from a dashboard that is easier to understand than the Golf’s.

Test - Audi A3 45 TFSIe (2022): pleasure before economy
Test - Audi A3 45 TFSIe (2022): pleasure before economy

As well as a 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit-type instrument cluster (€290 option) with more readable displays, the Audi retains the non-digital air conditioning controls and steering wheel buttons, which are therefore easier to operate. Because they don’t cheat. The general ergonomics seem very adequate, as does the finish, which for an Audi is not a compliment. The old A3 seemed more tidy to me, the new one was content with very banal plastics at the bottom of the dashboard. This presents a somewhat striking and tortured design, far from the elegant simplicity of the previous model. It seems that the clientele likes bling-bling…

The rear seats are spacious given the length of the Audi.
The rear seats are spacious given the length of the Audi.
The trunk shows a modest volume (280 l) and is furthermore cluttered by the charging cable, for which no location is provided.
The trunk shows a modest volume (280 l) and is furthermore cluttered by the charging cable, for which no location is provided.

Fortunately, despite a reasonable size, the A3 retains good rear roominess (much better for the legs than PSA’s ex-cousins ​​Opel Astra, Peugeot 308 and DS4). Instead, the trunk loses 100 liters due to electrification, remaining at 280 liters, or even 1,100 liters with the seat folded down (an ultra-simple operation, the belts do not hinder the movement of the files). Not huge. The length-adjustable seat provides excellent comfort while the riding position is simply perfect. As long as the ambient temperature is not too low, the A3 45 TFSIe starts in electric mode, which means that it does not make any noise.

softness and dynamism

In the city, it is a dream of smoothness, the gearbox changes gears quite imperceptibly. In addition, the direction seems ideally calibrated and the damping well judged, between filtration and maintenance of the bodywork. Is this true on the road? Yes. The Audi impresses with its flawless chassis development. The direction confirms its qualities, and adds a very pleasant speed, coupled with good information feedback. The same happens with the damping, achieving an irreproachable synthesis whatever the rhythm adopted, even on a degraded surface. I can’t say enough: better a well-adjusted device, like this one, than a well-adjustable one. Also, controlled dampers are not available, not even as an option. For its part, the brake pedal avoids that desperate smoothness that I found in the latest productions of the Volkswagen group.

Test - Audi A3 45 TFSIe (2022): pleasure before economy

So roadholding is particularly secure, both in a straight line, where the A3 seems stuck on its course, and in corners, where it will slide off the nose very late. By provoking it, you can also slightly unlock the rear axle, ESP connected, a sign of a good balance. Audi has understood the aspirations of certain enthusiasts for dynamic driving and has configured the multi-link rear axle well. Coming out of a corner, you can get the traction control indicator to flash, but it won’t turn into hype. Finally, the braking is very powerful. A nice painting! Especially since comfort is never compromised. However, there are loud rolling noises in certain linings, the A3 is also very well soundproofed.

The engine, of course, doesn’t go to the extreme of such a chassis, but it nonetheless delivers appreciable punch, and very smoothly. From a certain speed, the 4-cylinder adopts a rather pleasant throaty tone, but thanks to the electric motor, there is juice all the time. Thus, it is not necessary to whip the mechanics so that it advances more than correctly. In fact, the Dynamic driving program, if it reinforces the steering and quickens the throttle, is especially valid for its greatly increased regenerative braking. Useful, because there is no brake mode. You can also use the Audi in Efficiency, where the air conditioning blows less cold and where there is no engine brake, to be able to go in neutral, in order to limit consumption. Finally, the Auto program allows the car to manage itself according to the circumstances. This is the one I used most of the time. For its part, the box continues to change gear imperceptibly, compensating the electricity for the latencies that it could experience when downshifting. Nice and quiet set up, but what about your energy needs?

An electrical system that must evolve

In zero emission mode, I managed to pass the 50 km mark, on a mixed route with a temperature above 25°C. This corresponds to approximately 20 kWh/100 km. In 136 km, including the electric, the German settled for 3.8 l/100 km. Once the battery is empty, fuel consumption is not excessive. Basically, it consumes 5.0 l/100 km on the highway, 6.3 l/100 km on the motorway and 7.7 l/100 km on the highway. For this last reason, the system begins to admit its age, because with other more powerful “plug-in” hybrids, we go down from 6.5 l/100 km. However, the Audi is proving to be a valid alternative to diesel except for the great road surveyors, although progress can be made.

#Essai #Audi #TFSIe #lagrément #avant #léconomie

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