Neither is a perfect comparison, but the A3 is substantially cheaper than the latter and a wisp pricier than the former. Of greater consequence is its premium within the Sportback range, where, even with the £5000 government grant, the e-tron is £6000 more expensive than a 2.0 TDI SE Technik. But more importantly, its key rivals are the Volkswagen Golf GTE and the BMW 330e both of which are equally adept cars with minimal drawback.
Presented with a life of motorway work, that car would almost certainly prove cheaper to run, but there are, of course, substantial savings for the business user, with the e-tron’s lowly CO2 emissions incurring it just five per cent BIK.
Urban commutes also favour the tax-free, congestion charge-dodging e-tron, although it’s worth spotlighting the extent of those abilities. Audi claims 31 miles on a full charge; on reasonably temperate winter days, we were unable to extract more than 18 miles.
The small battery does mean short charge times, though (just over two hours from a public point or around four from a domestic plug), and the e-tron is quite adept at recharging itself.