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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just did a short test drive in an A3 e-Tron. When I started EV range said 25miles, but I didn't understand the instrument cluster enough to know if that was 100% or not. I did 8 miles in EV mode (5 on the motorway at 70 ish, 5 in Hybrid Auto also on the motorway, and the remaining 2.5 miles in EV mode. At the end of the test drive the range was showing 11miles.

During the first EV miles - and during the Hybrid Auto mode I did several sharp accelerations to get a feel of how powerful the EV mode was.

One strange comment the sales guy made when I queried the fact that I was leaving it with limited range - he said that switching into charge mode and driving about the same distance (ie the 15 miles) is sufficient to fully re-charge the batteries - and that was what they were doing on the demo model to keep it charged up for customers!.

Impressions:

Very quiet inside - and much quieter than my Celica even when in EV mode.
Acceleration in EV mode was difficult to gauge (given the traffic around), but it felt as good as my Celica after changing down without the hassle of changing gear. Kick down acceleration brought in the Petrol side of the car - which was hardly noticeable it terms of sound/vibration and surprising because up to then it had not been running. Hybrid Auto acceleration was like the kick down mode whilst in EV. There was also an extra "Sports Mode" toggled on and off which maintains higher revs longer before changing up.

I didn't really notice regen braking - lifting the foot of the accelerator seem to be a coast. Sales guy said regen was happening but the amount of regen wasn't adjustable. I am not sure - the meter showing it never seemed to show any when my foot came off the accelerator - and I am sure that I have read somewhere it is adjustable.

The instrument cluster has an option to display speed as a digital number in the middle - even though there is a traditional speedo to the right of it. This was the display I used for the run - although towards the end I was shown how to step through different screens to display different info there.

I was mistaken from my last visit to the dealer where I felt there was space under the false floor of the boot. There is some small trays but that is all. I didn't see the cables - there were none in the car - but the sales guy said it comes with a 13 amp plug and EVSE and with a type 2 charging cable - max 16amps.

Space with the back seats down was bigger than my Celica with the back seats down - and since I have done all the carrying I have ever needed except when I needed to hire a van. I have taken by daughter and her entire university stuff - from Purley (South London) to Leeds several times in the Celica, and taken my bike and my wife and my stuff for a 5 day centre parcs break in the back before I bought a roof rack - then this would be plenty for me.

I checked some things with the sales guy. The most useful to know is that I can still take hands free calls from my phone without needing the "Audi Phone Box" extra. He said that the seats only have adjustable lumber support when you by the electric adjustable lumber support option. That was strange because I felt a round knob half way up the seat side back whilst I was driving (but forgot to ask what is was).

I had been thinking of all Leather Seats - which I have on my Celica - but have suffered with the Celica by very hot seat centres in the summer. One of the show room models had the half leather option, with the centre panels being more suede.

I forgot my list of questions that I had written down. I asked some but missed a few - so will be interested if anyone else can get answers to these:-
  • How does delayed start charging work - can you set the start time somehow.
  • I wanted a full explanation of Audi Connect - in terms of what sim card and likely costs were. Is it up to the customer to source an appropriate sim card and pay for the costs.
And he did confirm that the large e-Tron lettering on the side was only for his demo stock! Phew.
 

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@akc42 you will have to source your own sim card for the online services.
You set the delayed charging either by the MMI knob or on the A3 e-tron app.

I think I'm going to ask for my test drive during the xmas holidays as I have asked for a bit of time to test drive.
 

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I'm led to believe with the Audi Connect services, you can either have a dedicated data sim card, or you can use a phone capable of RSAP (Remote Sim Access Protocol).

I plan on using the latter as I am on Three's One Plan with totally unlimited data.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Was it better than, worse than or just different from what you expected?

And are you now minded to sign on the dotted line?
I didn't know what to expect from an EV since I have't ever driven one before. I didn't get jaw dropping acceleration but it was more than adequate.

I need to think what I felt about range. Range at 25 miles in todays cold weather would be good but I dropped 14 miles in 10.5 EV and 5 hybrid with no compromise on driving including 70mph on motorway.

Overall it would be a good luxurious replacement for current car. If that was the only criteria I would sign

My wife does daily 30+ mile journeys, with some days doing it more than once. She is prime material for a BEV, but in the winter current ranges would cause range anxiety so a REX or a longer range BEV is needed. Today (at affordable amount) that means the i3. She doesn't like look of i3, but who knows how she would feel after a test drive. Her current Polo is a year older than my car and needs work this coming year.

I can only afford one £33K in 2015, so the question is whose car to replace first.

Also the real truth is that neither of us do enough miles to justify the increased cost of an EV so its my desire to be greener that is driving my thinking and not hers. She is OK if I spend my money on whatever I want for my car. She is less happy to contribute the £15K I require towards her car if I am calling the shots.

So I currently have no idea which answer will be the overall solution that satisfies us both
 

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.

Also the real truth is that neither of us do enough miles to justify the increased cost of an EV so its my desire to be greener that is driving my thinking and not hers. She is OK if I spend my money on whatever I want for my car. She is less happy to contribute the £15K I require towards her car if I am calling the shots.

So I currently have no idea which answer will be the overall solution that satisfies us both
That certainly strikes a chord with me. I feel somewhat immature when I see all the calculations people do to "justify" their choice. I do all my commuting by bike or tube and my wife uses the car perhaps twice a week. That leaves weekend and holiday use. There's no way I can cook the figures to say that savings in fuel are ever going to pay for the extra cost of an i3 or an e-Tron. I have to concede that if I stump up for either it will be because it is one of only two cars that manage to combine my aesthetic and emotional inclinations with my political beliefs.
 

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I have to concede that if I stump up for either it will be because it is one of only two cars that manage to combine my aesthetic and emotional inclinations with my political beliefs.
I think that's far more common than you may get the impression from online communities and social networks.

I wanted an EV, the numbers just about worked which is how I justified what I wanted (sort of), my old car worked and I have a bicycle and working legs so no real need for a car most of the time at all. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think that's far more common than you may get the impression from online communities and social networks.

I wanted an EV, the numbers just about worked which is how I justified what I wanted (sort of), my old car worked and I have a bicycle and working legs so no real need for a car most of the time at all. :D
Ha:D Some months I do more miles cycling than in the car - and that is just leasure riding at the weekend. I work from home 4 days a week and train into London the remaining day.
 

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I have to concede that if I stump up for either it will be because it is one of only two cars that manage to combine my aesthetic and emotional inclinations with my political beliefs.
Now I feel immature :) Can't say I've ever chosen a car with those thoughts in mind ... and that's one heck of an eloquent sentence too ...
 

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Now it's been my turn to have a go at the e-Tron! I suppose that after waiting for it for 6 months it was perhaps bound to be a bit of an anti-climax. For various reasons I was not really able to do much more than a trundle around Tadworth, with limited EV mode because the retailer is relying on EV Charge mode to keep the battery going. So there were only 5 or 6 miles range available, which was sufficient at least to try out its acceleration, which was pretty good although I was misled into thinking it was engaging the ICE as I noticed it changing gear as I sped up, unlike the i3 experience where acceleration is continuous and sustained.

It's amazing what a difference it makes to have a really good salesman. At Epsom Audi I've never felt that they really understand the e-Tron -- I kept finding that when I asked a question the salesman said he would find out for me -- and for various reasons he never made me feel relaxed and able to take my time to assimilate the car (I still haven't had a satisfactory explanation of whether I can fit a towbar as it does not seem to be an option in the UK but seems to be available on the German configurator). In contrast my experience with (several) BMW i3 salespeople has been uniformly excellent.

The e-Tron is a superbly seamless blend of E and ICE and may may yet prove to be the best all-round solution for my driving needs, but because I never got to try out any driving modes other than Comfort there were times when I felt as though I was driving a Toyota Auris...

I may just have to stick out for a second test drive..!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
@Tim Ostler I was at Audi Coulsdon - so not far away.

When I first went in just over a month ago, I had to wait specifically for the e-Tron sales guy to be available - so I was immediately directed at the most knowledgeable guy. At that stage he had been on the course - but was still awaiting arrival of the cars - which didn't happen until a month later (a week ago), so plenty of time to forget it all again. Nevertheless he seemed pretty clued up about most things after a week of showing off the car. I think the demo list was quite long - and I had to wait about 10 minutes for one of the service guys to return the car after filling it with Petrol.

I pulled the front bumper off my Celica today leaving the garage (it had been slightly loose in one corner as I had previously damaged the wing on a brick post of the garage - so I was planning to have it fixed, just not today). Net result was a drive in my wife's car. This is when I remembered I would NOT LIKE TO SHARE a new car with my wife - she leaves it so cluttered with rubbish (sweet wrappings, 3 or 4 pairs of classes, some shoes, a small ironing board, cushions behind the passenger seat so she can transport her sewing machine without risking its delicate settings, and the floor of her boot well was also completely covered with bits and pieces - including an angle poise lamp, a map of GB roads, a warning triangle, tin of heroes and an umbrella). This makes the i3 alternative quite a lot less appealing when this plan would mean sharing it. The Audi would be primarily mine - and I can justifiably get annoyed at her leaving her clutter around (as I do whenever I check the storage bin in the passenger door of my Celica) . So I think I will most likely be ordering the e-tron sometime early in the new year.
 

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My "test drive" was at the Audi e-tron demonstration day at Ragley Hall in July. About 16 identical Misano Red A3 e-trons set off in a crocodile on a mixed route using the different driving modes, including electric-only through Alcester (Goodness knows what the citizens of Alcester thought of it - probably not best pleased as there were at least two processions a day over several days). I was extremely impressed and decided to get one as a result.
 

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I have another test drive lined up for tomorrow. It's proving a real dilemma for me whether to go for the i3 which I know that I love driving - and being in - and put up with all of the foibles and impracticalities it carries with it, or to go for the e-Tron which is a much more practical proposition but which feels like, as my wife put it, "just a car". I'm hoping that tomorrow I'll have a chance to discover whether the Dynamic mode, which I did not try before, will result in a more stimulating driving experience that can compensate a bit for the absence of the truly radical i3 environment.
 

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Warning triangle, spare glasses, heroes and umbrella are all legal requirements for driving on the continent and your wife very sensibly exceeds her lawful duty.
(I may be wrong about the heroes) ;)
@Tim Ostler my wife - she leaves it so cluttered with rubbish (sweet wrappings, 3 or 4 pairs of classes, some shoes, a small ironing board, cushions behind the passenger seat so she can transport her sewing machine without risking its delicate settings, and the floor of her boot well was also completely covered with bits and pieces - including an angle poise lamp, a map of GB roads, a warning triangle, tin of heroes and an umbrella)r.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have another test drive lined up for tomorrow. It's proving a real dilemma for me whether to go for the i3 which I know that I love driving - and being in - and put up with all of the foibles and impracticalities it carries with it, or to go for the e-Tron which is a much more practical proposition but which feels like, as my wife put it, "just a car". I'm hoping that tomorrow I'll have a chance to discover whether the Dynamic mode, which I did not try before, will result in a more stimulating driving experience that can compensate a bit for the absence of the truly radical i3 environment.
I had some very "deep" thinking sessions this week - about what I should do. My initial thoughts were - I must test drive the i3 first - and have it currently booked for next Tuesday. But yesterday evening I went through all the trips I could remember taking in my current car over the last few months (and really further back).

Every one was either less than 25 miles round trip, or greater that 180 miles round trip, except for one trip that was 30 miles round trip. Nothing in between. Coupled with the fact that several of those longer trips I have put my bike on the roof to take it with me and that spec'ing the i3 and the e-tron to the maximum I can afford leaves the Audi full of luxury and all the mod cons - including roof rails to take a bike rack, whilst the BMW I was left deciding which option I would have to drop to make it and some doubt whether there is a sensible option for bike. Coupled with the fact that my longer journeys would ALL be a compromise with the i3 and these would all be with my wife who has openly declared the i3 to be "UGLY". I have made my choice to go with the e-tron. I still have to decide whether to splash out on the i3 test drive (which will cost me 1/2 day of lost revenue) or not.

I have to wait until I know my business will have enough cash to buy it - should know by 3rd week of January - so that is when I will place the order.
 

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...meanwhile my wife, who's actually a fan of the i3 and has kindly left the choice between that and the e-tron up to me, has come down hard on any thought of an e-tron in White (shows the dirt) or Red (involved in more accidents than any other colour), which just so happen to be the colours it looks best in...

You may want avoid testing the i3 BTW, as it may seriously undermine the decision you previously thought was settled!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
...meanwhile my wife, who's actually a fan of the i3 and has kindly left the choice between that and the e-tron up to me, has come down hard on any thought of an e-tron in White (shows the dirt) or Red (involved in more accidents than any other colour), which just so happen to be the colours it looks best in...
I want a Red one:D

Tim Ostler said:
You may want avoid testing the i3 BTW, as it may seriously undermine the decision you previously thought was settled!
:rolleyes:
 
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