10. Audi A3 e-tron: Promised and finally delivered
Base price: $38,825
Fuel economy ratings: 83-86 MPGe; 35-39 MPG
Audi unveiled its first plug-in hybrid car at the 2014 New York Auto Show. It wasn’t until very recently that the A3 e-tron finally started making its way to dealerships.
The A3 e-tron is a four-door hatchback that looks similar to the A3 that was sold in the U.S. from 2007-2012. This plug-in comes in two forms, standard and more-efficient Ultra. The former’s battery is good for up to 16 miles of electric-only operation and 380 miles of total range when the turbocharged 1.4-liter gasoline engine takes over. The Ultra promises 17 miles of range on the battery and 430 miles total. Regrettably, the e-tron is front-wheel-drive only; Audi’s excellent quattro all-wheel-drive (AWD) system is unavailable. Regardless, this is a vehicle Audi and its parent company, Volkswagen
, desperately need right now. The German automaker is reeling from an emissions-cheating scandal involving its diesel-powered cars and SUVs. The A3 e-tron is a good first step to helping the company rebuild its reputation.