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Audi A3 e-tron Plug-in Gets 5-Star Euro NCAP Rating

The Audi A3 e-tron is the first mass production plug-in hybrid from the Ingolstadt automaker, a competitor for the Toyota Prius PHEV, only with a German premium car twist. From the outside, it looks like any other A3, but it's been stuffed with complicated electronic systems and batteries that increase its weight to 1.6 tons. That's why independent European safety body Euro NCAP has decided to test and rate it separately from the rest of the model range.
Audi A3 e-tron Plug-in Gets 5-Star Euro NCAP Rating 4 photos
Audi A3 e-tron Plug-in Gets 5-Star Euro NCAP RatingAudi A3 e-tron Plug-in Gets 5-Star Euro NCAP RatingAudi A3 e-tron Plug-in Gets 5-Star Euro NCAP Rating
These are the very last tests carried out by Euro NCAP for 2014 and we are pleased to report the A3 e-tron is safe, having received the maximum five-star rating. Euro NCAP says it has "excellent all-round crash protection and has an autonomous emergency braking (AEB) system available as an option."

The safety organization already rates cars with AEB higher and starting from 2016, those with pedestrian detection will receive even higher scores. Before we go any further, we need to make a quick note of the BMW i3, which only received 4 stars from Euro NCAP earlier this year. Despite this, it scored slightly better than the Audi in adult and child occupant protection, but was dragged down by the lower score for safety assist.

Looking at the e-tron in more detail, the car received an 82% adult occupant protection score, which isn't stellar. The only area where this car fared less well is in the side impact pole test, where protection of the chest was deemed marginal. Child protection scores were high, but the edge of the front bonnet was very unfriendly to pedestrian legs, while the windshield would cause damage to their heads. No surprises here, since nearly all cars without pedestrian airbags are dangerous!

The A3 e-tron has more standard kit than a normal hatchback, which is why it received a high score in the safety assist category. Euro NCAP gave it points for the autonomous braking system, for the optional lane monitoring system and the maximum 3 points for electronic stability control.

The regular A3 hatchback was tested in 2012 and received a slightly higher a slightly higher 95% score for adult occupant protection and 86% for safety assist, which just goes to prove weight is the biggest enemy of safety.

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