Audi Q4 e-tron review: A cut above

1 month ago 21
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(Pocket-lint) - With the advent of the electrical conveyance (EV) gyration upon us, genuine electified choices are rapidly becoming overmuch richer successful their offering. Take the mid-size SUV abstraction arsenic 1 cardinal example: determination are plentifulness of options already retired determination - from Volkswagen to Skoda and beyond - but Audi has taken that model and one-upped it by, well, 'Audi-fying' its offering.

By and ample that's a literal crook of phrase: the Audi Q4 e-tron shares the aforesaid alleged MEB level arsenic the Skoda Enyaq iV, Volkswagen ID4, and Seat Cupra Born, but by decorating that with an altogether sportier design, plusher interior and much adept exertion implementation than immoderate of those, it's simply the much blase offering.

Sure, the Q4 e-tron volition outgo you much currency than those, too, positive the options database rapidly raises the terms further, but if you're looking for a lease enactment for an EV and person the wealth jangling successful your pouch past it's a dependable prime successful truthful galore ways - and without immoderate existent compromise to scope oregon applicable abstraction either.

Design & Trim

  • Standard Q4 e-tron oregon Q4 Sportback e-tron designs
  • Trim levels: Sport, S Line, Edition 1, Vorsprung
  • 19-inch alloy wheels (20- & 21-inch optional)
  • LED headlights (LED Matrix for Vorsprung)
  • 520-litre footwear capableness minimum
  • £40,750 UK OTR starting price

One glimpse astatine the Q4 e-tron and it's wide arsenic time an Audi. It's got those distinctive looks, those agressive-looking headlights - which are LED arsenic modular connected each trim levels (Vorsprung gets Matrix LED arsenic standard) - those sheet folds and a sporty shape. We've driven the modular model; a Sportback mentation is besides available, which drops a small headroom successful the backmost for a sportier inactive poise.

Much arsenic the Q4 e-tron's beforehand grille has that Audi aesthetic, however, it's a alternatively antithetic setup to the German marque's combusion models. As this is electric, nary aerial is required for cooling, frankincense the beforehand is sealed disconnected - adjacent the classical 4 rings aren't afloat embossed from the front, but are alternatively flat, astir arsenic if drawn onto the beforehand (optical illusion style).

Here presented successful a subtle purple overgarment of overgarment ('Aurora Violet Metallic' successful selling speak), the metallic decorativeness is subtle and glints successful the prima gently. Audi perpetually pushes caller colour options per vehicle, and its ever amusive to get down the instrumentality of thing a small different. Fret not, though, the accustomed palette of colours are disposable - sojourn Audi's authoritative website to plan and built your ain enactment of options, including blue, achromatic and a full palette of greys.

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Being an SUV, portion of the Q4 e-tron's precise intent is to beryllium high-riding and connection accrued interior abstraction implicit the emblematic saloon. That includes a 520-litre footwear - expanding to implicit four-figures if you driblet the rear seats - and plentifulness of abstraction successful the backmost for whomever needs to beryllium there; there's the ceiling tallness to accommodate adults nary problems.

Interior & Tech

  • Audi cardinal MMI show (10.1-inch touchscreen [11.6-inch enactment owed 2021])
  • Audi Virtual Cockpit drivers show (10.25-inch non-touch)
  • Audi Pre-sense, lane departure & swerve/turn assist
  • Optional: Cruise assist, 360° cameras, blindspot
  • Head-up dislay (HUD) & AR navigation options
  • Android Auto / Apple CarPlay compatible
  • Sonos Audio available

We're down with the looks, arsenic we're definite you are too, but it's wrong wherever the Audi Q4 e-tron truly sells itself. This interior compartment is the step-up that qualifies its taller asking terms implicit its adjacent competition.

In galore respects it's overmuch the aforesaid arsenic your emblematic Audi. We accidental that successful affirmative fashion, noting present that the electrification of the drivetrain doesn't devour into interior space; there's nary elephantine centre passageway utilizing up imaginable abstraction oregon forcing your legs into weird and compromised positions. It's spacious, airy, and mostly driver-focused too. 

For galore years Audi has been enhancing its MMI setup (that's Multimedia Interface, acronym loathers), with the Q4 e-tron embodying the latest implementation for 2021. That comprises 2 halfway components: a 10.1-inch touchscreen to the centre dash, angled towards the operator (a larger 11.6-inch mentation volition beryllium added precocious 2021); and a 10.25-inch ocular display, called Audi Cockpit, positioned to the driver's enactment of sight.

The main surface relies connected interaction control, but with haptic feedback providing an assured 'clack' and carnal response, it's truly casual to use. Yes, it gets precise fingerprinty precise quickly, truthful you'll privation to person a microfibre cloth and buckets of emotion and attraction connected manus too.

However, dissimilar immoderate of Audi's earlier touch-only implementations, the Q4 e-tron besides supplements controls with carnal buttons for clime control. We deliberation this is simply a much, overmuch much palmy matrimony of the 2 forms - making it ace casual to ever prime and sync air-conditioning, for example, without needing to excavation into screens. There's nary further 3rd surface towards the centre passageway here, like you'll find successful the A8 arsenic 1 example, alternatively a floating level with elemental controls specified arsenic the one-button commencement control.

Audi's MMI strategy has decent navigation and mapping that works well, but if you would alternatively usage Android Auto oregon Apple CarPlay past that's easy accomplished too. Simply plug-in via 1 of the 2 beforehand USB-C cables (if you don't person a C-to-C cablegram you'll privation an adapter for USB-C-to-A) and disconnected you go.

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Interestingly, and dissimilar different manufacturers, you tin supplement Android Auto with Audi MMI successful tandem: perceive to Spotify via your phone, with Android Auto showing the playlist connected the cardinal screen; portion utilizing the Virtual Cockpit show to utilise Audi's turn-by-turn mapping and directions done its navigation. A champion of some worlds, that truly don't look to clash oregon reason 1 another.

The quality to power betwixt what displays connected these 2 main screens is besides perfect to guarantee everything you request is wrong eyeshot. Battery complaint remaining and projected mileage are ever connected show successful Virtual Cockpit, which is great. Our lone existent ailment astir the screens wide is that the cardinal one, contempt being cleverly positioned towards the driver, is conscionable a small spot of a scope astatine times. First satellite problems, eh.

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The wide tech disposable tin beryllium expansive, too, depending connected what battalion options you pick. While Audi's Pre-sense is aboard arsenic modular - it's ever keeping an oculus connected what's successful front, should an emergeny halt beryllium needed - there's besides optional cruise control, a head-up show (HUD) with further optional augmented relaity (AR) visualisations, lane-keep, blindspot alert, and a full-on suite of cameras that tin presumption each astir the car - and adjacent make a top-down visualisation of it and your surroundings for further information erstwhile reversing oregon parking. 

Drive & Range

  • 40 exemplary (204PS): Single centrifugal & rear instrumentality drive, 77kWh artillery capacity, 316 mile scope quoted
  • 50 exemplary (299PS): Quattro all-wheel thrust & duplicate motors, 77kWh, 295m
  • 35 exemplary (170PS): Single centrifugal & rear instrumentality drive, 52kWh, 211m
  • Drive modes: Eco, Comfort, Dynamic, Individual
  • Up to 125kW fast-charging capable

All of which is each good and good, but if you're buying an EV and it's going to springiness you scope anxiety, oregon you don't person the charging capabilities astatine home, past it's improbable to beryllium the car for you. Not conscionable successful the lawsuit of this Audi, but immoderate electrical car astatine contiguous really.

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That's thing we had successful caput successful peculiar due to the fact that our erstwhile Audi acquisition - with the e-tron S - was miles disconnected its advertised range. The Q4 e-tron, however, is lone astir 15 per cent beneath its quoted WLTP rating, based connected our clip with the car, meaning it'll propulsion you successful and astir - and perchance upwards - of 250 miles per complaint (caveat: reviewed is the '40' model, the '35' delivers a batch little arsenic outlined successful slug points above). In context: the Volvo XC40 Recharge gave america somewhat less, astatine 225 per charge, which is inactive beauteous bully going.

Now we accidental upwards of 250 miles per complaint due to the fact that we did not, successful immoderate way, thrust the Q4 e-tron astir with the halfway extremity of conserving energy. We enactment Dynamic thrust mode into play. We popped the aircon on. The Sonos soundsystem was blaring retired the tunes. We weren't shy of an overtake oregon to enactment the pedal down. Motorway sections were perfectly not walk connected the wrong lane.

Before mounting off, artillery astatine 99 per cent charge, the Q4 e-tron told america we'd get 233 miles retired of it. Even with the benignant of driving supra we motored done 100 miles and the artillery dropped to 58 per cent. On that calculation we would person surpassed the 233 miles quota anyway. Sure, it's obscurity adjacent the top-end 316 miles the WLTP standing claims, but this standing is ever overly precocious for immoderate conveyance - not conscionable Audi.

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The cardinal take-away being that, for your emblematic sub-40 miles per time circular commute, you could bash a afloat Monday to Friday location to bureau run, popular the car connected your location charger and acceptable it up to lone click successful to complaint aft midnight, erstwhile your energy complaint is apt little than daytime. Even if you similar to instrumentality wrong the regularisation of not charging beyond 80 per cent to assistance with artillery preservation the circa 200 miles disposable should supply that benignant of commuter potential.

We're definite the Q4 e-tron tin grip the range, then, but the mode successful which it handles itself connected the roadworthy brings further assurance: this is 1 creaseless operator, a genuinely comfy spot to sit, and with ample pep to spell firing you disconnected down the roadworthy astatine gait erstwhile it's needed (the 0-62mph clip of 8.5s doesn't dependable exceptional, but for a 2.5-tonne conveyance it's spritely enough).

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Verdict

The Audi Q4 e-tron takes the mid-size electrified SUV marketplace and goes beyond the contention acknowledgment to its distinctive style, interior comfort, and exertion implementation.

Yes, it'll outgo you a beauteous penny - particularly with those alluring options - and that whitethorn marque its much affordable Volkswagen ID4 oregon Skoda Enyaq service much appeal, but with the knowing that there's immoderate compromise to the wide compartment by comparison.

With a decent real-world scope per complaint (in the 40 model; the 35 is much a municipality runabout), however, the Q4 e-tron is simply a car that, for many, volition beryllium precocious up the leasing options list. It'll beryllium nary astonishment to spot galore of these connected the roads by the extremity of 2021 and beyond: for the elemental crushed that it's a chopped supra its electrified SUV competition.

Also consider

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Skoda Enyaq iV

Although built connected the precise aforesaid level arsenic the Audi, the Skoda equivalent is acold cheaper yet inactive good appointed. Whether you similar the look of it arsenic overmuch is up for debate, but from a capableness and cost-savings constituent of presumption it's got evident appeal.

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Volvo XC40 Recharge

Much similar the Audi, Volvo's electrical SUV volition outgo a just bit, but it besides features a plush interior and decent scope per charge. There's adjacent a Google integrated infotainment strategy present that feels altogether much future-facing. It's a spot speedier disconnected the people too, but that somewhat cuts down connected its scope potential.

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Volkswagen ID4

Also built connected the aforesaid platform, the VW's interior is overmuch much sparse, portion its infotainment setup feels much enactment successful progress. It's a large and much mainstream alternate enactment though.

Writing by Mike Lowe. Originally published connected 25 August 2021.

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