The Q4 e-tron is Audi’s stylish entry into the electric car market.
It’s based on the same platform as its parent company Volkswagen’s ID.4 and Skoda’s Enyaq. That means it’s a five-door mid-size SUV. Size wise it’s a good bit bigger than the Audi Q3 but not quite as large as the Audi Q5 – as the Q4 name aptly suggests.
Prices start at a little over £41,000, with top spec models costing close to £60,000.
— Audi UK (@AudiUK) October 4, 2021
Entry level models are called “35”. They come with a 52kWh battery that delivers a claimed 212 miles of range.
Move up a step and the 40 model has a 77kWh battery and an official range of 316 miles. It also gets a power upgrade from 170 to 204hp so it’s a good bit more sprightly.
At the top of the Q4 e-tron tree sits the e-tron 50. The only one to come with four-wheel drive (the others are rear-wheel drive) it has 300hp and will get from 0-62mph in just 6.2 seconds.
The SUV model is likely to be the most popular model but Audi also offers the Q4 e-tron in a coupe/SUV bodyshell, called the Sportback.
I spent a week with the Q4 e-tron 40 in Launch Edition specification, priced at £49,875.
Keeping up with an electric
It’s a fine looking car, particularly in the typhoon grey colour my test model came in. The usual Audi attributes of elegant proportions, understated style and a quality feel all apply.
Anyone relying on an electric car to get them as far as the official range will end up with a flat battery. In the same manner that petrol and diesel cars rarely match their official fuel economy, so electric cars don’t usually achieve their claimed range.
Over a few days of driving in bad weather, including a dark and rainy return journey from Dundee to Glasgow, my Q4 e-tron managed around 225 miles between charges.
That was with lights, heater, stereo and heated seats all on for the entire time.
During pleasant summer weather you can probably anticipate 260-280 miles.
That should be enough for the overwhelming majority of users. In my case I was let down slightly by an infrastructure failure when I had two days of back-to-back long journeys.
Arriving at the array of 50kW rapid chargers in Lochee around midnight I found the whole lot had malfunctioned – to the despair of a number of Dundee electric taxi drivers, who had no range left to get anywhere else.
I limped the Q4 e-tron to a 7kW charger in the Hilltown, plugged it in for the night and walked home. That’s a failure of infrastructure, however, not of the car, and should be less of a problem over time as reliability issues in the charging network are overcome.
Inside is Audi’s typical classy interior.
It’s dark but everything looks and feels premium. The infotainment screen is tilted slightly towards the driver, while the “virtual cockpit” dashboard can be configured to show everything from battery strength and range to the satnav map.
There is room in the Q4 e-tron for four adults to travel in comfort.
At 520 litres the boot is capacious.
Under the bonnet there is an additional 60 litres of space, which is perfect for storing charging cables.
My car came with leather, heated seats, a wireless phone charger (with a neat clip to hold your phone in place), LED lights and the aforementioned virtual cockpit.
The absence of a rear view camera is my only gripe, though you do at least get parking sensors.
A versatile drive
On the road the Audi offers the sort of driving experience expected of a good electric car. It’s extremely quick off the line, very quiet, rides comfortably and handles like you’d expect a 2.3 tonne car to.
I did around 400 miles in it over the course of a week and found it a great long distance cruiser.
It also does well around town thanks to its light steering, relatively compact footprint and speed off the line.
Best of all, my 400 miles of driving cost me absolutely nothing thanks to my ChargePlace Scotland membership.
Audi expects the Q4 e-tron to become one of its bestselling models. I can see why.
- Model: Audi Q4 e-tron 40 Launch Edition
- Price: £49,875
- 0-62mph: 6.2 seconds
- Top speed: 99mph
- Economy: 316 miles
- CO2 emissions: 0g/km