Launched in 2021, the Audi Q4 e-tron battles it out in the hugely competitive mid-sized SUV sector. Its many rivals include the Tesla Model Y, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6 and Genesis GV60, plus the BMW iX3, Mercedes EQB, Volvo XC40 Recharge and Polestar 2.
Available in both SUV and sleeker Sportback versions, the Q4 e-tron comes with a 76.6kWh battery and customers can choose from two power levels – the entry level ’40’ (featuring a single electric motor driving the rear wheels) or the top-spec ’50’ quattro (two electric motors driving all four wheels).
The ’40’ delivers 201bhp, accelerates from 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds, while the ’50’ has 295bhp of poke and can hit 62mph in 6.2 seconds.
Both versions have a 135kW charge capacity (average these days), which can get you from 5% to 80% in as little as 29 minutes. Naturally, it will also charge up overnight if you have a home wall box.
On paper, the Q4 e-tron has a range of 292 – 328 miles, depending on body style and power output.
As you’d expect, the Audi Q4 e-tron is generously equipped, but there’s still a list of options as long as your arm, plus three packs (Technology, Technology Pro and Safety Package Plus) in addition to the basic three trim levels (Sport, S Line and Black Edition).
We road tested the Audi Q4 e-tron 50 quattro in S Line trim. Our car was a Sportback, which is mechanically identical to the more conventional SUV version, except for the sharply raked roofline for extra kerb appeal.
Inside it’s very Audi. In other words, it’s a combination of top build quality, state-of-the-art tech, comfort and space.
There’s a high driving position, while the dashboard layout is relatively conventional with a user-friendly blend of 10.25-inch digital driver’s display, an impressive 11.6-inch central touchscreen, separate ‘physical’ climate controls and a multifunction steering wheel. The latter is more oval than round, with a flat top and bottom.
It’s worth noting that Audi’s infotainment features ‘haptic feedback’ (it gives you a clicking sensation when you touch it), which is much better than the frustrating touch-sensitive system used by other VW Group brands such as Volkswagen and Seat.
Thanks to the MEB platform, which positions the battery pack on the car floor, the Q4 e-tron has a spacious interior. In fact, six-footers can sit comfortably in the rear too, which isn’t always the case with sportier SUVs.
There’s also a healthy 535-litres of luggage space in the easily-accessible boot (15 litres more than the SUV version) and 1,460-litres with the rear seats folded (1,490-litres), plus plenty of cubbyholes to stash smaller items.
On the road, the Audi Q4 e-tron 50 quattro is swift enough in a straight line, though not quite as blisteringly fast as some rivals. What’s more, it disguises its weight well, partly due to light and accurate steering with a tight turning circle (all especially useful in city driving), but also a low centre of gravity.
Frankly, it’s only really under heavy braking that you start to feel that two-tonne bulk.
The ride is on the stiff side, getting caught out occasionally on poor surfaces (our test car was fitted with 20-inch wheels, plus optional adaptive suspension). Overall, the Q4 e-tron is comfortable and refined with very little wind and road noise making it into the cabin.
Hustle it on faster, twistier roads, and though it remains composed and relatively flat in faster corners, it would be a stretch to call it the most engaging drive.
Traction is excellent, with the various drive modes (Efficiency, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual) adding to the mix. Selecting Dynamic does make the Audi feel slightly sharper and more responsive, but that’s as far as it goes.
You can also adjust the level of brake regeneration via the paddles on the steering wheel, plus there’s a B-mode on the gear selector, for maximising energy recuperation.
Based on a week of mixed driving, we reckon the Audi Q4 e-tron has a real-world range of around 230-270 miles, depending on specification.
Finally, and as with most modern EVs, the Q4 e-tron ticks the safety box. It’s loaded with the latest technology and solidly built, achieving a maximum of five stars in Euro NCAP’s crash tests.
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