The Audi Q4 e-tron is a fully electrified SUV that is big on style, big on performance and big on appeal. Boasting an excellent driving range between charges and with a competitive price-tag, it’s certainly one to watch.
The goodDesign, performance and driving range
The badSome rivals offer extra range
Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron 40 Launch Edition – First Drive (2021)
The Audi Q4 e-tron is a good looking car in its own right, but throw some coupe-type styling its way to compliment the full electrification and the end result is something a little bit special.
When viewed from any angle the all-new Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron looks the business with sharp styling, muscular lines, short overhangs and neat light clusters. The Audi emblem takes pride of place on the huge grille and the Sportback model features a tapering roofline that leads to the rear spoiler. Matrix LED lighting along with stylish 20-inch alloy wheels complete the bold appearance of the car.
The interior is equally impressive with leather sports seats, high-end materials, soft touch surfaces and upmarket decorative trimmings throughout.
Customers can choose from specification levels called Sport, S line, Edition 1 and Vorsprung and with an impressive 300-mile driving distance between charges, range anxiety should never be an issue.
The car is available in versions named 35 with a battery output of 170PS, 40 with 204PS and 50 with 299PS – the 35 has the smaller 52kWh battery while the 40 and 50 feature a larger 77kWh unit and that results in increased range. The 50 also gains an extra motor on the front axle to deliver quattro AWD.
We tested the Q4 Sportback e-tron 40 204PS in a special Launch Edition which is no longer available but was very close to the Edition 1 model. The electric motor generates 204PS of power along with 310Nm of torque which results in some interesting reading when it comes to performance. The car can reach 62mph from a standing start in just 8.5 seconds and tops out at 99mph.
Our test model cost £49,870 but a few optional extras saw the cost creep up to £51,160. The line-up ranges from £42,250 to £66,750 but customers can also choose from a number of optional extras and packs to stamp their own identity on the car.
It features a single speed automatic transmission and the steering wheel paddles are used to increases or decrease the three levels of regenerative braking. There are drive modes that change the reactions and handling of the car called Efficiency, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual and these are simple to switch through via the drive select control.
Out on the country lanes, the car’s low centre of gravity is a bonus with confident road holding and little sign of body sway no matter how enthusiastically bends are attacked.
It’s a car that can cruise at motorway speeds effortlessly and is also deceptively agile for its 4.6-metres length. Cameras and parking sensors help make light work of squeezing into tight parking spaces and generally the driver visibility is good but not great. That is due to the split-rear screen.
Creature comforts are plentiful within the driver-focused cabin with a 10.1-inch central MMI touch monitor that offers access to the many on-board features along with the 10.25-inch Audi virtual cockpit behind the steering wheel which can be personalised according to taste.
There is a newly designed steering wheel with flat top and bottom which has touch sensitive buttons to control many systems within the car. It can be a little fiddly initially, but like any smartphone, it becomes second nature after some practice.
Technology includes full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a pitch perfect Sonos premium sound system, climate control, a DAB digital radio, a sat nav system plus ambient lighting.
The cabin offers bundles of space with room in the back for three adults to sit comfortably. The lack of any central tunnel is also a bonus for the middle seat passenger.
Storage options are impressive with a boot that is accessed via a powered tailgate and this can accommodate 535 litres of kit – a limit that increases to 1,460 litres with the split-folding rear seats dropped flat. And there are the usual convenient storage compartments scattered throughout the vehicle such as a lockable glovebox, front and rear cup holders, seat back nets, practical door bins with a section to hold a water bottle and some handy trays.
The vehicle has a range of up to 315 miles between charges and the battery could be boosted from five to 80 per cent in as little as 38 minutes via a fast charger.
When you factor in the comprehensive list of safety systems and driver assistance aids, which helped the car achieve a maximum five stars when tested for its Euro NCAP rating, then the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron 40 is quite the complete package.