Audi Q4 e-Tron: a superlative electric SUV

The German carmaker has finally got the details right for its electric-only models. Chris Carter reports

Audi Q4 50 e-tron
(Image credit: © Audi)

“You know how they say never buy the first version of a new Apple product? Perhaps a similar golden rule should be applied to electric cars,” says Georg Kacher for Car magazine. The first model based on Volkswagen’s entry-level MEB electric-car platform, released last summer, “had a premature, unfinished edge to it”. But every derivative since has improved on the last. Now, the Audi Q4 e-Tron has arrived, raising the bar yet again “for looks, perceived quality, driveability and performance” (Audi is a part of the VW Group).

The Q4 also comes in an all-wheel-drive Quattro version as well as in Sportback – that is, with a slightly more coupé-like shape. Importantly, says Kacher, the Q4 hits all of the “trendy new targets” of electric-car ownership (range over power, charging speed over top speed) “with aplomb”. It even passes for a “planet-friendly urbanite… [calming] the social-acceptance watchdogs”.

Inside, however, is where the new Audi “immediately impresses”, says Greg Kable in Autocar. The cabin in the Sportback version looks and feels “very contemporary” and you can “quickly strike a comfortable driving position behind the hexagonal-shaped multifunction steering wheel”. The dashboard, featuring the “Hey Audi” voice-recognition system, is expansive, but the materials are “agreeable”. This is also the first Audi to feature an augmented-reality head-up display, which projects information onto the windscreen. The car is powered by a “compelling powertrain, running a combination of an asynchronous electric motor up front and a synchronous motor at the rear” and the result is instant, smooth performance. The refinement is outstanding, “even by electric-car standards”.

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This could well end up being the car that hands Audi the lead in the Tesla-chasing pack, says Thomas Geiger in Auto Express magazine. The Q4 e-Tron “feels like a compact electric SUV that ticks so many of the right boxes, with loads of space, good range, high-quality materials, and new tech you won’t find on any other Audi just yet”. This has all the makings of being a big success.

Price: £53,470 (for the 50 Quattro version). Power: 295bhp. Torque: 339lb ft. Top speed: 111mph. Battery: 77kWh. Range: 305 miles (estimated).

Chris Carter

Chris Carter spent three glorious years reading English literature on the beautiful Welsh coast at Aberystwyth University. Graduating in 2005, he left for the University of York to specialise in Renaissance literature for his MA, before returning to his native Twickenham, in southwest London. He joined a Richmond-based recruitment company, where he worked with several clients, including the Queen’s bank, Coutts, as well as the super luxury, Dorchester-owned Coworth Park country house hotel, near Ascot in Berkshire.

Then, in 2011, Chris joined MoneyWeek. Initially working as part of the website production team, Chris soon rose to the lofty heights of wealth editor, overseeing MoneyWeek’s Spending It lifestyle section. Chris travels the globe in pursuit of his work, soaking up the local culture and sampling the very finest in cuisine, hotels and resorts for the magazine’s discerning readership. He also enjoys writing his fortnightly page on collectables, delving into the fascinating world of auctions and art, classic cars, coins, watches, wine and whisky investing.

You can follow Chris on Instagram.