1.10.2021Audi Q4 e-tron 40 review
Audi has an extensive electric line-up under the e-tron badge, with the Q4 the latest model to arrive, and comes along as the entry-level to its pure-EV portfolio. Available with a choice of battery sizes - which to Audi’s credit is a common feature in its EVs - the Q4 e-tron shares much with the other VW Group electric models.
Review by Chris Lilly
AUDI Q4 E-TRON 40: PERFORMANCE
The Audi Q4 e-tron 40 model tested uses the larger battery in the range, with a single electric motor producing 150 kW (204hp), driving the rear-wheels. There are less powerful models with smaller battery capacities, or a Q4 e-tron 50 quattro with 220 kW. The traditional sprint time is 8.5 seconds 0-62mph, with a top speed of 99mph.
In real-world driving, the Q4 e-tron 40 has more than enough pace for daily tasks, and deals with everything you might throw at it comfortably. The pace is not excessive, but sufficient certainly, and rapid progress can be made when required. It’s comfortable to pottery about town in, but deals with A-roads and motorways easily too - a good all-round model.
To drive, the Q4 e-tron is resolutely Audi. There’s little exciting about the ride or handing, but everything is nicely set up, well weighted, and capable of handling anything an own may throw at it. The steering lacks feedback, but is precise and quick to change direction, whilst the suspension will soak up most of the UK’s worst A- or B-road bumps.
Around town the Audi performs well considering its size, and the raised ride height will be a welcome boost for many buyers looking at models in the UK’s two main growth categories - electric models and SUVs. Body roll is kept reasonably in check, and the steering is light enough at low speeds to make parking simple.
Sitting somewhere between compact and mid-sized on Audi’s spectrum - let’s call it family-sized - the Q4 e-tron finds itself in this niche because it is based on the same architecture as the VW ID.4 and Skoda Enyaq. As such, expect the Q4 e-tron to be built in large numbers, with a spacious interior for occupants, and a reasonably capacious boot.
The leg-room is much better than in many conventionally-powered models in this class, and it feels like a car from a larger class even for those in the rear seats. Because of the rear-mounted electric motor and batteries in the floor, the boot space isn’t huge, but it will certainly deal with life as a family workhorse.
COMFORT & CONTROLS
If the exterior is a bit generic for Audi, the interior has been given a bit of the old four-rings magic. Audi’s cabins are regularly amongst the best in class, and the Q4 e-tron is no different. It’s hamstrung a bit by the VW Group touchscreen system which can be laggy to use, and certain functions are under layers of controls. However, on the whole, the set-up works well - it’s good rather than class leading however.
The rest of the materials and controls are classic Audi, and this is great news for buyers. It helps distinguish the model from its fellow VW Group stablemates, and aids in justifying the higher price. This remains a premium product, and it is the Q4 e-tron’s cabin that is the key differentiator.
AUDI Q4 E-TRON 40: RANGE & RUNNING COSTS
This is the longest-range of the Q4 e-tron models available, particularly in this Sport specification. The official WLTP driving range is 316 miles on a charge, which is more than enough for the majority of drivers on the road.
In real terms, the Q4 e-tron was returning a range of around 270 miles per charge, though this was after a number of longer runs involving motorways and A-roads. Sticking to slower routes, the Audi will comfortably get closer to 290 miles on a charge. It’s not a class leading figure, as the likes of Ford’s Mustang Mach-E will go further in a charge, but it’s still plenty to cover a long trip.
Charging is a particular strength for Audi’s electric range, and that continues here with the Q4 e-tron. Ultra-rapid charging on this larger 82 kWh battery (77 kWh net) is available at up to 125 kW DC. AC charging is available at up to 11 kW, with all charging carried out via the CCS inlet.
Brake energy recuperation can be set automatically, or controlled using the paddles mounted on the steering wheel. This allows for three levels of regen, and although full ‘one-pedal’ driving isn’t possible, the strongest level of recuperation will soak up most of the ‘braking’ required.
There are currently five trim levels, kicking off with Sport, and including S Line, Launch Edition, Edition 1, and Vorsprung. Tested here is the Sport version, which includes as standard 19-inch alloys, LED headlights, heated front sports seats, 10.1-inch multimedia system with navigation, Bluetooth, and smartphone connectivity, digital instrument panel, air-conditioning with pre-conditioning, keyless start, and rear parking sensors.
Options added to the test model included Matrix LED headlights, suspension with damper control, privacy glass, driver assistance package, 20-inch alloys, technology pack, and flat-top & bottom steering wheel (not as good as a round-topped version).
AUDI Q4 E-TRON 40: MODEL SUMMARY
The Q4 e-tron is a key model for both Audi and the larger VW Group. It’s almost VW Golf-like in that it does nothing perfectly, but performs excellently across the board. This is a model that many could switch into from a petrol or diesel car, with almost no change in routine - just replace petrol station visits with plugging in at night. Ultra-rapid charging aids long distance trips, and there is enough space for a family.
Model tested: Audi Q4 e-tron 40 Sport
Engine / CO2: 150 kW electric motor - 0 g/km
Trim grades: Sport, S Line, Launch Edition, Edition 1, and Vorsprung
On-road price: Q4 e-tron range from £40,610. As tested £45,567.
Warranty: Three years / 60,000 miles
In the showroom: Now
Review rating: 4.0 Stars