Audi is really starting to ramp up its EV line-up, with the large e-tron SUV and sleek e-tron GT, but now buyers can choose a third electric car from the German firm – the Q4 e-tron.
It’s set to be a hugely popular car for Audi, not least because the firm is admitting it expects it to be one of its best-selling cars in the coming years. Underpinned by the Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform – which is also used on the similar Volkswagen ID.4 and Skoda Enyaq iV, the Q4 e-tron is also packed with all of Audi’s latest technology, including features like an augmented reality head-up display, large 11.6-inch touchscreen (the biggest yet in an Audi) and a new Sonos sound system.
But is this Audi good enough to compete with the best? Let’s take a look.
Audi is launching the Q4 with three powertrain options, which adopt the same nomenclature style as the brand’s petrol and diesel models – the 35 e-tron, 40 e-tron and 50 e-tron.
The 35 e-tron kickstarts the line-up, combining a 168bhp electric motor with a 52kWh battery – enabling 208 miles of electric range.
Those looking to cover the most distance between charges should go for the 40 e-tron we’re testing here, which combines a 77kWh battery with an electric motor producing 201bhp – allowing for a 0-60mph time of 8.3 seconds, while being capable of an impressive 316 miles on a single charge – the most of any electric Audi you can buy today.
Heading up the line-up is the 50 e-tron, which uses a twin electric motor setup that also enables all-wheel-drive. The two motors combined produce 295bhp, which cuts the 0-60mph time down to just six seconds, though it’s still able to travel a claimed 295 miles from a charge.
With charging speeds of up to 125kW, the Q4’s battery can be charged from five to 80 per cent in under 40 minutes.
Ride and handling
In a typical electric fashion, the Q4 moves away in a silent and zippy fashion, with this motor feeling more than powerful enough. Well-weighted steering and well-controlled body roll also enables a surprisingly involving driving experience – more so than in some of Audi's rivals.
By putting the car into ‘B’ mode it also unlocks a more extreme regenerative braking system, which allows you to just use a single pedal to both brake and accelerate the car for the majority of the time, though it can’t quite bring the car to a complete stop like other systems can.
The ride is also largely comfortable, too, though it is a bit unsettled at lower speeds – perhaps not helped by our car’s upgraded 20-inch alloy wheels (19s are standard).
Interior and equipment
The first thing you’ll notice in the Q4 is its steering wheel. That might seem a bit of an odd statement, but it’s because this Audi has an almost square ‘wheel’. It not only looks cool but is actually great to use, though we’re not such a fan of some of the gloss black buttons attached to it.
It’s reassuringly high-quality inside, too, with impressively easy-to-use media systems also included. At the same time, the Q4 also ticks all the right boxes on the practicality front, thanks to a 520-litre boot, or 1,490 litres with the rear seats folded. You do get slightly more space in the Skoda Enyaq, though.
When it comes to trim levels there are four to choose from – Sport, S line, Edition 1 and Vorsrpung.
Standard equipment in the Sport is generous, including 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, a 10.1-inch touchscreen and three-zone climate control, with the S line bringing larger 20-inch wheels, along with sports styling, sports seats and ambient interior lighting.
High-spec Edition 1 cars get Matrix LED headlights, a black styling kit and electric front seats, while the flagship Vorsprung adds 21-inch alloy wheels, a Sonos sound system, head-up display and panoramic sunroof.
Perhaps unsurprisingly for an Audi, the Q4 is pricier than its Skoda Enyaq and Volkswagen ID.4 relatives, both of which qualify for the government grant in the lowest specs, while the Audi misses out on it due to its list price of more than £35,000.
So the Q4 range actually starts from a noticeably pricier £41,325, but can rise to close to £60,000 in the model’s priciest trims. We’d definitely stick to either a Sport or S line car, both of which represent the best value for money.
The Q4 is another accomplished electric car that will easily slot into customers’ lives, and it feels like a turning point for this German firm as it starts to make EVs more accessible. With an impressive interior and a good driving experience, it certainly ticks plenty of the right boxes.
It’s main challenge is justifying its extra price over mechanically-similar models from Skoda and Volkswagen, whicEnquire on a new Audi Q4 e-tron