Audi e-tron interior
The Audi e-tron has more high-tech screens than a Currys shop window, but it’s a shame they’re so tricky to use when you’re trying to focus on driving
If you’re looking for an electric SUV that feels genuinely posh, the Audi e-tron is the car for you. Its interior looks like it has been dipped in a bucket of expensive metal trim pieces and high-quality shiny black plastics which are then assembled with laser precision.
Unfortunately, some of these pieces don’t feel quite as nice as they look. Sure, the dashboard and doors feel lovely, but the sides of the raised centre console and the glovebox lid are made from hard, scratchy plastic that’d feel cheap in an entry-level A3 hatchback, let alone a posh SUV.
Thankfully, even entry-level e-trons come with plenty of posh kit, including a leather interior and pretty ambient lighting as standard. Move up the range and you get softer Valcona leather, illuminated ‘e-tron’ badges in the door openings and a panoramic sunroof that makes the cabin feel light and airy.
Sure, the e-tron doesn’t get the Tesla Model X’s huge infotainment screen in the centre of the dashboard, but Audi hasn’t been mean with its screenage. You get a wide infotainment display behind the steering wheel and two more in the centre of the dashboard.
We’ve saved the Audi’s party piece for last, however – its rear-facing cameras that replace conventional wing mirrors. They help to improve the e-tron’s aerodynamics, but mostly they just look very, very cool.
The Audi’s wide array of displays and ambient colour scheme light up its cabin like Oxford Street at Christmas
Every Audi e-tron comes with a 10.1-inch central infotainment screen that has high-definition graphics to match the OLED TV you’ve been eyeing as an upgrade to your LCD at home.
It responds breezily to the same gestures you’d use to navigate your smartphone – such as pinch and swipe – and the ‘home’ buttons running down the side make it easy to navigate primary functions such as the sat-nav and stereo. The homescreen, meanwhile, is made up of large tiles that are easy to aim your finger at when you’re driving.
That said – if you’re coming from an Audi Q5 or Q7 – you’ll miss the MMI control between the front seats which would help you navigate the fiddler submenus on the move.
The 8.6-inch touchscreen below the main display suffers from the same problem, despite having haptic feedback that vibrates to mimic you pressing an actual button. It’s used to control the car’s ventilation system, and for writing in words of an address for the sat-nav using your index finger.
If you aren’t a fan of Audi’s own navigation and music-streaming features, you can mirror your phone’s apps using the e-tron’s built-in Apple CarPlay and Android Auto systems. These are easy to connect and pretty responsive, but they disable the screen’s haptic feedback making it rather more difficult to use on the move.
The basic 180W 10-speaker stereo is also pretty rudimentary, but if you want fizzy vocals and meaty bass there’s always the optional Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System with a 705W output and 16-speakers.