Audi e-tron Review & Prices
The Audi e-tron is a posh, practical, electric large SUV. It has an impressive turn of speed but not the range you’d expect from a traditional petrol or diesel SUV
What's not so good
Find out more about the Audi e-tron
The Audi e-tron is an electric car for those who want to keep their EV preference under the radar while enjoying those traditional virtues of a spacious interior with a seriously roomy boot. So it’s an alternative to the Mercedes EQC and Jaguar I-Pace.
At a glance, it appears like a petrol- or diesel-powered Audi SUV, but like every cake shop in the world, the Audi e-tron gets much more interesting once you step inside.
For a start, there’s a high-tech infotainment system with not one, not two, but three super-high-resolution screens as standard and plenty of soft-touch plastic and brushed metal-effect trims.
Sure, a few areas have slipped through Audi’s normally air-tight quality control net – such as the brittle-feeling sides of the centre console and the glovebox lid – but otherwise, the e-tron’s cabin is a sumptuous and spacious place to sit.
The e-tron’s interior design might resemble the cabin of X-wing Starfighter but with four spacious seats and a big boot, it’s a lot more practical
Things are very nearly as comfortable in the back – where you’ll find space for three adults – and the Audi e-tron’s boot capacity easily outshines the load bays you get in the Mercedes EQC, Jaguar I-Pace and BMW iX.
There’s also an extra storage bin under the Audi e-tron’s bonnet, but you’ll probably end up using it to store the car’s charging cable.
On the subject of charging, topping up your e-tron from empty at home using a dedicated wall box takes nine hours, but find a rapid 150kw fast-charger (which are being rolled out across the UK as we speak) and you can boost its batteries from almost flat to 80% full in half an hour.
Once charged, the Audi e-tron’s range is around 250 miles. That’s less than the Mercedes EQC, Jaguar I-Pace and Ford Mustang Mach-E can manage and significantly less than the range you’ll get from a conventional diesel-powered SUV. In our tests, the e-tron managed to get around 81% of its WLTP – for more information take a look at our range test video below.
That said, the Audi e-tron’s comfortable air suspension makes it one of the most relaxing electric SUVs to travel in for long periods – especially if you pay extra for some of the e-tron’s clever driver-assistance systems. The instant shove from its two electric motors helps it sprint away from the traffic lights like a sports car on stilts, too.
It’s by no means perfect – head down a twisty country road at speed and the Audi e-tron’s comfort-focused suspension has its tall body leaning like a sapling in a strong wind – but it’s still well worth considering if you’re looking for a high-tech electric car that’s practical and relaxing to drive.
The Audi e-tron has a RRP range of £61,275 to £104,935. The price of a used Audi e-tron on carwow starts at £21,657.
Audi e-tron alternatives include the BMW iX and the Mercedes-Benz EQC, both of which are priced from around £70,000.
Although the Audi is the most keenly priced of the trio it also has the smallest battery and the shortest range. The basic e-tron 50 has a maximum range of 197 miles, while a comparable BMW iX will get up to 257 miles between charges and the Mercedes EQC is good for 259 miles. The Mercedes and BMW are also quicker.
The Audi e-tron electric SUV is quiet and comfortable but it’s a heavy car that feels cumbersome in corners
The Audi e-tron is a very relaxing car to drive around town.
Like most EVs you don’t need to worry about changing gears and operating a clutch pedal – just put your foot on the accelerator and off you go… quite quickly, as it happens. With its instant power and four-wheel drive, the e-tron is great when you’re pulling away from junctions or nipping into gaps in traffic.
The e-tron’s regenerative brakes are another plus. They slow the car when you take your foot off the accelerator, meaning you can drive it using one pedal, only applying the actual brakes when you want to come to a complete stop – when you do that, they feel natural and easy to judge.
The e-tron’s air suspension serves up another win because it’s very comfortable and isolates you from the thumping noise you hear going over bumps better than in a Mercedes EQC.
Mercedes wins back points because the EQC has a tighter turning circle than the Audi, although top-of-the-range versions of the BMW iX have rear-wheel steering that makes them even better. In fairness though, the Audi is maneuverable for a big SUV and visibility is good so long as you can put up with the large blind spots at the back window.
It’s less of an issue because the Audi gets a rear camera as standard. The passenger side wing mirror also drops to give you a view of the kerb so you don’t scuff your alloys and you get sensors on all four corners of the car. The optional Comfort Pack adds a 360-degree camera that makes parking even easier, but it’s not essential.
A wall-mounted 7kW home charger is. It means you can charge the e-tron’s battery in around 9hrs – a third of the time it takes using a standard three-prong plug. A 150kWh public charger is an even quicker option, it can charge the battery from 20-80% in as little as 30 minutes
On the motorway
The Audi e-tron is very comfortable on the motorway where wind noise is well-suppressed and the suspension wafts over bumps and doesn’t fidget like in the Mercedes EQC. Tyre noise, meanwhile, is noticeable but you get the feeling that’s just because the rest of the Audi is so quiet. The BMW iX is even comfier still but there’s not much in it.
The Tourer Pack makes the Audi an even easier car to drive over long journeys. It adds a suite of driving aids that mean the e-tron can more or less drive itself on the motorway and in nose-to-tail traffic so long as you keep your hands on the steering wheel – it’s a godsend on long and draining drives.
On a twisty road
The Audi e-tron can squirt between bends at an impressive lick using its four-wheel drive to send its power to the road with clinical efficiency, but it’s by no means a B-road blaster.
No, the Audi feels heavy, leans in bends and the weighty steering in Sport mode is unnaturally hefty. Honestly, though, you’d be mad to expect anything else from a heavy electric car like this – the e-tron holds the road well enough and it’s all you need in what is, at the end of the day, a sensible family car
The Audi e-tron is easy to get comfortable in, has a practical interior and is generally made from posh-feeling materials, although a BMW iX has even more rear-seat room
The Audi e-tron’s driving position feels commanding even when the seat is set in its lowest position and there’s plenty of scope to raise it higher if you want. All the adjustments are electric so moving the seat doesn’t feel like a mini-workout, you get four stages of lumbar support to choose from and the front seats are heated.
The best thing of all? The memory function. So once you’ve got your seat exactly how you like it, you can save your settings and never have to fiddle with them again.
Audi’s smart thinking doesn’t end there because the e-tron is full of handy storage spaces and features – you get a wireless charging pad on the centre console along with cup holders, more storage under the centre armrest, two USB plugs and big door bins. The glovebox isn’t as big as you’d expect but, overall, it’s very good.
Space in the back seats
The e-tron is a nice place to sit for your rear-seat passenger. They’ll get plenty of headroom and knee room, and the rear seat is set high so your passengers' knees won’t be brushing their ears like they do in some EVs.
The fairly flat floor means there’s room for three people’s feet and the easily located ISOFIX points and wide-opening rear doors mean fitting a child seat isn’t a hassle. To top it off, your rear-seat passengers get an air vent, 12V power socket and two USB plugs.
The only trouble is the BMW iX is even better on almost all counts – the room in the back of it is palatial, which more than makes up for the fact its back seats are set a bit low.
The e-tron’s 605-litre boot is massive – 105 litres bigger than you get in the BMW iX. Its big opening means there’s plenty of space to load bulky kit, there’s no load lip so it’s easy to slide your luggage into place and the metal scuff plate means you won’t scratch the bumper.
Okay, so there’s no spare wheel, but you do get a bottle of tyre repair (usually useless) and the large space under the floor is a handy place to hide valuables.
The Audi’s back seat splits 40:20:40 so you can fold the middle one down to carry skis and still have space for two passengers. Folding all the back seats down gives you a total capacity of 1,755 litres.
The Audi e-tron’s infotainment screens look great and interior quality is generally very good, however, the centre display is a bit fiddly to use and some of the lower interior plastics are questionable
Let's talk about the Audi e-tron’s infotainment first as it dominates the cabin. The central screen covers most of the car’s interior functions and its clean, crisp display is a treat to look at. The system’s haptic feedback emulates pressing an actual button and you can use the additional screen below to write postcodes into the sat nav.
It’s clever stuff, but most of the time you’ll just plug in your smartphone via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto and use your phone’s more intuitive menus on the car’s big screen. Doing this means you can also use your phone’s voice recognition system, which is more reliable and has a broader repertoire than Audi’s hamstrung in-built system.
The only major downside of using these smartphone-mirroring systems is that you can’t display their maps on the e-tron’s digital instrument binnacle – a shame because it looks great and makes following directions so easy.
On the upside, the standard stereo – with its ten speakers, subwoofer and 180W output – doesn’t immediately come undone when you stray from the soothing tones of Radio 4. That said, committed audiophiles will find the optional Bang & Olufsen system (part of the Comfort and Sound Pack) hard to resist. It has 16 speakers and 705W.
Overall, Audi’s infotainment isn’t quite up to the same level as the system you get in the BMW iX, which has a cool floating display and more intuitive menus.
The newer BMW – with its welcoming lounge-like cabin – wins out against the Audi in terms of design, too, although there’s still a lot to like about the e-tron. The e-tron’s cabin is classic ‘Audi’: minimalist, intuitively laid out and still fairly futuristic.
You get the customary squidgy plastics on the dashboard and the tops of the doors or you can have the whole lot covered in leather. Trims finishes range from engineered metal to wood and carbon-fibre look materials, so it’s a shame parts of the cabin – like the scratchy sides of the centre console – feel really cheap.
Only you can decide whether buying an electric car like the Audi e-tron will fit your lifestyle but EV advantages include being exempt from paying tariffs like the London Congestion Charge, cheap running costs (particularly when you charge the car at home) and zero tailpipe emissions.
If you like the sound of all that, then you get two Audi e-tron models to choose from – the 50 or the 55.
The former has a smaller, 64kWh, battery which is good for a range of 197 miles at best. The 50’s electric motors produce 313hp combined, which is enough to get the e-tron from 0-60mph in 6.8 seconds.
The 408hp 55 model is quicker – it gets from 0-60mph in 5.7 seconds – more importantly, its larger 86kWh battery gives you a maximum range of 254 miles.
The Audi e-tron was awarded the full five stars when it was crash-tested by Euro NCAP in 2019. That being said, you can expect the BMW iX to be even safer because it got the same score under 2021’s tougher test conditions.
Standard safety features fitted to the Audi include lane assist that gently steers the car in lane and automatic emergency braking that can stop the car when it detects an imminent collision. However, the Audi doesn’t have the active bonnet that’s fitted to the BMW iX – it pops up in an accident to protect pedestrians from the hard internals below. An anti-theft alarm is standard fit in the e-tron.
Electric cars tend to be more reliable than their conventional counterparts thanks to having fewer moving parts. That counts for servicing too, with electric cars requiring fewer fluid changes – there’s no engine oil for example – while their brake discs and pads last longer because much of the stopping is done by the car’s regenerative brakes.
The e-tron has been recalled for issues such as dodgy link nuts on the rear axle and water ingress into the battery.