Audi Q4 e-tron review
The Audi Q4 e-tron is a plush, comfortable electric SUV with very competitive electric range. It is pricey though, and some optional extras should really be included as standard
- 1. Tell us what you want from a car
- 2. We’ll tell you if it matches
- 3. Only takes 1 minute
What's not so good
Audi Q4 e-tron: what would you like to read next?
The Audi Q4 e-tron is an all-electric family SUV that has the likes of the Ford Mustang Mach-e and the Volkswagen ID.4 locked firmly in its sights.
It’s available with a range of up to 316 miles, and can be had in both a conventional SUV body-style (tested here), and as a Sportback coupe-SUV. You could say that it’s almost like the automotive equivalent of the Kardashians, because as far as being on the ball with the latest trends goes (it’s a posh all-electric SUV, for crying out loud), it’s tricky to get more up-to-date than the Q4.
In typical Audi fashion, the Q4 e-tron is a bit of a looker too – particularly when compared with the slightly blobby-looking Volkswagen ID.4 with which it shares practically all of its parts.
That massive, fake grille may not quite be to everyones’ tastes, but its sharp LED headlights, chiselled bodywork and snazzy alloy wheels (these go from 19- to 21-inches in size) lend the Q4 plenty of visual presence. The Sportback model with its sloping, coupe-style roofline looks pretty dashing too.
That cool sense of style continues in the Q4’s cabin. A 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a 10.25-inch digital instrument panel look impressively high-tech and work really nicely, and the option of a leather-free interior helps give the Q4’s already impressive eco-credentials a bit of an additional boost. There are a couple of scratchy plastics in places, but on the whole this is a smart-looking place to spend time.
The fact that electrically-adjustable seats aren’t standard across the range is a bit of a pain, but even if you go without it’s still easy enough to get settled in behind the Audi’s odd-looking hexagonal wheel. Those in the front don’t have a monopoly on comfort either, as there’s loads of room in the second row for taller passengers to stretch out on longer journeys. Its boot is very generously-sized too, and a flat floor makes it easy to load. A Skoda Enyaq can hold even more luggage, though.
The Q4 '40' e-tron offers the best balance between range and performance. I'd go for the S Line trim, but with a few optional extras added in.
There are a couple of different motor and battery combinations to choose from, but so far we’ve only driven the mid-level Q4 40 e-tron. This version makes use of a 77kWh battery (usable capacity) for a claimed range of up to 316 miles, and a 204hp motor for a 0-60mph time of 8.5sec.
It doesn’t feel exceptionally rapid in a straight line, but it’s more than quick enough to easily keep pace with faster-moving cars out on the motorway. Meanwhile, the Q4’s smooth, well-controlled acceleration makes it incredibly easy to drive around town, as does its good visibility and lightweight, accurate steering. Our S-Line test car was comfortable in both environments too, even on its lowered sports suspension.
That said, it’s not the most fun electric car out there. That steering is a bit vague, and it feels its weight in corners. If driving enjoyment is what you’re after, go for a Ford Mustang Mach-E or a Tesla Model 3 instead.
And as for real-world range? Well, we saw an average efficiency figure of 3miles/kWh, which means you should be able to do at least 231 miles or so from a full charge. If you can plug into a 7kW wallbox at home you’ll easily top the Q4’s battery up overnight, while a public DC rapid charger will juice the battery up from 10% to 80% in about 35 minutes.
Prices for the Q4 e-tron start at £41,325 and move up to just under £58,000. Both the Volkswagen ID.4 and Skoda Enyaq can be had for less, but neither of those alternatives look or feel quite as posh or have as much sophisticated tech as the Audi Q4 e-tron.
That said, you will have to fork out if you want options such as a reversing camera and adaptive cruise control. Really, we’d like to see these things fitted as standard given that steep asking price.
But anyway, if this electric Audi SUV still sounds like it’s right up your street, head on over to our Q4 e-tron deals page to see how much money you can save through carwow.
Passengers will be comfortable enough in the back row, but the boot is smaller than some
You’ll have to go for one of the pricier trim levels if you want to get electrically-adjustable front seats on your Q4 e-tron, which is a bit of a pain given the price. Our test car went without and it was still easy enough to get comfortable, but a posh electric SUV such as this really should have them.
Still, anyone who finds themselves sat in the back won’t feel as though they’ve drawn the short straw. There’s enough headroom for taller adults to get comfy, and legroom is pretty good too. A flat floor also means the middle seat is a bit more usable, but an adult will probably only be comfy back here on shorter trips.
It’s worth pointing out, however, that the Q4 e-tron Sportback model may not be quite as comfortable as the car we tested. It has a much more dramatically sloping roofline, which will eat into headspace. Just something to bear in mind.
Elsewhere, the Isofix child-seat anchor points are easy to locate too, and you don’t have to remove any annoying covers to get the seat set in place. You simply slide the covers up out of the way, which means you won’t lose them later on. Very clever.
There’s a decent amount of cubbies and trays for you to stash your various bits and pieces in the front of the Audi, particularly in the centre console. You get two good-sized cupholders here as well, although the storage compartment underneath the arm rest is really rather small. The same goes for the glovebox – it’s just a bit tight.
Still, the door bins are a good size and will easily hold a medium-sized drink bottle, and there are some useful storage compartments for back seat passengers too. There are some additional cupholders in the fold-down armrest, but these are positioned in such a way that you might just find your elbow ends up resting in there instead of your travel mug.
The standard Q4 e-tron has a seats-up boot capacity of 520 litres, which is less than what you’ll get in both a Volkswagen ID.4 and a Skoda Enyaq. Still, a flat floor and a wide opening makes it very easy to load up, and if you collapse the rear seats down you’ll open up 1490 litres of space.
There’s enough room beneath the floor for you to stash your charging cables away, and a good selection of bag hooks and tie-down points should come in handy too. Being an electric car you think there’d be another storage compartment under the bonnet, but this isn’t the case with the Audi Q4 e-tron.
Interestingly, the Q4 e-tron Sportback comes with a seats up boot space of 535 litres, which is down to a slight increase in length to make way for its sloping roofline. However, that same roofline ultimately eats into luggage capacity when the seats are folded down, and will make loading taller items trickier than it is in the standard Q4.
Good refinement and strong electric range, but don’t expect to find a huge amount of fun behind the wheel
There are two battery options for the Audi Q4 e-tron. The Q4 ’35’ e-tron has a 52kWh battery that delivers up to 212 miles of claimed range in the SUV and 217 miles in the Sportback. Both come with a 170hp electric motor that drives the rear wheels, and they’ll both accelerate from 0-60mph in nine seconds flat.
You can also get a beefier Q4 ’40’ e-tron with a 77kWh battery and a 204hp electric motor, which can do 323 miles on a charge. Again, the Sportback version goes that little bit further; it can do 328 miles (more than any other Q4 e-tron model.) Both versions will accelerate from 0-60mph in 8.5 seconds.
At the top of the Audi Q4 range is the Q4 ’50’ e-tron with dual motors and four-wheel drive. This version comes with the same 77kWh battery as the Q4 ’40’ e-tron, but SUV models have 303 miles of range and Sportback versions return 309 miles.
Both versions of the Audi Q4 ’50’ e-tron come with a 109hp electric motor driving the front wheels and a 204hp electric motor driving the rear wheels. In total, this four-wheel-drive set-up produces 299hp and allows them to crack the 0-60mph sprint in 6.2 seconds. This version isn’t yet available in the UK, however.
Provided you’ve got access to a 7kW wallbox at home, you’ll be able to comfortably charge the Q4 e-tron’s battery up overnight. Things are a bit different on a public DC rapid charger, however. The Q4 ‘35’ e-tron can charge at up to 100kW, so topping it up from 10-80% will take about half an hour.
On the other hand, the bigger 40 and 50 models can charge at up to 125kW, but because the batteries are bigger they’ll need a little longer than the 35 model. Expect the same 10-80% DC rapid charge to take about 35 minutes.
The Q4 e-tron is a very smooth, easy car to drive around town. For starters, its steering is both light and accurate, so it doesn’t feel like a big, cumbersome car when you’re threading it down tight city streets or trying to nip through a multi-storey carpark building.
Good visibility front and rear is welcome too, as are standard-fit rear parking sensors. Given the price you’d think a reversing camera would be included too, but you’ll have to specify this as part of an options pack if you want one. The same goes for adaptive cruise control. That’s a bit annoying on a car like this, especially when the likes of a Tesla Model 3 comes so well equipped.
Still, the Q4 e-tron is a comfortable car. Even on sportier suspension it deals with lumps and bumps around town well, and can absorb most impacts without too much fuss or bother. It feels even more settled out on the motorway too. Sure, with no engine whirring away you do pick up on the odd bit of tyre roar, but really this is a very calm, relaxing car to drive.
Elsewhere, the regenerative braking system works well, so you can slow the car down pretty dramatically by lifting off the accelerator. It isn’t a bonafide one-pedal system like you’ll find in a Nissan Leaf, but it’s still really easy to use and adds to the Q4’s laid-back on-road character.
That said, it’s not the most fun car to put down a winding back road. The steering is a bit numb and it feels like a big heavy car, but it’s still impressively secure when driven a bit quickly so it always feels safe. Still, a Ford Mustang Mach-E or a Tesla Model 3 will be way more enjoyable on a good, challenging road.
The Q4 e-tron offers plenty of high-tech appeal, but the multifunction steering wheel controls are a bit odd
Audi Q4 e-tron colours
- From £575
- From £575
- From £575
- From £575
- From £575
- From £575
- From £950