Audi Q4 e-tron Review & Prices
The Audi Q4 e-tron is packed with tech and a high-quality interior, but it's let down by lots of fiddly controls inside
What's not so good
Find out more about the Audi Q4 e-tron
The Audi Q4 e-tron is a family all-electric SUV, which takes on alternatives such as the Ford Mustang Mach-E, the Kia EV6, the Hyundai Ioniq 5, and of course the Volkswagen ID.4 and Skoda Enyaq – both of which are mechanically identical underneath.
Get the version with the biggest 77kWh battery and it can take you for a claimed 317 miles before you’ll need to charge it up again. A smaller battery (52kWh with a 211-mile range) is available, and if you fancy, you can have a slightly sleeker, sportier-looking Sportback model with a lower roofline and a sharply sloped tailgate. Think of it as a car for the Instagram generation — slick, expensive, and very on-trend.
It’s a pretty good-looking car in either form. The nose is very upright and cliff-faced, with the usual massive Audi grille (although, of course, it doesn’t actually need a grille…) and it looks rather more chiseled than the softer, rounder-looking Volkswagen ID.4.
You get smart-looking LED headlights, big alloy wheels that run from 19 to 21-inches, and the slope-roofed Sportback definitely cuts a bit more of a dash on the road.
Inside, it’s all very contemporary Audi – expensive-looking materials, a big 10.1-inch touchscreen in the middle, and a digital instrument panel that’s the same size to make sure that the cabin is very modern. Overall the cabin lives up to the badge’s premium billing – although you should definitely compare it with the Skoda Enyaq.
Still, the good news is that cabin space is generally excellent — the flat-floor layout (the batteries are underneath) means that rear seats are properly roomy. With 520 litres of bootspace, the Q4 e-tron lags behind alternatives such as the ID.4 and Enyaq, but the load space itself is still nice and flat, and access is easy enough.
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.
Go for the mid-spec Q4 40 e-tron and you get the big 77kWh battery. That means you get the longest possible 317-mile range and it feels pretty brisk, but not exceptionally fast.
But even with that power, it’s not that fun to drive – it’s more calm, gentle and sensible. Even the four-wheel drive 50 e-tron quattro isn’t all that thrilling. If it’s sharp cornering mixed with electric power you’re after, go and check out the Ford Mustang Mach-E or the ever-popular Tesla Model 3.
As with most electric cars, the real-world range is rather less than it says on the tin. We averaged 3-miles per kWh, which allows around 231 miles between charges, which is not too shabby.
Audi is banking on its peerless badge appeal to draw buyers in, and the Q4 definitely looks and feels a bit posher than those aforementioned alternatives.
However, items such as adaptive cruise control, a panoramic roof, a premium sound system, and the rather useful heads-up display are either reserved for the top-spec Vorsprung model or are expensive options, which is a bit of a letdown for a car that’s supposed to be cutting-edge.
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.
The Audi Q4 e-tron has a RRP range of £43,290 to £67,610. However, with carwow you can save on average £157. Prices start at £43,162 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £476. The price of a used Audi Q4 e-tron on carwow starts at £48,777.
Our 3 most popular versions of the Audi Q4 e-tron are:
|Model version||carwow price from|
|125kW 35 55.52kWh Sport 5dr Auto||£43,162||Compare offers|
|125kW 35 55.52kWh Sport 5dr Auto [C+S]||£44,453||Compare offers|
|150kW 40 82.77kWh Sport 5dr Auto||£47,389||Compare offers|
Despite the fact that they’re all built in the same factory, and that they all share the same parts underneath, the Audi Q4 e-tron is more expensive than the likes of the Volkswagen ID.4 and the Skoda Enyaq.
So that’s largely why the Audi scores so well for interior materials and equipment, while the Volkswagen doesn’t. The Audi just feels more posh. That said, there are pieces that should be included as standard in a car that costs as much as the Audi does.
Adaptive cruise control, a panoramic roof, a premium sound system and the head-up display are all reserved for the pricest Vorsprung model, and you’ll have to part with a fair bit of extra cash to get them on the lower-rung Q4 e-tron models.
There are other rivals, too, with the universally respected Hyundai Ioniq 5, the Ford Mustang Mach-E, the Kia EV6 and even the BMW iX3 swimming in the same price pool as the Audi. So you’ve got plenty of options.
Right now, you can choose between two sizes of battery when buying an Audi Q4 e-tron. Our 204hp 40 e-tron test car came with a 77kWh (useable) battery, but there’s a cheaper, 35 e-tron model that comes with a 52kWh battery and a 170hp motor.
The dash from 0-60mph takes just under 9 seconds, and you’ll get a claimed 211 miles between charges (with the sleeker Sportback offering a slightly longer 217-mile range).
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 single charge. Again, the Sportback version goes that little bit further; it can do 328 miles (the most of any Q4 e-tron model.) Both versions will accelerate from 0-60mph in 8.5 seconds.
If you want quattro four-wheel drive, you’ll have to upgrade to the 50 e-tron quattro, which gets a second electric motor. Driving the front wheels, you get 299hp, and a slightly shorter 302-mile range, (309 miles for the Sportback). The 50 cuts the 0-60mph time to 6.2 seconds.
In town (and on the charge)
A 7kW home-charging wallbox will top either of the batteries up to maximum charge overnight, and if you’re out and about you can charge from a public DC charger at speeds of up to 135kW. That’s rapid enough to get you from 5% to 80% in 29 minutes.
It’s worth pointing out that 35 e-tron models have a maximum 100kW charging speed, which seems a bit mean given that the larger battery can only charge 25kW faster, and that you’ll need to charge the smaller battery more frequently anyway.
The Q4 e-tron is a pretty hefty car — a 40 e-tron, with the 77kWh battery, tops the two-tonne mark even when it’s empty – but it doesn’t feel like that to drive. Part of that is down to the torque of the electric motor, because 310Nm is a healthy figure, and it all kicks in as soon as you step on the accelerator.
The other reason that the Q4 doesn’t feel big and cumbersome to drive is that the steering is light and accurate, making it easy to guide around town. The turning circle is pretty tight, too, which helps when you’re trying to get it in and out of tight car parks.
Visibility is good, although the rear pillar is rather big and the rear screen a little small. A parking camera would help with that, but it’s on the options list so you’ll have to make do with the standard-fit rear parking sensors instead. That’s not great on a premium model such as this — alternatives offer cameras as standard.
The Q4’s regenerative braking setup has two modes — off (allowing the car to coast freely when you lift off the accelerator), or a B mode, which you select by flicking the little gear lozenge backwards. That makes the Q4 slow down rather more sharply when you lift off the accelerator, returning up to 125kW of charge back to the battery. It’s not a ‘one-pedal’ system as used by some alternatives, though, so you’ll have to use the physical brake pedal to come to a complete stop.
On the motorway
On the upside, the Q4 is comfy and refined. That weight, and carefully tuned suspension, means that it rides smoothly even on the optional big wheels and even when you go for the sportier S-Line model that get a stiffer set-up.
It’s rock-solid on the motorway too, although you will notice a bit more wind and tyre roar as the speeds rise — part of that, though, is because there’s no engine noise to cover them up.
As mentioned earlier, adaptive cruise control is an optional extra on all but the top-spec Vorsprung models. It’s a box worth ticking, as the car’s ability to maintain its speed and distance relative to the car in front of you helps to take the strain out of long-distance drives even further.
On a twisty road
While the light steering and quick electric motor response do disguise the Q4 e-tron’s weight at lower speeds and around town, you’ll notice it more on a twisting road.
Under braking, especially, you start to feel that two-tonne bulk, and that light steering doesn’t give you much feedback. It’s calm and composed, but if it’s actual fun you’re looking for, Ford or Tesla should be your first ports of call.
You might think complaining about not having electric-adjust seats in your posh German SUV is a first-world problem, but, really, a car like the Audi Q4 40 e-tron should have those. At least it’s still pretty easy to get comfy, even with the manual-adjust seats. They’re good and supportive too.
At least those in the back get some decent space — very decent, in fact. The flat floor means that there’s loads of room for feet, and plenty of knee and headroom too. Only the very tall passengers (Stephen Merchant, perhaps?) will have any issue with the space on offer.
The middle seat is also a little more useable than is the norm for cars like this, but you still wouldn’t want to put anyone you actually like into it for a long journey. It’s fine for shorter trips, though. Of course, the Sportback isn’t quite as roomy as this in the back — the roofline isn’t dramatically lower (there’s only 18mm in the overall difference) but it does slope more sharply.
There are Isofix anchors for child seats on the outer rear seats, as well as the front passenger seat, and the covers for the anchors simply flip-up, rather than needing to be removed. There are also standard electronic child locks for the rear doors, which are very handy if you’re regularly carrying kids around.
With the flat-floor, and the inherently greater space efficiency of an electric car, you’d expect just a little more space for odds and ends in the cabin. The Q4’s little lozenge-like gear selector switch, which sits on a tray-like panel that juts out from the centre of the dashboard, seems to take up a lot of space for such a small thing, and that eats into storage.
There are good-sized cupholders, and door bins though, although again the storage box under the arm-rest seems oddly small (this is an area where the Skoda Enyaq, once again, does a better job).
Rear seat passengers also get decent door bins, and seat-back pockets, but the cupholders in the rear folding armrest aren’t positioned ideally — they’re right where your elbow naturally goes.
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 you’ll open up 1,490 litres of space.
There’s a little bit of under-floor storage, which is mainly for stashing charging cables, but can also hide valuables that you want to keep out of sight. But it’s disappointing that there’s no ‘frunk’ or storage space under the high bonnet — all that space is taken up by air conditioning and electronic control units.
Interestingly, the sister 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 in the standard Q4.
If you’ve specced the Audi Q4 e-tron cabin up with leather (or one of the leather-free options, some of which are made from cleverly recovered and recycled plastic sea waste) then its combo of big, crisp screens and lots of aluminium-look trim make it feel very upmarket inside. It’s certainly ahead of the ID.4 in that respect, albeit maybe with a slightly smaller gap to the nicely designed Skoda.
The Audi image doesn’t fit with the cheap plastics at the lower edges of the dashboard and on the doors, but those are largely tucked away, and overall the cabin looks and feels appropriately plush and upmarket.
Infotainment features (and how to use them)
You’ll breathe a sigh of relief when you see that Audi has kept proper, physical buttons and rotary switches for the air conditioning system – they are so much easier and more intuitive to use than the touchscreen-slider controls in the ID.4.
Even the entry-level Q4 e-tron comes with an 11.6-inch touchscreen infotainment system with satellite navigation, as well as Android Auto and (wireless, if you’ve got the right phone) Apple CarPlay connectivity. There’s optional wireless phone charging too. You get two USB-C connections up front, and two more in the back.
It’s also now available with Amazon Alexa as the on-board assistant, allowing people to manage their calendars and shopping lists, as well as control compatible smart home devices via voice commands.
The systems are very impressive and respond to pokes and prods in a slick, almost seamless fashion. The screen is easy to read, too, and you don’t have to spend hours figuring out how to make it all work.
The standard system also comes with live hazard alerts, and an e-tron route planner, which helps you to find convenient charging points along any route that you’ve planned, and updates in real time, depending on traffic conditions.
In fact, compared with the overly fiddly and sometimes glitchy system you get in a Volkswagen ID.4, this is much easier to use. Well, at least it is when you’re still – out on the move you occasionally need to avert your gaze from the road to find the button you’re looking for.
The only downside is that Audi has decided to use touch-sensitive steering wheel controls, rather than physical buttons, and these are rather too fiddly to use, making it too easy to select something you didn’t want, or miss the menu item that you were looking for. Sometimes, innovation is a bit too clever for its own good.
Options and extras
Elsewhere, an uprated SONOS audio system is available as part of an options pack, as is a wireless charge pad and a very impressive augmented-reality head-up display.
Go for a basic Sport model and you’ll find manually adjustable seats (which are even clad in a fabric that Audi calls ‘Routine’). You’d have to trade up to an expensive Edition 1 model to get electric seats in your electric car. You’ll also have to contend, in all models, with a slightly odd hexagonal steering wheel.
Right from the off, the Q4 e-tron loses out to cheaper rivals because its starting price is too high to meet the Government’s plug-in car grant, so you’re left paying normal taxes, at the normal rate.
The upside to that, besides being allowed to drive inside London, is that the first year road tax is a big fat zero, and that’s across the range of Q4 e-trons.
The base car’s consumption rate of 17.1 to 20.0 kWh per kilometre on the WLTP scale works out to about 3.6 miles per kWh, and there are no local emissions.
That efficiency drops to 3.5 miles/kWh as the power output rises from 170hp to 224hp in the mid-range 40, then drops again to 3.4 miles/kWh with the all-wheel drive 50 quattro.
Europe’s independent car safety investigators, Euro NCAP, gave the Audi Q4 e-tron five stars, and that means more these days than just how well it bounces off a wall or a pole.
It also covers occupant security functions, like its autonomous emergency braking systems, so NCAP thinks the Q4 is excellent at avoiding crashes as well as absorbing them.
Even the standard Q4 e-tron receives front side airbags, with their own head airbags and a central airbag to stop the front-seat occupants from their banging heads together.
There are front airbags for both the driver and the passenger and the car also detects if there is somebody sitting in the passenger seat, and how big they are, so it knows how much force to use when unleashing the airbag. It also decides whether or not to set it off at all.
Besides the security of electric child locks, there is also an array of three three-point seat belts in the rear, keyless go (so you don’t have to physically insert a key to make it start) and a combination of anti-theft wheel nuts and an indicator for a loss of tyre pressure, which could prevent dramatic tyre failures.
It brakes autonomously when it senses a pending impact with a pedestrian or cyclist, too.
It also delivers lane-departure warning systems, plus an assistant that helps the driver swerve around obstacles.
There’s an Assistance Package Pro option that adds adaptive cruise control and four cameras that deliver 360-degree sensor visibility around the car to help with parking and city driving.
There’s another safety package called, oddly, Safety Package Plus (and standard in the Vorsprung models), which also adds blind-spot monitoring and a system to autonomously stop the car from reversing into oncoming cars, pedestrians or cyclists.
The Audi Q4 e-tron hasn’t been on-sale long enough to have a solid owner history of reliability, or otherwise, but it has been the subject of one recall.
Audi recall code 69CT asked just 22 owners globally to bring in their Q4 e-trons (built between April 27 and May 21 in 2021) to have the wrong side airbags swapped out for the right ones.
Other than that, the Q4 e-tron comes standard with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty on the car, though the battery’s coverage stretches that out to eight years and 100,000 miles.
That’s fine and all, and it’s in the ballpark of the BMW iX3, but it’s quite a way off what Hyundai and Kia are bringing to the table with the Ioniq 5 (five years) and the EV6 (seven years).
There’s also a recommended two-year service interval for the Q4 e-tron, though owners can bring them in sooner for changes to things like the brake fluid and the pollen filters, which feels all a bit unnecessary.
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