Audi Q4 e-tron interior
Audi Q4 e-tron interior
The Q4 e-tron, as we’ve noted, has exactly the same underpinnings as the Volkswagen ID.4 and the Skoda Enyaq. It’s even built in the same factory in Germany, but there’s no denying that Audi’s interior designers have worked their usual magic to make the cabin look and feel rather more special.
Certainly, if you’ve specced the 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 the Q4’s 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.
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 that VW has made for the ID.4.
Reach down to the lower edges of the dashboard and the doors and you’ll find some cheap plastics that don’t live up to the Audi billing, but to be fair they’re kept largely tucked away, and overall the cabin looks and feels appropriately plush and upmarket.
Go for a basic Sport model and you’ll find manually-adjustable seats (which are even clad in a fabric that Audi calls ‘Routine’ — adding insult to injury). 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.
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Even the entry-level Q4 e-tron comes with a 10.1-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.
Graphically, the system is very impressive — we love the way you can overlay the sat-nav with highly detailed Google Maps images — and it responds 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 – which is always a good thing. 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.
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.
A 10.25-inch digital instrument display comes as standard too, and this is just as easy to read as the touchscreen.
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.
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.