REVIEW – AUDI Q4 E-TRON (2021)
Electric Audi knows how to distinguish itself
The Volkswagen Group is fully committed to electric driving. Several electric models are now on the new MEB platform, such as the Cupra Born , Skoda Enyaq and the Volkswagen ID.3 , ID.4 and ID.5 . Audi is now also using this platform, in the form of the Q4 e-tron. Can he distinguish himself?
With the introduction of the MEB platform, the Volkswagen Group has finally launched the electric offensive. Volkswagen started developing this platform in 2016 and invested about 7 billion dollars in it. Of course they want to earn back that money and so they are introducing a whole lot of models that rest on the modular MEB architecture. Volkswagen expects to build about 15 million cars on this platform in the coming decade.
The Volkswagen group has succeeded reasonably well in giving all MEB models their own identity. That also applies to the Audi Q4 e-tron. Despite the fact that it is largely equivalent to its MEB brothers under the skin, it is clearly a real Audi.
Of course, a number of external features are very recognizable, but Audi has poured an extra futuristic sauce over the electric SUV. For example, the striking silver grille is completely closed and a fashionable LED bar shows off on the rear.
In the interior, the Q4 is also not reminiscent of a Volkswagen or Skoda. The recognizable sleek Audi design with sharp corners and high-quality materials also gives the cabin its own look. The infotainment system also seems to work a lot better than in the ID.4 – while it uses the same technology under the skin.
Maybe that’s because the system has fewer features. In the Volkswagen ID.4 you have to operate almost all functions of the car via the infotainment screen. From the seat heating to the climate control. Audi has chosen to provide the interior with physical buttons, which works a lot more pleasantly, especially while driving. The impressive digital instrumentation also provides extra convenience, because the navigation map is shown right in front of you.
Range Audi Q4 e tron
In the Q4 e-tron you can choose from two batteries: 52 kWh and 77 kWh. Our test car has the largest package and has a maximum range according to WLTP standard of 521 km. In practice you can quickly get about 50 kilometers from that and during a cold winter you have to count on 300 to 350 kilometers. The actual range also strongly depends on your driving behaviour.
The 52 kWh battery pack is suitable for 7.4 kW AC charging and can quickly charge up to 100 kW. The 77 kWh battery pack is suitable for 11 kW AC charging and 125 kW DC fast charging. This makes it possible to top up 130 kilometers in 10 minutes under optimal conditions.
The Audi Q4 e-tron is also available as a Sportback and both body styles are available with different drive configurations. The Audi Q4 35 e-tron has a 52 kWh battery pack and a 170 hp electric motor that drives the rear wheels as standard.
The Q4 40 e-tron that we test also has rear-wheel drive, but in combination with the 77 kWh battery pack and an electric motor with 204 hp. In practice, that turns out to be more than enough power. It sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.5 seconds. Fast enough to quickly overtake someone, but not so fast that everyone in the second row will feel sick as soon as your little toe touches the accelerator pedal.
If you always want to be the first to leave the traffic light, then it is better to choose the Q4 e-tron 45 (265 hp) or 50 e-tron quattro (299 hp). These variants have the large battery pack and each has its own electric motor on the front and rear axles. The 50 e-tron quattro only needs 6.2 seconds for the 0-100 sprint.
Via flippers behind the steering wheel you can determine how hard the car brakes on the engine: the so-called regenerative braking. The energy that is released is stored by the car in the battery pack. The Q4 e-tron does not brake as hard as we would like in the most extreme position, so you still have to use the brake pedal regularly.
Small turning circle
With a length of 4.59 meters, the Audi Q4 e-tron is about the same length as the ID.4 and Enyaq. Thanks to a very small turning circle of 10.2 meters, you can also maneuver fairly easily in tight streets in the city center. The Q4 is slightly longer than an Audi Q3, but thanks to the lack of a traditional fuel engine and transmission tunnel, it offers as much interior space as an Audi Q7.
Especially in the second row of seats it is striking how much space the Q4 offers. Even basketball players can lose their legs here without much effort. The luggage space is also spacious: 520 liters and 1,490 liters when you fold the rear seats down (Sportback: 535-1,460 l). Unfortunately, the SUV – like its MEB brothers – does not have storage space under the hood.
Fortunately, there are many storage compartments scattered throughout the interior, giving you a total of 25 liters of extra storage space. The Q4 e-tron 40 can also tow trailers up to a weight of 1,000 kilograms. The more powerful e-tron 45 and 50 have a braked towing capacity of 1,200 kilograms.
Prices Q4 e-tron
The Audi Q4 e-tron is available from 48,155 euros. For this you get the 170 hp 35 e-tron version with the small battery pack. The Q4 40 e-tron is standard equipped with the large 77 kWh battery pack and is listed for EUR 52,675. For 265 hp (45 e-tron) you pay at least 62,675 euros and the top version – the 299 hp 50 e-tron – costs at least 64,675 euros.