Audi's e-tron was unveiled back in 2009. Now, this is a division concentrated solely on fully electric vehicles, a bit like BMW i. Jump forward a decade...now everywhere you look, you'll see an e-tron, whether it's a GTI or an SUV like our Q4 e-tron. I'm Ben Quiek. Welcome to Planetauto.
Now 2030 is fast approaching. However, Audi has looked at this a bit differently and thought, No, we want to be ahead of the curve. So they vowed that from, 2026 that all their vehicles will be fully electric. Now, that shows real belief in a brand. When you think that's only four years away, but it's not surprising when you look at what they've already achieved.
I mean, we've just done - I think - about an 800 mile road trip, and the interesting thing is we only charged it three times, twice fully and once for a small top up. Range anxiety? It doesn't exist with this. I'm not exaggerating. It's built on the MEB EV platform, so pretty much anything electric from Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda, etc. is going to be built on this platform, because it's solely for electric vehicles, it means none of the batteries or tech take up any of the cabin space...Perfect.
Our model is an S Line. it's a 40 and it's 70kW hour, and that's the size of the battery. So you get Sport suspension on the S Line, and it lowers it 15mm. And it's the launch edition, and it retails for around £50,000. Now there's a number of powertrains available for the Q4 starts with the 35, and you can get, say, a 35 Sport for just under £45,000. Then you've got the 40. Like us, or you could go all in and get the Vorsprung 50 Quattro...now that would cost you over £70,000.00 And the other thing is, you can optional left front and centre: Comfort Packs, Tech Packs,Advanced Packs...you name it. You can even accessorise - nd I don't mean like lippy and whatever. What I do mean is things like an espresso, coffee machine. Check out Audi to find out more.
Now, with this, it's rear wheel drive and it has a rear motor. If you go for a Quattro, then you get a front motor too. This will pull 0-60 in 8.5 seconds, and has a range of well, they claim 316, but to be quite frank, I think it's more. Now, let me explain. The reason I say that is because this recoups at will and it's not just at low speeds, it's even at motorway speeds. Now, when they built this, they thought, right, okay, it has to be seriously efficient, meaning lightweight materials. So you get aluminum parts, you get recycled interior. So no real leather here unless you go for top of the range and then you'll get Nappa. But this, believe it or not, is made out of I think it's 26, 1.5 litre plastic bottles - and it just makes it think, actually all these bottles that you see lying around actually go in and make something this cool. We've also got a fair few options, including sports seats. Even on the long haul, after 5 hours sat in it with a small comfort break - no backache, no squirreling around...just sat there comfortably.
Now I'm wittering on about the road trip - watch out for that - that'll be coming soon, it also features bits of Festival of Speed.
This is Audi design language at its finest. It's sleek, sporty and stylish. So you've got a sealed grille here. Lovely four rings of Audi and technology such as matrix headlights. So when you travelling towards vehicles, they'll stay on full beam and you'll think, oh, is that right? Yes, because then you'll see the sorcery with the headlamps, as they start flickering. It's like something out of a sci-fi movie!
By the way, these lights are fully LED, automatic, with high beam assist. e-tron down here, and nice wide arches - and this paint is in Aurora Violet. I really do like the contrast in the front. Now you see all the shaping here and even these body lines for efficiency and under here.
Well, this is sealed. You've got perfect airflow throughout. Now, I love curvature. I just look at this. It flows round, and then you've got the design round, the lights and these are rather special. They do like Knight Rider kind of things. And it's got it's not the lowest ride height. So it means that you can be a little adventurous.
The thing about the Q4 is it doesn't look overdone. It's just tasteful. I mean, you can tell it's an electric vehicle, but it doesn't shout it at you. Safety wise, you've got AEB, Collision Detection, Sensors up here, Sensors down there...it'll even remind you when you need to take a coffee break. As for convenience you've got one pedal driving, so you never need to brake - well, within reason!
We've got normal cruise control, but you can get adaptive with stop-go, and parking sensors. Now, you're probably looking at this and thinking that must be a front camera. When this was unveiled, there was supposed to be a 360 camera option, but I think due to things like chip shortage, it's just never appeared on any of the Q4s, and that's a thing, you can also get this in a Sportback
We've got a semi-clamshell bonnet, arches round here which are body coloured, 20 inch alloy wheels, decent tyres making it comfortable on road and off road. Yeah, it's not got the highest ride height, and as I mentioned before, this is 15mm lower, but that means it handles like it's on rails.
Power folding doorl mirrors, Blindspot Detection (depending on which pack you go for) and keyless entry.
Little quarter lights that reminds me of things like my Mk1 golf, S-Line emblem here because let's face it, you want an S-Line to look sporty and that it does!
Roof rails with a satin finish, and privacy glass and a chrome trim. The more you look at the vehicle, you can see where they've tried to achieve more and more efficiency. For example, the side skirts with the grooves here for the airflow, but body lines here.
Let's take a look inside. The doors open nice and wide and you can see premium materials, and that design language that just screams out Audi. A padded area here, stitching even the button here for your power tailgate. The door openings nice and wide, and a grab handle above the driver's door!
Climbing in: nice and easy, and as soon as I sit on the seat, technically the vehicle's alive, so you don't have to press start.
As soon as you step in, you can tell it's signature Audi: shaping round the dash, a mix of premium materials, and solid chunky S-Line seats. So these are an option, and will cost you around £1,000.00, but they're well worth it. Extremely comfortable, supportive, and you can even extend this leg section. They are manual, but you have electronic lumbar support.
Now, I've read conflicting reports on how this steering wheel actually acts in the real world. But after driving it nearly 800 miles, I didn't notice anything. If anything, I thought it was a very good wheel.
Everything feels good to the touch. Now there is a lot of piano black in here., it looks very good, but it does highlight fingerprints. Now, it's not the biggest infotainment screen in the world, but it does the job perfectly. It's nice and responsive and it's got lots of functionality. You've got radio which is DAB, you've got media options. You can set some of the car's settings here, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Google Earth...And one trick this vehicle certainly has is augment Heads Up Display (HUD) the navigation appears around ten meters ahead of the car, so just makes navigation a doddle.
Now, you might not have a rotary dial for the volume, but you do have this and you swirl your finger around to turn the volume up. You can also talk to it, tell it to do things, so that makes it far easier. I've got a little panel down here. We have rear fogs and this looks like lighting so I can turn off, auto off, etc.
Solid build quality! But what else would you expect from an Audi? It's not going to be flimsy. I mean, this is really solid, with premium materials throughout. Lots of storage, cupholders, decent door pockets, wireless charging pad here. The stalks are nice and solid and the switchgear feels good too. Glove box - it's not the biggest but look at the soft opening!
It has some really funky styling, for example, round the vents and they're not really dust traps because they've literally got three bars as opposed to having, say, shed loads of Honeycomb. Now you will find hard plastics, but that's for robustness, easy to clean, but generally speaking, it's very well done.
At six foot three, I've got no problem with headroom and also Annabelle pointed out you can adjust the seatbelt height. It's a great driving position, you've got reach and rake in the steering wheel and a foot rest down here. And as it's an electric car, a two pedal system.
There's also paddles on the back of the wheel, the cluster is nice and easy to read, and you can see on the left hand side when you're charging and coasting.
If you press these buttons on the steering wheel, you can change the layout - one that I really utilised on the road trip was to have the navigation here and it has like a marker, so when you get in to - say - a corner, it will count down and it just makes it really easier, and then you've got your Chevron Heads Up Display, and it shows things like Roadsign Recognition, the speed of the vehicle, lane keep assist.
Well, you've got an airbag that drops down in the middle here, so you don't bang your heads in the event of the collision.
One thing you'll immediately notice is there's no handbrake and it's not like it's hidden, it's just not here - instead, you have a park button here. Using the shifter is straight forward, reverse, neutral, drive and brake. So that's your regen mode for things like hills...
And Audi's Drive Select System:
Efficiency - which limits the vehicle to around 80 miles an hour
Individual - and of course -
We've got a premium Sonos sound system, ten speakers and a subwoofer, and it sounds amazing! The base is crisp and deep.
And one thing I've just noticed: doors that cover the sills!
So let's have a look in the back. The door opens nice and wide once again, and a padded area for your arm. This is hard though, but good build quality, decent wide door opening - it's quite tall, so this should be very simple indeed...absolutely no problem...and a grab handle!
Considering the front seat is set for me at six foot three, I have masses of legroom.
Headroom: literally sat right upright like this, about two inches. (Closing the door - a clunk that gives you that sound of quality) It amazes me how much legroom I've got, and I can get my feet under the seats too.
Down here - because we've got a tech pack, you get USB C's and we can control our tri zone climate control - excellent!
Comfortable supportive seats, finished very nicely, and it doesn't feel too dark in here, even with my sunglasses on, privacy glass and a black roof!
A pull down armrest, two cupholders, isofix points, airbags.
Now, one thing that I would have preferred to have seen here is this area padded. It doesn't seem very Audi like that to be honest, but that's scraping the bottom of the barrel.
It's comfortable, it's airy, and it's great for a long journey. And at a push, you will get five people in here. Decent door pocket, electric window, a padded area for your arm, very comfortable.
And one thing I have noticed is, with seat raised, if I sit up like this, I've got a great view through the windscreen. And one final touch that always appeals: touch activated map reading lights.
From this rear angle you can really see the flared styling, which also helps with efficiency. Now we've got disks on the front, but drums on the rear, which helps with region.
Speaking of regen, this is what you charge it. A nice sturdy cover, decent hinge, and this makes it waterproof. So you can home charge, you can Type 2, and you can rapid charge. And, get this, you can charge it with up to 150 kilowatt hour, meaning you can get around 80 miles in just over 10 minutes!
The rear is a thing of beauty, the sculpture of the rear lenses, these are LED and they have some tricks up their sleeves like the front two, and as we have matrix headlamps fitted, we also get a full size light bar, subtle, understated styling, with a mix of colours.
I suppose if I was designing this, what I would have done is turn this into a stealth wiper, but that's scraping the bottom of the barrel once again. Chunky rear spoiler, sharkfin aerial and parking sensors. You can even upgrade to a reversing camera.
The boot comes with a power tailgate and decent storage. And this Power2Go Charger is in for a reason (we'll get to that in a moment) with decent storage. This is heavy stuff, it shows you how strong this floor actually is. You can stow your cables underneath the floor and you have storage areas on the left and the right and two rear boot lights, so it illuminates very nicely. You can get your shopping in absolutely no problem. On our road trip we got our suitcases, our bags and all our tech, all in the boot. Now, normally we have to put some things on the back seat.
You've got 40-20 folding seats technically you've got extra storage under the false floor and tethering hooks. Popping out the parcel shelf is nice and easy, just unhook this to drop the seats, and literally pull this forward. Now, it doesn't lay entirely flat, but there's no gap here. You will - quite easily - get, say, a mountain bike in here. The other thing is, the back seats don't lock when down.
There are three trims in the range:
The S Line
The Edition 1
You can choose from these powertrains:
The e-tron 35 - powered by 55kWh battery with a range of up to 208 miles
The e-tron 40 - powered by 82kWh battery with a range of up to 316 miles
The e-tron 50 - powered by 82kWh battery - it's all wheel drive with a range of up to 298 miles
Prices start from £43,9750.00