Audi has been growing its e-tron electric car lineup ever since the introduction of the forgettable A3 plug-in hybrid. Since then Audi has introduced more impactful EVs, like the e-tron SUV, which is now dubbed the Q8 e-tron, which was followed by the e-tron GT. Both those models have pretty lofty price tags, but now Audi has introduced an EV that is far more attainable – the 2022 Q4 e-tron electric SUV.
As its name suggests, the Q4 e-tron slots in between the Q3 and Q5 in Audi’s SUV lineup. Under that sleek metal, the Q4 e-tron is based on the same platform as the Volkswagen ID.4. It even shares the same 108.7-inch wheelbase as its cousin. Where the Q4 e-tron stands out is the fact that there are two body styles to choose from, the standard Q4 e-tron and the sleeker more coupe-like Q4 e-tron Sportback.
For its initial model year, the Q4 50 e-tron is powered by a dual motor powertrain with 295 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque. It has a driving range up to go 241 miles on a full charge. For the 2023 model year, the Q4 40 e-tron is available with a single 210 hp electric motor that powers the rear wheels and has a 265 mile range.
With less than 300 miles of range, the Q4 e-tron’s driving range is a bit of a disappointment, when most new EVs have over 300 miles of range. Charging the Q4 e-tron isn’t too difficult, since it can accept fast charging at up to 150-kW, which means that it can be charged from 5 to 80 percent in only 36 minutes.
On the road, the Q4 e-tron is a competent EV, but it’s not overly exciting to drive. Off the line the Q4 e-tron takes off with ease, but the power drops off at higher speeds. The Q4 40 e-tron takes 7.9 seconds to reach 60 mph and has a top speed of only 99 mph. The more powerful Q4 50 e-tron can accelerate to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. The Q4 e-tron’s suspension does a good job of providing a comfortable driving experience, but if carving up a back country road is on your wish list, you’ll be disappointed. The suspension is geared more for comfort than a truely sporty driving experience.
Regenerative braking is essential to adding some juice back to the battery and some EVs even offer significant levels of braking that can slow the EV to a stop once your foot is removed from the accelerator. Here the Q4 e-tron suffers. It does offer different levels that can be selected via the paddle shifters on the steering wheel, but you have to select your desired level while you decelerate and the once you hit the throttle the setting is reverted back to the default setting. The work around is to drive the Q4 in B instead of D, which forces the setting into the highest regen mode.
Inside the Q4 e-tron’s interior is an easy upgrade over the ID.4 with its more interesting design. In front of the driver there’s a standard 10.3-inch digital gauge cluster, while upper trim levels get Audi’s Virtual Cockpit. At the center there’s a 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The stylish dashboard is more striking than the ID.4., but some of the materials are not up to the quality we expect from Audi.
If you opt for the Sportback version, the rear headroom drops by 1.3 inches and you also lose 1.1 inches of rear legroom. There’s up to 54.4 cubic feet of cargo space.
On the safety front, the Q4 e-tron offers the features we expect, like blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic braking and parking sensors. The Premium Plus trim level adds adaptive cruise control with lane-keeping assist and matrix LED headlights, while the Prestige trim level adds an augmented reality head-up display.
The pricing for the 2022 Q4 50 e-tron starts at $50,995 and the Q4 Sportback 50 e-tron starts at $53,795.
At the end of the day, the Q4 e-tron is a strong new entry in the growing EV segment. It’s a comfortable electric SUV with a stylish exterior and competent powertrain. We do wish it had a longer driving range and that it was a bit more exciting to drive, but it will still appeal to buyers that want an attainable luxury electric SUV.
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