With the Q4 E-Tron, Audi has a second electric SUV in its portfolio. It is based on the Volkswagen Group's MEB and is the model brother of the VW ID.4. Is there enough autonomy left and above all: is the Q4 a convincing electric car? Our Supertest clarifies these questions.
SUVs are the trend, electric drive is the future - no wonder that many manufacturers combine these two fields accordingly. Audi has done the same and with the Q4 E-Tron is the second electric SUV in the model range. As the Q4 50 E-Tron, the Ingolstadt-based company becomes the electric car Supertest candidate of chief reporter Alexander Bloch. A car can achieve a maximum of six stars here, the rating is strictly absolute and not dependent on price or segment. Audi has real chances of a top position here – or does the car make a mistake after all?
The quality impression
A car from Audi has to deliver in terms of quality impression - after all, the Ingolstadt company sometimes has the best reputation in the industry here. In truth, however, the Q4 is a Zwickauer, because it is built there in the VW plant alongside the ID models. And does that harm him now? After all, the ID.3 did not exactly shine with high processing quality at the market launch . However, almost none of this can be felt in the Q4. All joints run cleanly and precisely, only under the bonnet seems to have run out of paint on the E-Tron.
In the interior, Audi works with an unusual amount of hard plastic for the brand. Of course, it doesn't feel that nice, but it's clean and well made. Especially since when we say, by Audi standards, a lot of hard plastic, then that is by no means a plastic desert. In the segment and especially with electric cars, there are some candidates who cut a much worse figure. In the end it's enough for 4 out of 6 stars . This means that the Q4 falls a little short of expectations.
The amount of space
There is no additional storage space for charging cables or the like under the front hood – entirely on the VW platform. The Audi saves the so-called Frunk just like the ID model brothers. In the front row, on the other hand, the driver and front passenger have no reason to complain. Audi takes advantage of the lack of the center tunnel to make the cockpit airy. Incidentally, the rear passengers do not need to complain either. The knees have space, the feet fit under the front seat, the leg rest is correct and the head can be stretched without hitting the ceiling with the crown of your head.
The basic volume of the trunk is 520 liters and is even slightly behind that of the Sportback variant. The maximum volume is 1,500 liters with the rear seats folded down. However, both volumes are not fully available, because there is a compartment for charging cables under the loading floor, which is removed from the space in the rear.This results in a little less storage space, but also a flat loading area. In total, this results in 4.5 out of 6 stars .
The Q4 E-Tron would do well to save the fiddly touch sliders from the VW shelf. Instead, there are real switches for air conditioning, for example, which can also be operated blindly while driving. The adaptive distance cruise control can also be set without any problems using the steering column stalk. There are still touch fields on the steering wheel, and they are often used accidentally in everyday life. As a result, the displays in the digital cockpit begin to rotate, which means that the driver can be distracted from what is happening on the road.
The central main screen differs not only visually but also functionally from those used at VW. Behind it works its own software, which ensures a logical structure and clear presentation of the content. However, it is a pity that the haptic volume control has given way to a touch slider. But because the voice control also does a decent job, the Audi secures 4 out of 6 stars and thus a good result.
The e-car equipment
Everyday life with an electric car differs from the combustion engine existence. That's why it needs a few clever functions that make it easier for the owner to get used to it. Good for the Q4 E-Tron: It can update the software "over-the-air" and is therefore not excluded from future innovations. The possibility of pre-conditioning is already on board. This allows the interior to be brought to the desired temperature while the car is still plugged in. Appropriate time windows can be easily programmed for this. This saves energy while driving.
A maximum charge level of between 50 and 100 percent can be defined in the Audi via charging management. In order to protect the battery, it is advisable not to "fill up" all the time. During the journey, energy then flows back into the battery via recuperation. Here Audi offers an automatic. If this is activated, the car decides for itself how much recuperation is required in a situation, or whether it is worth simply letting the e-SUV roll. For this, the system uses, among other things, topographical data from the map material of the navigation system. On the subject of route planning: if the driver navigates to a destination that is outside the vehicle's range, the system offers suitable charging stops along the way. There are 5 out of 6 stars in the E-Auto-Supertest for these useful functions.
The city suitability
So how does a 4.59 meter long SUV get along in the city? After all, it is even ten centimeters shorter than a Tesla Model 3. In fact, the dimensions of the Q4 pose few problems, also because assistants such as PDC and reversing camera help.The rather large turning circle of 11.5 meters, which requires some maneuvering in everyday life, is more annoying. The all-wheel drive is to blame for this, because in the rear-wheel drive configuration the turning circle is reduced by a whole 1.30 metres.
Even though the A-pillars could be a bit slimmer, the clarity in the Q4 is good. The window surfaces and mirrors are sufficiently dimensioned. However, this does not make the Audi a proven city runabout either. As a result, it ends up with a rating in the medium range, because it can do well in the city, but it can also do a little better. 3 out of 6 stars awards Alex Bloch.
In the S-Line equipment, the Q4 E-Tron is 15 millimeters lower thanks to the sports suspension. But the comfort is far from being lost, because the main thing here is the spring-damper coordination and the response behavior of the systems. At least as long as you move on normal roads without any crass distortions. The Audi irons out grooves, joints and slight bumps pleasantly gently and leaves no room for criticism. However, it should still roll a little more smoothly.
But comfort also has to do with the noise level. Electric cars in particular are often required to be particularly quiet. On average, the Q4 is around 3 dB below a Tesla Model 3 at speeds of 30 to 120 km/h. While the level at low speeds benefits from the quiet drive, wind and road noise play a greater role when driving briskly. Thanks to the generous use of insulating material and the standard acoustic glazing, the Audi makes a very good impression. 4.5 out of 6 stars are at the end in the comfort certificate.
How fast and agile the Q4 acts with its 299 hp despite its weight is more than sufficient for everyday use. Longitudinally dynamic flights of fancy are not to be expected from the two built-in electric motors (one per axle). It takes 6.1 seconds from a standstill to 100 km/h, as our test measurement shows. Anyone who does the exercise several times in a row has to accept a drop in performance. More than 180 km/h are not possible, but that's still 20 km/h more than the weaker Q4 models.
The Audi is well positioned when it comes to brakes and chassis. The braking distance from 100 km/h is decent at 36 meters. Here, too, the performance decreases slightly if several 100-0 brake applications are performed in a row. This may be due to the drum brakes on the rear axle, but it is not particularly noticeable in practice. You notice more of the transverse dynamic qualities. The SUV scuttles through the slalom at a solid 63 km/h for its segment. Above all, however, the clean road holding and the precise steering in everyday life are positive. In the end it is enough for 3.5 out of 6 stars .
At first glance, the weight of 2,208 kilos catches the eye. And with the kilos, the rolling resistance also increases. In order to counteract this situation, the Q4 E-Tron wears appropriately optimized Eco tires from Bridgestone (Turanza). Audi specifies the drag coefficient as 0.28, the frontal area as 2.56 square meters. This results in an effective wind resistance area of 0.72 square meters. According to the manufacturer, the subtle underfloor spoilers on the front wheels alone bring a range of up to 14 kilometers thanks to their aerodynamic advantages, the small turbulator edge on the housings of the exterior mirrors are good for two extra kilometers. As you can see, Audi is pretty proud of the aero details on the Q4 E-Tron.
The asynchronous motor on the front axle only works when there is a corresponding power requirement. The 150 kW strong permanent synchronous machine on the rear axle, known from the group, provides the standard propulsion. Both motors together recuperate with 0.3 g, i.e. around 150 kW. In the eco test run by auto motor und sport, the Q4 50 E-Tron managed to consume 16 kWh per 100 kilometers. Logical - at higher speeds the value increases. If you drive constantly at 140 km/h, you use an average of 28.5 kWh. The test consumption determined by auto motor und sport is a smooth 20 kWh per 100 kilometers. The result determined by Alex Bloch in the consumption chapter is accordingly 3.5 out of 6 stars .
Of the 82 kWh of the battery, 76.6 kWh net can be used. The Audi converts this capacity into a range of 385 kilometers in test consumption. The thrifty Eco-Gas foot manages 450 kilometers, with a constant cruising speed of 120 km/h 350 kilometers are possible. If the speed increases to 140 km/h, the range drops to 260 kilometers.
To determine the star rating in the range chapter, the value for the test consumption is now simply divided by 100. In this case, 385 divided by 100, which results in 3.85 and thus Alex Bloch gives the Q4 50 E-Tron a rounded 4 out of 6 stars .
Suitability for travel
Not only range and consumption are decisive here, but these values are supplemented by the charging capacity or charging speed. Audi specifies a maximum charging power of 125 kW, but for us the average charging power across the "States Of Charge" (SOC) is decisive. Our measurement starts with a battery charge level of 10 percent and here the Q4 50 E-Tron draws the promised 125 kW from the fast charging station. Up to 30 percent, the Ingolstadt even manages a peak to 130 kW, after which the charging power drops. On average, it is around 96 kW.
The emptier the battery is, the faster the charge is successful. It takes 10 minutes for the first 100 kilometers of range.The next 100 kilometers take 12 minutes, and from 200 to 300 kilometers you have to plan another 16 minutes waiting time. All under the condition that the Audi is connected to a corresponding fast charging station with sufficient power. On average, this results in a value of 12 minutes charging time for a range of 100 kilometers . Two charging stops would be necessary for a long distance of 800 kilometers, resulting in a journey time (at a constant 120 km/h) of eight hours. This leads to a rating of 4.5 out of 6 stars .
The acquisition costs don't play a role in the evaluation in the electric car super test, but of course we don't want to withhold the prices from you. The basic version Q4 35 E-Tron with rear-wheel drive and 55 kWh battery costs at least 41,900 euros. After deduction of all promotional awards, around 33,000 euros remain. If the large battery and all-wheel drive are under the metal, the base price climbs to 53,600 euros.
Across all chapters, the Audi Q4 50 E-Tron achieves an overall result of 4.05 out of 6 stars in the electric car super test by ams chief reporter Alexander Bloch . The Ingolstadt-based company thus relegates the Tesla Model 3 Long Range to second place - albeit just barely.