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Cockpit check in the Audi E-Tron 55 Quattro: colorful and a little smart

Cockpit check Audi E-Tron Quattro
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H There is no basic discussion about electric cars, I promise ! Just the question of how easy (or difficult) it is to drive a large SUV in everyday life. Because: Regardless of where the power for propulsion comes from, the technology around it must be operable. From professionals, fans, beginners and those switching. In the case of the E-Tron, it helps a lot to belong to the first two target groups. Why? Because the cockpit is more or less made up of the well-known luxury class models A8 and Q8. In other words, apart from the design, the “MMI touch response” operating system characterizes the facility. Two touchscreens (10.1 and 8.6 inches) placed one above the other on the dashboard, which tilt slightly towards the driver. Anyone who has ever dealt with it will easily get along in the E-Tron. Despite the new hand rest on the center console, which not only houses the electronic parking brake but also the selector switch for the speed steps.

If the worst comes to the worst, the E-Tron driver has to keep an eye on five displays . They're all high-resolution, but that doesn't make things any easier.

Five screens plus a head-up display

Basically, you shouldn't be afraid of many screens in the current Audi upper-class models. In addition to the two touch-response screens, no E-Tron leaves the company without the 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster in front of the steering wheel, which has retired the classic round instruments. At Audi, the huge thing is called “Virtual Cockpit”. The plus option, which offers additional graphic display options, is available for an extra 150 euros. Expensive but an impressive security feature at night: the night assistant, which displays a thermal image of the surroundings andPeople and larger animals are marked in yellow. That works amazingly well, but with 2150 euros it also cuts a real hole in the budget.

Virtual exterior mirrors? If you like it ...

This also applies to screens four and five in the cockpit, which are part of the optional virtual exterior mirrors. Cameras in slim sensors transmit the view to the rear to two OLED touch displays in the door panel. The advantages: The lower air resistance increases the range by a few kilometers, and the outside noise is also reduced, as there is less turbulence. Do you have to spend 1540 euros for this? No. Because the exterior mirrors 2.0 are no help in everyday life. Main problem: the wrong or missing perspective. Such a classic exterior mirror has the wonderful property of changing the field of vision when you tilt your head. This helps, for example, when parking or in narrow spaces. The view of the exterior mirror display always remains the same and therefore appears limited. The cameras can be moved in all directions using touch controls, but that's all, just not suitable for everyday use. Zack, 1540 euros saved.

Alexa is smart, but a foreign body

The Google Maps maps are great. But getting into the car is also much easier via Android Auto.

There are new decorative wood and seat seams, the electrical conductor tracks, especially for the e-tron imitate. In combination with the LED interior lighting (including illuminated belt buckles), the E-Tron glows and flashes like a lovable XXL glow worm before the start. You can find that well, or switch it off in the options menu. After all. Anyone who wants to interweave their Amazon Alexa account with the E-Tron must also go there. Global e-commerce giant meets Ingolstadt e-newcomers. This can't go well, do you think? But it does. As long as you have your smartphone and the appropriate Amazon password at hand, the coupling takes less than two minutes, and Alexa goes with you on the journey. 'Alexa, please put frozen pizza on my shopping list!' Nearly. Because the so-called 'wake word' does not yet work in the E-Tron. The smart Amazon lady has to be woken up at the push of a button. No problem, but not quite as convenient as the native built-in wizards inDaimler's MBUX or at BMW. It also takes getting used to: Alexa reacts with a significant delay, especially when the LTE reception is shaky (all E-Tron radio in Germany ex works in the cell phone network). Or not. But then sometimes the voice of the classic voice control, which unfortunately doesn't even begin to get involved in a conversation as casually as Alexa. 'Unfortunately I did not understand you!' When it comes to smart assistants, Audi definitely has some catching up to do.

Connect app makes you want more

On the other hand, the myAudi app and the associated connect services work pretty well. In addition to an account, you need an activated main user and the vehicle code, which is supplied with the vehicle keys, for registration. We have seen everything more complicated. The real advantage of the direct smartphone connection to the car: In winter you can turn on the heating before you leave the house. Splendid. The app also reminds you of due service appointments, can lock and unlock the vehicle and informs you about how long the electric Audi is still on the charging cable. And that is just the beginning. Little by little they want to activate even more functions at Audi.

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