On the one hand, the Q4 e-interior Tron’s impresses with a conventional design that won’t deter customers. Thankfully, there are four window switches on the driver’s side, as well as physical controls for the music and climate (the ID.4, for whatever reason, has two switches and an additional toggle to control the front or rear windows). Its infotainment system, which is the standard Audi MMI system we’ve seen throughout the brand’s lineup, is also outstanding. MMI operates smoothly and logically, in contrast to the ID.4’s somewhat baffling approach.
On the other hand, touch-sensitive controls on the steering wheel are undesirable to both Cars.com and the general public. To Audi’s credit, the controls are less risky than those utilized by Mercedes-Benz and do offer haptic feedback. While twisting the steering wheel in a Benz may result in several inadvertent inputs, Audi controls demand true intentional presses. However, I’ll always prefer actual buttons to replicas because the Audi’s steering wheel controls can occasionally be difficult to see in bright sunshine.
The caliber of interior materials is adequate. Many of the interior surfaces are made of hard plastic, especially below the beltline, which some customers would find disappointing in a car that can cost over $60,000. With lighter-colored upholstery, the plastic in especially stands out; the best-looking inside is all-black.
Both the front and back of the interior are remarkable. The low, unconventional gear selector in the front contributes to the impression of space. However, there isn’t much accessible storage in the center console. Although the rear headroom in the Sportback is a problem for taller passengers, the backseat seems like it is in a vehicle that is larger in class. Despite openings in the headliner to boost headroom, my 6-foot-1 head was firmly planted in the Sportback’s roof. In comparison to the Sportback, the standard Q4 e-Tron is a better choice if you frequently transport taller passengers.
Oddly enough, the opposite is true for freight, at least based on Audi’s measurements. The Q4 Sportback e-Tron, with its coupe-like roofline and all, measures at 26.1 and 54.4 cubic feet, respectively. According to Audi, the Q4 e-Tron boasts 24.8 cubic feet of cargo capacity with the backseat erect and 53.1 cubic feet with the backseat folded. Although those changes aren’t significant, they are unexpected. Naturally, taller stuff is easier to store in the Q4 e-Tron, but we’ll have to wait until we can compare the two using our own cargo dimensions.
The cargo compartment of the Q4 can be configured in a beneficial way regardless of body design. A cargo floor panel can be moved to alter the load floor height or to form a partition to keep cargo from shifting. In its normal position, the panel covers a compartment beneath the cargo floor where items like the common mobile charger can be kept.
Charge and Range
Customers won’t be impressed with the Q4 e-Tron and Q4 Sportback e-range, Tron’s which tops out at an estimated 265 miles for the RWD model and 236 miles for the AWD version (the Q4 Sportback e-Tron has an Audi-estimated 242 miles of range). These range estimates fall short of the Model Y and some variations of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, but are generally comparable to Volvo’s small electric SUVs and the Genesis GV60. I measured consumption of about 3 miles per kilowatt-hour during my drive on a variety of roads at various speeds, which is consistent with the vehicle’s efficiency projections.
Do the lower range estimates for the Q4 e-Tron matter? If you’re determined to use it for road trips, then perhaps; according to Audi, it has a DC fast-charging capacity of up to 150 kilowatts, which can charge the battery from 5% to 80% in as little as 36 minutes. That suggests the Q4 e-primary Tron’s purpose is as a second or commuting vehicle because it is not nearly as spectacular as the fast-charging abilities of the EV6, Ioniq 5, and GV60.
All Q4 e-Trons come with a 40-amp Level 2 mobile charger, allowing the car to charge at up to 9.6 kW from a 240-volt outlet and finish the charge in around nine hours, according to Audi. The rate rises to 11.5 kW and the charging time drops to 7.5 hours while using 48-amp Level 2 charging. Customers will require a hardwired charger for the latter, and Audi is collaborating with Electrify America and Qmerit to source and install chargers for customers who want assistance with a home-charging arrangement.
The Q4 e-Tron: Where Does It Fit?
The Q4 e-Tron is an extremely “normal” SUV that seems like a regular SUV that just happens to be electric, both aesthetically and practically speaking. The Q4 e-Tron simply wants to be an SUV for luxury-minded shoppers because Tesla attracts a specific type of cutting-edge consumer and many manufacturers are adopting a more futuristic approach when it comes to aesthetics.
The Q4 e-Tron occupies a very premium, near-luxury area in the class, with costs for the single-motor RWD model starting at just under $50,000 and prices for the AWD variant increasing to well over $60,000 with extras. However, for that money, purchasers receive a capable EV with good handling, an easy-to-use cabin, and, for those who care, the luxury-brand badge.