The Audi Q4 e-tron is an all-electric, luxury SUV that Audi's rivals are keen to beat. It benefits from the VW group's significant investment into electric technology and has meant that Audi is streets ahead of some other luxury brands. The Q4 e-tron Sportback is a coupe-SUV crossover with a svelte, tapering roofline, which looks slightly unusual at first glance but quickly grows on you. The Sportback doesn't sacrifice much interior space over the standard Q4, but if you really need more boot space then look to the non-Sportback version. If you're after a bit more style and presence, the Sportback is for you.
The Q4 e-tron is Audi's first bespoke made all-electric car, and Audi has certainly done a good job of it. There are three versions to help you balance your budget against your desire for performance and range. The entry level version is the 35, which offers 168bhp from its electric motor, and returns around 200 miles from its 52kWh battery. Upgrading to the mid-range 40 gives you 201bhp and a 77kWh battery capable of well over 300 miles range. And if you like your Audi extra hot, look to the 50 model with an electric motor on each axle, giving it four-wheel drive and a total of 295bhp. This one also has a 77kWh battery but the extra power reduces its projected range to around 300 miles.
Discerning Audi buyers will expect a techy, high-quality interior, and the Q4 Sportback e-tron does not disappoint. The first thing you will notice when you clamber into the lofty, commanding driver's seat is how the dashboard and instruments are all angled towards you, giving it an encapsulating, cockpit-like feel. Existing Audi owners will broadly recognise the interior switchgear, with the same touchscreen infotainment display, and nicely damped, rubberised switches which feel nice to interact with.
The first thing to notice about the Sportback is the roofline, which curves sharply downwards from the B-pillar backwards, to a rear spoiler at the boot lid. The rear windscreen is smaller than on the standard Q4 and may make visibility a little more challenging, but you can specify a reversing camera if you need one. Otherwise, the Sportback is very much about form over function. The Q4 looks purposeful and assertive with its high shoulder line and arch-filling wheels; you'll certainly be noticed out on the road.
Audi has certainly worked some magic with the Sportback. It is nothing short of surprising to find that interior space isn't massively impacted by the curved roof. While the standard Q4 is clearly going to be slightly more practical, tall adults can still sit comfortably in the rear of the Sportback, and the boot space is still very reasonable, with the motors and battery neatly hidden beneath the floor. The hatch opens wide and offers a flat load floor to help with loading large items. So if you'd like a version of the Q4 that's slightly more impactful and stylish, you can safely jump into the Sportback without making too many compromises.