The Q4 e-tron by Audi is an all-electric car designed to compete in the heavily congested compact luxury SUV crossover class. Offering an electric option to this already crowded market, the Q4 e-tron, first launched in 2021, should not be confused with the Audi e-tron, which came out in 2018.
As one of the first electric SUV production cars in the world, you would expect the range of the Q4 e-tron to be relatively high. However, even under WLTP conditions, Audi AG can only claim a 212-mile capacity for the entry-level version of the car, poor by the standards of most SUVs. However, you can obtain a WLTP range of 309 miles with the top of the line Q4 Sportback 50 e-tron quattro trim. Three other versions of the four e-tron exist. The first is the Q4 Sportback 35 e-tron, which offers 217 miles of WLTP range, while the Q4 40 e-tron provides the most extended driving capacity with 320 miles in its fully charged battery. Under WLTP conditions, Q4 50 e-tron quattro, which sits just beneath the Sportback 50, has a 303-mile range.
The new Audi Q4 e comes with two battery options. Firstly, the Q4 35 e-tron and the Q4 Sportback 35 e-tron are supplied with a 55 kWh lithium-ion power source. The other three trim levels, the Q4 40 e-tron, the Q4 50 e-tron quattro and the Q4 Sportback 50 e-tron quattro, have larger batteries with 87 kWh capacity. These weigh 150 kilos more, coming in at half a tonne.
The Q4 e-tron will take eight and a half hours to charge if you own the 55 kWh variant of the car using a type 2 connector. However, at a 100 kW fast-charge station, when you only need to top up from 20 per cent to 80 per cent, you can expect the same job to take a little over half an hour. However, if you only have a wall socket at your disposal, then the Q4 e-tron will take a lengthy 26 hours and 45 minutes to charge from zero fully. This fact will undoubtedly put some potential buyers off the smaller Audi Q4. The larger batteries in the Q4 e 40 and the Q4 e 50 has a larger onboard charger. It is not much quicker from a type 2 outlet, but you obviously transfer more power into the car in that time. Rapid charging is also similar for the Audi Q4 e 40 and Q4 e 50 as the Q4 e 35. However, the more significant variants of the e-tron will be painstakingly slow from a wall socket. Expect these Audi models to take well over 39 hours.
The 2021 Audi Q4 e is such a new car that the real-life charging costs have not yet been established fully for UK drivers. That said, the Q4 e-tron is similar in specification to the e-tron 50 from 2020. Based on that – and your current electricity tariff – you can expect to pay between £10.50 and £11.50 for a full recharge of the Audi Q4 e. In fact, all e-tron models will fall into this approximate bracket whether you are talking about an Audi Q4 or not.
Again, the Q4 e-tron has not settled into any particular insurance group yet as UK insurers decide how to bracket this car. However, in Germany, it has been insured in pretty much the same way as other e-tron models. In UK terms, this would mean that Volkswagen Group should expect it to end up in group 50, alongside the e-tron 50, the same as the Jaguar i-Pace and Tesla's Model X.
An essential concept for all Volkswagen Group cars, including all the electric models under the Audi brand, is for good warranty periods. All e-tron models have them, and the Audi Q4 e is no exception. Expect a standard warranty of four years or 50,000 miles. Electric components in the Q4 e-tron are guaranteed for up to eight years, while Audi will also offer complimentary maintenance in the first year up to 10,000 miles.
Like other production cars Audi makes, the Q4 e-tron should be serviced every year or 9,300 miles it travels under a fixed service interval schedule. Under the flexible servicing recommendations Audio also has, services should take place every two years or 18,600 miles.
The electric motor in the Audi Q4 e means it is exempt from vehicle excise duty in the UK. The good news is that these vehicles are also exempt from the London Congestion Charge zone like all e-tron models. Furthermore, the Audi Q4 e also receives a reasonable tax rate with BIK, a good thing for those who drive company cars to know. This is set a 2 per cent for the Q4 e-tron for the foreseeable future.
The Q4 e-tron 35 can accelerate from 0 to 62 miles per hour in 9.0 seconds from its rear-wheel drive. The top speed is 99 mph. While the more significant variants of the Audi are also capable of that speed when flat out, they will get from stationary to 62 mph in just 8.5 seconds.
When the Volkswagen Group engineers first came up with the Q4 e-tron in Germany for Audi, they wanted a compact luxury SUV. Audi's design is only within an inch or two of achieving this, however, because the vehicle feels far from compact. The Q4 e-tron probably compares most closely to the Volkswagen ID 4 since it shares much of the same design concept. The ID 4 gets to 62 mph from a standing start in 8.5 seconds and tops out at 99 mph. By comparison, a Tesla Model X will considerably outperform all of these models, including the Audi Q4.
There are three driving modes with the Q4 e-tron, off-road, efficient and dynamic. In efficient mode, you will undoubtedly notice the lack of oomph when pulling away. In off-road mode, the car's suspension is adjusted.
Other than the efficient driving mode, there is little to say about how Audi has designed the Q4 e-tron. You can adjust the level of regeneration you want from braking, however.
Most people will drive in dynamic mode in the city and only switch to efficient when they are on a clear stretch of the open road. The performance does not alter that much off-roading. In cold weather, you can expect just 175 miles from the motor or the Q4 e-tron. Out on the motorway in similar conditions, this would be 125 miles.
All e-tron models look good. They don't look like electric cars that don't run on fossil fuel at all. The sportier look of the Sportback options is achieved with some spoilers that genuinely help performance and fuel consumption. Overall, the Q4 e-tron is a very good looking addition to any driveway.
The Q4 e-tron has a high front and wide stance with large wheels that you'd expect of an SUV. There is an enclosed single-frame grille that highlights the Q4 e-tron is an electric Audi, too. The Audi Q4 Sportback variants have a sloping roofline that arcs towards the rear.
There are five e-tron models in the Q4 line. These are the Q4 35 e-tron, the Q4 Sportback 35, the Q4 40, the Q4 50 quattro and, finally, the Q4 Sportback 50 quattro.
Audi has placed a 12.3-inch digital display into the centre of the dashboard. Audi calls this its Virtual Cockpit. In fact, the Audi Q4 is packed with technology. There's a head-up display that offers an augmented reality feel. Nevertheless, this sort of head-up display is not what everyone wants when they're behind the steering wheel trying to concentrate on the road.
There is a 10.1-inch touchscreen that provides the console for infotainment in the Audi Q4. This runs the stereo, phone functions and the car's sat-nav. It is also used to adjust climate control. It is not positioned very well for a display of its kind, however. The augmented reality head-on display may not be the best thing about the car's interior design.
Audi provides a pair of USB ports in the Q4. The model also comes with an option for a 16-speaker B&O audio system. That said, the standard option has ten speakers, to begin with.
The Audi Q4 feels spacious inside. There's more than enough room for five adults. Beneath the normal boot is an extra storage compartment for charging cables, clever use of the available space.
With a high load sill, the Audi Q4 is much like other cars in its class. Expect 525 litres of storage in the boot. This drops to 520 litres if you have one of the two Sportback options.
NCAP has not yet tested the Audi Q4 e, but the 2019 e-tron has five stars. It would be fair to assume that the Q4 will take the full five stars when it gets tested.
To help with safety, there are parking sensors and cameras fitted to help in tight spots. Expect airbags in the front and rear as well as at the side. Additional safety features come with the Sportback variant, such as side assist.
The Audi Q4 e is priced from £40,750. If you want to up the trim level, then the expected price will be from £42,850 before you start adding optional extras into your package. When the car is on sale, even this relatively high price tag is not likely to put fans of Audi off.