From the January 2023 issue of Car and Driver.
When Audi’s electrified e-tron subbrand first appeared, it was the mediocre A3 Sportback plug-in hybrid. The first EV to bear the moniker came three years later, when a larger and much more expensive SUV called the Audi e-tron hit the market. The ute’s lack of an alphanumeric model name is confusing, and things don’t get any clearer with the arrival of the e-tron GT performance sedan. Now comes the Q4 e-tron, and its designation at least helps place it within Audi’s larger lineup.
Bigger than the Q3 and neater in size than the Q5, the Q4 50 e-tron Quattro is the platform partner of the Volkswagen ID.4. Audi’s design language works well when coupled with a shared 108.7-inch wheelbase and 62.3-inch front and 61.5-inch track widths, resulting in a chunky bulldog style that looks great in SUV form. The results weren’t as stellar as the $2,800 Sportback model, but that’s often the case with tilt-supported SUV derivatives.
As with the all-wheel-drive ID.4, a pair of AC motors working together produces 295 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque to power the Audi. Likewise, the same 77.0-kWh lithium-ion battery feeds both SUVs, giving the slightly heavier Q4 Quattro 241 miles of EPA range versus the ID.4’s 251 miles. The Q4 line’s 265-mile marquee range comes from the 201-hp single-motor rear-wheel drive version.
On the go, the Q4 e-tron isn’t a canyon-carver, but it feels surprisingly quiet and balanced due to its low center of gravity and nearly equal front-to-aft weight distribution. It cruises confidently on straight highways with segment-appropriate steering effort, though the feel in the center is more authentic with lane centering turned off. The Q4’s 60-mph time of 5.6 seconds feels sprightly in the suburbs even if it follows the results of some of the dual-motor competitors. The 0.2 seconds it gives Volkswagen comes from the extra 80 pounds our top drawer Prestige trim packs in.
Inside, the Q4 Prestige feels a lot more upscale than the most expensive ID.4, which it should be, given Audi’s premium $7990 price tag. The Q4 does retain some questionable touch-sensitive stupidity, but at least it avoids the ID.4’s biggest flaws. Audi’s climate control is a standalone physical switch instead of a capacitive touch pad, and the driver’s window control consists of four different switches instead of Volkswagen’s annoying single pair that operate the front and rear windows. Best of all is the available heads-up display, which uses augmented-reality hover animations to underline vehicles in adaptive cruising range and direct you to the next navigation turn.
Bottom line: If you like the idea of the Volkswagen ID.4 but are willing to pay for a more upscale, luxurious experience, the Audi Q4 e-tron is just the ticket.
Audi Q4 e-tron Quattro Prestige 2022
Vehicle Type: front and mid-bike, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
Basic/As Tested: $51,095/$60,895
Options: Prestige Package (adaptive cruise control with lane guidance, head-up display with augmented reality, dual-panel acoustic front glass, premium Sonos sound, matrix LED headlights, headlight and taillight animation, heated steering wheel with regen paddles, Virtual Cockpit Plus, MMI Navigation Plus, memory for driver’s seat and outside mirrors, hands-free power tailgate, wireless phone charging pad), $7600; S-Line Plus Package (20-inch 10-spoke aero wheels, S Line exterior, black exterior trim and roof rails, brushed dark aluminum inlays, front sport seats, flat top and bottom steering wheel), $2,200
Front Motor: Asynchronous AC induction, 107 hp, 119 lb-ft
Rear Motor: Permanent magnet synchronous AC, 201 hp, 229 lb-ft
Combined Power: 295 hp
Combined Torque: 339 lb-ft
Battery Pack: liquid-cooled lithium-ion, 77.0 kWh
Built-in Charger: 11.5 kW
Peak DC Fast Charge Rate: 125 kW
Transmission, F/R: direct drive
Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 14.1-in vented disc/11.0-in drum
Tires: Bridgestone Alenza Sport A/S
F: 235/50R-20 104T Extra Load M+S AO
R: 255/45R-20 105T Extra Load M+S AO
Wheelbase: 108.7 inches
Length: 180.7 inches
Width: 73.4 inches
Height: 64.7 inches
Passenger Volume: 97 ft3
Cargo Volume, Rear Seat Up/Down: 25/53 ft3
Restraint Weight: 4964 lb
CD TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 5.6 seconds
1/4-Mile: 14.2 seconds @ 98 mph
100 mph: 14.9 seconds
The above result removes 1 foot launch from 0.3 seconds.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 5.7 seconds
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 2.4 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 3.3 sec
Top Speed (gov ltd): 113 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 177 ft
Road hold, 300 ft Skidpad: 0.84 g
CD FUEL ECONOMY AND CHARGING
Observed: 93 MPGe
75 mph Highway Range: 190 miles
Average DC Fast Charge Rate, 10–90%: 87 kW
DC Fast Charge Time, 10–90%: 44 min
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 95/100/89 MPGe
Range: 241 miles
CD TESTING EXPLAINED
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