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Connected and electric – Audi Q4 e-tron 40 Sport 150kW review

What is it?

The Audi Q4 e-tron sits snugly between the brand’s SUV range between the Q3 and Q5 and the latest versions come with faster charging and more connected features.

This benefits models with the large battery that provides 76.6 kWh of net energy (82 kWh gross) – that is, the Audi Q4 40 e-tron, and Audi Q4 50 e-tron quattro models as well as the associated Sportback versions. All new versions of these cars now have a recharging capacity of 135 kW of power. The ideal five to 80% charge time is reduced for the Q4 40 e-tron and the Q4 Sportback 40 e-tron from 38 to 29 minutes, and the Q4 50 e-tron quattro and Q4 Sportback 50 e-tron quattro models from 38 to 36 minutes.

So, you’ll just have to drink that coffee a little more quickly.

The all-electric versions of the Q4 carry a price premium of around £10K while you do lose some boot space to accommodate the batteries.

The car shares its underpinnings with the rest of its Volkswagen family and sits on the MEB electric platform and shares EV components with the VW ID.4 and Skoda Enyaq  but wears an Audi top hat.

There are three basic starting models, the 35, 40 and 50-badged models. The 35 e-tron has a 52kWh battery, 208-mile WLTP range and a 168bhp motor. The 40 e-tron a 77kWh battery, 316-mile WLTP range and a 201bhp motor. The 50 e-tron quattro has the same battery set-up as the 40 but with an extra front motor to give the car four-wheel drive, boosting available power to 295bhp but reducing the official range to 298 miles. Trims come in Sport, S Line, Edition 1 and Vorsprung.

Thanks to the integration of Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa, Audi connect now lets drivers manage their calendar or shopping list by voice as well as control compatible smart home devices from their car. Individual user profiles in the car, last-mile navigation options, and expanded app functions on the car status and parked position round out the connect portfolio.

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With Audi connect Emergency call & Service, the vehicle can make an automatic emergency call in the respective national language to help route emergency responders to the right location. Roadside assistance can be manually called by pressing the service call button in the roof module. A separate mobile phone module, independent from the customer telephone service, handles the data and audio connection with a permanently integrated SIM card mounted at a crash-proof location in the car.

The infotainment offering is complemented by the largest-ever display to be used in an Audi. The new MMI touch display featuring an 11.6-inch screen with a resolution of 1,764 x 824 pixels comes standard across the line-up.

The free myAudi app also offers new features, such as preplanned routes that can now be conveniently sent to the car right from the app. The e-tron route planner can also automatically plan charging stops based on the current traffic situation, taking into account the driver’s individual consumption profile.

The app now also allows users to set a charging target, and the driver is notified via a push notification on their smartphone when the desired charge level is reached.

What do we think?

The Q4 is pleasant enough to look at but it won’t win any beauty contests. It’s difficult to make an SUV look pretty at the best of times, although I’m sure many will disagree.

It’s certainly a nice drive, though. Quiet and smooth, the ride is well damped and the steering is nicely weighted and accurate.

The cabin is very quiet on the move – you’d probably expect that anyway from an EV, but exterior road and wind noise is well damped. Acceleration is smooth rather than neck-breaking, providing plenty of confidence when overtaking.

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As for range, there’s a usable battery capacity of 76.6kWh which provides a WLTP range of 320 miles. Achieving that is always a challenge but at 3.4 miles/kWh we were getting over the mid-200s indicated.

The range indicator is pretty accurate and you can have fun by trying to increase it via the paddles behind the the steering wheel with which you can ramp up the regenerative breaking. This is optional on Sport and S Line models and comes as standard on Edition 1 and Vorsprung cars.

Interior, as ever on an Audi, is high quality although no longer as innovative as they once were. Base-spec Sport models get a decent equipment list with three-zone aircon, heated front sport seats and a multifunction steering wheel.

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There’s an interesting mixture of physical buttons and touch screen operations and not overly complicated. Gear selection – basically forwards, backwards, neutral and park, has been reduced to a tiny button on the centre console. There’s also the mode selector and start button, although you don’t necessarily need that as all the start-up and shut down functions appear to be controlled by simply sitting in or leaving from the driver’s seat – in the model we tried anyway.

There’s a 10.1-inch touchscreen display in the middle of the dashboard and a 10.25-inch virtual instrument panel behind the steering wheel.

There’s a reasonable amount of storage with a glovebox and deep central bin under the deep central bin providing security cover.

It’s certainly comfortable enough for four adults. Rear seat passengers had no complaints over leg room while the batteries do not diminish cargo space that much. The boot floor is quite high with a decent sized compartment underneath the floor to store charging cables etc.

For those with families seeking to go electric, the Q4 offers a good mixture of space and performance although at just over £52,000 it may not fit the family budget. However, definately worth a look at the company user-chooser leasing list.

For specifications for the Q4 e-tron 40 Sport 150kW, go to our vehicle data centre.

 

 

 

 

 

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