Audi Q4 e-tron review

Category: Electric car

The 2024 Q4 e-tron is a comfortable, practical and classy electric SUV

Audi Q4 e-tron front right driving
  • Audi Q4 e-tron front right driving
  • Audi Q4 e-tron rear cornering
  • Neil Winn test driving Audi Q4 e-tron
  • Audi Q4 e-tron boot open
  • Audi Q4 e-tron driver display
  • Audi Q4 e-tron front cornering
  • Audi Q4 e-tron rear right driving
  • Audi Q4 e-tron front right static
  • Audi Q4 e-tron rear right static
  • Audi Q4 e-tron front detail
  • Audi Q4 e-tron headlights detail
  • Audi Q4 e-tron alloy wheel detail
  • Audi Q4 e-tron charging socket detail
  • Audi Q4 e-tron rear lights detail
  • Audi Q4 e-tron rear badge detail
  • Audi Q4 e-tron dashboard
  • Audi Q4 e-tron steering wheel detail
  • Audi Q4 e-tron infotainment touchscreen
  • Audi Q4 e-tron front seats
  • Audi Q4 e-tron back seats
  • Audi Q4 e-tron interior detail
  • Audi Q4 e-tron rear interior controls
  • Audi Q4 e-tron front right driving
  • Audi Q4 e-tron rear cornering
  • Neil Winn test driving Audi Q4 e-tron
  • Audi Q4 e-tron boot open
  • Audi Q4 e-tron driver display
  • Audi Q4 e-tron front cornering
  • Audi Q4 e-tron rear right driving
  • Audi Q4 e-tron front right static
  • Audi Q4 e-tron rear right static
  • Audi Q4 e-tron front detail
  • Audi Q4 e-tron headlights detail
  • Audi Q4 e-tron alloy wheel detail
  • Audi Q4 e-tron charging socket detail
  • Audi Q4 e-tron rear lights detail
  • Audi Q4 e-tron rear badge detail
  • Audi Q4 e-tron dashboard
  • Audi Q4 e-tron steering wheel detail
  • Audi Q4 e-tron infotainment touchscreen
  • Audi Q4 e-tron front seats
  • Audi Q4 e-tron back seats
  • Audi Q4 e-tron interior detail
  • Audi Q4 e-tron rear interior controls
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Introduction

What Car? says...

The Audi Q4 e-tron could well be the model that convinces you that electric cars are more than just a niche choice.

You've probably seen a lot of Q4s on the road since its launch and that’s because it's currently Audi’s best-selling SUV. Popularity is far from a guarantee of greatness though, so is the Q4 e-tron worthy of your attention – and more importantly your cash?

Well, under the skin, it’s closely related to the Skoda Enyaq – a five-star car. But unlike the Enyaq, it promises the tech, polish and plushness you’d expect from something with four rings on its nose.

It's also very well priced against other premium electric SUVs. The Q4 e-tron costs a little more than the Volvo EX40 and a touch less than the BMW iX3 and Genesis GV60. As with the EX40, you can get four-wheel drive if you want extra traction.

So, how does the Audi Q4 e-tron stack up against the best electric SUVs? Read on to find out how we rate it...

Overview

The Audi Q4 e-tron is temptingly priced for a premium-badged electric SUV, plus it’s a very comfortable, practical and classy choice. If you’re not so worried about the emblem on the nose of your car, we’d urge you to look at the Skoda Enyaq as well, because it’s similar in a lot of respects. However, the Q4 does feel like the more expensive car it is, particularly in terms of infotainment and interior finish.

  • Comfortable ride at all speeds
  • Classy and spacious interior
  • Well priced
  • So-so performance
  • Visibility could be better
  • Cheapest versions have a short range
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Our Pick

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Audi Q4 210kW 45 82kWh Sport 5dr Auto [Leather] review
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Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Strengths

  • +Base car is quick enough
  • +Plush ride
  • +Quiet at a cruise

Weaknesses

  • -Not the sharpest in the bends

Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox

The entry-level Audi Q4 e-tron – the 45 – is our favourite version, with 282bhp, rear-wheel drive and a 6.7 seconds 0-62mph time. That makes it quicker off the line than entry-level versions of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, although most versions of the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Tesla Model Y are much faster.

If you live in a particularly weather-beaten part of the UK, you’ll be pleased to know you can specify your 45 with Quattro all-wheel drive. And while that does have an impact on range, it is minimal, with the Quattro offering up an official 319 miles on a single charge – just 11 miles down on the rear-wheel-drive version. 

If you crave more poke, there's the 55 Quattro, which produces 335bhp and can accelerate from 0-62mph in a hot-hatch rivalling 5.4 seconds. However, from behind the wheel it doesn’t feel a whole lot faster than the 45, and the Volvo EX40 Twin Motor and Tesla Model Y Long Range are even quicker.

Suspension and ride comfort

The Q4 e-tron generally feels supple around town, plus it breathes with the road at higher speeds without becoming floaty. Sport models on the smallest 19in wheels and comfort suspension are the most comfortable, isolating against bumps the most effectively.

S line models on 20in wheels and stiffer sports suspension have a touch more fidget, both when pottering around town and going over pockmarked roads at speed, but it’s still a comfortable car.

Again, for context, it won’t be as supple as the very best petrol SUVs, simply because the heavy battery pack requires stiffer suspension to hold it up. That said, the Q4 isn’t as jarring as the equivalent EX40 over expansion joints on the motorway and is more forgiving than larger-wheeled versions of the VW ID 4.

Audi Q4 image
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Audi Q4 e-tron rear cornering

Handling

There can be a fair bit of body lean when cornering, but the Q4 e-tron grips strongly and its accurate steering gives you the confidence to hustle it along. The unnecessarily heavy Dynamic setting doesn’t really add to the experience.

Rear-wheel-drive 45 models have a very tight turning circle for a car of this size, which is a real boon when you're parking and manoeuvring. Four-wheel-drive 55 models are less manoeuvrable because the extra mechanical gubbins up front prevents the wheels from being able to turn as sharply, so spinning the car around will require more planning.

Noise and vibration

The Q4 e-tron can’t match the incredible refinement of the bigger and more expensive Audi Q8 e-tron but it is better at shutting out road noise than key rivals such as the Mustang Mach-E and EX40. There’s also very little motor whine.

Wind noise is minimal unless there’s a heavy crosswind, in which case you hear it gusting around the windscreen pillars.

Many electric vehicles – including the Mach-E – can be hard to stop smoothly because they struggle to blend their normal friction brakes with the regenerative braking that tops up their batteries as you slow down. Thankfully the Q4’s brake pedal is reassuringly consistent.

"The Q4 is one of the most hushed electric cars at this price. At motorway speeds there's a small amount of wind and road noise but generally it's very quiet." – Will Nightingale, Reviews Editor

Interior

The interior layout, fit and finish

Strengths

  • +Great quality
  • +Slick infotainment
  • +Virtual cockpit is class-leading

Weaknesses

  • -Styling is a bit dour
  • -Some cheap interior plastics

Driving position and dashboard

While you’ll still be looking up at Range Rover drivers in traffic jams, you sit quite high in the Audi Q4 e-tron, plus there’s a wide range of adjustment to help you get settled, including electrically adjustable lumbar support.

As a bonus, the climate controls are conventional switches, which are far less distracting to use on the move than the touchscreen icons you get in the Skoda Enyaq and Volvo EX40. let alone the touch-sensitive panels of the VW ID 4.

A configurable digital instrument panel is standard, while an augmented-reality head-up display (available as part of the Technology Pack Pro) should further reduce the need to look down at the dashboard. It can project images for the lane-departure warning and sat-nav directional arrows showing you where to turn, so they appear to be on the road ahead.

Visibility, parking sensors and cameras

The need to accommodate the augmented-reality head-up display has forced Audi to position the windscreen pillars of the Q4 e-tron unusually far forward. That means they can sometimes obscure your view at junctions, but over-the-shoulder visibility is impressive.

Powerful LED headlights are standard across the range, with adaptive matrix versions available as part of the Technology Pack. Front and rear parking sensors come as standard, as well as a rear-view camera, but you’ll need to add the Park Assist Plus pack for a 360-degree view display.

Neil Winn test driving Audi Q4 e-tron

Sat nav and infotainment

Above the climate controls sits an 11.6in infotainment touchscreen. It's not quite as intuitive as the iDrive system in the BMW iX3 but it’s easier to use than the Skoda Enyaq’s and much quicker than the ID.4’s glitchy unit.

You also get a DAB radio, built-in navigation, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring, two USB-C ports and a three-year subscription to online services such as Google maps, and weather and hazard alerts. Amazon Alexa is integrated into the system, allowing you to manage calendars, shopping lists and your Amazon smart devices at home, all through voice commands.

An excellent 10-speaker Sonos sound system with a 580W amplifier is available as part of the Technology Pack, and because the Q4 is so quiet at a cruise you can really appreciate the difference between that and the regular eight-speaker set-up.

Quality

The electric SUV class includes some seriously plush and pricey models, including the bigger Audi Q8 e-tron but the Q4 e-tron still fares pretty well in this area.

It feels significantly classier than its Enyaq and ID.4 siblings, as well as the Ford Mustang Mach-E, despite featuring some hard black plastic on the doors and centre console. The Volvo EC40 does feel sturdier though.

"A few years ago, Audi was head and shoulders above just about every rival for interior quality, and the Q4 is far from cheap-feeling inside, but there is a fair amount of hard plastic." – Will Nightingale, Reviews Editor

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

Strengths

  • +Plenty of rear head and leg room
  • +Decent boot size

Weaknesses

  • -Rear bench doesn’t do anything clever
  • -No front boot

Front space

You’ll have plenty of head and leg room in the front of the Audi Q4 e-tron, even if you’re well over 6ft tall, plus the car is wide enough that there’s no danger of the driver and front passenger banging elbows.

You get a huge storage bin between the front seats, along with two cupholders and a generous stowage area at the base of the dashboard. The door bins are a good size.

Rear space

Rear-seat passengers are very well catered for, with the Q4 offering much more knee room than the Volvo EX40 and more head room than the Ford Mustang Mach-E.

Overall, it’s roomier than both those rivals, and is also a match for the closely related Skoda Enyaq. Even a central rear passenger will be reasonably comfortable because the floor is completely flat.

Audi Q4 e-tron boot open

Seat folding and flexibility

The rear seatbacks in the entry-level Sport model fold in a 60/40 arrangement, rather than the more versatile 40/20/40 split that S line models and above get.

Sadly, the seats don’t slide, recline or do anything else that’s particularly clever. Passenger seat height adjustment is standard across the range.

Boot space

The Q4 e-tron's boot matches the 520-litre capacity of the conventionally powered Audi Q5 and we managed to fit seven carry-on suitcases into it.

True, the Tesla Model 3 can take 10 cases, but that's split between its two boots (including one in its nose) and it has a narrower saloon-car opening. The Q4’s wide aperture and tailgate mean it’ll fit much bulkier items, plus that tailgate is powered on all versions.

If you specify a height-adjustable boot floor (part of the optional Function Package) and set it to its highest setting, there's no step up to the folded seats, making it easier to slide in big heavy loads. It also lets you keep the charging cable beneath the floor away from your luggage, and adds a 12V boot-mounted power socket and nets to stop smaller items sliding around.

"The rear seats are comfy with plenty of head and leg room, while the long, tall boot – accessed with a standard powered tailgate – provides plenty of storage." – Will Nightingale, Reviews Editor

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Strengths

  • +Competitive finance
  • +Decent standard equipment

Weaknesses

  • -Base car not as quick to charge
  • -Audi performed poorly in our latest reliability su

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

The Audi Q4 e-tron is competitively priced against premium-badged rivals and is likely to hold its value well. That should make for attractive leasing deals and PCP finance rates.

As with all pure-electric cars, the Q4 is cheap to run as a company car because it's in a very low benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax band. You can check out the best prices using our free New Car Deals pages.

A full charge from a 7kW home wallbox charger takes around 12 hours for all Q4 e-trons, but the Quattro models can now be rapid charged at up to 175kW (the 45 still charges at a maximum charging speed of 135kW).

The result is that the first 10 minutes of charging is quicker in a Quattro, but due to the rather strange world of battery chemistry, both the rear-wheel-drive car and Quattro models charge from 10-80% in an identical 28 minutes.

Equipment, options and extras

Even the entry-level Sport trim is decently equipped, getting 19in alloy wheels, three-zone climate control, heated front seats and a powered boot lid.

Upgrading to S line brings 20in wheels, privacy glass, sports front seats and ambient interior lighting.

Black Edition models add larger 21in wheels, a black exterior styling pack and paddles behind the steering wheel that let you quickly change the level of energy recuperation.

Audi Q4 e-tron driver display

Reliability

Audi finished in a disappointing 26th place out of the 32 car makers included in the 2023 What Car? Reliability Survey – ahead of Jaguar, but behind BMW, Kia, Volvo and Tesla.

The Q4 e-tron’s battery warranty lasts for eight years or 100,000 miles (whichever comes first) and Audi covers the rest of the car for three years/60,000 miles. That’s nothing special when you consider that the main warranty of the Kia Niro EV stretches to seven years/100,000 miles.

Safety and security

The Q4 e-tron was given a full five stars for safety after it was tested by Euro NCAP. It scored 93% for adult occupant protection and 89% for child occupant protection.

Audi gives you lots of safety equipment as standard, including lane-departure warning and an automatic emergency braking (AEB) system that can detect pedestrians and cyclists as well as other cars.

Unless you go for the range-topping Vorsprung model, you have to pay extra for blind-spot monitoring and a system that warns you if another vehicle is passing behind you when you’re reversing out of a parking space.

"When we compared the Q4 e-tron with the Mercedes EQA, we found the Q4 better to drive and more practical... it's worth the extra outlay." – Will Nightingale, Reviews Editor


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FAQs

  • The Q4 e-tron’s range depends on which model you pick. The entry-level Q4 45 officially manages 319 miles for the four-wheel-drive (Quattro) version and 330 miles with front-wheel drive.

  • We recommend the Q4 e-tron 45 Sport because the 45 version offers plenty of performance and the best range in the line-up, without the high cost of the 55 version. Meanwhile, Sport trim is the cheapest choice but still offers plenty of luxuries.

At a glance
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RRP price range £51,270 - £66,945
Number of trims (see all)3
Number of engines (see all)2
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)electric
Available doors options 5
Warranty 3 years / 60000 miles
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £102 / £134
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £205 / £268
Available colours