2024 Audi Q6 e-tron electric SUV review

The Audi Q6 e-tron is an electric SUV to rival the BMW iX3 and Mercedes EQC. We've driven prototypes of the fast SQ6 performance variant and the mid-range Q6 e-tron 55 – here's how they performed...

Audi Q6 e-tron front left driving

On sale February 2024 (est) | Price from £55,000 (est)

You’d expect greatness to shine through when two of the world’s leading car makers work together to create a couple of new electric SUVs – even more so when they have a successful track record of combining their strongest attributes. The Audi Q6 e-tron, then, should have a big impact.

You see, the Q6 e-tron is the result of teamwork between Audi and Porsche – both part of the expansive VW Group – who have already combined their know-how to develop the Audi e-tron GT and the closely related Porsche Taycan. The Q6's 'twin' model is the next-generation Porsche Macan.

It's a similar size to the best-selling Audi Q5 and is said to bring big improvements in performance, range and user-experience compared with Audi’s existing electric cars. As its name suggests, the Q6 sits between the Audi Q4 e-tron and the Audi Q8 e-tron to give the German firm a much-needed answer to the BMW iX3, the Lexus RZ and the Mercedes EQC.

Audi Q6 e-tron right static

Audi is expected to reveal full specifications later in 2023, but we've already driven 90% production-ready prototypes of the mid-range Q6 e-tron 55 and the performance version, the SQ6 e-tron.

Each was fitted with a 100kWh battery that engineers say should offer up to 373 miles of range – far more than you get from the rivals above. And because the Q6 can charge at speeds of up to 270kW, the battery can be topped up from 10-80% in as little as 15 minutes if you find a very fast public charger

Audi has made a lot of very detailed (and complicated) changes to its electric car batteries for the Q6, and while some of those will be of interest mainly to chemistry teachers, you’ll notice the effects when you start racking up the miles.

For starters, the car uses new cells which pack in more power per square inch, meaning the battery takes up less space and the interior can be roomier without sacrificing any range. Plus, a lot of work has gone into reducing the impact of extremely hot or cold conditions on real-world range. The presence of a heat pump as standard should help in winter too.

Audi Q6 e-tron rear driving

The Q6 also comes with a new type of electric motor that’s claimed to be more efficient, and an upgraded regenerative braking system, meaning acceleration uses less energy, and deceleration gains more. All of which is to say that you should need to charge far less often than you might be used to. 

When it comes to power and punch, even the 55 model promises performance on a par with plenty of hot hatches. It has two motors for four-wheel drive, and with 396bhp on tap, it’s capable of sprinting from 0-62mph in less than six seconds. The RZ and the EQC can do that too, but the iX3 requires 6.8sec.

The sportier SQ6 ramps up power to a scorching 510bhp to give a 0-62mph time of less than 4.5sec. For comparison, that’s about as quick as the ferociously fast BMW M3 Touring (if you’re in the market for a supercar-chasing family hauler).

What’s the Audi Q6 e-tron like to drive?

The Q6 impresses on the move, with its considerable power and four-wheel drive setup making swift progress easy in all conditions. The standard-fit air suspension does a cracking job of getting the car over potholes, speed bumps and other obstacles smoothly and serenely. It feels on a par with the iX3 in terms of comfort, and probably has the edge on the RZ and EQC.

Audi Q6 e-tron front cornering

In addition, it's a quiet car, even by electric standards, emitting less motor whine than other electrified Audis, and shutting out wind and road noise better than the iX3. It’s at a similar level to the RZ and EQC, and those are two of the most refined cars on sale.

You can select from a variety of drive modes, ranging from mile-maximising Efficiency to power-liberating Dynamic. The comprehensive selection also includes Balanced – predictably offering a blend of efficiency and dynamism – and Off-road, which allows for more precise control of acceleration when you need to cross a slippy field or tricky track.

Driving the Q6 exuberantly in Dynamic mode drains the battery more quickly, but if you turn the regenerative braking all the way up to its highest setting, it helps to balance things out and you needn’t feel so bad about quick overtakes or B-road blasts.

There’s a one-pedal driving mode, where the car slows so dramatically when you lift off the accelerator that you barely need to touch the brake pedal at all. You can swiftly adjust its strength – and with it the amount of energy put into the battery – using paddles behind the steering wheel.

Audi Q6 e-tron front right static

For the most engaging drive (at least until the even faster RS model comes along) you’ll want the SQ6, which is not only quicker off the mark, but also offers slightly tighter body control. That said, we were very impressed by the cornering performance of the 55. It grips strongly and resists body lean well for such a tall, comfortable car, instead of swaying around in the way the EQC tends to.

What’s the Audi Q6 e-tron like inside?

It’s harder to comment on the interior at this stage, because our test cars had sheeting to hide their dashboards, but we know there will be an updated version of Audi’s MMI touchscreen infotainment system. That's likely to bring new display designs, functions and options, plus a faster operating system.

Even at this early stage, though, interior quality feels on a par with the Q5. Plush materials cover the seats and doors, the steering wheel has a funky hexagonal design, and there was a reassuringly solid-sounding ‘click’ or ‘clack’ from all of the switches and toggles we could get our hands on.

As a bonus, a quick listen to the stereo suggested that the natty Harman Kardon audio system – likely to be standard on the 55 – is more than up to the task.

Audi Q6 e-tron prototype dashboard

The Q6 is 4,766mm long, 1,936mm wide and 1,681mm high, so it's slightly larger than the Q5 on the outside, but it's more spacious inside. The boot looks to very closely match the combustion car’s 520 litres with the rear seats up, and passengers in the rear seats get plenty of leg, head and elbow room, plus a pair of cupholders in the fold-down armrest when travelling without a middle passenger.

It’s roomy and comfortable up front too. It has a full-length centre console, which means you can’t easily slide from the driver’s seat into the passenger seat, but it sits low down to keep the interior bright and airy. There are physical buttons and switches for the volume and drive mode selection, so you won't have to fiddle with the touchscreen or touch-sensitive control to alter those.

We don't yet know whether all other functions are controlled using the touchscreen, or if Audi has retained some physical controls for the heating and other important functions.

Being electric, the Q6 will be more expensive than the Q5: we expect the entry-level Q6 e-tron 45 to start at around £55,000, with the more powerful 55 version coming in at roughly £65,000. The sporty SQ6 e-tron, which will also be available from launch, is likely to cost around £80,000, and the even feistier RS Q6 e-tron – due to follow late next year – will command a price of closer to £90,000.

Audi Q6 e-tron rear detail


The Audi Q6 e-tron is shaping up to be a convincing electric alternative to the excellent Q5. It offers competitive performance, a suitably roomy interior and bags of new tech.

With ultra-efficient battery hardware and rapid-charging functionality built in, this is the sort of electric car that won't make you miss your motor.

Audi Q6 e-tron 55 quattro

Price £65,000 (est) Engine Asynchronous motor (front), permanent magnet synchronous (rear) Power 396bhp Torque tbc Gearbox 1-spd automatic Battery size 97kWh (usable, est) 0-62mph sub-6.0sec Top speed tbc Range 373 miles (est) CO2, tax band 0g/km, 2%

Lexus RZ
Mercedes EQC

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