Audi E-tron Sportback long-term test: report 11

Can you live with a fully electric car if you can't charge at home? We're finding out with the help of the Audi E-tron Sportback...

LT Audi E-tron Sportback colour match

The car Audi E-tron Sportback 55 quattro 96kWh S line Run by Steve Huntingford, editor

Why it's here We want to see if Audi's electric coupé SUV feels worthy of its £80k price tag and fits into everyday life

Needs to Deliver a wow factor befitting its price, and not be compromised by its mode of propulsion or sleek looks

Mileage 4800 List price £80,675 Target Price £76,677 Price as tested £84,795 Test range 210 miles Official range 247 miles

1 February 2022 – Brightening the day

Look around the average car park and it has about as much colour as a 1950s TV screen. But why? Why are the most popular car ‘colours’ in the UK grey, black and white, with these rather austere shades accounting for more than 60% of sales?

Well, the fact that many brands seem to offer half a dozen greys and silvers and only one blue doesn’t help, although they’d probably argue that they’re merely responding to customer demand.

LT Audi E-tron Sportback ambient interior lighting menu

The desire to protect resale values almost certainly contributes, too, with monochrome the automotive equivalent of painting every room magnolia when you’re trying to sell your house. And yet I’d argue that my Audi E-tron Sportback’s distinctive Antigua Blue finish actually adds to its desirability.

No, it’s not for everyone; one friend’s first reaction was “please tell me you didn’t choose that god-awful colour”. However, he seems to be very much in the minority; I’ve never before had so many people approach me in the supermarket car park to praise my choice of motor, and I’m convinced the eye-catching paint plays as big a part as the eye-catching design.

The novelty shows no sign of wearing off, either, even after nine months with the car. In fact, I still like the colour so much that the ambient interior lighting – something I could easily change if I wanted to – remains set to the matching shade of 'Caribbean' blue that my daughter selected soon after my E-tron Sportback first arrived.

LT Audi E-tron Sportback on motorway at night

It lifts what is a very classy, but otherwise largely monochrome, driving environment. And I personally find cool-blue lighting relaxing in a way that orange, yellow or red simply wouldn’t be.

In fact, if I had to sum up the E-tron Sportback in one word, I could do a lot worse than relaxing. It’s often assumed that all electric cars are quiet, but in reality the lack of engine noise makes you more aware of wind and road roar. And yet you still hear very little of either in the E-tron Sportback, even at motorway speeds.

Factor in the supportive seats and supple ride, and I can safely say that this is a great car to cover miles in – no shades of grey required.

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