Audi E-tron Sportback long-term test: report 6

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 side

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 3120 List price £80,675 Target Price £80,675 Price as tested £84,795 Test range 246 miles Official range 247 miles

14 September 2021 – Free miles

It’s rare to get something for nothing in this world, but you do with electric cars like my Audi E-tron Sportback.

You see, they feature regenerative braking, where the motors that usually power the car are temporarily turned into generators when you lift off the accelerator. And as a result, when you’re slowing down or descending a hill, you get free energy.

LT Audi E-tron Sportback going down hill

Indeed, on a particularly steep hill near my parents' house, I’ve found I can add four miles of range, thanks to the E-tron’s regenerative braking.

Sure, I have to use more energy to get up the hill in the first place than I would if I was driving on a flat road, but climbing hills is also bad for fuel economy in a petrol or diesel car, without you being able to top up your tank on the way down.

Audi E-tron Sportback steering wheel paddle

Adjusting the strength of the regenerative braking is easy; you simply pull on one of two steering wheel-mounted paddles, with the left one increasing it so that more electricity is generated (with the side effect that the E-tron slows quicker), and the right one decreasing it, meaning you can coast for longer.

Now that I’m making full use of this functionality, I’m finding I’m able to travel more than 30 miles farther on a charge than I could when I first took delivery of the car, although I’m sure the recent hot weather has also been playing its part.

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