New Audi Q4 e-tron vs new Mercedes EQA: costs

As the battle to be your next electric SUV gets fiercer by the day, the Q4 e-tron and EQA join the charge – but which is the better car? We pick a winner...

Audi Q4 e-tron 2022 side

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security

Not many electric cars are available with discounts at the moment, but our mystery shoppers found that Mercedes dealers were willing to negotiate on the Mercedes EQA. A saving of more than £2300 (which you can get through our new car buying service) makes it the cheaper car by about £3400 if you’re paying cash.

When you factor in all the bills you’re likely to face during three years of ownership, the Audi Q4 e-tron still works out more expensive, but slightly slower predicted depreciation helps to narrow the gap to around £2200. That’s assuming you sell it at the end of the three years, of course.

As is the case with all electric cars, these SUVs are incredibly cheap options if you’re a company car driver paying benefit-in-kind tax. If you’re in the 40% tax bracket, you’ll need to sacrifice just £16 of your salary each month until April next year for the Q4 and £15 for the EQA. That is due to rise the following year to £31 for both cars until at least April 2024.

Mercedes EQA 2022 side

If you’re planning to sign up to a PCP finance agreement, the difference in cost between the rivals isn't huge: around £20 a month more for the Q4 than the EQA. Buyers who put down a £5000 deposit and sign up to a four-year contract with a 10,000-mile annual limit will pay £573 for the Q4 e-tron, compared with £553 for the EQA on the same terms.

Both cars were equally efficient in our tests, so there isn’t anything to split them for charging costs. However, the speed with which you can charge up their batteries might influence your decision. 

The EQA can take up to 100kW from a suitable CCS public charger, meaning that a 10-80% top-up can take as little as 35 minutes. You'd expect the Q4, with its bigger battery, to take longer to charge but, because it can accept up to 126kW of power, the same 10-80% charge can actually be completed in 34 minutes.

Audi Q4 e-tron vs Mercedes EQA costs

If you’re charging at home using a regular 7kW wallbox, a 0-100% charge will take around 12 hours in the Q4 and 11 hours in the EQA. Mercedes will fit a charging point at your home for an extra £525 and throws in a year’s worth of charging at Ionity public stations. 

Audi includes a PodPoint 7kW wallbox free with your car and, at the time of writing, offers £150 charging credit with its Transit tariff (£16.81 a month), which gets you discounted charging with Ionity and other providers.

On the luxury front, both cars come with automatic climate control, ambient interior lighting, privacy glass and part-leather seats that are heated in the front.

Audi Q4 e-tron Euro NCAP crash test

The EQA also gets a heat pump designed to improve battery efficiency (and therefore range) and warm the interior more efficiently in cooler conditions. You can have one of these in your Q4, but it’ll cost you an extra £950.

Both cars have been appraised for safety by Euro NCAP, although the tests were done under slightly different criteria. Each model was awarded five stars out of five, and while the Q4 did prove a little better at protecting a theoretical 10-year-old child sitting in the back, the margins were small. Both cars come with automatic emergency braking as standard. Blindspot monitoring comes as standard on the EQA and costs extra on the Q4.

Reliability is hard to predict, because both cars are new and neither manufacturer has a long track record of building electric cars. However, in the latest 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey, Audi came 18th (out of 30 brands), while Mercedes was even lower down the table, in joint 22nd place.

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