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Used test: Audi Q4 e-tron vs Mercedes EQA

You might be tempted by either of these electric SUVs, with their premium badges and attractive used prices, but which is the better buy?...

Used test: Audi Q4 e-tron vs Mercedes EQA

The contenders

Audi Q4 e-tron 40 S Line

List price when new £47,090
Price today £29,000*
Available from 2021-present

The Q4 e-tron in this mid-range guise has a spacious interior and a great official range

Mercedes EQA 250 AMG Line

List price when new £45,995
Price today £25,000*
Available from 2021-present

As an electric version of Mercedes’ GLA family SUV, the EQA's interior is just as dazzling as its conventional sibling’s

*Price today is based on a 2021 model with average mileage and full service history, correct at time of writing

If you're cooking up something in the current car climate, mixing a premium badge with electric power and an SUV body shape is a recipe for popularity. And, to twist the words of nearly every TV chef ever, here are two that Audi and Mercedes made earlier: the Audi Q4 e-tron and the Mercedes EQA

The portion size is on the smaller side of the electric SUV spectrum, but that just makes them more affordable than many larger alternatives. At two years old, these cars dip below the £30,000 mark, too.  

Audi Q4 e-tron 2022 rear

Which of these two is the tastier dish, though? We've gathered the Q4 e-tron and EQA together, dawned our toque and channelled our inner Ainsley Harriott to find out. 


Performance, ride, handling, refinement

There’s hardly anything in it for acceleration. In our tests, both cars managed 0-60mph in an identical 8.0sec. That’s not particularly quick by electric car standards, but it’s perfectly adequate for most types of driving.

New Mercedes EQA rear

Our Q4 was fitted with the optional-from-new adaptive suspension and the 20in alloys that came as standard on S line models. Despite the big wheels, the ride comfort with this set-up is quite impressive, so long as you resist selecting the Dynamic mode.

The EQA is far from fractious, although it can’t smother bumps as well as its rival, despite having relatively dinky 18in alloys on the version we drove. When new, there wasn't an option to upgrade its suspension.

Audi Q4 e-tron 2022 front

These cars handle neatly rather than exuberantly – the former being arguably what buyers of these cars are looking for. Both of our contenders have steering that’s light and easy to use around town, and while the Q4’s steering is more precise and has a more natural weighting to it when you’re driving quickly, the margins aren’t huge. The Q4 gives you more grip, but you’ll only really notice that if you're trying to corner as though you’re driving a performance car

The Q4 is the quieter car, too. You hear a small amount of wind noise from around the windscreen at motorway speeds, along with some road noise – but this is still one of the most peaceful electric cars available for the money. Again, the EQA is far from disappointing, but at faster speeds, you do hear more wind noise, this time from around the mirrors, as well as slightly more tyre roar.

Mercedes EQA 2022 front

On a single charge, the 40 variant of the Q4 can officially travel 308 miles. The EQA drops that number to 260 miles. That’s hardly surprising when you consider that these are similar-sized cars with very similar performance, but the Q4 has the advantage of a bigger battery.

In reality, both official range figures are wildly optimistic. You’d have to drive very slowly on a warm day – and potentially even resort to switching off the air conditioning – to get close to them.

In our real-world tests, both cars averaged an identical 3.1 miles per kWh, giving the Q4 a theoretical maximum range of 237 miles and the EQA a range of 206 miles. We know the Q4 can go further because it managed 266 miles in a previous test, but that was on a relatively warm day in July. In cooler conditions, when it was around 17deg C, battery performance inevitably took a hit.

Next: What are they like inside? >>

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