The Audi e-tron is the German manufacturer’s first all-electric car. Usually, with firsts, you’d expect teething problems and kinks to iron out. But that’s not the case with the e-tron.
The most remarkable aspect of the e-tron isn’t its over 200 miles of range or its 0-62mph time of 5.7 seconds, but the fact it’s quintessentially Audi.
Every detail is precise. There’s no “that’ll do” mentality. It’s a superb luxury SUV with an eco-friendly twist, and it looks fantastic, too.
The Audi e-tron isn’t there to be bold or brash. To make a statement about driving green like a Tesla. Its purpose is to convince car lovers that driving electric can be done in both style and comfort, without fuss.
So, if you want a big, luxurious SUV, but are also mindful of the world around you, the e-tron has to be somewhere near the top of your list.
What’s Great About This Car?
- Huge boot
- Sports-like acceleration
- Luxurious interior
What’s Not So Great About This Car?
- No seven-seat option
- Expensive to buy outright
- Softer handling compared to competitors
Use the titles below to navigate to which section you want to read next.
- Exterior Design & Styling
- Range, Running Costs & Environment
- Engines, Drive & Performance
- Practicality & Boot Space
- Reliability & Safety
- Model Variants
- Cost & Deals
1. Exterior Design & Styling
Audi exterior designer, Stephan Fahr-Becker, described the e-tron’s design as “modern, but quiet.” However, the e-tron’s design is more than that. It’s incredibly sophisticated.
On the exterior, everything is designed with the vehicle’s range in mind, particularly utilising aerodynamics.
At the front, Audi’s customary large open grille is replaced with a lower, more closed version – due to the lack of need for an air intake like a regular combustion engine.
The roofline slopes to allow air to pass easily over the top of the car, while the exterior shoulder lines, which surround the vehicle, ensure a lower centre of gravity.
At the rear, the single panoramic light band not only gives the e-tron a futuristic look, but also acts to reduce drag, as does the rear glass, which appears to connect seamlessly with the car’s shoulders.
2. Range, Charge Time, Running Costs & Environment
The Audi e-tron was once a one-variant model but has since expanded to five. Depending on which version you buy, you’ll have access to 258, 241, 226, 223 or 195 miles of range.
To charge, again it depends on which vehicle you choose, but also what type of charger you’re using. At a rapid charging station, you can expect 0-80% of range in about 30 minutes. From home, 0-100% is around 13-and-a-half hours.
If you decide to charge at home, it shouldn’t cost you much more than £15 for a full charge. At a rapid charger, you can expect to pay £7-£8 more. Either way, you’re looking between 7p-11p per mile, which is less than the 12p-15p you’d pay in a conventional road car of this size – a saving of around £10 every time you charge up.
And as it’s a full-electric car, it produces zero emissions, so there’s no road tax to pay.
3. Engines, Drive & Performance
The Audi e-tron comes in three powertrain variants:
- e-tron 50 quattro
- e-tron 55 quattro
- e-tron S quattro
In the S, from a standing start, it’ll reach 62mph in 5.7 seconds, and rise all the way to 130mph.
Although the Audi e-tron’s handling is impressive, it’s still softer than some of its competitors. But both on and off-road, there’s an impressive range of feedback.
However, for a car this big and this quick, it’s not as responsive as you’d like in some situations.
The Audi e-tron’s standard air suspension is excellent at handling bumps and lumps in the road. It allows the cabin to remain refined and relaxed, even when devouring some of the UK’s larger potholes.
However, switch out of comfort mode and it’s not so smooth. It doesn’t ruin the drive, but cracks in the road are certainly more noticeable.
For ultimate comfort, stick with the standard 20-inch alloy wheels which come with the Sport or Technik models. That’s not to say the larger, 21-inch alloys make a big difference, but they make the ride a little less comfortable.
Inside, Audi wanted to ensure that the e-tron both resembled an Audi and had enough of its own characteristics to differentiate its electric pedigree.
They achieved that through a lot of tiny details, such as an interior light band atop the dashboard which is unique to the e-tron, and a floating gear selector which is integrated into the centre console and requires only a twiddle of the fingers rather than – as I’m sure we’ll all agree – the mammoth task of changing gear with one whole hand.
As well, there are light signatures built into the vehicle’s interior flow, emphasising its reliability on electricity, and noticeable contrast between the vehicle’s rugged sports and off-road performance to a cabin of space and silence.
To feel, the e-tron is like a conventional luxurious Audi. Plush leather seats provide unrivalled comfort, while two fully-integrated high definition screens – one of which houses Audi’s critically-acclaimed MMI infotainment interface – leave space for a modernistic, clutter-free dash.
Although, that’s not always a positive as, without air conditioning dials to touch, you have to take your eyes off the road to stay comfortable.
When driving, the rear pillars can cause a bit of an issue, although the standard 360-degree camera and rear sensors alleviate the problem somewhat.
Digital door mirrors are an option to reduce drag, ensuring you extract every last mile of range from the e-tron’s batteries. However, the projected image isn’t as well-placed as it is on other cars with the same technology.
But in terms of overall quality and experience, Audi again delivers an airy, comfortable, luxurious cabin which only adds to the e-tron’s driving experience.
5. Practicality & Boot Space
Although the Audi e-tron is not too dissimilar in size to its flagship Q7 SUV, it doesn’t offer seven seats like the convention internal combustion model.
Five is the maximum you can house, although, with the extra space, the e-tron does offer an impressive boot; 600 litres to be precise – or the equivalent of more than 12 cabin bags.
In terms of driving practicality, the e-tron is as comfortable off the road as it is on it. It may well be an opulent SUV, but its quattro all-wheel-drive system, which is aided by an electric motor on each axle – with the rear wheels receiving a touch more power than the front – means the e-tron is ready for any occasion.
6. Reliability & Safety
The Audi e-tron received a five-star NCAP Safety Rating when it was tested in 2019. It comes with front and side driver and passenger airbags – curtain airbags are optional – Isofix points as standard in the rear, as well as optional points in the front, too.
Every model is also fitted with Audi Pre-Sense Front, lane departure warning, cruise control, speed limiter, and a 360-degree parking camera and sensors.
As it’s still a fairly new vehicle, there’s no reliability data to draw on just yet, although Audi, in general, is known for its laser-focused attention to detail.
7. Model Variants
The Audi e-tron comes in five model variants:
- e-tron 50 quattro
- e-tron 55 quattro
- e-tron S quattro
- e-tron Sportback 55 quattro
- e-tron Sportback S quattro
8. Specification Variants
- S line
- Black Edition
Audi e-tron Sportback
- S line
- Launch Edition
Audi e-tron S
Audi e-tron S Sportback
9. Cost & Deals
You can get behind the wheel of a brand-new Audi e-tron with Hippo Leasing from as little as £485 a month.
We also have Approved Used and £0 deposit options available, and provide a large range of finance packages which are available to all credit types.