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First report: Audi Q4 E-Tron long-term test

Date: 05 November 2021   |   Author: Martyn Collins

The Audi Q4 E-Tron's range gives less cause for anxiety.
Audi Q4 E-tron 50 Quattro 220kW S-Line
P11D price: £51,315
As tested: £63,295
Official consumption: 270 miles
Our average consumption: 3.3 mi/kWh
Mileage: 2,288

Audi has big plans for the Q4 E-Tron, as it said at the launch earlier this year. The German company is predicting that this small SUV will be its second-best seller in the UK after the A3, with 20,000 units forecasted for the first full year of sales. 

It certainly gets off to a good start in the looks department. I really like the Q4's sculpted style, short overhangs and raked front windscreen. The shape also suits the optional (£575) Geyser Blue paint and 20in 5-Y-spoke wheels finished in graphite (£150). Overall, the Q4 is familiar enough to be recognisable as an Audi - but with a modern twist.

Built on the same VW Group MEB dedicated electric platform as the Volkswagen ID4 and the Skoda Enyaq, at 4,588mm long it fits between the Q3 and Q5. Although, it feels much bigger inside - thanks to clever packaging. Head and legroom are particularly impressive. 

The 40 model is expected to be the top-seller, with its 304-mile range, but we have the range-topping 50 Quattro with 295hp and a 295-mile range. Ours is in popular 'S-Line' trim and is fitted with plenty of options, some of which - because this is an early car - wouldn't normally be fitted to this trim - or even be fitted to UK cars at all.

So far, I've only been short distances, but this I'm sure will quickly change as my diary fills up. However, I've found the Q4 E-Tron a potent and responsive drive, with tidy handling. 

Having lived with another shorter-range electric car for six-months, the 260 miles claimed from the Audi seems a luxury and less likely to cause worry about range anxiety. However, so far charging has been limited to my 7kW wall box. The consensus is the public charging network is improving, so now is my chance to see if this is correct.

Already, there's plenty to impress. The headlights in particular are brilliant, the way the optional (£1,075) Matrix LED headlights can keep full beam on for longer is surely going to be an asset as we head into the darker winter weather.

Electric or not, interior quality seems a match for Audi's ICE engine models. Also, I'm pleased to report that the physical buttons for items, such as the ventilation work, so much better and are far less complicated to use than the touch-screen sliders seen in the other VW Group models.

Gripes so far are limited to the lack of rear-view camera, part of the expensive Comfort and Sound package (£1,295), which sadly our car doesn't have. Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but I've found the Q4's all-round visibility isn't great. 

Also, I haven't seen a quartic steering wheel fitted to a car since the Austin Allegro in the 70s. The Q4's is taking a bit of time to get used to. It is nice to hold but is all too easy to catch the multi-function buttons - when you don't want to.

Still, I'm looking forward to learning more over the next few months and seeing how the Q4 E-Tron performs over the winter months.

Standard equipment on 220kW S-Line:

LED headlights with LED daytime running lights and LED rear lights, front sport seats, MMI Navigation Plus with 10.1in touch screen, Audi Virtual Cockpit, 3-zone air-con, 20in 5-Y-Spoke alloy wheels  

Optional equipment (£3,635): 

Matrix LED headlights (£1,075), Safety Package Plus (£650), Function Package (£325), Ambient lighting Pack Plus (£100), Technology Pack (£1,200), flat top and bottom steering wheel with paddles (£285)