In-depth reviews

Audi Q4 e-tron review - Engines, performance and drive

The Q4 e-tron prioritises refinement over performance, although top-spec versions still offer a decent turn of pace

The first thing you notice once on the move in the Q4 e-tron is how refined and comfortable it is. There’s little noise entering the cabin and it feels easy to drive despite its family SUV dimensions.

For most of the time you’ll probably be better off in the default Comfort setting from the various drive select options on offer, as it’s well suited to everyday driving. If one of your top priorities is maximising the car’s dynamic ability and ride refinement, you can always tick the options box to spec adaptive dampers for around an extra £700, but for most, the standard set-up will suffice.

The Q4 e-tron is predictably stable at motorway speeds, while its reasonably heavy steering and low centre of gravity (due to the underfloor battery position) promote a balanced feel as you make progress through twistier A- and B-roads. You wouldn’t pick the Q4 e-tron for a fun, Sunday morning blast, but switch to Dynamic mode and a sharper throttle response gives you punchier performance off the line and at higher speeds.

Our test car was fitted with steering wheel paddles which allow the driver to control the amount of brake regeneration to use: the system seeks to recover energy that would otherwise be lost when lifting off the accelerator or when braking, helping to maximise overall range. The different settings mean you should be able to find a level that feels right for your driving style, although Audi’s clever on-board tech is also able to recognise speed-limit changes and make automatic adjustments itself to best meet the road conditions.

Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed 

Opting for the entry-level 168bhp 35 e-tron model means performance is just about adequate, with 0-62mph reached in 9 seconds and a 99mph limited maximum speed. Upgrading to the 201bhp 40 version cuts half a second from the sprint benchmark.

If you’re after more pace, then the dual-motor Quattro 50 variant is the one to go for. It’s capable of accelerating to 62mph from a standstill in 6.2 seconds, before going on to a 111mph top speed.

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