Skip advert
Advertisement
In-depth reviews

Audi Q6 e-tron review

The Q6 e-tron is a typical Audi; practical, hi-tech and decent enough to drive. But be warned, this is a big car

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£64,065 to £96,155
  • Spacious cabin and big boot
  • Best-in-class technology
  • Excellent refinement
  • Feels like a really big car
  • Heavy, so not that fast or efficient
  • Cheaper variants still to come
Find your Audi Q6 e-tron
Offers from our trusted partners on this car and its predecessors...
Hassle-free way to a brand new car
Or are you looking to sell your car?
Customers got an average £1000 more vs part exchange quotes
Advertisement

Quick verdict

The Audi Q6 e-tron is an accomplished all-rounder, even if it does little to stand out from the crowd. It’s a big car – almost too big to be referred to as ‘mid-size’, we reckon – but the benefit of that heft is a hugely spacious cabin and generous practicality. The technology on offer is best in class, both in terms of that beautiful curved infotainment panel and crystal-clear head-up display, plus the cutting-edge electrical architecture under the metal. Ultimately, the Q6 e-tron looks, feels, and drives like an Audi – for better or for worse.

Key specs 
Fuel typeElectric
Body styleSUV
Powertrain94.9kWh battery, 2x e-motors
SafetyNot yet tested
Warranty3yrs/60,000 miles

Audi Q6 e-tron: price, specs and rivals

If you’d sat through the media press conference for the Audi Q6 e-tron (as we did), you too would have lost count of the frequent superlatives used by the brand’s band of merry engineers discussing the virtues of their electric SUV.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Words such as “iconic” and “innovative” were used to describe the design and technology, while “balanced”, “effortless” and “connected” were muttered in relation to the car’s apparently “precise and controlled” driving experience.

Sprinkled among these adjectives, however, were a selection of facts and figures that present what appears to be a competitive alternative to big-selling premium models like the BMW iX3 and Mercedes EQC. The Q6 sits between the smaller Q4 e-tron and the larger (in theory) Q8 e-tron. We say ‘in theory’ – the Q6 is actually 4mm wider than the brand’s flagship electric SUV.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

More reviews

In-depth reviews

The Q6 e-tron is based on the Volkswagen Group’s latest PPE platform and 800-volt electrical architecture – the latter capable of adding over 150 miles of range in just 10 minutes. Audi says it’ll officially return up to 381 miles on a charge.

Available in the usual Sport, S line and Edition 1 specs, at launch all models get a dual-motor layout with 383bhp and 275Nm (front)/580Nm (rear) of torque. A punchier SQ6 e-tron is also available, while a more efficient rear-wheel-drive car is coming later this year. A sleeker Sportback version is also on the way and an RS Q6 is being considered for a later date.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Audi says the standard Q6 will command the lion’s share of sales, with Sport and S line trims accounting for more than 80 per cent of demand. Every version gets at least 19-inch wheels, LED lights with digital DRLs, heated front and rear seats, three-zone climate control, a Bang & Olufsen stereo and twin OLED screens with 360-degree parking cameras.

S line upgrades the wheels to 20 inches, adds the all-important sportier trim and badging, plus privacy glass and a heated, three-spoke steering wheel. It also gets a black headlining and an embossed ‘S’ on the front seats.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Edition 1 ups the wheel size (to 21s) once again, brings sports suspension, matrix LED lights, extra body-coloured trim, and electrically-adjustable front seats in a mix of microfibre suede and leather with diamond stitching. It also adds the wholly unnecessary 10.9-inch passenger screen and what Audi calls ‘e-tron sports sound’.

Above this sits the flagship SQ6, with the same battery mated to dual motors producing a total of 510bhp. For the time being it is only available in Edition 1 guise.

Electric motors, performance & drive

The Q6 e-tron is safe and predictable rather than particularly fun. But that’s what most people expect from an Audi
ModelPower0-62mphTop speed
Audi Q6 e-tron quattro383bhp5.9s130mph
Audi SQ6 e-tron510bhp4.3s142mph

The Q6 e-tron is a big car. So big, in fact, you might question the model’s positioning as Audi’s electric mid-size SUV. Its length isn’t an issue – you don’t notice this in normal driving – but the width can be challenging (it’s 4mm wider than the more expensive Q8 e-tron), even on sweeping continental A-roads. We’d worry about its sheer size on your average UK back route, even if we’ve no issues with all-round visibility.

Advertisement - Article continues below

But stick to the main roads, and the Q6 is an excellent cruiser. It’s comfortable, quiet and collected – some superlatives of our own for you, there – and overall, a very relaxing car to cover huge distances in. The seats are supportive, and so long as you’re not trying to hustle it along a mountain pass, even the base car feels punchy enough (0-62mph takes 5.9 seconds) to counter the hefty 2.3-tonne kerbweight.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Try to display some dynamic flair, and you’ll be met with a muted response. It feels like an Audi – in that it’s overwhelmingly safe and secure in its handling – but lacking in sparkle. You can feel the car’s mass in the corners, and while turn-in is accurate and grip is good, there’s little engagement to be found from the big SUV.

This is the first Audi EV to feature true one-pedal driving, and it works well. There are various strengths for the regenerative braking (again controlled via those steering wheel paddles), the most aggressive of which will bring the car to a complete stop. It’ll provide up to 220kW of recuperation, and Audi claims it can cover “90 per cent of braking scenarios”. Of course, you can switch it off and coast if you’d prefer.

Advertisement - Article continues below

We also had a go in the more powerful 510bhp SQ6, though there’s very little to separate it from the base car mechanically. The added grunt (0-62mph in 4.3 seconds) did make it feel a bit more lively, especially on steeper inclines, but we’d wager most buyers in this part of the market will feel well served by the standard Q6 and its mature ride. Comfort is excellent, in fact; not once did we notice the car crash or shake through potholes – though it’s worth noting that the roads around Bilbao in northern Spain were particularly smooth and not representative of what you’d ordinarily find in the UK.

Range, charging & running costs

Efficiency is disappointing, but at least the Q6 e-tron’s big battery means good range, and it has fast charging times
ModelBattery sizeRangeInsurance group
Audi Q6 e-tron quattro94.9kWhUp to 381mi49
Audi SQ6 e-tron94.9kWh357mi50

The Q6 e-tron’s excellent comfort ties in nicely with its ability to cover big distances – we saw almost 300 miles of real-world range – without stopping. But while that figure will please those coming from a petrol SUV, an average efficiency of around 2.8-3.0mi/kWh is certainly nothing to write home about. Unless you can charge at home on an off-peak electricity tariff most of the time, you’ll spend a lot on public rapid charges.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Yet when the need arises, you’ll be able to recharge the battery at up to 270kW. The charging curve is sufficiently flat that it’s able to maintain those speeds up to around 35 per cent before it tails off. Audi cites the ability to add around 150 miles of range in just 10 minutes when hooked up to a suitably rapid DC charger.  

Advertisement - Article continues below

Insurance is likely to be expensive, considering the Q6 e-tron is in the highest two-group rankings. At least residual values should be decent compared with rivals like the Mercedes EQC, with our experts suggesting that the Q6 e-tron will retain between 55-56 per cent of its resale value after three years or 36,000 miles, whereas an EQC will only be worth between 33-38 per cent over the same period.

Design, interior & technology

The Q6 e-tron’s cabin is a masterpiece in cutting-edge design and technology, and quality is largely on point

Quality inside the Q6 e-tron is, on the whole, very good, with a complimentary blend of plastics, fabrics, metals and even wood. Our only minor complaints surround the slightly flimsy-feeling roller cover for the cupholders, and an odd bit of trim on the doors, which we assume would usually feature a switch for the door locks. It’s a shame Audi didn’t deem it necessary to design a flush-fitting part to better match the rest of the cabin.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

The seats are comfortable, though, and the ride is plush, which overall makes the Q6 e-tron a very pleasant car in which to spend time. The screens look great (more below) and work very well, and the head-up display is among the clearest of any car currently on sale. 

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The Audi Q6 e-tron’s infotainment system looks lush and works wonderfully for the most part. The 11.9-inch Virtual Cockpit digital dials are a bit busy, but we relied mostly on the excellent (and standard fit) head-up display, which can overlay augmented reality navigation instructions on the road ahead. There’s even a couple of hidden easter eggs here – built-in games to play while charging, controlled via the paddles mounted to the back of the steering wheel.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The main 14.5-inch touchscreen is snappy, and the graphics are crisp, but we’d prefer to see physical switches on the steering wheel and centre console; it’s all too easy to brush the volume control simply by moving the position of your right hand.

We’d avoid the optional (standard on Edition 1 cars) passenger display. It’s a gimmick; all the information contained within is accessible on the main screen. We like that the tech is obscured from the driver’s view while the car is in motion, but until Audi fits video playback or gaming technology to this third screen, it feels surplus to requirements.  

Boot space, comfort & practicality

The Audi Q6 e-tron is a big car on a bespoke EV platform, and has plenty of space inside
Dimensions 
Length4,771mm
Width1,939mm
Height1,702mm
Number of seats5
Boot space526-1,529 litres

Returning once again to the Q6 e-tron’s size, you do at least benefit from a hugely spacious cabin and big boot. There’s loads of room up front, and plenty of adjustment for the seat and steering wheel. 

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

The Q6 e-tron is a strict five-seater with no scope to add extra chairs in the boot. If you want an Audi with seven seats, you’ll be forced to consider the petrol, diesel and PHEV-powered Audi Q7; for now, there is no electric Audi capable of carrying a family of five plus two friends.

That said, even adults over six feet won’t struggle to get comfortable inside the back of the Q6. It’s worth noting that the two cars we tried did without the glass panoramic roof, which sometimes eats into headroom. We expect the forthcoming Q6 e-tron Sportback version to trade some interior space for that sleeker roofline.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The boot on the standard car measures 526 litres with the rear seats in place, or 1,529 litres with everything folded flat. There’s a deep storage area under the boot floor, and a massive frunk, too – though it's a £500 option, and you can only open it via a lever in the driver’s footwell rather than using the key, which is a bit fiddly to release with your hands full. 

Regardless, this is a very practical family SUV, which beats all its main rivals for outright carrying capacity.

Those interested in towing with their Q6 e-tron will need to fit the £1,050 folding tow bar. Depending on the version you go for, it’ll pull up to 2,400kg, though the obvious caveats regarding limited range apply here. 

Safety & reliability

The Q6 e-tron hasn’t been tested by Euro NCAP, but the list of standard safety kit is extensive
Key standard safety featuresEuro NCAP safety ratings
  • Cross traffic and swerve assist
  • Lane-change assistant
  • Lane departure warning
  • Parking system plus
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Euro NCAP safety rating - NA

The Audi Q6 e-tron hasn’t been tested by Euro NCAP, but the maker has good form here, and it’s backed up by a long list of standard safety kit.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Indeed, both the smaller Audi Q4 e-tron and larger Audi Q8 e-tron (previously just e-tron) were both awarded the full five stars by NCAP when they were tested in 2021 and 2019 respectively. The Q4 scored an impressive 93 per cent in the adult occupant protection category and 89 per cent for child occupancy protection.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The new Q6 should follow in its sibling’s footsteps then, with kit such as cross traffic and swerve assist, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control and a 360-degree parking system all fitted as standard. Step up to Edition 1 and you’ll get a proactive passenger protection system for the front, sides and rear.

Reliability is another unknown, with only three Audis featuring in the 2024 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey – none of which were electric. Furthermore, the highest-placed model was the outgoing Audi A5 in 38th – not a particularly strong showing.

The good news is that EVs are generally less troublesome and often more reliable, so hopes are high that the Q6 e-tron will live up to its premium billing and be a rewarding car to own. The Q6 e-tron has a three-year or 60,000-mile manufacturer’s warranty, which is a bit disappointing compared with the three-year unlimited mileage warranties of rivals BMW and Mercedes. Like most electric cars, the Q6 e-tron has a separate eight-year/100,000-mile warranty guaranteeing the battery maintains above 75 per cent of its capacity over that period. If it drops below this figure, it’ll be replaced. 

Should you buy an Audi Q6 e-tron?

The Audi Q6 e-tron is a solid, if slightly unremarkable all-rounder. As we’ve mentioned on numerous occasions in this review, it feels like a big car – so large, in fact, we’d wonder why anyone might now consider the more expensive Q8.

But if you need a car capable of carrying five in comfort, that’s loaded to the gunnells with technology and clever kit, then the Q6 e-tron is a worthy addition to a burgeoning line-up of premium SUVs. We’d certainly have one over a Mercedes EQC, and while a BMW iX3 may be more efficient, it can’t hold a candle to the Q6 for modernity and luxury feel.

The Audi also impresses if you’re the kind of person who regularly drives long distances; the real-world average of more than 300 miles puts it close to the top tier for range, while the super-fast charging tech means you won’t be waiting for long when the time comes to top up. Add this to a quiet, refined ride, and the Q6 e-tron possesses a supreme ability to cover big miles with ease.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Deputy editor

Richard has been part of the team for over a decade. During this time he has covered a huge amount of news and reviews for Auto Express, as well as being the face of Carbuyer and DrivingElectric on Youtube. In his current role as deputy editor, he is now responsible for keeping our content flowing and managing our team of talented writers.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

New Kia Sportage facelift caught on camera at the Nurburgring
Kia Sportage facelift spyshot 1
News

New Kia Sportage facelift caught on camera at the Nurburgring

Kia’s big-selling mid-size SUV is about to get a makeover for 2025
19 Jul 2024
New Volkswagen Golf 2024 facelift review: updates are a step in the right direction
Volkswagen Golf facelift 2024 UK - front
Road tests

New Volkswagen Golf 2024 facelift review: updates are a step in the right direction

The Volkswagen Golf has been updated to keep it competitive against the likes of the Skoda Octavia and Honda Civic
19 Jul 2024
New Kia Picanto 2024 facelift review: classy small car keeps big car appeal
Kia Picanto facelift UK - front
Road tests

New Kia Picanto 2024 facelift review: classy small car keeps big car appeal

Kia's revised Picanto city car remains a grown-up choice with plenty of appeal for buyers
19 Jul 2024