In-depth reviews

Audi e-tron SUV review

"Audi's first production electric car impresses with its acceleration, comfort and practicality"

Carbuyer Rating

4.0 out of 5

Pros

  • High-tech interior
  • Impressive refinement
  • Fast-charging support

Cons

  • Feels cumbersome
  • Only one battery option
  • Some EVs have a longer range

As its first all-electric production model, the Audi e-tron represents something of a landmark for the German brand. It joined an increasingly competitive electric SUV market pioneered by the Tesla Model X, which also contains the impressive Jaguar I-Pace and the Mercedes EQC, so the e-tron needs to stand out.

In some ways, standing out isn't an e-tron speciality. To look at, the electric Audi seems closely related to its conventionally powered Audi Q5 and bigger Audi Q7 SUV stablemates, with a similarly expressive 'singleframe' front grille and a full-width LED lighting bar at the back that salutes the luxurious Audi A7. And, although very nearly as big as the Q7, the e-tron doesn't look enormous on the road.

Top 10 best electric SUVs 2022

At launch, the e-tron was offered only in regular SUV form but for buyers who want an extra dose of style, Audi also offers a sleeker coupe-style Sportback version that we’ve reviewed separately. The additional space offered by the SUV version will be welcomed by families – it might not offer the seven seats that some conventional SUVs of this size can but there's plenty of room inside for five adults and a pretty generous boot. Those less concerned by the practicalities of family life, meanwhile, might prefer to concentrate on the e-tron's superb interior design, which borrows heavily from the flagship Audi A8 saloon.

More reviews

In e-tron 55 spec, this large SUV isn’t short on pace, either, with 0-62mph passing in under six seconds, thanks to a 'boost' function that allows its 355bhp twin electric motor setup to produce 402bhp in short eight second bursts. However, despite carefully managed weight distribution, a wealth of driving modes and a clever air suspension system with adaptive damping, the e-tron isn't a particularly rewarding machine to hussle along a challenging back road. For those who want a lower price tag and are happy with slightly less performance and range, the 308bhp e-tron 50 is still impressive; it manages 0-62mph in under seven seconds.

The e-tron S is capable of genuine knock-you-back-in-your-seat acceleration. This range-topping model has three electric motors, boosting power to 496bhp for 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds. It also features a variety of mechanical upgrades, including a more sophisticated version of the quattro all-wheel drive system, which can send more power to the rear wheels at the touch of a button.

Although the novelty of the rapid acceleration may quickly wear off, in e-tron 55 guise, the car’s 270-mile plus range figure is a far more practical virtue that could allow it to fit neatly into the daily routines of all but the most long-distance commuters. Equally, the entry e-tron 50 and flagship e-tron S models are still very capable, offering around 190 to 230 miles of range respectively. What's more, every e-tron is compatible with 150kW fast chargers, which will undoubtedly prove useful as the UK's charging infrastructure continues to evolve. Find a charger that can match these speeds and a top up to 80% takes a little over half an hour.

The e-tron’s range figures come courtesy of a 71kWh battery in the 50 model, with the 55 and S powered by a larger 95kWh version. Initially, the e-tron was available in Launch Edition and Launch Edition 1 specifications but these have now been discontinued. The e-tron lineup now resembles Audi’s standard trim range, with a choice of five: Technik, Sport, S line, Black Edition and the range-topping Vorsprung. Whichever model you opt for, you’ll get an e-tron with front and rear LED lights, 20-inch alloy wheels, Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital dial cluster and electrically adjustable, heated leather seats. Usefully, there's a charging port on both sides of the car, a feature that makes using public chargers a bit easier thanks to the extra accessibility.

While the Audi e-tron's range is surpassed by that of lighter, less expensive rivals – such as the Kia e-Niro, Kia EV6, Hyundai Kona Electric and Hyundai Ioniq 5, as well as VW Group electric models like the Volkswagen ID.4 and Skoda Enyaq iV – it's a very impressive all-rounder. Its approachable, familiar nature will doubtless appeal to Audi fans who are looking to make the switch to zero-emissions electric motoring. It's a capable alternative to the I-Pace that offers Audi's classy blend of technology and style in place of the Jaguar's more sporty nature, and many families will find it slots seamlessly into their daily routine.

Recommended

New electric MG4 hatch to start at £25,995
MG4 Front driver side
News
5 Aug 2022

New electric MG4 hatch to start at £25,995

Kia EV4 SUV to take on the Volvo XC40 Recharge
2024 Kia EV4 - front
News
5 Aug 2022

Kia EV4 SUV to take on the Volvo XC40 Recharge

Volkswagen ID.4 SUV review
VW ID.4 GTX
In-depth reviews
4 Aug 2022

Volkswagen ID.4 SUV review

Renault ZOE hatchback review
Best Small Electric Car: Renault ZOE
In-depth reviews
4 Aug 2022

Renault ZOE hatchback review

Most Popular

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers
Renault Clio hybrid
Deals
5 Aug 2022

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers

BMW X3 vs Mazda CX-60 vs Volvo XC60 – which should you buy?
Hero image
News
28 Jul 2022

BMW X3 vs Mazda CX-60 vs Volvo XC60 – which should you buy?

New electric MG4 hatch to start at £25,995
MG4 Front driver side
News
5 Aug 2022

New electric MG4 hatch to start at £25,995

More on e-tron

Audi e-tron seen ahead of 2023 refresh
2023 e-tron SUV spy front passenger side
News
6 Jul 2022

Audi e-tron seen ahead of 2023 refresh

E-tron Sportback and SUV models have been spotted testing with lightly disguised front and rear design tweaks
Audi e-tron Sportback SUV
Audi e-tron Sportback
Audi e-tron Sportback SUV
10 Jun 2022

Audi e-tron Sportback SUV

"The striking Audi e-tron Sportback is an upmarket electric SUV with a range of up to 278 miles"
2021 Audi e-tron GT electric coupe revealed
Audi RS e-tron GT driving
Audi
9 Feb 2021

2021 Audi e-tron GT electric coupe revealed

Sporty e-tron GT four-door coupe heads up Audi's expanding electric range; RS model has 590bhp
2020 Audi e-tron gets Black Edition and Vorsprung trim levels
Audi e-tron
14 Jul 2020

2020 Audi e-tron gets Black Edition and Vorsprung trim levels

The Audi e-tron range has been updated for 2020 and now starts at £59,900
Hot Audi e-tron S breaks cover with 489bhp
Audi e-tron SUV
2 Jul 2020

Hot Audi e-tron S breaks cover with 489bhp

Range-topping variant of the all-electric e-tron SUV hits 0-62mph in just 4.5 seconds
2020 Audi e-tron Sportback: prices, specs and release date
Audi e-tron Sportback - static
Audi e-tron
31 Mar 2020

2020 Audi e-tron Sportback: prices, specs and release date

The Audi e-tron Sportback has a 278-mile range and starts at £79,900
More affordable Audi e-tron 50 quattro goes on sale
Audi e-tron 50 quattro
Audi e-tron SUV
13 Feb 2020

More affordable Audi e-tron 50 quattro goes on sale

The Audi e-tron 50 quattro is around £12,000 cheaper than existing e-tron model
Top 3 low-emission SUVs for £500 a month
Audi e-tron SUV
1 Nov 2019

Top 3 low-emission SUVs for £500 a month

“Dear Carbuyer, I want a low-emission SUV that is family friendly and well-equipped. What does £500 a month buy me?”
Audi e-tron 2019: specs, price and on-sale date
Audi e-tron
11 Feb 2019

Audi e-tron 2019: specs, price and on-sale date

All-new Audi e-tron EV SUV costs £7k more than Jaguar I-Pace

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
23 Mar 2022

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Car buying
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
20 Jun 2022

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
12 Jul 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Nissan Leaf front
Best cars
12 Jul 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
24 Jun 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022