Audi e-tron Review
IntroductionThe Audi e-tron is an impressive first EV from a premium German brand.
As you would expect from Audi, they have delivered a highly capable electric SUV. It's luxurious, fast, spacious and quiet.
It's both a practical, emissions-free family car, as well as a stylish, smooth, corporate operator.
This Audi electric car ticks a lot of boxes – read on to discover if it's right for you.
Audi e-tron Review Sections
- At a Glance
- Key Features
- Range, Batteries & Performance
- Running Costs
- Practicality & Boot Space
- Rival Cars
- Verdict & Next Steps
Select's rating score* - 4.0 / 5
The Audi e-tron has two battery sizes to choose from, plus five trim levels.
First up is the Audi e-tron 50 quattro with a 65 kWh battery (usable capacity), providing 193 miles of range.
Then there's the sportier and more expensive Audi e-tron 55 quattro. It's powered by a larger 84 kWh battery pack, offering 249 miles on a single charge, with a 0-62 mph of 5.7 seconds.
Both the 50 and 55 quattro have an identical body shape and can be ordered in any one of the following five trims:
- S line
- Black Edition
So as you consider how to configure the e-tron, these are the main areas to bear in mind:
- Battery size: If you don't generally drive that far each day, and are not concerned about the very best in performance, save money and go for the 50 quattro. If, on the other hand, you have a touch of range anxiety, pick the 55 quattro for its larger battery capacity.
- Trim levels: As you go up the trim levels, from Technik to Vorsprung, the Audi e-tron gains additional features. We cover the trim differences in our Options section below to help you work out whether each upgrade is worth the cost.
- Comfort and Sound pack: On our lease pages for the Audi e tron you will come across the term 'C+S'. This is Audi's 'Comfort and Sound' pack which gives you a Bang & Olufsen premium sound system, multi-coloured LED interior lighting, keyless entry and start, and a 360 degree camera effect.
|Model||Audi e-tron 50 quattro||Audi e-tron 55 quattro|
|Battery size (usable)||65 kWh||84 kWh|
|Official WLTP range||193 miles||249 miles|
|0-62 mph||6.8 seconds||5.7 seconds|
|Top speed||118 mph||124 mph|
|AC charging maximum||11 kW (AC)||11 kW (AC)|
|DC charging maximum||120 kW (DC)||150 kW (DC)|
Key Features of the Audi e-tron
The e-tron is an accomplished all-rounder with a few stand-out characteristics:
Boot space: Perhaps not the most exciting of topics to lead on, but if cargo space and a practical family car is what you are after, the e-tron comes up trumps.
Charging speed: The e-tron has excellent maximum DC rapid charging speeds for both the 50 and 55 quattro. This means less time spent waiting at motorway service stations.
- Refined interior: The combination of high quality materials and design, coupled with ample leg and headroom, gives this Audi electric car a welcoming, sophisticated edge.
- Driving comfort: The e-tron is a large, 4x4 SUV and handles beautifully in all conditions. Its air suspension makes short work of bumpy UK roads.
Available in two battery sizes, you get to decide whether paying more for greater range and performance is worth it.
A quick recap: the Audi e-tron 50 quattro has 65 kWh of usable battery capacity, resulting in an official range of 193 miles, a top speed of 118 mph, and a 0-62 mph of 6.8 seconds.
Its twin sister the Audi e-tron 55 quattro comes with a larger 84 kWh battery pack, 249 miles of range, a top speed of 124 mph, and just 5.7 seconds from 0-62 mph.
So Audi e tron range increases by 56 miles as you move from the 50 to the 55 model. You may think you don't need those additional miles, but bear in mind that official WLTP range doesn't always translate into actual miles driven in the real world. Read our Range Guide for more details.
With regards to sheer power, the 50 quattro has twin electric motors delivering 313 bhp or 230 kW. The 55 quattro ups this to a mighty 408 bhp (300 kW).
Do you need that extra acceleration capability? It certainly comes in handy when over-taking or pulling onto motorways. Both versions of the e-tron are heavy – as is the norm with EVs – and more horse-power is never a bad thing.
The e-tron has the following seven driving modes: Efficiency, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, Individual, Off Road and All Road. You don't always notice a massive difference between one mode and another, but to single out three: Dynamic makes driving more exciting; Efficiency maximises your battery range; and Off Road raises the car to help avoid ground obstructions.
There's also a gear selector located next to a leather pad where the driver's left hand rests. There are two settings: Drive and Sport. Drive is your normal day-to-day setting. In Sport, the car goes into 'boost' mode which increases power to both electric motors for up to 8 seconds, making the e-tron extremely responsive and unlocking its full potential.
The Audi e-tron takes an unusual, but very convenient, approach to charging: there is one charging socket on the right-hand side of the car and another on the left.
On the passenger side, there is a standard 'Type 2' socket for home charging.
On the driver's side, the e-tron comes with a 'CCS Combo Type 2' charging port. This can handle both home charging and also public rapid chargers (the kind you might use on a long trip).
Read our Charging Guide for a complete overview of how electric vehicle charging works.
- Maximum charging rate: 7.4 kW
- Electricity supply type: AC
If you have a dedicated charging point installed at home, every hour of charging will add approximately 22 miles of range.
In the unlikely event of having to charge your battery from 0% to 100%, it would take 8 hours 50 minutes in the 50 quattro and 11 hours 20 minutes in the 55 quattro.
- Maximum charging rate: 11 kW
- Electricity supply type: AC
If you are lucky enough to have a 3-phase electricity supply at work, and a suitable chargepoint, the e-tron can be charged at 11 kW. This would add about 32 miles’ range in an hour.
Public rapid charging
- Maximum charging rate: 120 kW (50 quattro) and 150 kW (55 quattro)
- Electricity supply type: DC
For those longer trips, when your car's range won't get you to your destination in one go, you need to stop and charge. Fortunately, Audi has designed the e-tron with first-class rapid charging capabilities.
In the 50 quattro, you can get an extra 49 miles' range into the battery after 20 minutes of charging on a standard 50 kW DC charger. That increases to 119 miles in 20 minutes on one of the newer 150 kW charging points.
The stats for the 55 quattro are: 49 miles more in 20 minutes on a 50 kW charger, and 148 miles more on a 150 kW charger. In practice – for all EVs – charging speed tails off while you are plugged in and you should allow for extra time. The following table covers other charging variations for the 55 quattro:
|Rapid charger speed||Battery state of charge||Time to charge|
|50 kW||from 20% to 80%||60 minutes|
|150 kW||from 20% to 80%||20 minutes|
|350 kW||from 20% to 80%||20 minutes|
One last thing on charging. Like all electric cars, the e-tron has regenerative braking (or 'regen') technology built in. This converts kinetic energy when the car is slowing down into extra battery charge = more range. Regen can either be handled automatically, or you can select manual mode and choose from three levels of regenerative braking via a steering wheel paddle.
One of the great attractions of a purely electric car is that you can reduce your annual 'fuel' bill dramatically.
Most electric car drivers do the majority of their charging at home. With a cheap, off-peak night rate, you can achieve fantastic savings. If your annual mileage is 10,000 miles, you could be spending only £169* a year on electricity in an e-tron with home charging.
Of course, some of your charging will be away from home and this will push the annual cost up. Our Electricity Tariff guide has further details.
* based on 10,000 miles with a battery efficiency of 2.96 miles per kWh (249 miles range divided by 84 kWh usable battery capacity) and an off-peak charging rate of 5p per kWh.
The Audi e-tron is a Battery Electric Vehicle or 'BEV'. It's powered just by a battery; no petrol or diesel engine at all.
There are, therefore, no harmful emissions when you drive the e-tron. No CO2, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide or particulate matter.
If you charge the e-tron with electricity that comes from a renewable generation source, like solar panels or wind turbines, you will then have achieved the most environmentally friendly form of driving possible.
There are now several energy companies that can supply 100% renewable energy to charge your car with at home.
The interior of the e-tron is stylish and well-finished. It makes you want to get in and go.
Both driver and passenger sit in beautifully crafted, comfortable, electric seats, in front of a classic Audi-designed dashboard and surround.
Materials are well balanced and inviting, with leather, chrome, and soft-touch plastics. You can also upgrade to wood or aluminium dash inlays if you wish.
There's a hint of the Tesla Model 3, in that many dials and knobs have been eliminated in favour of touchscreens (see Technology section below). It's a double-edged sword: you'll either love the lack of clutter, or hate having to deal with menus and sub-menus.
Like most large, all-wheel-drive SUVs, the ride height is high and you have lovely visibility out of the windscreen and side windows. Couple this with parking sensors and rear camera as standard, and manoeuvring the e-tron becomes a breeze.
There was quite a stir at the launch of the Audi e-tron when virtual door mirrors where announced as an option. The standard side mirrors that we are all used to are replaced with cameras. These send a live video feed to little screens inside the cabin. We would recommend you test drive a vehicle with this option before you lease the e-tron, as it takes a bit of getting used to.
To fill the cabin with more light, a panoramic sunroof is available as an optional extra. You can then make it darker again by adding privacy glass.
As you would expect from a premium manufacturer, the e-tron is not short on technology.
Most of this tech can be accessed from the three screens which together form the basis of Audi's "MMI Navigation Plus" infotainment system:
- A 12.3-inch 'virtual cockpit' for the driver, showing speed, range, battery data, trip information, secondary sat nav, etc.
- Central 10.1-inch, high-definition, touchscreen colour display for main sat nav, stereo, parking sensors, smartphone interface, and most of the car's functions.
- Lower central 8.6-inch touchscreen controlling dual-zone air-conditioning, heated seats, and allowing data input by writing with your finger.
There's haptic feedback so you know for sure when an option has been selected. There are also buttons and dials on the steering wheel that can be used in conjunction with the driver's display to look after the majority of car functions while driving.
The ubiquitous USB slots for phone / tablet charging can be found front and back, with wireless phone charging available from Sport trim and up.
Other technology that comes as standard includes:
- Parking system plus with 360 degree sensors
- Cruise control + speed limiter
- Rear view camera
- Keyless Go
- Adaptive air suspension
The Audi etron is a very practical, versatile EV that can deal with pretty much anything you throw at it.
If you're carting around luggage, bulky boxes, bicycles and the like, the e-tron will do you proud. Even without the rear seats down, you have a huge 660-litre boot to play with.
Pull a couple of handy levers in the boot, and the seats (40/20/40 split) automatically fold down to create a truly cavernous 1,725 litres of space.
There's more space under the boot floor, as well as a front trunk, or 'frunk', where you can store smaller items.
There are plenty of useful internal storage areas, such as door bins for water bottles back and front, a centre console for the passengers, and a central armrest in the rear.
This is an electric SUV you really can fit five adults in comfortably. No leg or headroom issues, and good width in the rear seats.
The e-tron has been built from the ground up with safety very much in mind.
This Audi electric car secured a top 5-star rating at the independent Euro NCAP testing facility. The Adult Occupant score was 91%, with Child Occupant at 85%.
Standard safety features and optional extras include:
- Active vehicle alerting system (AVAS)
- ISOFIX child seat mounting anchors
- Side, front and head airbag system
- Audi connect safety and service (e-call)
- Lane departure warning system
- Audi side assist including pre sense rear, rear cross traffic alert and exit warning
You can choose from five trim levels and select various other options to configure the e-tron exactly as you would like.
The base trim has the following main features:
- 20" x 9.0J '5-arm' design alloy wheels
- LED headlights with Function-on-Demand preparation
- Contrast finish bumpers
- Audi Virtual Cockpit & MMI Navigation Plus
- Deluxe two-zone electronic climate control, including remote preconditioning
Moving up to Sport, you also get:
- 20" x 9.0J '5-arm' dynamic design contrasting grey alloy wheels
- Front Sport seats in Valcona leather upholstery
- Comfort front centre armrest
- Audi Phone Box including wireless charging
With S line trim, the additional extras are:
- 21" x 9.5J '5-arm turbine' contrasting grey design alloy wheels
- Audi Matrix LED headlights with dynamic front & rear indicators
- Adaptive sport air suspension
- S line exterior styling with privacy glass
The Black Edition upgrade offers:
- 21" x 9.5J '10-spoke rotor' gloss Anthracite black Audi Sport alloy wheels
- Black styling pack, comprising front grille, window surrounds and trim strips on front & rear bumpers in black
- 3-spoke flat-bottomed steering wheel
Finally, the top of the range trim Vorsprung, delivers:
- 22" x 9.5J '5-spoke structured' matt titanium finish Audi Sport alloy wheels
- Digital Matrix Lights with enhanced light animations allows driver customisation
- Super sport seats with diamond stitching
- Bang & Olufsen sound system
Regarding exterior colours, solid Brilliant Black is standard, with a further seven metallic colour options available.
There are lots of other configuration options, covering alloy wheels, headlights, seats, interior and exterior design, assistance systems, roof and windows, and so on. For a full list, please see our main e-tron lease page and click through to a particular model.
The gloves are off when it comes to competition for the Audi e-tron.
Audi was never going to have it all its own way in the electric 4x4 SUV segment. The contenders in the ring are:
- Mercedes EQC: In many ways, quite a similar story to the e-tron. The EQC is another premium German manufacturer, luxurious inside, fairly conventional looking on the outside, easy to drive, comfortable, and with identical range on a single charge (55 quattro). However, the e-tron pulls ahead on boot size (660 litres v. 500 litres) and rapid charging speed (150 kW on the 55 quattro v. 110 kW).
- Jaguar I-Pace: Jaguar's first electric car is a real head-turner, with more of a radical than a traditional exterior. It also enjoys excellent range (292 miles WLTP v. 249 miles for the e-tron) and terrific acceleration (4.5 seconds from 0-62 mph v. 5.7 seconds for the e-tron). It falls down somewhat on both boot size (505 litres) and rapid charging capabilities (100 kW) compared to the e-tron.
- Tesla Model X: A significantly pricier vehicle, the Model X with its outrageous falcon wing doors brings something special to the table. For example, an imperious 314 miles' range, and up to 200 kW rapid charging at suitable charging stations. It's also unique in being available either as a 5, 6 or 7 seater. Add in the global supercharger network and Tesla's best-in-class performance statistics, and you have a really tough competitor for the e-tron, assuming your pockets are deep enough.
The Audi e-tron is a "safe pair of hands" if you want a large, reliable, emissions-free, all-wheel-drive SUV.
You also have a choice of battery sizes, allowing you to save some money if you don't need maximum range.
Whichever version of the e-tron you opt for, you will not be disappointed.
Where to next?
- Audi e-tron car leasing available from just £528.74** per month.
- Looking for a great car lease deal? Check out our incredible range of Special Offers.
- Want to know more about leasing? Take a look at our comprehensive Leasing Guides.
- Interested in everything electric? Why not catch up on all the latest Electric News.
* Score based on Select’s unique meta score analysis, taking into account the UK’s top six leading independent car website reviews of the Audi e-tron.
** Correct as of 22/10/2020. 50 quattro Technik trim with C&S option, based on 9 months initial payment, 5,000 miles over a 48 month lease. Initial payment equivalent to 9 monthly payments or £4,758.70. Ts & Cs apply. Credit is subject to status.