Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron (2021) review: Our full review

The Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron arrives in the niche SUV coupé segment. We tried this in a comprehensive test, here’s our verdict.

If SUVs have been in vogue for a long time, SUV coupes were still part of a niche until recently. However, more and more classic models are giving way to a sportier version, at least aesthetically. At Audi, they can be recognized by the Sportback suffix. Q3, Q5, e-tron… and now Q4 e-tron. A look at the service of aerodynamics and efficiency, at the expense of space and practicality?

Already on the road since December 2021, the Q4 e-tron Sportback is a twin of the “normal” Q4 e-tron with a silhouette called a “coupé”. A denomination always a little overused, because it is actually 5 doors. Even so, the model is an integral part of the roadmap of the Ingolstadt firm, which plans to stop producing thermal cars by 2025.

Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron (2021)data sheet

Model Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron (2021)
Category

SUV

power (horses)

299 horsepower

Power (kw)

220kW

0 to 100km/h

6.2 seconds

Level of autonomy

two

Maximum speed

180 km/h

main screen size

10.25 inches

car side sockets

Type 2 Combo (CCS)

Length

4588mm

Height

1614 mm

Length

1865 mm

entry price

€ 46,750

Product Sheet

Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron (2021)Project

The Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron did not surprise anyone when it was presented in April 2021, so close was it to the concept that foreshadowed it in 2019. From the front, it is strictly identical to its alter ego extended from the roof. We also find these LED Matrix lights that can be customized by choosing from four different light signatures. An Audi exclusivity that is likely to be found very quickly with other manufacturers.

It is obviously in the profile that the difference is made, namely in terms of the rear. In fact, the pavilion gently descends to a small integrated spoiler that allows air to pass between it and the rear window. Enough to participate in the improvement of aerodynamics since the Sportback version presents an interesting result of 0.26, against 0.28 of the non-Sportback.

This low roof, supported by puffy fenders and sculpted sides, reinforces the sporty lineup of the SUV equipped with 19- to 21-inch rims. If, logically, the length and width of the Q4 Sportback are faithful to those of the non-sport version (respectively 4.58 m and 1.86 m), it loses 2 centimeters in height to 1.61 meters.

Habitability

With its extended wheelbase, specific to electric vehicles devoid of most of the mechanical elements of thermal models, the Q4 is a Q3 with an interior as big as a Q5. Slightly increasing the line. And this Sportback version? Interestingly, it doesn’t lose space, gaining up to 15 liters of trunk capacity. Or 535 liters of payload, to 1490 liters once the 40/60/40 seat is folded down.

In the cabin, we find feature by feature the atmosphere that we already had in the “uncut” Q4, a decidedly modern universe, with an angular panel that surprisingly extends from the passenger side. The center console always floats in the center, leaving space underneath, namely to charge the smartphone by induction. Otherwise, two USB-C ports are also provided. There’s a central 11.6-inch screen with the typical Audi MMI interface and slightly oriented towards the driver.

In terms of novelties, the highlight is the dual flat steering wheel, the Sonos system with 10 speakers and the 3D head-up display. Finally, it should be noted that Audi has electrically emphasized recycled materials in the cabin and that for each seat the Ingolstadt company recycled and used around 26 1.5-liter plastic bottles.

Fast word on the rear that loses headroom, the roof is faulty come back soon, and that will hurt the tallest of you, especially those over 6 feet. Legroom, on the other hand, is still very good, while the flat floor offers a very cozy center seat.

Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron (2021)Embedded technologies

The head-up display of our protagonist of the day is effective. In addition to indicating 3D arrows for navigation, it can also adapt to the car in front of you, displaying a green or red line, depending on whether you are at a good distance or very close.

And proof of his insight into the car’s surroundings, the HUD (Head Up Display), which displays an image as if it were 10 meters in front of the car, adapts perfectly to the center line of the road and materializes in it a straight line. you start biting in the center. With formidable precision.

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On the other hand, most of the time, this head-up display is forgotten, even when it is present. A sign that it is not intrusive, but its integration could have deserved a little more prominence.

From the steering wheel you can control, in particular, the Audi Virtual Cockpit’s instrumentation screen to navigate through the different displays, which are a little less numerous than they were a little while ago, but which present a lot of information so you don’t have to regularly look for where you are. outside temperature or cruise control speed.

The touch controls on the steering wheel are a bit sensitive: a simple hand movement on the steering wheel is enough to turn up the volume or change your favorite settings. Voice control allows you to control the main functions of the car.

If the technology set is very complete, it is clearly aimed at technophiles. The whole thing deserves a little more simplicity.

Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron (2021)Conduct

Unsurprisingly, we find in this Q4 Sportback e-tron the offer of its brother’s engines with an elongated roof, with power levels ranging from 170 to 299 horsepower:

  • 35: 125kW (170hp)/310Nm;
  • 40: 150kW (204hp)/310Nm;
  • 45: 195kW (265hp)/460Nm;
  • 50: 220kW (299hp)/460Nm.

It should be noted that only the most powerful versions, 45 and 50, are in quattro all-wheel drive, with the 35 and 40 having an electric motor only at the rear, thus being purely propulsion.

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Our test model was a version 50, the most powerful, so if not the one with the best autonomy, we’ll see later. The 0 to 100 km/h is announced in 6.2 seconds, while the speed is electrically limited to 180 km/h. This two-engine version (like the 45) is in reality most of the time a single propulsion, the front electric motor only comes into operation when the power, or over-adhesion, it is necessary.

When accelerating, our Q4 50 pushes quite hard, but avoids the annoying “butt kick”. The traction is not observed, even if the roller is felt at medium speed. It’s also possible to play around with driving modes, but the absence of adaptive suspension on our model means it only affects acceleration and feeling management.

The suspension also proved to be quite firm on our test model, equipped with a sports chassis, as it has an S-Line finish. The 21-inch wheels (20-inch standard), as beautiful as they are, may not have been for nothing.

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On the regenerative braking side, there is no possibility of bringing the vehicle to a complete stop. But the paddles behind the steering wheel allow you to vary the pleasures and adapt to traffic or road conditions to let the engine brake more or less. But the Auto mode is undoubtedly, with a few exceptions, the most suitable.

Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron (2021)Autonomy, battery and charging

Let’s talk about the battery: the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron has a battery with a net capacity of 52 kWh (versions 35 and 40), or 77 kWh (versions 45 and 50), and a gross capacity of 82 kWh. The range varies between 343 km for the less powerful Q4 and 526 km for the 40 version. The four-wheel drive versions have 486 and 480 km respectively in 45 and 50.

The consumption announced by Audi between 21 and 18 kWh per 100 km proved to be accurate according to our readings. During a trip of 3h57, 175 km travelled, at an average speed of 44 km/h (outskirts of Oslo and small roads), the on-board computer showed 19.1 kWh/100 km. Related to the battery capacity of 77 kWh, this gives a range of 403 km.

If you take the highway mainly at speeds that reach an average of 130 km / h, expect on the one hand that consumption will explode, and on the other, that the autonomy will melt like snow in the sun. This is an important element to bear in mind.

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As for recharging, which we did not have the opportunity to try during our test in Norway (it was not, however, for lack of terminals absolutely everywhere!), it can reach 11 kW in alternating current. In direct current, it has recently increased from 125 to 135 kW thanks to an OTA (“over the air”) upgrade.

It remains little compared to the competition (up to 250 kW for a Tesla Model Y or a Kia EV6), especially since Audi is part of the Ionity consortium that allows it to deliver up to 350 kW. Let’s reassure ourselves by saying that long trips are usually not part of everyday life for drivers. And that the faster the recharge, the more the battery heats up and the battery is damaged.

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Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron (2021)price and availability

Compared to a “very short” Q4 e-tron, the Sportback version requires an additional cost of 2,000 euros, which can be justified by the cozier trunk and lower consumption (-0.5 kWh/100 km with engine and trim). equivalents). That gives an Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron that starts at 47,750 euros (base trim of version 35). Version 35 is the only one that can benefit from the intermediate ecological bonus of 2000 euros in all its finishes. Version 40, which starts at 52,900 euros, can only benefit from its first two finishes.

All-wheel drive Audi Q4 Sportback e-trons are not eligible for any bonuses. Note that our test model (the 50) starts at €70,300 in the S-Line finish. A price that is clearly at the top of the basket, more expensive than a Volvo C40 Recharge Twin with an equivalent range, but with more than 100 hp more (408 hp). It is also superior to the price of a Tesla Model Y Performance (66,990 euros), certainly much less premium, but much more dynamic, with greater autonomy and benchmark efficiency. There.

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