Like Your Favorite Golden Goose Sneakers, the Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback Electric SUV Is Sporty to Chic

Audi Q4 E-Tron Featured Image

Silence and sustainability never looked so good.

You’ll see it immediately in this electric SUV’s silhouette: its sloped roof and high ground clearance give it the appeal of a chic but athletic sneaker. This makes the Audi Q4 e-tron electric car perfect for errands in Lululemon leggings but elegant enough to pair with a Veronica Beard suit. 

Inside, this electric car, which starts at about $49,000, is well organized and carries Audi’s great technology—with a sound system from SONOS!— so you have lots of function and convenience at your fingertips.

Plus, it’s Audi, so the interior is elegant. There’s leather seating, a panoramic sunroof and wireless Apple CarPlay, so you can simply get in and go. Your phone effortlessly connects to the multimedia system without touching a thing.

The View Of The Audi Q4 E Tron From The Driver'S Seat

The view of the Audi Q4 e-tron from the driver’s seat. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Who the Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback is For

  • Drivers who want a chic, elegant electric car
  • Buyers who want luxury 
  • Drivers who need an SUV for the ground clearance and versatile passenger/cargo space
  • Buyers who can easily charge at home or public charge stations 
  • Buyers who may want a rear-wheel drive SUV with a smaller motor
  • Those who want the innovations and heightened design in the Q4

Related: MPGe, kWh, 4xe? Everything You Need to Know About Electric Car Lingo

The Interior Of The Audi Q4 E Tron Electric Suv

The interior of the Audi Q4 e-tron. Photo: Scotty Reiss

What We Love about this Electric SUV

  • Clever ID.4 features incorporated into the Q4 e-tron SUV
  • Lots of standard features like wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, leather seats and a panoramic sunroof
  • Audi’s MMI multimedia interface with “Hey Audi” voice-activated assistance 
  • The optional SONOS sound system 
  • Optional Audi Virtual Cockpit plus and MMI Plus with enhanced features
  • Clever wireless phone charger
  • The elegant interior and exterior of this SUV!

 Related: BWM x5 45e: Electric Car Fun Without Compromising the Sporty Luxury of BMW

Charging The Audi Q4 E Tron

Charging the Audi Q4 e-tron. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Audi + VW ID.4 = Q4

The simplicity and elegance of the Q4 actually start under the skin of this sporty SUV, and takes some intelligence from its cousin, the VW ID.4. This electric car has the same battery system as the ID.4. It delivers up to 264 miles of driving range on a charge, up to 295 horsepower and the ability to recharge to 80% in about 30 minutes at a DC fast charger. 

That means it’s well suited for daily driving and, with some planning, it’s also fine for longer trips. We took an ID.4 through the mountains of North Carolina for a long weekend and had no issues charging. 

Also, the Q4 features many of the ID.4’s cool innovative features. You can get in and go without hitting the start button because it senses the key fob and powers up. Drive it in ‘D’ or regular drive for a familiar feeling. Alternatively, put it into ‘B’ mode for maximum regenerative braking. This is how you’ll get the most out of your battery’s charge.

When you need to charge, the navigation system will point you to one of the hundreds of charging stations where you can use your complimentary 250 kWh of charging that comes with the Q4 e-tron.

Another thing we really like is the sunroof. Not only does it give the cabin a wide-open airy feeling, but just swipe your finger across the overhead touch panel to open the sunroof or the screen that covers it.

Related: VW ID.4 Review: The EV That Changed My Mind About Rural Electrification

Audi'S Mmi Plus Multimedia System

Audi’s MMI Plus multimedia system. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Audi Q4 e-tron’s Inspired Design Won Me Over

This is where my head turns, and I leave the ID.4 behind: its design. 

It starts with the sporty exterior that always looks fresh and modern. Then, the interior is Audi’s most advanced and elegant.  Audi’s interiors are always well done, and luxurious but with some restraint, so as to not be overwhelming. 

The Q4 is no exception, with leather seating, a flat topped-and bottom steering wheel, soft-touch surfaces and the multimedia screen neatly tucked into the dashboard. There is a center console that extends out from the dashboard, leaving lots of space for things like water bottles, phones and perhaps even a small handbag to sit between the front seats. 

Does Anyone Have A Full-Size Electric SUV In The Works?

The Center Console Is Open And Roomy

The center console is open and roomy. Photo: Scotty Reiss

An Elegant and Inspired Center Console

I really, really loved this center console. Just under the dashboard, a cantilevered command center extends toward the driver. You can easily access the gear selector and drive mode selector and turn on auto hold, which will hold the car in place once the brake is pressed. I love this feature. There’s also a touch-sensitive audio control. Just swipe to turn the radio volume up or down, or press it to turn it off (or on).

Under the command center are a cubby to hold things, USB ports, a vertical wireless phone charger that holds your phone in place and cup holders. It’s all very elegant and functional. I really did like the wireless phone holder and would recommend that option if only as a fantastic place to store your phone. 

The Rear Porfile Of The Audi Q4 E Tron

The rear profile of the Audi Q4 e tron Sportback. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Which to Choose: Sportback or Standard SUV?

Many drivers love the shape of an SUV. It’s square and accommodates things like large dogs, large boxes or tall rear-seat passengers. These are also more comfortable for kids in car seats since extra headroom is helpful when installing them. 

Others, however, prefer the sportback shape with its naturally sloping roofline, even though that can mean less headroom for rear-seat passengers. However, sitting in the rear seat of the Q4 I felt quite comfortable. The rear seats are nice and wide, and the floor is flat, all thanks to the battery configuration under the passenger floor. Also, the sunroof makes the cabin feel light and airy, which I appreciated. In the end, it’s up to you, but at least you have a choice. 

The Charging Screen In The Audi Q4 E Tron

The charging screen in the Audi Q4 e tron. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Two Q4 E-tron Choices, and How One Differs From the Other

On first glance, you may not notice a huge difference between the Q4 e-tron and the Audi e-tron we first came to know a few years ago. The interior and exterior differences are subtle. 

The bigger difference is in both price tag and performance. The standard Audi e-tron, which will be renamed the Q8 e-tron for 2024, has a starting price tag of about $20,000 more and more power: The e-tron has a dual motor with 402 horsepower and all-wheel drive, though it has a range of 224 miles.

The Q4 e-tron offers two powertrain options—just as the ID.4 does: A single motor with 201 horsepower and 264 miles of range, and a dual motor all-wheel drive option with 295 horsepower and about 236 miles of driving range. 

The View Of The Audi Q4 E Tron From The Driver'S Seat

The view of the Audi Q4 e-tron from the driver’s seat. Photo: Scotty Reiss

What This Electric Car Is Like To Drive

With 295 horsepower, it’s great. It doesn’t have the rocket-like torque that so many electric cars are becoming known for, but honestly, that’s OK. Not being tempted to floor the accelerator at every traffic light is a relief. For daily driving around town, the Q4 e-tron is capable and delivers confidence. Plus, in B mode it’s even more efficient. The system offers near-one pedal driving, which is fine too; you can slow but not fully stop by lifting your foot off the accelerator. Though once you get used to this system, you can probably fully stop.

The Rear Seat In The Audi Q4 E Tron

The rear seat in the Audi Q4 e tron. Photo: Scotty Reiss

What You Need to Know 

  • Adaptive cruise control, puddle lights, heated steering wheel and wireless charge pad are included in the Premium Plus option package
  • The dual-motor, AWD model has a reduced range of about 28 miles vs the single-motor RWD model
  • Best for buyers who can charge at home or have easy access to public charging
  • 250 kWh of charging will generate about 1,000 miles of driving
  • Buyers may not qualify for any federal tax subsidies
  • The battery system has a longer warranty: 8 years/100,000 miles
  • The bumper-to-bumper warranty is 4 years/50,000 miles
  • A tire repair kit is included instead of a spare tire 
The Audi Q4 E Tron

The Audi Q4 e tron. Photo: Scotty Reiss

What This Electric SUV Costs

  • Audi Q4 40 e-tron Premium, with rear-wheel drive, 201 HP, 264 miles of range, standard 19” wheels, digital instrument cluster, wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto and panoramic sunroof, $49,800
  • Audi Q4 50 e-tron, which adds all-wheel drive, 295 horsepower and has a range of 236 miles, $55,200
  • Add Premium Plus, with adaptive cruise control, LED interior lighting, Virtual Cockpit plus and SONOs sound system, advanced smart key, memory driver’s seat and wireless phone charge pad, $61,400
  • Add the Black Optic package with black details and 20” wheels, $1,500
  • Price of our test model with $1,195 destination charge, $62,595 
The Rear End Features Double Glass And A Light Bar

The rear of the Sportback features double glass and a light bar. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Sporty Elegance Wins My Heart

This may have been my favorite test drive of the year. The Audi Q4 e-tron is easy to drive, easy to charge and delightful to spend time in. The interior is light and elegant, and every function was easy to use. And it’s at home everywhere. During my week with the Q4 e-tron, I attended a Movember drive with Lamborghini. I drove to the starting point for the event and into a parking lot filled with sports cars crafted of classic Italian design driven by legions of discerning and enthusiastic people. And the Q4 was right at home: elegant, sporty, confident. Its modern look and design both fit right in and stood apart for both luxuriousness and athletic sportiness.

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Disclosure: Audi provided the Q4 e-tron for this test drive; all opinions are my own.

A Welcome Light Greets You In The Dark

A welcome light greets you in the dark. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss