The 2023 Audi Q4 e-tron: Your Everyday All-Electric Driver with a Dose of Luxury

A Girls Guide To Cars | The 2023 Audi Q4 E-Tron: Your Everyday All-Electric Driver With A Dose Of Luxury - Agirlsguidetocars Logotype Color Web Transparentbg 16X9 1
Me And The Q4 Sportback. Photo: Liv Leigh

Me and the Q4 Sportback. Photo: Liv Leigh

Audi is bringing electrification and affordability together in a beautiful package.

On a gorgeously temperate day in Oceanside, San Diego, literally by the ocean side, I gathered with other automotive journalists to be introduced to the 2023 Audi Q4 e-tron, Audi’s accessible entry to premium electrification. Bringing a spacious interior in a compact package, it still manages to accommodate 5 adult passengers and cargo and packs a plethora of active and passive safety features.

Based on the same platform as the VW ID 4, the Audi Q4 e-tron SUV and Sportback offer the luxury and reliability of the Audi legacy with a more wallet-friendly price tag than the regular Audi e-tron.  The most accessible all-electric Audi offering is neither the most powerful nor the most performance-oriented, but it just might be the best-suited pick for me and perhaps for you, too.

Related: Is This the Ultimate Electric Car? Audi RS e-tron GT Review 

The Spacious Cabin Of The Q4. Photo: Livleigh

The spacious cabin of the Q4. Photo: Liv Leigh

The Inside of the 2023 Q4 e-tron is Just as Eye-Catching as the Outside

And that’s because Audi has taken advantage of the unique design freedom afforded by an electric drivetrain. Audi has opened up the cockpit, allowing for a far more spacious and accommodating front cabin while still heavily-orienting the experience towards the driver.

A 10.25 inch instrument cluster nestles behind the steering wheel, loaded with information and customization options literally available at your fingertips under the smooth piano black surface of the steering wheel that is actually a host of gesture and touch-reactive buttons only visible when the vehicle is on. An 11.6 inch Multimedia Touch Display sits in the middle of the dash, almost discouraging the passenger from touching it by the degree to which it orients to the driver. The open design also allows for some storage options below the center console, wireless phone charging, 2 USB C ports, and a petite and adjustable center armrest.

Related: Electric SUVs Are the Future, and Audi’s e-tron Is Set to Take You There in Style

The Steering Wheel Controls Disappear When The Vehicle Is Off! Photo: Liv Leigh

The steering wheel controls disappear when the vehicle is off! Photo: Liv Leigh

So Many Options and so Much Space in the Q4 e-tron

One of the more helpful features is an optional add-on, the Augmented Reality heads up display helpfully shows your speed, the speed limit, incorporates turn by turn navigation, and even provides collision alerts and other helpful info. Regenerative braking paddles perch behind the steering wheel for on-the-go adjustments between 3 manual modes of regenerative braking. Or you can opt for the highest amount available by popping the newly-designed gear selector into B mode (a.k.a Brake mode).

As a right-leg amputee who drives with my left leg, I was thrilled by the new, spacious cabin and driver foot-well that allows for the extra wiggle room that my unique situation requires. If you, like me, maybe want a bit more lateral legroom in your driving arrangement, then you will definitely appreciate this setup!

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

There Is Ample Room For Driving Adaptively With My Left Leg. Photo: Liv Leigh

There is ample room for driving adaptively with my left leg. Photo: Liv Leigh

Audi Thought of Everything we Need and Everything we Didn’t Know we Wanted

There are multiple subtle but stand-out features that add to the comfort and accessibility of this cabin. For example, the manual vent controls that click subtly when pushed into the off position and are easily adjustable without taking your eyes off the road. The curved and adjustable headrests that are far more accommodating to big, curly hair like mine than many other vehicles and, my absolute favorite, the ergonomically placed bottle holders. Rest your elbow comfortably on the door jam and your fingertips naturally touch the window controls, reach in front of the controls and you’ll find bottle storage in every door. Two traditional drink holders still sit between the driver and front passenger and are hidden in the drop down between the rear seats, which can also drop down further to reveal a trunk pass through.

Both The Front And Rear Seats Have Side Bolstering And Curved Headrests. Photo: Livleigh

Both the front and rear seats have side bolstering and curved headrests. Photo: LivLeigh

The 2023 Audi Q4 e-tron has the Perfect way to Plan your Adventures

The Q4 line brings a familiar design aesthetic in an approachable package that says “Hi, I’m an Audi!” rather than “Hi, I’m electric!” but EV specific features are built seamlessly into the ecosystem. The e-tron customized navigation system brings route planning with the ability to transition from app directly to your multimedia display, L2 and DC fast charging locating and availability, and a host of trip planning functionality including an adaptive range calculator that considers elevation, temperature, and traffic.

Related: Charging an Electric Car is as Easy as 1, 2, 3

Route Planning Can Show Charging Stops On The Map. Photo: Livleigh

Route planning can show charging stops on the map. Photo: Liv Leigh

Sometimes you Just Need to Turn up the Music and Drive

Driving the Q4 Sportback e-tron away from the beachy vista and diving right into city streets narrowed by pedestrians, bicycles, and the traffic you’d expect from Southern California, you immediately realize that the vehicle is made for this. The cabin suitability seals off the outside world, Sonos speakers (an optional upgrade) fill the silence with bright, clear sound with adjustable settings to your taste and, even though the Sportback has a slightly impeded rear-view sightline, visibility is still good.

I Enjoyed Cruising On City Streets And Highways In The Q4 Sportback. Photo: Patrick Anderson

I enjoyed cruising on city streets and highways in the Q4 Sportback. Photo: Patrick Anderson

A Car Built for the City or the Open Road, but Maybe not the Mountains

A truly comfortable ride, the compact SUV wheelbase allows for extremely nimble maneuvering for busy city driving. The 295 horsepower in this trim pumps out easily enough get up and go to zip in front of traffic. Once clearing the city, the Q4 Sportback e-tron handled some wild, winding mountain roads surrounding Temecula, CA, well enough, but this was clearly not its wheel-house, so to speak. This comfortable, premium, all-electric ride slides perfectly into the role of an extremely capable every-day driver, as long as your every-day driving isn’t up winding mountain roads!

The Rear Console Has Separate Climate Controls And There Is Tons Of Leg Room. Photo: Patrickanderson

The rear console has separate climate controls and there is tons of leg room. Photo: PatrickAnderson

If you are Worried About Space, Don’t Be

Unlike many electric cars, the Q4 lacks a frunk completely but, fortunately, makes up for it with a smartly spacious cabin. With the driver’s seat set to my 5’6” height, there is a ton of legroom for rear passengers and even for taller occupants. A rear console with separate climate zone controls and 2 USB C charging ports caps off a comfy back cabin. At various times, I tossed my crutch into both the back seat and the trunk and it fit perfectly.

The Rear Seats And Trunk Are Both Spacious Enough For A Long Crutch. Photo: Liv Leigh

The rear seats and trunk are both spacious enough for a long crutch. Photo: Liv Leigh

What’s the Difference Between the 2023 Audi Q4 e-tron and the Q4 e-tron Sportback?

I’m glad you asked!  You have your choice between the athletic looking Sportback and the slightly more boxy SUV body type may be purely aesthetic but there is also a small difference in cargo volume to be aware of.

Audi Q4 SUV

24.8 cubic feet (with the rear seats up)

53.1 cubic feet (with the rear seats down)

Audi Q4 Sportback

26.1 cubic feet (with the rear seats up)

54.4 cubic feet (with the rear seats down)

Looking at the streamlined curvature on the roofline of the Sportback, it’s hard to believe that it has more interior room but one can only surmise that perhaps it’s distributed differently vertically and horizontally between the models.

Audi Q4 E-Tron Suv And Sportback Below It. Photo: Liv Leigh

Audi Q4 E-tron SUV and Sportback below it. Photo: Liv Leigh

Different Trim Levels Allow you to Decide What Works Best for you and Your Family

There are 3 models to choose from in the 2023 Q4 lineup:

  • The 2023 Audi Q4 40 e-tron

    • With a starting price of $48,800

    • Available in rear-wheel drive only

    • Has a 0-60 time of 7.9 seconds

    • Has an 82 kWh battery capable of 265 miles of range

    • Can DC fast charge from 5-80% in 36 minute (at 150 kW)

    • Showcases the smallest turning radius in the entire Audi portfolio

  • The 2023 Audi Q4 50 e-tron

    • With a starting price of $53,800

    • Available in all-wheel drive only

    • Has a 0-60 time of 5.8 seconds

    • Has an 82 kWh battery capable of 236 miles of range

    • Can DC fast charge from 5-80% in 36 minute (at 150 kW)

  • The 2023 Audi Q4 Sportback 50 e-tron

    • With a starting price of $56,800

    • Available in all-wheel drive only

    • Has a 0-60 time of 5.8 seconds

    • Has an 82 kWh battery capable of 242 miles of range

    • Can DC fast charge from 5-80% in 36 minute (at 150 kW)

The Bold Q4 Front Fascia. Photo: Liv Leigh

The bold Q4 front fascia. Photo: Liv Leigh

Familiarity with a Twist

Right out the gate, the 2023 Audi Q4 is a capable and comfortable, premium, electric car. A panoramic sunroof with sunshade, controllable with the sweep of a finger, comes standard along with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, making even the base 2023 Audi Q4 40 e-tron a well-equipped offering. With its bold and blocky front fascia, traditional Audi design cues, and thoughtfully, integrated technology, the Q4 feels like a familiar car with a new twist and, since Audi has committed to only introducing fully electric models from 2026 onwards, it’s going to be exciting to see what new twist they can bring in the future too!

 Disclosure: I was Audi’s guest to test the 2023 Audi Q4 e-tron. Travel and accommodations were paid for, all opinions are my own.

An enthusiastic supporter of everything she’s passionate about, Liv got her first Electric Car and immediately made a YouTube... More about Liv Leigh