Audi Q4 e-tron 40 Sportback (2021) in the test: four wins

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What does the chic brother of the VW ID.4 do better?

Audi Q4 e-tron 40 Sportback (2021) in the test: four wins-e-tron

All hobby cooks among you will know: You can use the same ingredients to prepare a wide variety of things so that everyone tastes good. The automotive canteen kitchen of the Volkswagen Group has been doing the same for a good 50 years. In 1972 the Audi 80 came on the market, from which VW knitted the first Passat a year later.

At the moment it is no different: a few months after the VW ID.4 Audi is now bringing the Q4 e-tron on the market.

We were now able to drive the Q4 e-tron as a sleeker Sportback, a body shape that its brothers ID.4 and Skoda Enyaq have not there yet. In contrast to the "normal" Q4 e-tron, the roof profile is just two centimeters in height and headroom. However, this does not have any practical disadvantages as long as you do not transport refrigerators, as I can already reveal.

Dimensions and interior

First, let's take a look at the most important data. As already indicated, the Q4 e-tron, ID.4 and Enyaq use the same MEB platform. And so the Audi and the VW are the same length at just under 4.59 meters to within a few millimeters. At 1.86 meters, the Q4 e-tron is one centimeter wider than the ID.4. You can find a detailed comparison with the Enyaq here.

The drives and batteries are also identical: 125 kW (170 PS) plus 55 kWh battery for the basic Q4 with the number 35. The 40's 150 kW equals 204 PS, while the 50's thanks to two engines on all-wheel drive and 299 HP system performance is coming. These two Q4s use an 82 kWh battery (gross) or around 77 kWh net.

Picture gallery: Audi Q4 e-tron 40 Sportback (2021) on location

Audi Q4 e-tron 40 Sportback (2021) in the test: four wins-e-tron

As far as the theory, we come to practice. Coincidentally, I traveled to Ingolstadt with the 204 hp ID.4 to receive its Audi counterpart in the form of the Q4 Sportback 40 e-tron (that's the correct name). Color: aurora violet metallic, plus S Line outside and inside. My first impression: Although, as mentioned, a touch wider than the VW, the Audi feels less bulky.

Maybe it's the more functional cockpit of the ID.4, but in Q4 I immediately feel more comfortable. Digital round instruments instead of a small display and physical buttons, for example for air conditioning. I already know that from the Audi A3 vs. VW Golf and I really liked it there. Admittedly, the inside of the Q4 is not necessarily of higher quality than the ID.4, but it is more self-explanatory. The difference I notice in the Audi is the separate cruise control lever. The VW has buttons in the steering wheel, which is probably due to the US market, which is important for the ID.4.

Audi Q4 e-tron 40 Sportback (2021) in the test: four wins-audi

At the front I sit very comfortably on sports seats in "my" Q4, the cuddly feeling may also be due to the fact that the Audi is more driver-oriented than the VW. Both have in common the gigantic legroom in the rear, even with a cap in the Audi there is still enough air over the head. When I look back, I notice the rear spoiler that divides the sloping rear window. This leaves a kind of extra window below, which improves the view to the rear. 535 liters fit in the trunk under normal conditions, a good figure.

Drive, range, consumption

Now let's go! The Q4 Sportback 40 e-tron starts moving exceptionally quietly and stays that way on the autobahn. Incidentally, the load is limited at 160 km / h. But before I get there, I look at the on-board computer: it shows a range of 387 kilometers with a full battery, and it's 25.5 degrees outside. Audi specifies a maximum of 534 kilometers according to the WLTP cycle, the Sportback gets a few kilometers out of the normal Q4 thanks to better aerodynamics. Nevertheless, I guess you have to drive with a fine foot for the specified maximum value.

I don't want to take it so extreme here and now and I don't want to set any sporting records. So I choose "auto" as the driving mode, so the Q4 adapts to my normal driving style. The automatic air conditioning works, as does the radio. Everything as if you got in before or after work without any particular ulterior motives. I press the slide in the center console in "B" to recuperate more than in "D". As in the ID.4, the degree of recuperation cannot be set, so continuous one-pedal driving is not possible.

Nevertheless, the Q4 recovers very well, especially with the optional assistance system for predictive driving in conjunction with traffic sign recognition. Motto: Soon 70 or a town entrance, get off the accelerator. It pays off: after 70 kilometers over town and country there is a remaining range of 352 kilometers and a consumption of 17.0 kWh / 100 km.

The power development takes place pleasantly powerful, without happening like a raid. At the same time, this Q4 has no traction problems, even though my 40 does not have the Quattro option. So you can confidently save the money for this. The 20-inch rims (series are 19-inch) do not have to be mandatory either. The ride comfort is okay, but major damage in the asphalt is passed through quite tightly.

I really liked the steering that was directly responsive. Although it wasn't the optional progressive steering, driving in the Q4 is much more active than in the ID.4. Together with the drive, you almost forget that the Audi weighs over two tons. Interesting is the sports steering wheel that I grip, which is flattened at the top and bottom. One thing is certain: the Q4 is agile.

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After three hours of driving and a bit of the motorway, I return. The on-board computer shows 145 kilometers and a remaining range of 287 kilometers. That shows how well the Q4 recovers. With my test consumption of 17.8 kWh, I'm at the lower end of the range that Audi specifies for the 40 Sportback: 16.8 to 19.6 kWh according to the WLTP. I can charge the car with an output of up to 125 kW. But this upper limit should rise to 170 kW in the fall, rumor has it.

It costs that

In terms of price, the Audi Q4 40 e-tron starts at 47,500 euros before premiums, the Sportback costs 2,000 euros more. Audi expects that this version will also be used by most of the Q4 customers. And probably too many extras, because the list of surcharges is extremely long. However, the majority of all Q4s should be brought to customers in company leasing, including tax benefits and bonuses.

It is therefore worth taking a look at the latest leasing offers. But if you don't necessarily have to or want to drive an Audi and only want a 4.60 meter electric SUV, you should definitely get the famous Hyundai Ioniq 5 watch closer.

Conclusion:

The Audi Q4 e-tron costs a good 3,000 euros more than the VW ID.4, but it is also the better car. The exterior design remains a matter of taste, but the inside is much better to use. In addition, the Q4 is much more agile and hides its mass brilliantly.

Plus points: the great amount of space, the very good recuperation and the option of the Sportback variant. The 40 model without the Quattro turns out to be the golden mean in the Q4 portfolio.

Picture gallery: Audi Q4 Sportback 50 e-tron quattro (2021)

Audi Q4 e-tron 40 Sportback (2021) in the test: four wins-e-tron

Audi Q4 Sportback 40 e-tron (2021)

engine 1 electric motor

power 150 kW (204 PS)

Max. Torque 310 Nm

drive Rear wheel drive

Acceleration 0-100 km / h 8.5 sec.

Top speed 160 km / h (regulated)

length 4,588 mm

broad 1,865 mm

height 1,614 mm

Trunk volume 535 liters

Empty weight 2,125 kg (Q4 40 e-tron)

battery 82 kWh (gross) / 76.6 kWh (net)

Electric range up to 534 km (WLTP)

Charging port up to 125 kW (DC)

consumption 16.8 – 19.6 kWh / 100 km (WLTP)

Base price approx. 49,500 euros

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