Audi e-tron Review
The Audi e-tron is a high-end electric SUV with a top notch interior, lots of equipment and plenty of range per charge
Strengths & weaknesses
The Audi e-tron is a large electric SUV that aims to provide luxurious, high-tech transport for wealthy families - after all, it’s pretty expensive when new, despite the promise of low running costs. The e-tron isn’t to be confused with the smaller Q4 e-tron, though both are great options as battery-powered family cars.
There is also the Audi e-tron Sportback, which we’ve covered in a separate buying guide, and the e-tron S, which is covered below as it’s essentially a faster version of the normal e-tron. All models are built using mostly the same parts, and have all the same tech inside, but there are some differences when it comes to equipment and performance.
The e-tron was Audi’s first electric SUV to hit the market, and we reckon it was a success - it’s comfortable, easy to drive, spacious and has plenty of performance. It has a range of up to 185 to 254 miles per charge depending on which model you go for, which should be enough but won’t trouble some newer electric cars that have around 300 miles of range available.
The e-tron is between an Audi Q5 and Q7 in terms of size, so it’s quite a large car. The main range features the 50 quattro and 55 quattro models, which have 313hp and 408hp respectively, so there’s plenty of performance on offer no matter which one you choose. The e-tron S is the most powerful of all, though, with 503hp.
Rivals for the Audi e-tron include the Jaguar I-Pace, Tesla Model X, BMW iX3, Mercedes EQC and more - there are plenty of electric SUVs available and the e-tron lineup means there are versions that line up with many other different models in terms of price and running costs.
Should I get an Audi e-tron?
✔ Luxurious and high-tech interior
✔ Easy to drive and plenty of performance
✔ Quiet inside and comfortable on bumpy roads
✘ Can be expensive to buy when new
✘ Rivals are more fun to drive or offer more range
✘ No option for seven seats
The Audi e-tron’s biggest failing is its price - it’s just not very good value next to certain alternatives, even including Audi’s own Q4 e-tron. Yet, if you really need a large, spacious electric car and want it to be as packed with tech as possible, the e-tron is still a great option. It’s comfortable, easy to drive, well-built and has plenty of performance.
Its range figure of up to 254 miles isn’t as good as some newer and smaller models, but if you don’t do a lot of long trips then it will be more than enough. Thankfully, this Audi also supports rapid charging, so longer trips will be easy enough with some quick stops to recharge. At the right price - which is one you’re happy with - the Audi e-tron is well worth considering.
- Models explained
- Trim levels
- Battery and motor
- Best Audi e-tron for...
- Boot space
- Should I buy used?
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The Audi e-tron is a large electric SUV model. Note the lower-case name ‘e-tron’ is alone in the name of this model - it’s not like the Q4 e-tron where it’s attached to a normal model name like Q4. It’s a bit confusing at first but the easiest way to clear up any confusion is to have a quick look on Audi's website, where all its models are listed together to familiarise yourself with which is which.
The e-tron is available in 50 quattro and 55 quattro forms, which signify the entry-level and more powerful models respectively (and the 'quattro' in the name shows both are four-wheel-drive). The former has 313hp and can travel for up to 197 miles on a single charge, while the latter has 408hp and can drive for up to 254 miles.
It’s also worth remembering that there is also an Audi e-tron Sportback model that looks a little different as it has a ‘sportier’ roofline - we’ve covered that version in a separate e-tron Sportback buyers' guide.
Audi e-tron S
The e-tron S is the more powerful version of the e-tron - it has a substantial 503hp. That means it can go from 0-62mph in just 4.5 seconds, significantly faster than the 50 and 55 models in the normal e-tron range above.
There aren’t too many other changes, but the extra powerful motors mean that the battery doesn’t last as long: this version can drive for up to 223 miles on a single charge according to official figures.
The e-tron S is only available in S and Vorsprung trim levels. It comes with 21-inch alloy wheels as standard, plus 22-inch items if you upgrade to the top trim, as well as an upgraded sound system, heated steering wheel and extra safety kit.
|Audi e-tron Technik||From £23,950: Technik is the entry-level model for the e-tron, and comes with 20-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, sat-nav, a large touchscreen media system with smartphone connectivity, digital dials and two-zone climate control.|
|Audi e-tron Sport||Limited stock: Sport models come with different alloy wheel designs, sports seats in leather and a centre armrest. It’s probably not worth upgrading to this model unless you only want the sports seats.|
|Audi e-tron S line||Limited stock: S line models look a bit sportier thanks to 21-inch alloy wheels, adaptive LED lights, air suspension for added comfort and tinted windows for more privacy in the rear seats.|
|Audi e-tron Black Edition||From £38,495: This version comes with extra black-themed exterior trim on the bumpers and a darker grille, plus different 21-inch alloy wheels and a flat-bottomed leather steering wheel.|
|Audi e-tron Vorsprung||Limited stock: The Vorsprung is the top-spec model, and comes with 22-inch alloy wheels, ‘super’ sports seats, Audi’s top adaptive LED light technology (including driver customisation features) and a Bang & Olufsen sound system.|
There are two main versions of the Audi e-tron: the 50 quattro and 55 quattro. The 50 model has a 71kWh battery that allows for a range of 187-197 miles on a single charge. It has 313hp, which means it can go from 0-62mph in a reasonably brisk 6.8 seconds.
The 55 quattro model has a larger 95kWh battery, which means it has the best range of the lineup at 254 miles, according to official figures. The more powerful motor with 408hp means it can go from 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds. As that’s more than enough for use on the road, we reckon this is the best model to go for.
The top version is the e-tron S. This has 503hp and can shoot to 62mph in under five seconds, but has a reduced range of around 220 miles on a charge. It’s not really worth choosing because the e-tron isn’t very sporty to begin with - it’s too heavy.
The Audi e-tron and e-tron S can be considered as part of the same range, although all versions of the e-tron S are better-equipped as standard. There are only two versions in that model’s range anyway, the base model and the Vorsprung.
The key decision here is how much range you think you will need. If you are looking for a daily car that won’t need to do many long trips then the entry-level 50 model will be fine, but those doing some longer trips will prefer the 55 version. You can read some of our top picks for a variety of situations below to help you work out which is best for you.
|Audi e-tron 50 quattro Technik: The entry-level model is great value because it has all the equipment you could need, including digital dials, sat-nav, a touchscreen media system and climate control. For most people the 50 model’s 180-ish-mile range per charge will be enough.|
|Audi e-tron 55 quattro S line: If you do a lot of family trips then the larger battery of the 55 model will come in handy as you’ll have to stop less often. Plus, since S line models come with air suspension as standard, they are also a bit more comfortable on the motorway.|
|Audi e-tron S: The fastest model in the range is the e-tron S - it has more than 500hp and is very fast in a straight line. It’s not a huge amount of fun to drive, though, and the electric Jaguar I-Pace is better to drive.|
|Audi e-tron S Vorsprung: We’re not convinced that the e-tron S is ever a good buy, but the Vorsprung model’s high list price means we’d avoid this version the most. This Audi is heavy and not very nimble, so lesser versions make more sense as a family car.|
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The Audi e-tron was one of the first large family SUVs to arrive with electric power. When it first came out, it was compared to the only other options available, including the Jaguar I-Pace, Tesla Model X and Mercedes EQC.
However, the e-tron is larger and more spacious than the Jaguar and Mercedes, and not as expensive as the huge Tesla Model X. It sits somewhere in between those rivals, offering space and comfort but without as much range and performance as the Tesla.
There are plenty of other rivals to consider at various price points, though, since the e-tron range is quite wide. There’s the BMW iX3 and if your budget is more limited, the Audi Q4 e-tron or the Volkswagen ID.4.
Audi e-tron practicality: dimensions and boot space
The Audi e-tron and e-tron S are both 4.9m long and two metres wide with the mirrors folded, and they are both the same height at 1.6m. It’s safe to say that both models are large - although parking sensors and cameras make it easier to fit into tight spots.
The e-tron is longer than the Jaguar I-Pace, but shorter than the Tesla Model X. It’s actually narrower than both those models, though, so it might fit into a garage that the others would not. It’s larger than the Audi Q5 but smaller than the seven-seater Q7, though there are only five seats in the e-tron.
|Length 4,901mm - 4,902mm||Width 1,935mm - 1,976mm|
|Height 1,629mm||Weight 2,445kg - 2,730kg|
The Audi e-tron has a 660-litre boot no matter which model you go for - even the e-tron S has the same amount of space. Fold down the rear seats and the total volume is an impressive 1,725 litres, which is really roomy, especially for an electric car - it’s one of the main selling points of the e-tron.
There’s still plenty of room for passengers in the back seats, and headroom is good even for taller adults as well. The e-tron has a bigger boot than the Mercedes EQC and Jaguar I-Pace, so it’s one of the most practical cars of its type.
|Seats up 660 litres||Seats down 1,725 litres|
It’s generally accepted that since electric cars have far fewer moving parts than petrol and diesel cars, that they’re likely to be more reliable. There are fewer consumables like oils to change at services too, so we’d expect the e-tron to be more reliable than an equivalent petrol or diesel model - though we don’t have much data on this model yet.
Audi didn’t fare too well in the 2021 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, which hints that the ownership experience might not be as good as it could be, though. The brand came in 23rd place out of 29 manufacturers, although it’s worth noting that other premium car makers like BMW also finished poorly.
The Audi e-tron gets a standard warranty that covers you for up to 60,000 miles over three years. This is the same as you’ll find on other similar cars, so it’s as standard as it gets. There’s also an eight-year warranty for the batteries that covers you for up to 100,000 miles.
There are extended warranties available from Audi for new cars, adding to the standard warranty to cover up to four years or 75,000 miles or for a little more money, five years or 90,000 miles.
|3 years||60,000 miles|
AVERAGE REPAIR COST PAID BY WARRANTYWISE: £643
The Audi e-tron is a great choice if you have a high budget and are looking for an electric SUV that’s comfortable, easy to drive and very spacious inside. The e-tron’s big boot and luxurious cabin are its best traits, so while it’s not as fun to drive as the Jaguar I-Pace, it’s a more practical choice.
High-spec models and the e-tron S are pretty expensive so we’d stick to the lower part of the model lineup to get the best value for money. There’s loads of equipment on all versions so no matter which model you pick, you’ll drive away with a car that feels cutting-edge. The only niggle would be that more recent electric cars such as Audi’s own Q4 e-tron, which is a bit smaller, offer around 300 miles of range on a single charge - more than the e-tron.
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The Audi e-tron 50 quattro Technik is the best value model, because the 55 model that’s quite a bit more expensive doesn’t offer a big enough jump in range to justify itself - though both versions can be justified depending what you're after, and it’s only the e-tron S that we don’t recommend.
The 55 quattro model brings more range but also more performance, and since the e-tron is more of a comfy cruiser than a sporty car, as it’s very heavy, this is the sweet spot for power and performance. You really don’t need the e-tron S’s extra power over the 55 quattro.
Go for a model in S line trim if you want the standard-fit air suspension this model comes with. It’s great for long trips as it’s more comfortable, plus you can set it to be a bit stiffer if you come across a smooth and twisty road and want the car to roll over a bit less in bends. It doesn’t transform the car but is an interesting option to look out for.
*Representative PCP finance - 2018 Ford Fiesta 1.0 ST-Line Hatchback:
|PCP representative example||APR rates available|
|Cash price £12,000||APR 7.90%||Value of loan||From|
|Fixed monthly payment £218.12||Annual mileage of 8,000pa||£25,000+||6.9%|
|Total cost of credit £2,755.55||Term 48 months||£12,000-£24,999||7.9%|
|Optional final payment £4,285.79||Loan value £12,000||£8,000-£11,999||8.9%|
|Total amount payable £14,755.55||Deposit £0||<8,000||9.9%|
BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.