The E-Tron SUV was Audi's first electric vehicle when it debuted for the 2019 model year. By size and price, it's positioned between the compact Q5 and the midsize flagship Q8. Although we've expressed some concern over its relatively limited range, the E-Tron is an accessible, well-executed luxury EV. It competes with other luxury electric SUVs, including the Tesla Model Y, Jaguar I-Pace, and Tesla Model X.
The Audi E-Tron is an impressively engineered, properly refined, upscale electric SUV, but it's still not a strong enough competitor to threaten Tesla. We like the way its design appears instantly modern and futuristic without opting for a Jetson-esque maw á la Toyota Prius. Audi's technoluxe interior is another high point, with high-quality materials, forward-looking design, and generous display real estate.
The E-Tron is a nice car to drive too; it offers accurate steering, plenty of grip, and planted, confidence-inspiring handling. The brakes feel natural, too, which isn't always the case with EVs. We did notice a brittle, jittery suspension that is likely a result of the E-Tron's massive weight.
Lastly, no EV evaluation would be complete without mention of range. The E-Tron's is unimpressive. Even though 222 miles is more than most drivers will need between charges, E-Tron buyers will experience more range anxiety and more frequent charging than those who opted for an equivalent Tesla Model Y or Model X. For plenty of folks, that will be a deal-breaker.
Every E-Tron is motivated by two electric motors, one on either axle, both of which are fed by a 95-kWh battery pack mounted in the floor of the vehicle. Total system power is rated at 355 hp and 414 lb-ft of torque. A Boost mode, accessible for up to eight seconds at a time in Sport mode, raises output to 402 hp. When we tested the E-Tron for the 2020 SUV of the year competition, it accelerated to 60 in 5.1 seconds.
As for range, this is where the E-Tron falls behind. Even with an additional 18 miles of capability for 2021, the E-Tron's EPA-rated 222-mile range doesn't come close to that of Tesla's more affordable Model Y. Our range test of the 2019 model saw the electric Audi set to tap out after just 176 miles, but coming short of its EPA estimate made sense given the 105-degree test conditions and our test car's heavy 21-inch wheels. The Audi doesn't compare any better when it comes to fuel economy, with an estimated 78 mpg-e combined city/highway. Go for a Model Y and that figure increases to 111 or 121 mpg-e.
The E-Tron is capable of charging at a rate of 150 kW (which you can think of as 150 kWh per hour). On a 150-kW charger, the E-Tron can restore 80 percent of its charge in as little as 30 minutes. It can also charge at 350-kW stations that, though exceedingly rare, promise ultra-fast charge times.
The 2021 E-Tron has not yet been evaluated by either major U.S. safety organization, but when the 2019 model was tested by the IIHS, it earned a 2019 Top Safety Pick+. It also earns a five-star overall safety rating in NHTSA crash testing.
Audi's Driver assistance package includes automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a 360-degree camera system, and it is included on all but the entry-level E-Tron Premium. Adaptive cruise control is available as an option.
Every E-Tron seats five, with 40.8 inches of legroom up front and 39.1 inches in the back seat. Its cargo hold is rated for 28.5 cubic feet of volume behind the rear seat or 57.0 cubic feet with the seats folded down.
The E-Tron features Audi's dual-touchscreen infotainment system with integrated navigation, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support as standard. Audi's Digital Cockpit instrument cluster is standard and a head-up display with navigation info is included on top-spec Prestige models.
|$0||1.49% Financing available for varying term lengths : 36, 48, 60 Months - Audi announces APR rates on select models.||01-04-2021|
|$0||1.99% Financing for a maximum term of 66 Months - Audi announces APR rates on select models.||01-04-2021|
|$0||2.49% Financing for a maximum term of 72 Months - Audi announces APR rates on select models.||01-04-2021|
|$0||2.99% Financing for a maximum term of 75 Months - Audi announces APR rates on select models.||01-04-2021|
|$1000||Audi announces a Bonus cash for customers who Finance through Audi Financial Services using AFS Standard or Special rates. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.]||01-04-2021|
|$1500||Audi announces a Customer Bonus for customers who Lease, Finance or Premier Purchase through Audi Financial Services using AFS Standard or Special rates.||01-04-2021|
|$1250||Audi announces a Lease Bonus cash for customers who Lease or Premier Purchase through Audi Financial Services using AFS Standard or Special rates.||01-04-2021|
|$7500||Audi announces a Lease Bonus on select models.||01-04-2021|
|$1000||Audi announces an Audi Credit that is good towards cash purchases, outside lenders or AFS Standard Lease or Standard APR rates. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.]||01-04-2021|