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The Top Gear car review: Audi e-tron
On the inside
Layout, finish and space
Imagine a Q7, then make the cabin design a notch more futuristic and knock back the practicality a notch. Maybe two, actually. The boot has a very high load sill and the angled D-pillars cut into space. You’ll need an athletic dog to make it up there and it’ll have to watch headroom once it’s loaded.
There’s also a frunk. It’s shallow, but a good place for charging cables so they don’t clutter up the regular boot. Meanwhile the middle seat occupant in the back (only a five seater, remember) has little legroom. The floor might be flat, but the cenre console that runs between the front seats protrudes back far enough to clout unwary shins. Flanking seats are… fine. Not generous by class standards, merely acceptable.
There are five screens up front. Two in the centre console, another full width dash screen for Audi’s peerless Virtual Cockpit, and two more on the doors either side. These are the screens for the side view cameras. They’re not perfect. Think about how much you move your head to alter your angle of view when joining a motorway. You can’t do that here. You get used to the positioning of the screens (could be a gnats higher ideally), can adjust the brightness, angle of view and grateful that they cut aero drag and you don’t need to look around bulky mirrors any more, but the angle of view is narrow, and in strong sun they struggle.
The driving position is great, seat comfort superb and quality irreproachable. It is an Audi, it’s what they do. You will be spending a lot of time interacting with screens. The menu system is logical, at no stage does the e-tron bombard you with electric graphs, charts and data. Quite hard to find it, actually and those that like to geek out on that sort of thing are going to be disappointed. It’s short on detail.