Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback - long-term review - Report No:5 2022 | Top Gear
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Tuesday 6th December
Long-term review

Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback - long-term review

£55,435 OTR/£61,955 as tested
Published: 21 Nov 2022
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SPEC HIGHLIGHTS

  • SPEC

    Audi Q4 e-tron 40 82kWh

  • Range

    313 miles

  • ENGINE

    1cc

  • BHP

    204bhp

  • 0-62

    8.5s

Life with an Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback: does anyone care how it drives?

A rare moment of contemplation at our recent 911 GT3 RS vs Cayman GT4 RS video shoot down at Dunsfold. I parked the Q4 up next to this pair of naturally aspirated, rev happy, downforce hungry Porsches and a thought struck me. Never has the sheer bandwidth of new cars been wider.

The Porches represent the pinnacle of enthusiast cars in the combustion engine’s twilight era, every fibre of their being dedicated to lightness, reactions, speed and driving joy… both are on a mission to make your hair stand on end. The Q4 is the exact opposite – an automotive sedative designed for silent, unremarkable progress. Like a waiter in a Michelin star restaurant, if the Audi’s doing its job really well, you shouldn’t notice it’s there.

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I’m not saying either approach is the right one, there’s a time and place and a type of customer for both, but injecting anywhere near the same level of emotion as this pair of RSs into a pure electric car is one hell of a head-scratcher, something most manufacturers are currently grappling with. Cars in the future are going to be bought far more on the design, battery range, infotainment and finance deal than anything as old fashioned as how zippy the engine is, how satisfying the gearbox or how well it rides and corners.

Anyone who’s approached to strike up a conversation about the Q4 is only interested in range, price and charging capabilities. Literally no one has asked me how it is to drive, it’s a low priority concern. All of which doesn’t diminish the fact that I’m still enjoying the Q4 immensely, it delivers the soothing, care-free transport that my hectic work and home life needs. But boy do I wish it would make my hair stand on end now and then.

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