As confusing as it may seem, SUVs are also available as coupes, with the main difference being a lowered rear deck. The lines of the Audi Q4 e-tron gain such dynamism. The temptation becomes even greater to give in to the game of possibilities with the Sportback. However, beware of the final invoice, which can make competing models more drooling.
Audi Q4 and VW ID.5
The Q4 e-tron coupé and SUV share the same footprint of 4,588 x 1,865 m. Only the height differs according to the figures noted on the 50-page brochure distributed just before summer 2022: 1,614 m for the profiled hatchback version against 1,632 m with the classic bodywork.
The Sportback is based on the same base as the Volkswagen ID.5 (ID.4 coupé), less wide by 1.3 cm, but longer by 1.1 cm. The two structures in back quickly however, appear in very different presentations. The spoiler and receding pavilion have a positive effect on the drag coefficient on the Audi, which drops from 0.28 to 0.26.
The tested model
Coated in Navarre blue metallic as an option for 950 euros, the Audi Q4 40 e-tron Sportback, which was entrusted to us, benefited from the S-line finish, betrayed by the aluminum styling elements at the level of the front surface. This proposal comes just before the top of the Design Luxe range.
The standard 20-inch rims have been replaced by 21-inch EVO 5 spokes (+ 1,600 euros) fitted with Bridgestone Turanza Eco tires. The appearance of the machine is illuminated with Matrix Led headlights (+ 1,320 euros).
The panoramic sunroof (+ 1,530 euros) in 2 parts covers the front of the cabin, without going down to the rear seats which still benefit from the extra light.
In its 40 version, the Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback has a permanent magnet synchronous motor, which develops an output of 150 kW (204 hp) for a torque of 310 Nm. 400 V lithium-ion battery with a usable energy capacity of 77 kWh (82 kWh gross capacity).
Guaranteed for 8 years or 160,000 km, the package increases the vehicle’s weight by 400 kg, which thus amounts to a minimum of 1,970 kg (2,045 kg on our test model with optional equipment) for a total permissible load of 2,475 kg.
Video test – Audi Q4 40 e-tron Sportback: this very expensive 5-door coupe SUV
Despite a sporty look, this electric coupe would seem almost clever with its 8.5 seconds to perform the exercise from 0 to 100 km/h, against certain competing models in 2-wheel drive version such as the Volvo XC 40 Recharge (7.4 sec ) or the Tesla Model Y (5.1 sec.).
Trunk and trailer
Behind the tailgate, which is opened electrically using the remote control (+ 580 euros), a 535 liter luggage compartment hides under a retractable rigid shelf. Its volume can be expanded to 1,460 l by folding down the 3-part (40/20/40) seat backrest. This is respectively 15 l more and 30 l less than on the classic SUV.
The spaces behind the wheels are well dug. A double bottom can accommodate more than the charging cables, but no frunk under the front cover.
If all that wasn’t enough, the Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback can tow a braked trailer of up to 1,000kg, and 750kg if it isn’t. On our test model, a button on the left of the trunk allows you to release the hitch ball, which locks by raising it with your foot. This system is offered as an option for 1,110 euros.
Bench seat for 3
The receding roof does not prevent three people measuring up to just over 1.80 m from being accommodated on the comfortable bench of the Q4 Sportback. In addition to that, the heads will flirt with the pavilion. Thanks to a wheelbase of 2,764 m, legroom is very generous. The discreet service tunnel hardly harms the passenger sitting in the central place.
Storage is available in the pastor behind the backs of the armchairs in front of them and in the storm doors. The comfort of all these little people is increased by tri-zone air conditioning (+ 810 euros). Note that the side windows are fully shaded if necessary.
The driver’s point of view
Apart from the rigid plastic parts, some of which are a bit of a stain at the bottom of the dashboard and at the level of the door panels of an Audi in S line finish, the presentation that awaits the driver and his right-hand neighbor showed us” sumptuous on the Q4 Sportback. The build quality is also okay.
Several storage spaces with cup holders and length-adjustable center armrest, 12 V and USB socket and induction charger for smartphone (+ 560 euros) are at the service of these two passengers. Very comfortable, top-of-the-range upholstery is in nappa leather (+ 2,300 euros), with electric adjustments (+ 1,025 euros) and heating function (+ 400 euros).
We appreciated the ergonomics of the controls on the electric SUV coupe from Audi, much better thought out than at Volkswagen. A good point on this topic regarding the shortcuts for servicing the ventilation system.
What you need to know before you go
The instrumentation is rich in details, especially regarding the cartography of the GPS which can be inserted, instead of the indications of the onboard computer, between the disc dedicated to the energy values and the speedometer. The multimedia system, compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, also benefits from the finesse of the graphics with great fluidity. The route to follow is shown on striking geographical views.
Five driving modes are available: Efficiency, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual. With the latter, the driver can intervene on the hardness of the steering (comfortable or sporty) and the response to acceleration (economical, balanced and sporty). But not on the suspension, which is not piloted here. Our Audi Q4 40 e-tron Sportback is based on a Sport chassis.
Flat top and bottom, the double-spoke leather steering wheel hides the 2 paddles, which allow you to play on the regeneration power. This device is valuable in dynamic driving.
On winding roads
The firmness of the Q4 Sportback chassis was appreciated by Maxime Fontanier: ” We feel we have a vehicle that is firm, heavy but stiff and responds well “. And at the management level?” It gives a good feeling in dynamic mode. We have good feedback. It’s not too flexible “, he reports. Relative body roll doesn’t stop the SUV coupe from connecting corners perfectly on an average surface.
Braking, with drums at the rear, is less convincing. Not because of a lack of overall efficiency, but because of a soft pedal that doesn’t hide a certain lack of bite.
Although equipped with the same chassis and engine, the Audi reveals a funnier and more precise behavior than the Volkswagen ID.5. What our tester explains with a difference in the suspension settings, as well as the measurements of the tracks and the wheelbase.
From the city to the highway
In the city, the Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback excels with its quiet operation, its smooth use, its steering, the very good visibility provided by the inside rear-view mirror due to the large tailgate window, the wide mirrors outside, the relative compactness of the machine, and turning circle of 10.20 metres. The latter is a model of its kind for a machine of this size.
Version 3.0 of the software also brings the 360-degree view, which was missing until now, and which facilitates maneuvers to park in the city.
With a top speed limited to 160 km/h, you might as well experience the highway in a peaceful way with this electric SUV coupé. Especially since the very good sound insulation is suitable for that. However, it is the result of two options: front side windows (+ 140 euros) and acoustic windshield (+ 410 euros).
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Under these conditions, the road noise is well contained and the connections to the road well filtered. ” It is quite good in terms of comfort on long journeys “, emphasizes Maxime Fontanier.
Perfect driving aids
The copy of the Q4 e-tron Sportback we had was equipped with the Security Assistance package, which provided all driving aids, for an additional €1,200 on the invoice. In particular, we find the cruise control with traffic jam mode and maintaining the distance with other vehicles.
” It works very well. But I’m not a big fan of the joystick behind the steering wheel to adjust the cruise control. I prefer when it is on the spokes of the steering wheel », underlines the man with the cap.
Additionally, he points to the video as an example of the lack of efficiency and finesse of the line maintenance aid: ” The car swings, it takes time to come back “.
Autonomy, consumption and charging
Over almost 1,800 km, at an average speed of 87 km/h, our test journalist noted an average consumption of 24.7 kWh/100 km. Figures can drop to 16.5-17 kWh/100 km in summer at constant speed and in Eco mode. What to travel at best a little more than 450 km by curling the breakdown of energy.
At 130 km/h, under ideal conditions you should expect a consumption of 23.5 kWh/100 km, for a good 300 km after a full charge.
The latter can be carried out on DC chargers up to a maximum output of 135 kW. That’s nearly 100kW less than the Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5. Reclaiming an 80% energy level will take between 30 and 35 minutes at best.
The Audi Q4 35 e-tron classic SUV and coupe start at 44,750 and 46,750 euros, respectively, including tax, excluding bonuses in entry-level finishes. The prices for the 40 models rise to 50,900 and 52,900 euros. In S-line trim, like the copy we tested, the Q4 e-tron Sportback rises to 62,400 euros. But if you add the options, it would be charged 78,755 euros.
” There we are swimming in completely crazy prices, even though Audi is a premium brand ” says Maxime Fontanier.
” Although the vehicle is very well made, with an impeccable finish, it does not justify the extra cost compared to a Kia EV6, a Hyundai Ioniq 5 or a Tesla Model Y, which will be much more efficient, more spacious and better equipped for cheaper and more independent “, he reasons, recalling the arrival of competing Chinese models. Thus Xpeng P7, Nio ES8 and Voyah Free, which the specialized journalist went to discover in Norway.
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