RS e-tron GT vs e-tron GT: Is the RS Really Worth an Extra $40 Grand???

Audi RS e-tron GT

The RS e-tron GT vs e-tron GT comparison is shockingly similar at times — is 115-121 extra horsepower worth a $40,000-plus premium?

Funny how timing works. Today Audi announced the new limited-edition project_513/2 RS e-tron GT, and we just wrapped up back-to-back loans with the RS e-tron GT and e-tron GT, Audi’s current flagship EV sports sedans. Since we’re a couple of years behind on reviewing vehicles that debuted in 2020 and 2021, the goal today isn’t to do a traditional review. Instead, we’d like to offer an RS e-tron GT vs e-tron GT comparison for anyone who might be on the fence between the two. Basically, is the RS really worth an extra $40,000 to $60,000 more over the base car?

RS e-tron GT vs e-tron GT Basics

Audi RS e-tron GT

As most folks know by now, the RS e-tron GT and e-tron GT are Audi’s versions of the (shared-platform) Porsche Taycan. But, where Porsche offers a whopping 10 model variants, including wagons, Audi settled on two variations. Visually, Audi’s flagship EV sedan siblings most closely resemble the A7, S7, and RS 7 and the e-tron’s six-figure pricing is in line with the RS 7, RS 6 Avant, and S8.

Audi e-tron GT

On the inside, the e-tron GT siblings mostly resemble the 6 and 7 series Audi products. Sporty seating for five. Optional fine Napa leather. A full digital gauge cluster. However, the e-tron GTs forgo Audi’s dual-screen approach for the infotainment and HVAC systems that one finds on the A6, A7, S8, and the original e-tron SUV. Instead, the more expensive e-tron GT’s physical buttons more resemble the lower trim Q4 e-tron. To be clear, we generally applaud physical HVAC buttons, but the layout and materials lack a certain premium one looks for in higher-end Audis.

e-tron GT

Here’s a breakdown of the two models’ features —

RS e-tron GT

Audi RS e-tron GT

  • Boost Mode: 637 horsepower & 612 lb.-ft. of torque
  • Standard Power: 590 horsepower & 612 lb.-ft. Of torque
  • 0-60mph: 2.9 seconds (with Boost, as Tested by MotorTrend)
  • Quarter mile: 10.3 seconds
  • Top Speed: 155mph
  • Sport Adaptive Air Suspension
  • Curb Weight: 5,151 lbs
  • Dual Electric Motors — single speed (front); 2-speed transmission (rear)
  • 93.4 kWh Battery Pack (83.7 kW of accessible capacity)
  • 240V 0-100% Charging: 10.5 hours
  • 270 kW DC 5-80% Fast Charging: 22.5 mins
  • Range: 232 miles

e-tron GT

audi e-tron GT

  • Boost Mode: 522 horsepower & 472 lb.-ft. of torque
  • Standard Power: 469 horsepower & 464 lb.-ft. Of torque
  • 0-60mph: 3.6 seconds (with Boost, as tested by MotorTrend)
  • Quarter Mile: 11.9 seconds
  • Top Speed: 152mph
  • Sport Adaptive Air Suspension
  • Curb Weight: 5,060 lbs
  • Dual Electric Motors — single-speed (front); 2-speed transmission (rear)
  • 93.4 kWh Battery Pack (83.7 kW of accessible capacity)
  • 240V 0-100% Charging: 10.5 hours
  • 270 kW DC 5-80% Fast Charging: 22.5 mins
  • Range: 238 miles

Similarities Abound

e-tron GT (left); RS e-tron GT (right)

Debadge an Audi RS e-tron GT and e-tron GT and, shockingly, it’s nearly impossible to tell them apart inside and out.

Typically, RS Audis benefit from aggressive body styling over the standard A/Q or S models. But not so in the e-tron GT family. Without the subtle differences that only enthusiasts notice — RS badge, brightly colored brakes, and different wheel options — they’re the same car. Especially if one swaps out the standard carbon fiber roof on the RS for the glass moonroof that’s standard on the e-tron GT.

e-tron GT (left); RS e-tron GT (right)

The inside is equally similar, although Audi fans will likely recognize the RS model’s bright stitching and seatbelts. Plus, you can order up a lot more carbon fiber on the RS model. But both can be optioned with fine Napa leather interiors and heated, ventilated, and massaging front seats (that should be standard on a car this expensive, but I digress). Even the base model Premium e-tron GT comes with Alcantara everywhere.

Again, it’s so shocking to see an RS Audi that’s this similar to a base model, which had me seriously wondering…

Is the RS e-tron GT Worth a $40K to $60K Premium?

Audi RS e-tron GT

Would you pay $40-grand-plus for roughly 115 to 121 extra horsepower and to shave 7/10ths of a second off your 0-60 mph acceleration runs?

We were honestly prepared to say no until we drove both and spent a good deal of time debating power-to-weight ratios. Audi LOVES to tell the world about the peak power of these two EVs. But the e-tron GT can only hit 522 horsepower for 2.5 seconds when one enters into Dynamic Mode, comes to a stop, and holds the brake and accelerator for 1-second to engage launch control. The rest of the time, you’re cruising at 469 horsepower. Which, to be fair, isn’t exactly slow. But it’s not exactly fast either when your vehicle weighs over 5,000 pounds and you can buy lighter, almost 600-horsepower twin-turbo V8 Audis.

e-tron GT

In short, the e-tron GT is a quick car, and a lovely-driving car, but unless you activate boost mode, it’s not exactly fast. (In Boost mode, however, please be careful, the launches are serious.)

The RS e-tron GT is a different beast altogether. Those extra 121 ponies — going from 469 to 590 horsepower — in normal driving conditions are a MASSIVE improvement. A power band that feels more like driving the Audi S8 without turbo and transmission lag. The RS e-tron GT is, quite honestly, one of the most exhilarating Audi driving experiences available today that we can best sum up thusly…

Zipping onto a highway one day, we were stuck behind a truck going 45 miles an hour. So, when a gap opened up, we floored it and doubled our speed in the time it took to take a single breath. (Before, you know, slowing back down.) And, again, that wasn’t a boost-mode moment. It’s just an electrifying (haha, get it?) way to drive.

Not a One-Trick Pony

RS e-tron GT

For those concerned about EVs being one-trick we-accelerate-quick ponies, the Audi driving experience you probably know and love is all here as well. You might as well be driving an RS 7 in terms of the suspension damping in a vehicle that weighs a little more than the S8. But thanks to its lower center of gravity, the RS e-tron GT corners impressively as well. Not to mention the optional carbon fiber brakes which reduce speed quickly and quietly without as much dust as the steelies.

And, of course, you can also drop into Dynamic mode, come to a stop, hold the brake and accelerator for 1-second, and blast off like a rocket ship. An experience that’s literally like driving a roller coaster… or one of the other insane road-going EVs on sale today… all while sitting in a ventilated massaging bucket front seat listening to Apple CarPlay.

Is the RS e-tron GT worth paying a 40% premium over the e-tron GT?

Every single penny.

RS e-tron GT Image Gallery

e-tron GT Image Gallery

Photographs by Michael S. Palmer

Father. Writer. Photographer. Auto enthusiast.
Current Stable: 2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302, 2013 Cadillac ATS-4 3.6, LS3-Swapped 1992 Buick Roadmaster Wagon, 1987 Mercury Cougar XR-7, and usually a Press Loaner.

Audi Answers Your Q4 e-tron Questions!

Q4 e-tron

We asked Audi of America’s Senior Project Manager over a dozen of your questions about the Audi Q4 e-tron. Here’s what he had to say.

Last week, AudiWorld joined Audi USA for a first drive of the Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron. Over the course of a long, but enjoyable day, Audi reps briefed us on the differences between 2022 and 2023 models, let us walk around and check out several different trim levels and models, and then sent us out to drive in the mountains between Oceanside and Temecula, California. (If you don’t know the area, imagine a stunning blend of wineries and farms that looks part Italy, part Mexico, and part Old West.)

During my time with Audi, I sat down with Anthony Garbis, the Senior Manager, Product Planning, for Audi of America to ask him questions AudiWorld members submitted here in THIS thread. My apologies if I missed or misunderstood any of your questions, but I attempted to ask as many as possible with the time we had. Here’s what we discussed, edited for clarity:

Q4 e-tron cargo area

AudiWorld: Why were folks not able to order 2022 Q4 e-trons and will this change for the 2023 model year?

Anthony Garbis: So we just released the configurator for the ’23 models last week. So that’s rolling out and dealers can take orders now. We’ll see the ’23s on sale next month in October. And so just now in August, we released the ’22s. We had a limited volume of ’22s that we’ve released in are available for sale at the moment. Those were all preconfigured internally by us.

Anytime we do a launch of a new car, we build up preconfigured variance we send to the factory and they plan accordingly for that volume and these variants. And we ended up building all of the ’22 quantities due to the global environment. It was less than we expected because we just built them all instead of taking orders.

But when it comes to ’23 now, order whatever you want. And the ’23 is available in the rear-wheel-drive Q4 40 in Premium and Premium Plus, and then you can add Prestige onto the Q4 50 models.

Are there any plans for new colors for 2023 or custom colors that are offered on other models?

We always look at this in terms of exclusive paint. But it depends on the factory and it depends on capacity and all of this.

Q4 e-tron front

Is the 360-degree camera coming back?

We haven’t off yet. Not on the Q4.

Oh, so what we saw today during the press briefing that was just the pre-sense and other sensors?

Yeah, so you have a couple things. So you have the radar which is behind [the front grille], so it’s hidden. And then you have the front camera up here [at the top of the window], which is for land keeping. And these things work together in terms of adaptive, cruise assist and then pre-sense, automatic emergency braking, and collision warning.

So no plans to add a 360-degree camera for ’23 then?

No, not for ’23.

MMI display

A lot of folks aren’t in love with the piano black trim.

I read that a lot on the forums too. It depends on how you take care of it. And so I have a lot of piano black trim in [my A6 Allroad]. What works really well is a microfiber towel and Meguiar’s Quick Interior Detailer and it doesn’t streak the black. It comes perfectly clear and it doesn’t scratch. And so that’s what I’ve been using for years.

What about unwanted reflectivity?

The black should have no reflection and the [aluminum] is what reflects. We’re also very careful at where we put light materials because you don’t want them to reflect into the windows and into the mirrors on the side and in the windshield. So you’ll never really have white or bright colors on the tops, so you don’t have that reflection

front seat

Has there been any talk about adjusting Q4 pricing in the wake of the Inflation Reduction Act? 

That of course was a big change that came in at the last minute. But, you know, now they put in income level caps as well starting next year. And so it really depends on, you look at your household income and your customers, and would it matter? But in terms of pricing, it’s always fluid. We look at it, we determine [pricing], and we aren’t like some other brands where they change prices every other week. So, you know, we put out a price, we tend to stick to it.

But I don’t have much that I can comment on that.

Any software updates coming for 2022 owners?

Every 2022 has the same software level as 2023. So they’re aligned. They’re running the same exact software.


Why are Audi turn signals, particularly rear turn signals, different in the US versus Europe?

So it comes down to surface area. You have an amount of surface area that you have to illuminate in terms of when they swipe. So you have some of these really thin turn signals in Europe that don’t meet the requirements in the US, so that’s why we have to flash the brake light with it too.

Everything that comes to lighting has to do with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) that were last set in the 1970s. So we’re working on it.

Q4 e-tron headlights

I assume that’s the reason the headlights aren’t the digital matrix LEDs

So with the S8 [reviewed HERE] and the original e-tron, they have the digital matrix lights that can do projections onto the road, little animations and stuff. [But here in the United States] you can’t legally do that when you’re driving. We have, though, when your parked, animations and video that little plays on the road of the wall, which is super cool.


For the Q4, the headlights are the same [in the US vs the Euro headlights]. We just have different functionality. So we disable the matrix functionality so your high beam doesn’t shutter around the other cars on coming. Because we can’t do that legally yet. So it’s still being discussed and the laws seem to be changing, but we’re making sure that you have to make sure the headlights meet those requirements.

So same hardware, different coding. And, of course, we have side marker lenses that we need. But otherwise, we want [more digital matrix LED functionality]. We’ve had this technology for a long time, but we haven’t been able to use [in the US].

Q4 steering wheel

Any comments about the Q4 e-tron automatically turning itself off when the vehicle goes into park? 

We have a sensor in the seat, so you don’t actually have to turn on or off the car. You just get in or you get out [and the Q4 turns on or off, respectively.]

Is there a way to keep the power on in a setting or menu? We have a reader to likes to park temporarily to grab his mail and doesn’t want the Q4 to turn off.

No. So if you’re out of the car, he could hit the ignition button again once he’s out. But I don’t understand why you really need to keep the car on when you get out.

Two Q4s

Well I noticed that it powers down things like CarPlay and such. It’s a bit disruptive. 

Yeah, [CarPlay] shuts off. But this is the first car we have where you just get in it, you have the key in your pocket, your foot goes on the brake, and you put it into gear. You don’t have to push the start button.

What about keeping the air conditioner running? I think some call it Camp Mode?

Or like Res Mode. Yeah, [in MMI], you can can set it to run, if you shut off the car, run the AC immediately for 30 minutes. And you can also do remote cabin preconditioning with the app.

Audi Q4 e-tron

Speaking of that, any plans to give more access to the API via the app?

That, that I do not have. Cause I don’t do the programming on the app.

Any plans to allow AppleMaps to display in the virtual cockpit?

That’s a very large discussion. If you watch the news, and it’s been a lot of news from Apple on this because I wanna take over all the screens, right? And a lot of the manufacturers like, do we wanna do this? You know, you give real estate, you also then have data concerns of what your data and the customer’s data you’re providing back to Apple. And so there’s a whole host of things in here. Eventually, we are working on doing navigation information in the virtual cockpit. But in terms of other things, that’s still fluid in that discussion.

Q4 e-tron & Q4 Sportback e-tron

Any concerns about the Dynamic Charging screen and inaccuracies when planning trips that include charging times?

That’s really tough. Because it depends on what’s the charger or what communications between the charger and the car. What brand of charger. And of course your state of charge. So if you’re thinking you’re not getting the [max charging rate of 150kilowatts] it depends, does your battery stay charged? You know, above 30% —

Does the Dynamic Charging screen tell you your current rate of charge? 

Yes, it does. And you’ll see that, of course, the more full your battery gets, the slower your speed gets because of just heat and capacity. You can’t go 150 kilowatts to a hundred percent.

[NOTE: after first publishing this interview, we asked a followup question about Electrify America’s Plug and Charge feature and 2022 vs 2023 model-year charging rates and here’s what came back —

The ’22 and ’23 model years can charge up to 150kW, though Plug and Charge is not available in Q4 at this time. ]

Q4 Sportback e-tron

Any production forecast for 2023 Q4 models that you’re planning to bring to the US?

Yes, but we don’t talk about that.

Last question, Homelink is no longer part of the MMI screen —

Yeah, so we took it out from ’23 from the A segment, so A3, Q3 and we didn’t have it in Q4. And then in the future, something will be coming that could likely be retrofitted to these cars. That’ll make everyone happier.

Excellent, thanks so much for your time!

Photos: Michael S. Palmer

Father. Writer. Photographer. Auto enthusiast.
Current Stable: 2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302, 2013 Cadillac ATS-4 3.6, LS3-Swapped 1992 Buick Roadmaster Wagon, 1987 Mercury Cougar XR-7, and usually a Press Loaner.

Audi Q4 e-tron First Drive Review: Little SUV with Big Space & Sporty Dynamics

Q4 e-tron & Q4 Sportback e-tron

Audi’s Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron are smaller than a Q5, but boast the passenger room of a Q7! They also drive really well.

The Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron represent the next step in Audi’s transition to an all-electric and carbon-neutral future. The luxury arm of the Volkswagen Group is going to be producing stunning gasoline-powered cars and SUVs for quite a while, of course. But the final NEW internal combustion vehicle will debut no later than 2026.

The Q4 e-tron siblings are (and will be) Audi’s most affordable all-electric SUVs. Call them approachable premium. As members of AudiWorld know well, the 2022 Q4 e-tron models have been out for quite some time. But it was a strange model year for a few reasons. First, Audi configured every US-bound unit and sent them off to dealers to sell them (a throwback to the pre-pandemic days). Meaning, customers couldn’t custom-order them. Next, the base drivetrain wasn’t available. And then the Federal Tax Credit went away.

Q4 e-tron & Q4 Sportback e-tron

This has led to some consumer frustrations — as members have discussed and debated in the Q4 section of our forum.

But the great news is that the 2023 model year build & price configurator is live on It’s honestly the best place to learn exact pricing and options for what you want. And you can currently head over to your local Audi dealership to order one. 2023 model year vehicles should start being available in the next few weeks.

What do YOU think of the Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron?
Click HERE to join the conversation!

A Quick Disclaimer

Audi invited AudiWorld along with a couple dozen media outlets and influencers to drive the Q4 e-tron in southern California. Audi provided us with hotel and accommodations. Also worth noting, although we were mostly briefed on 2023 Q4s, we drove 2022 models and only had a few hours for testing and driving. So consider this more of a first look than a full review.

2023 Audi Q4 Pricing & Models

Q4 e-tron & Q4 Sportback e-tron

In 2023, Audi plans to offer three different models as well as three trim levels. Naturally, there will be optional packages as well. Every Q4 features an 82kWh battery pack, of which owners have access to about 77kWh. (The extra is left to preserve the overall battery health during the vehicle’s lifespan.)

The Q4 40 e-tron starts at just under $50,000. This rear-wheel-drive configuration boasts 201 horsepower. Standard features include 19-inch wheels, leather seating surfaces, a panoramic sunroof with sunshade, a 10.25″ digital gauge cluster, and an 11.6″ MMI touch display infotainment system with Wireless Apple Car Play and Android Auto. Range tops about at 265 miles. It will be available in Premium and Premium Plus trim levels.

NOTE: while the 2022 and 2022 model years are mechanically identical, 2023 models feature a few changes. The largest MMI screen in Audi history — 11.6″ — replaces the smaller 2022 screen (which you’ll see in this review). All Q4 50 models will feature S-line badging. And a few other small changes.

Q4 e-tron

Next up with have the Q4 50 e-tron, which starts at just under $55 grand and can be ordered as a Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige trim level. Power jumps to 295 horsepower courtesy of a dual motor quattro all-wheel-drive system. Range drops to 236 miles per charge, but these models will hit 60mph in under six seconds. 19″ 5-arm wheels are standard.

Q4 Sportback e-tron

Lastly, the Q4 50 Sportback e-tron starts at just under $58,000 for a no-option Premium model. Premium Plus and Prestige are also available. For those unfamiliar, Sportback SUVs offer a more car-like sloping roofline versus the standard SUV boxy shape. The Sportback shares the same 295 horsepower as the e-tron, but it’s slightly more efficient with 242 miles of range. Sportbacks also feature standard 20″ wheels.

The Tax Credit Question


Based on an AudiWorld member question, I asked if there was any talk of adjusting Q4 pricing after the Inflation Reduction Act goes into effect next year.  The context is that the new law requires North American sourced battery materials and assembly to qualify for up to a $7,500 rebate, along with other hurdles like income caps. This means the Q4 will no longer qualify.

What Audi said was that they can’t comment on the pricing and the rebate other than to say what’s on the 2023 configurator is the official pricing and that Audi “tends to keep their pricing consistent.” (I took that to mean within a given model year.)

Will the loss of the tax credit, coupled with the Q4’s premium pricing over the Volkswagen ID.4 hurt sales? It’s really hard to say in this market where there’s still more demand than available product. What do you think? Let us know HERE!


Q4 e-tron

As our testing was limited to a couple of hours on one day, we didn’t get to experience much in terms of real-world charging. But here’s how it breaks down per the manufacturer —

All Q4 variants charge at the same rate and can be charged at up to 150kWh when using DC fast charging. In perfect conditions, this translates to about 36 minutes to go from 5% to 80%. (Charging slows above 80% on most EVs to protect battery life, so it’s costly and slow to charge above 80% on a fast charger.) Audi also includes 250kWh of Electrify America credits so customers can try out DC fast charging for themselves.

4 rings

However, Audi expects that most folks will be charging at home, so they include a charging cable with every Q4. (Side note for those less familiar: some folks refer to these cables as chargers, but EV chargers are actually built into the vehicles themselves.) The included cable is good for 40 amps or 9.6kW which will charge a Q4 from 0% to 100% in 9 hours.

If customers have room to install a wall-mounted box/cable (and in their electrical system), they can install an 11.5kW system which will charge a Q4 from 0% to 100% in 7.5 hours

Interior Amenities (So Much Room for Activities)

Q4 e-tron interior

Stepping into the Q4 is an interesting experience. There are hints of other Audis — a little Q5 in the dash, a little A3 in the gear selector and center console — but at the same time, it’s completely new. For starters, the interior space is surprisingly large for a compact SUV. In context, the Q4 looks more like a Q3 or Q5 on the outside. But inside, it’s like stepping into a Q7 in terms of passenger space.

How is this achieved, you ask? By removing the gasoline-powered drivetrain and quattro components, Audi engineers pushed the electric motors into the front and rear axles. And the battery pack goes into the floor/vehicle structure. Which leaves lots of space for seats. At six-feet tall, I could easily sit behind myself with more room than the SQ5 and the A6 Allroad.

Q4 e-tron cargo space

Cargo space is also surprisingly roomy and the 40-20-40 fold-down rear sitting is a lovely bit of ergonomics for hauling gear.

The technology is all current-gen Audi, with a large customizable digital gauge cluster and the MMI touchscreen infotainment system. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included, as well as (with certain trims and packages) adjustable interior lighting, a head-up display with Augmented reality, and even customizable daytime running lights.

[No, that’s not a joke. In Prestige models, owners can select one of four different daytime running light configurations. My favorite is the checkered flag, reminiscent of the RS 3 we recently reviewed.]

The only thing I didn’t love was the optional Sonos 10-speaker radio system. It’s not awful by any means, but is a bit harsh up top and a touch muddy on the low end. For best results, I recommend going into the settings and turning off some of the optional processing. And I’d love to see ventilated seats as an option for Premium Plus and Prestige models.

Overall, the Q4 is modern and comfortable and well-equipped.

Regen (4 Modes)


Before we get into the driving experience, we should talk about the Q4’s multiple regen modes. Like all BEVs, the Q4 e-tron uses regenerative (regen) braking to do most of the vehicle’s deceleration. In short, the electric motors slow the Q4, turning themselves into generators in the process, recouping some of the energy spent on acceleration and maintaining speed.

The result is a mode, or style of driving, called one-pedal driving where — for most of the time — the driver simply presses the accelerator pedal to go, and lifts their foot to slow. The traditional hydraulic brakes are, therefore, preserved for emergency stops and, as we experienced, full stops at red lights.

One-pedal driving is a bit of a love-it-or-hate-it experience. Some folks find regen braking too aggressive at times… Which is why Audi smartly added four different levels of regen. In standard Drive mode, one can adjust from zero to moderate regen using the steering wheel’s paddle shifters. And there’s a B mode, on the transmission gear selector, that’s the most aggressive (and therefore most efficient).

q4 interior

I mostly drove in B mode and it feels like the engine braking on a high-end sports car while driving on a track. Overall, I enjoy one-pedal driving, but I did come away with two concerns —

  • The standard hydraulic brake pedal feels VERY squishy, which isn’t particularly inspiring.
  • And, unlike some other EVs, Q4 regen doesn’t stop the vehicle fully, instead allowing the vehicle to coast at approximately two mph. To be fair, some folks might like this approach, which is closer to a conventional car. But other EVs tend to regen all the way to a full stop.

Driving Dynamics

Q4 at the beach

What does Audi mean to you? How do you define the brand and its vehicles? For me, I think of three things. Strong visual designs. Luxurious, ergonomic interiors. And sporty driving dynamics. To be fair, I spend most of my time in the S and RS world, so I’m a bit spoiled. But that performance heritage trickles into the rest of the company’s vehicles. Case in point, the Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron.

As with all EVs, they’re a little heavy at around 4,800 pounds. But the secret sauce is in the low center of gravity. The heaviest part of the SUV? That battery? Yeah, it’s in the floor. So the Q4 dips and dives into corners with lots of balance and a surprising amount of grip, making it feel more like a 4,000 lb. SUV.

Q4 e-tron

Toss in 295 horsepower and 339 ft.-lbs. of instant torque, and it’s very zippy as well. Not fast in a world where the RS6 Avant exists (or even compared to the SQ5). But the power-to-weight ratio is quite good and the Q4’s sub-6-second 0-60 time is a spec sports cars from back in the day would have been happy to hit. Steering feels a bit numb, but it’s direct, and the wheel’s light in the hand. Bursts of quick acceleration are fun — especially at stoplights and highway passing — but again, this isn’t an overly fast car. Which I’d argue is a great thing for first-time EV buyers. This is an SUV where you can have a bit of fun, but it’s not going to kill you.

In short, the Q4 offers a dynamic driving experience that feels very sporty at times. But also one that can be driven slowly and gently without any sense of compromise. Well done, Audi.

Quirks and Bugs

Q4 interior

As with any step forward, sometimes engineers go too far (or not far enough). In that sense, I encountered a few features one could describe as quirky, buggy, or frustrating. Not deal-killers, mind you. Just little things I hope to see evolve and improve.

First, I’d like to see more Apple CarPlay integration on the driver’s gauge cluster. Overall, CarPlay works wonders on the MMI screen, but lacks the ability to place Apple Maps direction onto the gauges or head-up display. To be fair, Audi is debating the issue internally, but cites privacy concerns (for Audi and the customers) about letting Apple intrude too far into the system. As someone who reviews lots of Fords that do integrate CarPlay more fully, it’s a nice feature for customers.

And although Audi’s nav system has come a long way over the years, I’d argue Apple’s system is a little better.

MMI display

Speaking of the head-up display, let’s talk about its “augmented reality.” Not only does the head-up display show data like vehicle speed, and local speed limits, but it also projects objects (like arrows and such) onto the windshield to help with navigation. (It’s actually a similar idea to what Audi can do with Matrix LED headlights in other parts of the world.)

The goal is to keep the driver’s eyes on the road as much as possible.

The problem, in this iteration at least, is that it’s clunky and hard to see in the bright sunlight. Other journalists reported seeing random dot shapes during their drives. I didn’t, but couldn’t understand why an arrow had to fly around in my vision when I was driving straight through an intersection. This… needs some more development.

And if you’re wearing sunglasses, like all HUDs across most brands, polarization makes HUD reflections impossible to see in the windshield. We should probably revisit this topic at night.

Audi light

Lastly, one of our members recently asked a question about why the Q4 turns itself off when put into Park. For reference, the Q4 also powers down anytime a driver gets out of their seat (there’s a sensor).

Audi’s goal was to make life easier. Simply get in and put the SUV in gear and go. Or, simply exit the vehicle to turn everything off.

The annoyance, for a feature that can’t be turned off as I write this, is systems one might want to keep running — air conditioning and the radio come to mind — also power down, which can be disruptive. For me, I needed to photograph the Q4’s interior with the dash on. Or pop out of the car to take a photograph on the road. So one can imagine how stopping to pick up curbside goods, grabbing the mail, or all sorts of little daily activities could be interrupted by the need to press a bunch of buttons and then wait for settings to restart and phones to reconnect.

Final Thoughts

Audi Q4 e-trons

Although evaluation time was short — and limited to the outgoing model year — I’ve come away with mostly positive Q4 e-tron impressions. As our members pointed out, there are a handful of frustrating quirks and missing features. But overall, the Q4 is a terrific mix of smart internal ergonomics, modern technology, and a sporty driving signature.

The only real questions left to debate, I’d argue, are price and range.

Is this vehicle worth a premium over the Volkswagen ID.4? (Which I’ve yet to drive, so I can’t help in that regard, sorry.) And do you drive, say, under about 200 miles per day and have access to at-home charging?

If that range fits your needs, the Q4 is a terrific little SUV that feels quite big on the inside.

2023 Audi Q4 e-tron Quick Specs

Audi e-tron lineup

Q4 40 e-tron

  • Base MSRP (including destination & delivery): $50K
  • Horsepower: 201
  • Range (miles): 265
  • MPGe (city/highway/combined): 112 / 94 / 103
  • Rear-wheel-drive
  • DC fast charging 5%-80%: 36 minutes
  • Trim Levels: Premium, Premium Plus

Q4 50 e-tron

  • Base MSRP (including destination & delivery): $55K
  • Horsepower: 295
  • Range (miles): 236
  • MPGe (city/highway/combined): 97 / 87 / 93
  • Quattro all-wheel-drive
  • DC fast charging 5%-80%: 36 minutes
  • Trim Levels: Premium, Premium Plus, Prestige

Q4 50 Sportback e-tron

  • Base MSRP (including destination & delivery): $58K
  • Horsepower: 295
  • Range (miles): 242
  • MPGe (city/highway/combined): 100 / 89 / 95
  • Quattro all-wheel-drive
  • DC fast charging 5%-80%: 36 minutes
  • Trim Levels: Premium, Premium Plus, Prestige

Father. Writer. Photographer. Auto enthusiast.
Current Stable: 2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302, 2013 Cadillac ATS-4 3.6, LS3-Swapped 1992 Buick Roadmaster Wagon, 1987 Mercury Cougar XR-7, and usually a Press Loaner.