2023 Audi e-tron S

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2023 Audi e-tron S Review: Everything But The Range

The Audi e-tron S electric SUV is the sportier variant of Audi's first mid-size electric SUV, which debuted in 2022 - and it's a stellar effort. It has attractive styling, a comfortable, spacious, and tech-rich interior, and decent performance from its tri-motor setup producing up to 469 hp and 717 lb-ft of torque. It's an EV, but there's enough of a traditional Audi vibe to make the transition to electric power a painless one for those who are a little hesitant. It still sits on the VW Group's old MLB Evo platform, which was meant for internal-combustion-engined cars and not battery-electric vehicles; the downside of this is that the portly e-tron S weighs in at a scale-creaking 6,074 pounds. Still, the SUV hustles to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds.

In terms of price and performance, the new Audi e-tron S SUV competes with the BMW iX xDrive50 and the Rivian R1S dual-motor. Of course, the base Tesla Model X is much quicker - but much more expensive. For the more style-conscious, there is also the coupe-styled Sportback version, but we review it separately from the Audi e-tron S. The Audi electric SUV has many reasons why it deserves your consideration, but it's trying to stand out in a segment surrounded by fierce rivals; is it doing enough?

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 8 /10
  • Performance 9 /10
  • Fuel Economy 7 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 9 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 10 /10
  • Reliability 8 /10
  • Safety 10 /10
  • Value For Money 7 /10
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2023 Audi e-tron S Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 e-tron S?

Most of the changes on the Audi e-tron electric SUVs are reserved for the normal e-trons, but the 2023 Audi e-tron S doesn't escape untouched for 2023. The Prestige trim gets standard Digital Matrix-design LED headlights this year - the only exterior change. Inside, both trims receive as standard the LED Interior Lighting Plus package, in addition to Carbon Square Structure trim inlays. Pricing has gone up quite a bit, though and the 2023 starting MSRP of the e-tron S is now $88,200 - potential federal tax credits are still available, however.

Pros and Cons

  • Spacious and comfortable interior
  • Very low noise levels
  • Plenty of technology on board
  • Attractive design
  • Composed handling
  • Substantial weight
  • Unimpressive range numbers
  • Weak brake regen
  • Lower reliability ratings than competitors

What's the Price of the 2023 Audi e-tron S?

The 2023 Audi e-tron S has a starting MSRP of $88,200 for the entry-level Premium Plus model. The range-topping Prestige will set you back slightly more, at $95,300. It's worth remembering that the prices quoted here are exclusive of tax, licensing, registration, and Audi's $1,195 destination fee. Keep in mind, however, that federal tax credits of up to $7,500 for qualifying buyers are available, and state-specific incentives can help reduce the initial purchase price. Ticking every box on the e-tron S Prestige's options list will quickly see the price increase to around $102,000.

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2023 Audi e-tron S Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Premium Plus
Single Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
Single Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2023 Audi e-tron S Trims and Specs

2023 Audi e-tron S Handling and Driving Impressions

The e-tron S does a great job of hiding its weight and surprises with high levels of grip around corners. It does lean a bit, but with proper torque vectoring at the back courtesy of the twin rear motors, handling is impressively composed and it can be placed precisely, thanks to its accurate steering. But the Audi is far better at sane speeds, and in everyday driving, its superbly comfortable and well-damped air suspension and eerily quiet interior make for genuinely unruffled progress. All controls are well-weighted, but those who have become used to the one-pedal driving offered by some EVs might be disappointed by the e-tron's weak brake regen. However, the regen and friction brakes are blended expertly, so the stoppers are responsive.

Its top speed is limited to 130 mph on its all-season tires and the e-tron's 0-60 sprint, which is a tenth quicker than the BMW iX xDrive50's 4.4-second time, lends credibility to the S moniker. Snappy responses, a smooth and comfortable ride, and confident handling are most notable, however.

Verdict: Is The 2023 Audi e-tron S A Good SUV?

When you first review the Audi e-tron S' credentials, it seems to tick all the boxes. It looks and feels properly premium, the tech is up to date, it offers class-competitive performance, its starting price puts it right in the ballpark of rivals such as the BMW iX, and it can even tow 3,300 lbs. Despite its substantial weight, it rides and handles surprisingly well. So far so good; but the big black mark on its report card is range. Most of the Audi e-tron S' competitors manage at least 100 miles more than the Audi's 208-mile effort. It faces an uphill battle against its main rival, the BMW iX, with which it trades blows evenly on most counts - except for range. Even the elderly Jaguar I-Pace can do 246 miles and is $17k cheaper. The USA's home-grown 500-hp dual-motor Cadillac Lyriq crossover SUV is an intriguing alternative as well, offering comparable power, well over 300 miles of range, dramatic styling, and a sticker price of only $65k. The onslaught of competitive new-wave alternatives keeps the aging e-tron S well short of class honors.

What 2023 Audi e-tron S Model Should I Buy?

If you're spending this much money, you may as well go for the range-topping Prestige model. At $95,300, it's $7,100 more than the Premium Plus but comes equipped with several nice-to-haves that justify the additional outlay. As nice as they look, we'd avoid the 22-inch wheels as they reduce the already poor driving range to just 181 miles. The standard 20-inch items should provide an even smoother ride, too.

We'd happily spend $595 on the Navarra Blue paintwork and pair it with the Valcona/Milano Black leather seats that form part of the $2,000 Individual Contour Seat Package. We'd gladly save ourselves money by ignoring the Towing Package. Add it all up and you're looking at a grand total of $97,895 before destination - still $23k cheaper than a base Tesla Model X.

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