by Michael Butler
The Audi e-tron has cemented itself as a popular electric choice for those looking for a green solution to family motoring. This electric SUV competes with cars such as the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X and is priced below both - $50k less than the latter. Yet the electric German offers stunning build quality, a serene cabin, and a towing capacity of 4,000 lbs. Power is sourced from dual electric motors producing an impressive 402 horsepower with Boost engaged. The result is a luxury crossover SUV that feels nippy and exciting to drive in the city and on the open road. It should be noted that the e-tron's range and equivalent gas mileage estimates aren't as impressive as some of its competitors, and cars like the Tesla Model X offer vastly superior performance figures. However, the e-tron enjoys the pedigree and build quality associated with Audi, which is a significant bonus, and as a family carrier it does excel.
The Audi e-tron lineup gets some minor updates for the 2023 model year, but these are in relation to the S or Sportback models. The regular e-tron carries over as is.
The base e-tron starts at $70,800 before a $1,095 destination charge, but this can easily be offset by rebates that this vehicle can take advantage of. The mid-level Premium Plus trim carries a starting MSRP of $77,800 while the top Chronos Edition trim costs $86,400. The Audi e-tron still qualifies for a $7,500 tax credit.
See trim levels and configurations:
We've become used to the idea that electric cars are quick off the line and pretty sporty in general, but with the introduction of more family-focused EVs, such as the e-tron, expectations are being leveled out. The e-tron might have over 400 hp, but it's no sports car, and its handling is further proof of that. This heavy crossover SUV isn't massively agile and shows its weight in the bends. There is some good feedback from the steering, but turn in too quickly, and you'll be met with linear understeer. The variable-ratio steering is excellent at slow-speed turns, making it adept at city driving, and the adaptive air suspension system does an excellent job of coddling the occupants and feeling compliant without being too soft. Its low ground clearance figures hamper it from being a true off-road SUV, but with an excellent all-wheel-drive system in place, most gravel roads can easily be conquered.
The Audi e-tron joins a growing list of luxury EVs that aim to fill multiple roles. This crossover SUV offers impressive interior space, luxury, and refinement, but can't match its competitors in terms of overall range and performance. Thanks to its adaptive suspension and refined and insulated cabin, the e-tron is a pleasure to drive on a daily basis and offers a seriously comfortable ride; but due to its heavy curb weight, it's not exactly an athlete through the bends. Straight-line performance is adequate, however, and most won't feel that it is lacking in power. We must commend Audi on creating a stunningly refined cabin experience filled with all the latest tech and contemporary design features; it is a seriously nice place to sit in. The overall product is well-balanced, practical, and - very importantly - affordable when compared to the Tesla Model X. The e-tron is a wise purchase.
If you're after a practical yet affordable e-tron, we recommend the mid-level Premium Plus trim. This model boasts additional features over the base trim with things like adaptive cruise control, a surround-view camera, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and an upgraded 3D Premium sound system from Bang & Olufsen. However, if you don't want to spend almost ten grand extra over the base model, we suggest the Premium trim but with the Convenience Plus package detailed above.
The most popular competitors of 2023 Audi e-tron: