by Aiden Eksteen
The 2021 Audi e-tron bears a very suave and sophisticated aesthetic and delivers a distinctly confident but level-headed driving experience, both of which are synonymous with the Audi brand. These qualities differentiate the e-tron from its electric, midsize SUV contemporaries such as the Tesla Model X, Ford Mustang Mach-E, and even the Volkswagen ID.4, which all bear very futuristic designs that clearly express their prestige as electric cars and all of which deliver over-the-top levels of performance. Put the pedal to the metal in Sport mode and the e-tron's electric powertrain surges out up to 402 horsepower, resulting in some pretty energetic acceleration responses that are maintained at most speeds, but it's clear the responses are dialed for the smoothest and calmest driving experience possible. These qualities, along with a decent all-electric driving range and exceptional fuel-equivalent mileage returns, make the 2021 Audi e-tron a very pragmatic 5-door EV, but some may prefer the thrill and engagement that its competitors bear over it.
The 2021 model year brings with it some minor yet valuable updates for the e-tron SUV. There's now a new base model called the Premium, and it starts at a base price that is almost $9,000 lower than when the first-gen model went on sale in 2019. In addition, changes to the drive system and the software of the vehicle have resulted in a maximum range that is increased by 18 miles to 222. More of the battery is usable now, too, with the 95.3 kWh unit allowing the use of up to 86.5 kWh - almost 3 kWh more than before. Finally, the options list has been updated, with the 2021 e-tron now offering a Convenience Plus package that enhances driver aids and styling.
See trim levels and configurations:
The Audi e-tron's most admirable quality is that it looks and feels like a regular SUV but with the added benefit of being all-electric. It benefits from instantaneous power delivery, but it is quite a heavy vehicle, which means that it won't feel as agile around corners as, say, a regular midsize Audi SUV. But it remains an attractive offering nonetheless, as an electric vehicle that Audi saved from the perhaps overly pretentious designs and extreme performance that many EV-makers insist upon. It's a very pleasant EV to drive and though it's not the best when it comes to range and economy, its 222-mile range and 78 MPGe figures are still very respectable. It also comes standard-fit with oodles of features and presents occupants with a contemporary and commodious interior and plenty of cargo space, too. Both the NHTSA and the IIHS have completed an in-depth review of the 2021 Audi e-tron for its crashworthiness and it earned a top-notch safety rating from both, and a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS. The Audi e-tron is a good pick for anyone that's uncertain about transitioning from their familiar ICE car to an EV. It's beautiful and an exceptional car overall.
The most popular competitors of 2021 Audi e-tron: