2022 Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron

2022 Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron First Look Review: Flashy Electric Family Car

We've just seen the reveal of Audi's cheapest electric vehicles: the 2022 Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron. The latter is arguably the prettier of the two, with a sloping roofline and a split rear window. Sure, it doesn't look quite as bold as the original concept, but it remains a truly striking vehicle. But should you buy one? With alternatives like the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Tesla's extraordinary Model Y, are you paying extra for the badge and the styling, or is there more to the latest electrified Audi? Join us as we evaluate one of 2021's hottest electric releases.

2022 Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron Models

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
50 e-tron Prestige quattro
Electric
Single Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$52,700
50 e-tron Premium quattro
Electric
Single Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$52,700
50 e-tron Premium Plus quattro
Electric
Single Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$52,700

See all Trims and Specs

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Design: Utterly Dashing

The Q4 Sportback e-tron looks tall, and it is, but Audi says that it cuts through the air remarkably well, with a drag coefficient of just 0.28. The face of the Sportback is very similar to that of the regular Q4, and that's no bad thing. Matrix-design LED headlights are offered, and Audi has added some stylish details to the area where the Singleframe grille would be on a traditional vehicle.

The flared arches make a big impact and give the Q4 a presence unlike any other electric crossover, but it's the roofline that really grabs your attention. As a sportier design, there are no roof rails on the regular Q4, and the steep rake culminates in a stubby rear end with a window split by an integrated spoiler. It could have been merged with the area above the e-tron GT-inspired taillights, but we're glad it's not because we suspect that tiny bit of extra visibility could be useful in daily driving. There's not much more to say - this thing just looks brilliant.

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Interior: Sustainable Style

With a focus on the driver, by way of its interior design, we'd like to think that the Q4 Sportback e-tron will be good to drive. We'll have to wait for proof, but looking at the cabin is enough to convince us that the Q4 is well designed. There are loads of storage areas, from a bin under the armrest and a big area below a floating panel in the center console, to a pair of cupholders in front and sufficient storage in the door pockets.

Ahead of the driver is a 10.25-inch digital cluster, which can be upgraded to Audi's Virtual Cockpit with a larger screen. In the dash is a 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment display with all the usual connectivity options, but we aren't too sure about the design of the steering wheel. Square steering wheels seem to be in vogue at the moment, probably to aid with visibility of ever-larger driver displays, but the feel in your hands isn't the greatest. Nevertheless, there seems to be loads of space, even in the second row. And with recycled materials used wherever possible, the drivetrain isn't the only eco-conscious part of the Q4.

2022 Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron 2022 Audi Q4 e-tron Dashboard AUDI AG
2022 Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron 2022 Audi Q4 e-tron Gearbox Controls AUDI AG
2022 Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron 2022 Audi Q4 e-tron Front Seats AUDI AG
2022 Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron 2022 Audi Q4 e-tron Rear Passenger Seats AUDI AG

Powertrain And Range: Electric Excellence

Despite the sporty styling, there are no acceleration or top speed claims made yet. However, we can tell you that the Q4 gets an 82-kilowatt-hour battery with 77 kWh of usable capacity. This battery lies between the two axles for a low center of gravity and good handling balance. It feeds the rear wheels in the base 40 variant with 201 horsepower, while the available Q4 Sportback 50 e-tron quattro provides around 295 hp.

Audi says that the base 40 variant will manage 250 miles on a charge, and when you run out, recharging takes place at a rate of 11 kW on AC power or up to 125 kW on a DC fast charger. Assuming that the system is similar to that of Volkswagen's ID.4, you should be able to recharge up to 80 percent from five percent in less than 40 minutes with a fast charger. With Efficiency, Comfort, Dynamic, and Individual drive modes, we expect that this should be one of the most enjoyable EVs to drive.

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Pricing And Competition: In A Class Of Its Own?

The Q4 Sportback e-tron is a fantastic-looking machine, but while there are many coupe-style crossovers powered by gasoline and diesel, electrified tall coupes are noticeably rarer. Volvo's C40 Recharge came out last month and is the closest in terms of direct competition. However, with an asking price expected to exceed $55,000, the Swedish SUV ain't cheap. Audi hasn't revealed its pricing either but has said that the regular Q4 40 e-tron will cost less than $45,000. We expect the Sportback to cost a little more, but not as much as the C40. Still, with rivals like the Mach-E costing even less, the Q4 isn't the most affordable EV either. But for looks and luxury like this, we're thinking it's worth the extra premium.

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