It finally arrives for 2023, but it's more expensive than we hoped.
Out of all the electric vehicles launching in the US this year, the Audi Q4 e-tron was among our most highly anticipated. That's because this new model was set to arrive with a $43,900 starting price plus the $7,500 tax credit, making it the most affordable luxury SUV on the market. We then got word that only the more expensive 50 e-tron quattro model would be available for the 2022 model year, and when the Q4 40 e-tron arrived for the 2023 model year, it would have a higher price than initially anticipated.
Audi has just announced the 2023 Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron lineup, and just as we feared, the prices are less impressive than we hoped. The Q4 40 e-tron starts at $48,800, and since this model is not built in North America, it no longer qualifies for a tax credit.
An Audi spokesperson told CarBuzz it has "nothing formal in place, but we are of course evaluating the impact of the localization requirements of the inflation reduction act."
Though it doesn't completely explain the price hikes, the 2023 Q4 40 e-tron now receives the advanced line exterior as standard, while the Q4 50 e-tron and Q4 Sportback 50 e-tron get the S line exterior standard. A new 11.6-inch MMI touchscreen infotainment system is also added as standard for 2023.
All Q4 variants pack an 82 kWh battery that can charge from 5% to 80% in around 36 minutes on a 150 kW plug. The base model comes with a single electric motor in the rear delivering 201 horsepower and an EPA-estimated range of 265 miles. This is slightly better than we expected for the rear-drive Q4, but the Volkswagen ID.4 can go up to 275 miles with the same battery, and it can hit a higher peak charging speed of 175 kW.
The Q4 50 e-tron and Q4 Sportback 50 e-tron gain a second motor on the front axle, combining to produce 295 horsepower. Last year's model was rated to go 241 miles on a charge, but this 2023 model sees a slight drop to 236 miles (242 for the Sportback) because of the larger wheels on the S line.
Pricing for the Q4 50 e-tron starts at $53,800, while the Sportback variant is $3,000 more ($56,800). Audi says the standard Q4 50 e-tron will achieve EPA-estimated 97/87/93 MPGe city/highway/combined. By comparison, the Sportback's slippery roofline lets it do slightly better at 100/89/95, which explains the slightly higher range.
Other 2023 model year updates include available Matrix-design headlights with customizable light signatures and lighting animations. An improved augmented reality head-up display is also available, projecting navigation cues around 33 feet from the driver.
With the latest pricing changes, the Q4 e-tron is still on the affordable end of the luxury EV segment, undercutting the larger and more powerful Mercedes-Benz EQB. And with the lower-priced 40 e-tron joining the lineup for 2023, Audi should have no trouble finding buyers.