Pros: Acceleration; nicely finished interior; good cargo and passenger room
Cons: Primary electric-vehicle rivals have longer driving ranges; complicated controls
CG Says: Audi introduces its first pure-electric vehicle for 2019: a 5-passenger midsize crossover SUV named e-tron. A pair of electric motors—one powering the front wheels and one powering the rear wheels—gives the e-tron standard all-wheel drive. Together, the motors develop 355 horsepower, and a maximum output of 402 horsepower in “Boost Mode,” which is accessed by flooring the accelerator pedal when the Drive Select mode is set to Dynamic and the shift lever is in Sport mode. Audi claims the e-tron can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds when in Boost Mode, and can tow up to 4000 pounds when equipped with the available towing package. The estimated driving range is 204 miles, and Audi claims quick charging speeds—54 miles of range can be added in about 10 minutes at 150kW public charging stations. Standard equipment includes a panoramic sunroof, heated/ventilated front seats, “Virtual Cockpit” digital gauge cluster, adaptive air suspension, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot alert, top-view camera, and vehicle-exit-assist system that warns if a car or bicycle is approaching as a door is opened. Available equipment includes adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, intersection assistant, power door closers, and massaging front seats. A fastback-roofed e-tron Sportback model is slated to join the lineup for 2020.
The e-tron is a well-equipped luxury SUV with generous passenger and cargo room, and an especially quiet, smooth ride. On the downside, Audi’s touchscreen controls can be complex, the e-tron’s range doesn’t quite live up to rival premium-brand EVs, and 150kW charging stations are rare at this point.
|Class||Premium Midsize SUV|
|Body Style(s)||4-door wagon|
|Drive Wheels||all-wheel drive|
|Nation of Manufacture||Belgium|
|Base Prices||Premium Plus: $75,795
355 (402 in Boost Mode)
|EPA City Range (MPGe)
|EPA Hwy Range (MPGe)