3 October 2019

Audi e-tron 2019 Car Review

It was only a matter of time before NZ received an EV in larger luxury SUV form; the new e-tron by Audi certainly ticks all those boxes and then some.


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Audi e-tron 2019
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Audi e-tron 2019
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Audi e-tron 2019
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Audi e-tron 2019
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Audi e-tron 2019
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Audi e-tron 2019

The best way to test something like this? Load up the family and head out of town for the night.

The first thing I noticed is that this Galaxy Blue e-Tron physically has a very wide stance reminiscent of the Q8, there’s plenty of room inside the cabin and the spacious boot was promptly loaded with baby travel essentials. Comfort levels and refinement inside were at maximum, from colour changing interior illumination to the electrical circuit-looking stitching in the leather seat fabric.  

The elephant in the room is definitely the crazy looking stalks in the place of where we normally see glass side mirrors. This optional feature called virtual side mirrors is actually a worldwide first in a series production model and comes as part of the $5,800 Tech & Comfort package.  Cameras are placed on stalks with the image displayed in the car on small screens embedded into the front door panels. Audi claims that you may get an extra 20km of range per charge with this option due to the improved aerodynamics. I found the screens very hard to look at when I first started driving, but by the end of the weekend grew to quite like them.

As for the range, Audi claim a Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) range up to 417km on a charge. I would have loved to have been able to achieve this, our test vehicle was 100% charged when we collected it and gave a projected range of 285km as it was taking it reading from the previous driver who may not have been driving to economise. Sadly this never improved and we needed to charge midway through our weekend getaway, possibly not helped by the technology packed into this vehicle that we just had to use.

The e-tron is certainly prepared for the future with the ability to take a quick DC charge of up to 150kW. Unfortunately though,  our current DC fast charging network doesn’t supply anywhere near this, so needless to say we spent some time at the charging station before making the journey home. This is all well and good if it was a nice sunny day and we had coffee whilst we topped up the car… but it was raining, and we had a grumpy baby who didn’t like being in her car seat too long.

That drive though, silent and smooth - conversation flowed easy inside the e-tron no yelling over tyre noise, just the gentle whine of the drive drain lulling baby off to sleep. Another benefit of such a quiet vehicle is that music lovers can appreciate the sound system. Our test vehicle had a standard system, but for an extra $3,200 you can upgrade to the 730 watt 19 speaker Bang & Olufsen Premium sound system and really treat your ears.

To me the e-tron is everything you’d expect in a luxury SUV, and for a similar price to the new diesel-powered Audi Q8 you can feel good knowing that you're producing zero emissions.

At a glance

Models

Audi e-tron 55 Quattro, Advanced 55 Quattro

Battery

95kWh

Price

From $148,500

ANCAP safety rating

Not yet rated

Power and Torque

Peak electrical output 265kW, boost 300kW

Transmission

N/A

Fuel economy (combined)

22.5 - 26.2 kWh/100km (WLTP)

Towing capacity

1800kg (braked), 750kg (unbraked)

2WD/4WD/AWD

Quattro AWD

Seating capacity

5

Luggage capacity/payload

660 litres (seats up)

Safety systems

  • Adaptive cruise control with speed limiter, inc. efficiency assist
  • Audi Active Lane Assist with emergency assist
  • ESC, ABS with EBD
  • Park Distance Control (front & rear)
  • Audi Pre Sense Front - with Collision Avoidance Assist and Turn Assist. Pre Sense Rear
  • Audi Lane Change Asssist inc. exit warning system and rear traffic alert
  • 360-degree camera
  • Multiple airbags
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