This week I bring you the Green Car Journal's 2022 Green Car Of The Year - the 2022 Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback -- in the 50 Quattro variety. (Audi says a less powerful rear-wheel drive 40 e-tron variant will arrive for the 2023 model year.)
The Q4 e-tron 50 Sportback combines Audi 's always-outstanding looks, superb technology and incredible performance with zero-emissions to create a compelling entry-level all-electric luxury SUV.
These days it's hard sometimes to label an SUV Compact or Midsize. I'd call the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron Quattro the latter, even though its EPA-class says otherwise.
Regardless of what you choose to call it, the Q4 Sportback delivers sporty and polished looks with its aerodynamic Sportback design coupled with its Glacier White Metallic hue and the contrasting black exterior elements of the S Line Package.
It's enclosed (no engine to cool) single -frame grille with short front overhangs is all Audi. I'm loving the aesthetics of the Sportback's low sloping roofline. In back the spoiler gives the tail end the polish it deserves. The side mirrors are also designed with aerodynamics in mind.
The package also includes 20 inch 5-V-spoke polygon design wheels with a titanium finish. Combined it all gives the Q4 a terrific look.
The full LED tail lights are also one of the coolest elements of the exterior design, as is the exterior e-tron projection lighting that illuminates from both front doors.
The Q4 Sportback 50 e-tron is equipped with a 82 kWh battery with dual motors and a single speed transmission, as well as Audi's terrific four-wheel drive Quattro system. The system delivers 295-horsepower and a 339 pound-feet of torque. Audi cites 0-60mph in 5.8 seconds.
The Q4 e-tron Sportback 50 can take you up to 241 miles on a charge. I can't emphasize enough the need to have your own Level 2 charger at home. Level 1 does not cut it. I charged at home a bit but for some real juice I also spent a little time at a Volta charging station located at a nearby mall.
Great that it was free charging, but Level 2 still isn't exactly fast. In this particular demo, documented in the photos below, charging started at 3:57 pm at 75% and ended at 4:22 at 78%, a gain of 10 miles.
Audi says when using public DC fast charging –the Q4 e-tron can charge from 5% to 80% charge in about 38 minutes.
The Q4 e-tron Sportback gives off a sporty, premium look in the cabin but it's not an overly lush one. The interior, which features an angled dash, feels spacious. I enjoyed the open cabin feel garnered by a floating console.
Materials exude quality, craftsmanship and an attention to detail. This said, it is a not an overly cushiony cabin with a few more hard-touch surfaces than I expected.
Trims include a Silver/Gray lime sediment natural wood inlay along with a glossy black center console.
The S Line's power adjustable, leather, front sport seats are very well-designed, but I'll agree with my mom's comment that they are on the firmer side. The seats themselves are on the narrow and shorter end of things, perhaps that's where the Q4's official Compact SUV designation comes in.
The Q4 e-tron is also equipped with Audi's newly available (S Line) top and bottom flattened steering wheel with capacitive hands-on detection. Also on the firmer side.
Technology is a highlight as you'd imagine. Audi's 10.1-ich MMI touchscreen multimedia display delivers amazing graphics and responsiveness. The screen is also angled toward the driver for ease of use. The available MMI Navigation Plus is also superb as is the back up camera quality.
Add to that the incredible optional Audi Cockpit Plus, which is configurable to display various information. Just like withe multi-media screen, the full-screen mapping feature is outstanding. As is the available Tech Package's new 10-speaker SONOS sound system.
As far the the second row goes, the sloping roof and slight stadium seating reduces headroom for folks probably over 5'6". You also loose a little window real estate due to the Sportback design.
Passengers can control their own A/C, enjoy their own cupholders, and the floorboard is fairly flat ,which provides a nice ride for the middle seat passenger.
The split-folding rear seat's don't recline as far as I could tell, but they do easily fold-flat.
Other standard features include aluminum front door sill inlays, a panoramic sunroof, heated front seats, leather seating surfaces and three-zone climate.
The available power lift gate impresses with its quick operation. Cargo space is a plenty.
Ride and Drive
The Audi Q4 e-tron's ride and drive is nothing short of fantastic. It's absolutely one of the reason's to check out this SUV. Acceleration is amazing off the line. It's confident, powerful with terrific brakes as well. The transmission shifts incredibly smoothly and the handling and suspension feels great too. Audi Drive Select provides efficiency, comfort, auto and dynamic drive modes as well as individual. Dynamic is my favorite.
My test model has options aplenty - by that I mean it's loaded with three packages: Premium Plus ($2,800), Tech Package ($2,200), and S Line ($1,400). Yes I would recommend all of them for their various added comfort, audio and technology features. The paint hue is extra, too.
The Q4 e-tron comes with a host of ADAS features. They worked great in highway testing including the available adaptive cruise control. Special attention must be paid to Audi's Side Assist (Blind Sport Warning) indicator, pictured below, is one of my favorite in the industry.
Other standard driver assist features include Audi pre-sense basic, forward collision warning and avoidance assistance, lane departure warning and rear-cross traffic alert. Front and rear parking sensors with rearview camera are also standard. Traffic Sign Recognition is an option.
What You'll Pay
The Q4 e-tron lineup is the brand's most accessible electric SUV entry point. The Sportback 50's base price reflects that at $52,700. But as equipped you head just north of $60K. Don't forget federal and state tax incentives come into play so check with your CarPro dealer for info on those.
The Q4 e-tron Sportback 50 is an excellent entry-level all-electric SUV delivering Audi's impressive driving dynamics, style and technology features.
- What I liked most: Looks, Acceleration, Digital Cockpit, SONOS sound system, Volume control.
- What I would change: More soft-touch surfaces in the cabin.
- MSRP: Base price $52,700. As equipped: $60,790.
- Fuel Economy: 95 MPGe.
- Range: Up to 241 miles.
- Odometer reading when tested: 1,278 miles.
- Weight: 4,883 lbs. curb weight.
- Spare Tire: Tire Repair Kit.
- Length-Width-Height: 180.7" long/83" with mirrors/ 64" high.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: N/A.
- Official Color: Glacier White Metallic. ($595).
- Towing Capacity: Up to 2,600 pounds on Quattro models.
- 2022 Audi Q4 e-tron in a few words: The perfect entry-level all-electric SUV to the Audi brand.
- Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles New Vehicle Warranty/8-year/100,000 High Voltage Battery Coverage; 12-year Limited Warranty Against Corrosion Perforation/ 4-year Roadside Assistance provided by 3rd party.
- Final Assembly Location: Mosel, Germany.
- Manufacturer's website: Audi