In the olden days, you bought an Audi because you got more than just a badge. You got a posh interior richer in high-quality materials than a Volkswagen. You got more technology than a Seat, more performance than a Skoda, and most of all, you got the neighbourhood curtains twitching as everyone nearby noticed you’d done well for yourself. But in the brave new EV age, is a car like the Audi Q4 e-tron worth the premium price over its Volkswagen group cousin cars, or rivals from Ford or Hyundai? Tested investigates, with Serious Car Tester Ollie Kew. Want to watch a bit of on the internet? Welcome to the most comprehensive collection of official clips you’ll find on YouTube. Whether you’re searching for a caravan challenge, Ken Block in the Hoonicorn, cars versus fighter jets, Stig power laps or the latest Chris Harris Drives, you can find all the iconic films here.Want to share your views with the team?
a riddle for you when is a new audi not an audi what about when it’s a volkswagen or a skoda we are now in the age of electric car platform sharing but does that mean that the age of bad snobbery is now over sounds like a riddle for top gear tested what is it the q4 e-tron is audi’s smallest ev sits way below the etron gt saloon and the e-tron suv in the range but it’s going to do the big sales heavy lifting by this time next year this could be one of the best selling audis in the whole world but underneath it runs exactly the same foundations battery and motors as the volkswagen id4 and the skoda enyak and guess what those two cars start much cheaper though so what exactly are you paying a minimum of 40 000 quid for what does it look like well mr aubergine emoji here looks like an audi should and maybe that’s what you’re paying for big blanked off grill trick led lights sharp creases couldn’t be any more quintessentially audi if it was illegally parked in a disabled wheelchair space this is the sportback version of the q4 etron so it gets a sportier sloping roof a boot that’s slightly bigger weirdly than the standard q4 and you pay about hundred pounds extra for the coupe effect how big is the battery it depends which of the two battery sizes you opt for base spec is a 55 kilowatt hour job only good for about 210 miles of range if that’s on the low side you can have this 77 kilowatt hour spec that will do 310 miles claimed or a bit less if you upgrade to quattro drive and dual motors it’s this 204 horsepower rear drive q4 which they inexplicably call 40 that will be the really big selling one where’s the charging port no motorized charging flat nonsense for the little q4 just a standard filler flap that won’t confuse anyone who used to drive an audi q5 one reason you might want to upgrade from the base spec is the bigger battery car actually charges faster so you can lob about 80 miles of range in during a 10 minute pit stop or it’s about 8 hours for a full charge on your home wall box which is curiously similar to the volkswagen and the skoda that i might have mentioned earlier funny that is it practical now you might object to the idea of a coupe suv because it does seem silly to buy a big tall spacious crossover and then chop the back of the roof off to limit your space but in fairness to the q4 e-tron sportback this is quite a well-packaged little suv there’s enough room for a proper adult in the back seats the boots are massive 535 liters got a flat floor i know the visibility isn’t up to much you can’t really hate on the q4 sportback for being impractical but you can totally still object to it for being a coupe suv i mean when was the last time you saw a well-driven bmw x4 will i get along with the tech well it’s fundamentally as easy as any other audi really because most of this stuff is shared right across the range so the crisp swift touchscreen i can get along with that i can absolutely get along with having proper buttons for my climate control there are just two problems and they’re both on the steering wheel firstly it’s totally the wrong shape flat top flat bottom shouldn’t have those this is not a formula one car and then there’s the buttons here and here they’re touch sensitive and not only are they absolutely horrid to use but they just feel cheap and nasty totally unlike the buttons in audi interiors of old what does it weigh the sportback is supposed to be 2045 kilograms just like an id4 what a coincidence let’s see how it’s done on the scales however it’s turned out to be heavier 2 118 kilos it’s not exactly bringing sporty back is it how fast is it oh look a really long open test track and i just happen to have my hyper accurate gps timing gearbox with me that’d be rude not to wouldn’t it now if you’ve watched the top gear tested verdict on the volkswagen id4 then the numbers for the q4 are going to seem strangely familiar well more than that they’re exactly the same 204 horsepower at the back nought to 60 claimed is 8.5 seconds and the top speed is limited to 99 miles per hour so not expecting it to be hugely fast but i am interested to see if paying extra for an audi gets you home any faster i’m going to have the drive select in dynamic mode pull this little toggle back for drive foot on the brake and then just jump on the throttle off we go yep this is very much the kind of two liter turbo diesel of evs it’s got some torque but this is not a fast car this is a rapid enough car 80 miles an hour while i’ve been talking to you closing in on 90 now will it do 100 will we get our naught to 100 mile an hour time it’s thinking about it indicated 100 101. okay you’ve had long enough i’m going to call that time to break if you don’t mind the audi q4 e-tron managed to hit 60 miles per hour in 7.92 seconds so just like the id4 this has gone over half a second quicker from naught 60 than claims it never reached 100 miles per hour maxing out at 99.9 but it won’t do three figures so the id4 fractionally faster in a straight line and covered the quarter mile in 16.3 seconds at 86.1 miles per hour if you are paying more for the audi you certainly aren’t paying for any extra secret performance what’s it like on a motorway well one of the reasons that you might want the q4 sport back besides having an allergy to a useful shaped boot is that this slopey roofed version is ever so slightly slipperier through the air than the standard q4 suv it’s got a drag coefficient if that sort of thing matters to you of 0.26 cd and the standard car is 0.28 so there you go fractionally slipperier through the air but frankly any old flavor of q4 is a really good motorway car so this is a relatively small suv feels like a big expensive hushed accomplished motorway cruiser and it’s not going to be an autobahn stormer because it won’t get past 99 miles per hour i mean this is a premium product so perhaps we should nitpick i think there’s a little bit too much wind noise coming from these mirrors once you start going really quickly only a tiny bit but see why they like to replace them with cameras is it comfy well it wasn’t that long ago was it that an audi especially one with s-line written anywhere on it rode like well you were sitting on top of a washing machine that was fully loaded with bricks things have improved since then i think it’s fair to say i mean on the road the q4 does pitch your head from side to side a little bit but i’d say it rode with a touch more sophistication than a tesla at least what i am surprised about is that this q4 launch edition doesn’t have adaptive dampers it doesn’t let me put the suspension into a comfort mode it’s almost as though audi thinks its customers are happier having 20-inch spangly wheels as standard than a clever and comfortable ride what’s it like in a corner well it’s a right old pain because the steering wheel itself is covered in straight bits and corners yeah you know what actually it’s probably fine if you weren’t bored to tears by an audi q2 or a q3 or q5 then you’ll probably quite like the q4 what about if you’re late for something hmm have we arrived at last at the point where the q4 starts to differentiate itself from all the cousins that share the same bits under the skin this is a tidy handling car it’s not awe-inspiring it’s not life-changing i’d stop short of saying it’s fun but until not that long ago pretty much any audi was an understeer specialist if you got your foot down but it does the job that’s being asked of it well enough and it doesn’t feel like an absolute pudding well this has actually got plenty of grip so what about rage well audi officially rates this model of the q4 e-tron which is rear drive big battery it’s going to be the biggest seller as being good for 300 miles maybe 310 miles of range but real world that’s going to be more like 250 260 and a bit less in winter unless of course you do graduate from the official audi driving school of slipstreamer tailgating in which case you can do a lap of the entire world on one charge getting three miles per kilowatt-hour of efficiency is pretty easy in this rear drive spec but when top gear tested the twin motor q4 it struggled to do better than 2.6 miles per kilowatt hour which is almost as rubbish as the horribly heavy full-fat e-tron suv less is more i’ll tell you what’s annoying though and that’s the regen braking see like a lot of evs i’ve got paddles behind the steering wheel and they adjust how much regen power i’m getting how much power i’m putting back into the battery and as a result how quickly i slow down when i lift off the throttle and that’s really intuitive it’s really handy in town there’s three levels of regen in the e-tron but if i’m dialed up into say level three and then i breathe on the throttle it’s gone it’s gone all of the regen is gone and it’s now back into maximum coast for me that just feels so inconsistent if there’s one thing that i want to remain the same all the time in my car it’s how quickly it slows down when i lift off the throttle and how hard i need to push the brake to get it to come to a complete stop and in the e-tron it’s just too much of a guessing game what’s the verdict i have to admit it is tricky to take a car seriously when it swaggers in looking like a cross between an angry minion and barney the dinosaur but the fact is the q4 e-tron is going to tick an awful lot of audi shaped boxes for people who like audi shaped cars it’s very well put together surprisingly crisp to drive the tech is spot on it’s played quite safe but name me a mainstream audi that isn’t the thing i can’t really get my head around is where the extra money you’re paying is going i mean this is a good car a serviceable car a recommendable car but is it that much more refined than a volkswagen id4 is it that much plusher inside than a skoda and they’re just as quiet they’re just as rapid and they go just as far on a charge we’ve arrived at a bit of a moment haven’t we for the premium badged car i mean they’re everywhere now they’ve taken over you’re certainly not paying out for rarity anymore but in the electric revolution when everyone’s cars are getting much quieter much more refined much swifter feels like the likes of audi and bmw mercedes they’re going to have to work a lot lot harder to justify you putting your money into one of these versus a kind of mainstream badge rival that has all of the same numbers and all of the same abilities as a result the q4 e-tron is another strong recommendable electric family suv but an audi that somehow seems to lack a bit of a usp you