Pros: premium quality, spacious interior
Cons: expensive to buy, average range
Audi was one of the first premium brands to launch a dedicated fully electric model, in the shape of the e-tron, and now there’s a second variant called the e-tron Sportback. Its sloping roofline suggests a sporty nature, but refinement is where this car excels.
Audi e-tron Sportback Design
Unlike some electric cars, the Audi looks relatively conventional, and its exterior design is very much in keeping with the rest of the company’s line-up. That relative normality is bound to be a draw for some buyers. Like its underpinnings, its body shares a great deal with the Audi e-tron, the main difference being the roof that slopes down to produce a more coupe-like silhouette. There are some nice touches, such as a charge port on either front wing, which are revealed by electrically operated covers. It’s a relatively large car, making it a match for non-electric models like the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe and BMW X6.
Audi e-tron Sportback Interior
When it comes to producing interiors, Audi doesn’t disappoint. The e-tron Sportback’s mimics the look of most of the models’ in the upper tiers of its range. A large digital instrument display has a simple and modern look. A set of touchscreen displays occupies the centre of the dashboard providing control for almost every aspect of the car. The smaller lower screen offers haptic feedback to reduce how much you need to look at it to operate it while driving. A generous amount of space in the centre console between the front seats includes a neat wireless charging pad that holds your device upright and in place. Throughout almost the entire cabin there are good quality materials and, in the rear, both headroom and legroom and good. There’s a generous boot in the back and a second smaller boot in the front, which is useful for storing charging cables.
Audi e-tron Sportback Performance & Drive
There are two versions of the e-tron Sportback available, the ’50’ with a 71kWh battery and the ’55’ tested here, which gets a larger capacity, 95kWh, battery. There are two electric motors, one on each axle, that produce a total output of 408hp and provide all-wheel drive. However, for much of the time the Audi makes do with 360hp, and only when you select the Dynamic drive mode with the transmission set to Sport do you get the full power delivery.
For the most part, the Audi is more than swift enough with that performance, and it is the massive torque of the electric motors picking up instantly that makes it feel fast. It recuperates energy well, so as you lift off the accelerator it slows itself using the motors, sending energy back into the battery. You hardly have to touch the brake pedal in normal driving. Audi claims that the e-tron Sportback will cover up to 452 kilometres with a full charge, although in our experience it’s best to expect 320 kilometres.
Thanks to its air suspension, even on larger 20-inch wheels the ride quality is good, with plenty of comfort, while road noise is also kept to a minimum. These factors combine to make the e-tron Sportback feel refined to drive.
Audi e-tron Sportback Pricing
The Audi e-tron 50 Sportback quattro starts at €75,195 for the entry-level Advance specification, followed by Sport and S line. This e-tron 55 Sportback quattro has a starting price of €84,985 and is also available in three equipment grades.
Carzone Verdict 3.5/5
As premium electric cars go, the Audi e-tron Sportback nails the quality and refinement aspect of the brief very well, but lacks the engagement that some keener drivers may crave. The real-world performance of its battery also leaves some question marks, but if the range isn’t critical to your day-to-day driving, then this remains a solid package.
Test Car Details:
Model driven: Audi e-tron 55 Sportback quattro S line
Price: from €72,215 including the SEAI grant
Electric system: 265kW motors and 95kWh battery
Annual motor tax: €140
0-100km/h: 5.7 seconds
Boot space: 615 litres