I like the Audi E-Tron. Even after spending 60 hours in one, going from NYC to LA, I still like the E-Tron and would love to have one as a daily driver to replace my wife’s Mazda CX-5. Audi has another version of the E-Tron out now though, and it’s called the E-Tron Sportback. This one is fine too… but there’s no reason to spend more for a curved roof and less cargo space.
I get it. People spending the dough like curved Crossovers. I cannot explain why they like this shape, but I do know that many automakers are happy to stamp these out. Regardless, I’d still tell you to buy the regular E-Tron if you’re looking for a well-built, comfortable, luxury electric vehicle. Between its pair of electric motors, it produces 355 horsepower. The EPA says it will run 218 miles between charges. And I can tell you that it’s actually rather efficient on nice long highway stretches. Additionally, if you are out and about and need to juice up, the E-Tron will suck down volts at a crisp 150kW. Find an Electrify America charging station, and you’re good to go. Charing at home on a Level 2 setup, it will go from 0 to 100% in 9 hours.
I’ve got such an outlet in my wall and had zero charging issues nor any range anxiety. And that includes a few runs between Los Angeles and Southern Orange County. I knew that if I needed it, a DC Fast Charger is fairly readily available now. But I also never visited one, because the juice I sucked down at home kept this thing topped off all the time.
But those same specs apply to the standard E-Tron. So if you are interested in this thing but don’t want to give up some rear space, get the normal one. Oh, and the normal one is less expensive. Before any incentives or rebates, the standard E-Tron starts at just over $65k. The Sportback is about $4k more. Audi is prepping a less expensive trim level for the E-Tron lineup, which is smart. And a smaller Q4 electric vehicle is on the way, which should help add an even less expensive Audi EV into its lineup.
Even with the needlessly expensive curvy bodywork, I did enjoy my week with this thing. If you’re interested in an EV, this is a good place to look. For less money (and more range) I’d recommend checking out the Hyundai Kona Electric. For a bit more style and range (and cash), there’s the Jaguar I-Pace. And there are more options coming, including the Nissan Ariya on the more affordable side and the Mercedes EQS on the higher end. Oh, and we should get our mitts on a Ford Mustang Mach-E in the near future, so stay tuned for that.
[Disclaimer: Audi tossed us the keys to the E-Tron Sportback and included a fully juiced-up battery pack.]