Audi e-tron 2022 review: Sportback 55 First Edition – the best premium electric SUV EV yet?
Very rarely do we get the chance to review a new model over an extended period of time, thats exactly what ive done over the past three months with the audi e tron sportback. The e tron sportback, of course, is audis all electric suv with a koopa twist. So have i enjoyed living a zero emissions life in this video ill? Let you know, but before i do im going to split this video into chapters with their time. Codes right over here so feel free to skip ahead to anything youre, particularly interested in and if youre, watching on youtube. There are markers in the timeline below to make skipping ahead even easier, but be sure to give this video a like before you do. As always. If you want to know more, you can read my detailed written review on the cars guide website, so click on the link in the description below to go check it out and if you want to stay on top of any of our upcoming videos, be sure to Subscribe to the cars guide, youtube channel and then hit the bell icon to get notified when theyre uploaded Music believe it or not, you cant actually buy the etron sportback. You see here anymore. This is the 55 first edition which, as its name suggests, was available from the etron sportbacks launch in september 2020 as part of his model year 20 range, but it was the only e tron sportback audi.
Australia was able to provide us out of melbourne for this long term review. So, if youre interested in something similar, you can specify the model year. 2022 e tron sportbacks full time 55 variant to a similar level for what its worth the 55 first digit was priced from a seriously eye watering 170 thousand dollars plus on road costs. Well, the 55 is 13 000 cheaper. You fancy saving another nine thousand dollars the full time. 50 variant is an option, although it has less powerful electric motors and a smaller battery than the 55, but more on all that later either way. Standard equipment in the bmw ix rival includes an s line body kit led lights, 21 inch, alloy, wheels, keyless entry and a hands free power, operated tailgate inside push button, start satellite navigation, wired, android, auto and wireless apple, carplay support digital radio, a head up display and Heated front sport seats, feature options wise. The 6700 premium plus package is required to come closer to the 55 first edition. It adds matrix, led headlights, digital side, mirrors, rear privacy, glass, a 16 speaker, bang, olufsen 3d, sound system, four zone, climate control and ambient lighting and youll also need to cough up sixteen hundred dollars for the black exterior styling package. So what cant you have? Well, the etron sportback completely misses out on a heated steering wheel, cooled front, seats and heated rear seats, all of which youd hope would be available at its price point.
Music to these eyes, the aetron sportbacks exterior looks the part, whereas most coupe style, suvs, look arguably worse than their wagon counterparts. I reckon thats not the case here. The atron sportback sloping roofline and stubbier tailgate make it look better in my opinion than the traditional wagon body style of the e tron, which mind you costs eleven thousand dollars less. At the same time, though, the etron sportback still looks like an audi suv. In fact, id say its focus on design makes it feel even more premium. Speaking of premium check out this interior most, if not all, other models in this price bracket, dont go as far as the etron sportback, for example, the seats and armrests are covered in velcona leather upholstery, which is more supple than nappa, apparently and then theres the sporty Alcantara door inserts and the nice soft touch plastics used on the dashboard and door shoulders, but its the sheer number of displays that commands all the attention. The highly customizable digital instrument cluster, in particular, a joy to use the dual central touch screens, are almost as good with audi wisely dedicating the smaller lower one to the climate controls, while both have haptic feedback for a more natural feel. When fitted with the aforementioned digital side mirrors, the aetron sportback also gets a pair of 7 inch oled touchscreens at either end of the dashboard theyre responsible for providing a live. Video feed of the aerodynamically friendly wing cameras, which ill talk more about when we go for a drive thats it.
If, given the choice, id still opt for traditional side mirrors, because if it aint broke, dont fix it. One other minor complaint is all these surfaces combined with the extensive gloss black trim to be finger print magnets, so make sure you have a microfiber cloth handy. What do you think of the design? Let us know in the comments all electric vehicles that are based on traditional platforms, like the etron sportback, often suffer from packaging issues, but the itron sportback isnt like most take its boot. For example, it has a very competitive cargo capacity of 615 litres, which is just 45 liters shy of what the regular e tron wagon offers not enough space stow the split fold second row to unleash its full unspecified potential, but annoyingly you will have to access the Manual releases via the second row to do that. Otherwise, theres only a small load lip to contend with and youve got four tie down points and side, storage nets to secure loose items; theres also a 12 volt power outlet in the boot as well for a vacuum, or something like that. You also have got some underfloor storage, which is mainly taken up by the space saver spare wheel. Yes, it has one of those, but there is a bin there that you can put some smaller items as well. Things get better in the second row, where audi has managed to position the e tron sportbacks battery under floor so well that it actually has a very natural seating position.
Most other all. Electric vehicles sit up too high because of their batteries, and you end up squatting and really kind of awkward, but thats. Definitely not the case here, which is good, theres, also acceptable, headroom, even with the panoramic sunroof fitted and the sloping roof line and theres oodles of leg room behind my 184 centimeter driving position, theres plenty of footwell space available for three adults. If they were seated across which they can do on shorter journeys, amenities, wise theres, a fold down armrest available here – and it has some cup holders too, which you can put a bottle in and also this shallow tray. I dont know what you would really put in there, but its there. If you need it and then you have the door bins, theyre large enough, thankfully, to fit one, maybe two regular bottles and the seat. Backrests, ahead of you have storage nets, so you can put some things in there coat hooks up on the b pillars over here and directional air vents just below there. In addition to the events you get at the rear of the center console, which also houses two usb a ports and a 12 volt power outlet for rear passengers, if you have young kids, there are two isofix and three top tether anchorage points for fitting child seats, Which shouldnt be too difficult, given the amount of room in the second row and even contending with the e tron sportbacks reduced door? Openings moving to the first row, where the driver and front passenger are treated to rather supportive sport seats, we have a glove box.
That is on the larger side, alongside the driver side cubby, which goes some way in making up for the central console storage bin, which is pretty small just ahead of it. Youve got two cup holders which are large enough for our bottle and two usb a ports. The sd and sim card reader plus a wireless smartphone charger, which curiously, is vertically aligned and has a little clip to help secure your device while youre driving around, which is pretty smart and just ahead of it. A 12 volt power outlet now the front door bins. Can take up to two regular bottles each, which is pretty handy now, youd, be surprised how many all electric vehicles dont actually have a frunk or fruit, but the e tron sportback isnt in the business of letting anyone down under this cover here is an additional 60 Liters of cargo capacity, which is perfect for storing the onboard 11 kilowatt ac charger and all the other electrical governs Music. The etron sportback comes with a fairly comprehensive safety suite its advanced driver, assist systems, extend to autonomous emergency, braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection and lane keep and steering assist and then theres blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, overly sensitive adaptive cruise control, high beam, assist, Surround view, cameras and front and rear parking sensors, six airbags are also fitted of note. Independent safety authority endcap has given the etron sportback its maximum five star safety rating against its 2019 standard.
Given the e tron sportback is now a couple of years old. It is missing a few safety features that ancap now scrutinizes, namely intersection assist emergency steering functionality and a front center airbag. The etron sportback is fitted with front and rear mounted electric motors, which provide a version of audis signature. Quattro all wheel drive system, the 55 variant produces up to a considerable 300 kilowatts of power and 664 newton meters of torque on overboost, which is available by putting the single speed automatic transmission into its sport mode. This combination helps the 55 to sprint from a standstill to 100 kilometers an hour in 5.7 seconds, as mentioned, the more affordable 50 variant is motivated by a detuned version of the dual motor setup, with it instead delivering 230 kilowatts and 540 newton meters. That said, these outputs are still enough to let it reach triple digits. In 6.8 seconds, the itron sportbacks 55 variant is fitted with a liquid cooled 95 kilowatt hour. Lithium ion battery, which provides nearly 450 kilometers of wltp certified range, but again, buyers can save nearly 10 000 and instead choose the 50 variant with its 71 kilowatt hour battery delivering about 350 kilometers in between charges. As far as the 55 is concerned, though, my average energy consumption was a very underwhelming 28.1 kilowatt hours per 100 kilometers at the time of filming, which is nearly 24 higher than the official figure on the combined cycle test. My usage equates to a real world range of nearly 340 kilometers, which, while about 110 kilometers shy of the wltp testing, could be a good fit for you, its certainly enough to confidently traverse the urban jungle.
Although careful planning is required for country trips either way the 55 clearly isnt the first word in efficiency, especially around town, where its strangely nowhere near as efficient as other all electric vehicles. That said, given ive mostly done shorter trips and a lock down melbourne, i actually havent had to charge it that often speaking of charging, the 55 can be charged from zero to 80 in about eight and a half hours using the onboard 11 kilowatt ac charger. With a type 2 plug so overnight, then, but find a 150 kilowatt dc fast charge of the ccs plug, and it will do the job in less than 30 minutes, which is more than reasonable. Conveniently the etron sportback comes with six years of free, unlimited charging via chargefoxs growing australian network of public stations. Although a fair use policy applies, alternatively, wall boxes can be installed in homes and workplaces via audi australias infrastructure, partner jet charge. Like all audi australia models, the etron sportback is covered by a three year. Unlimited kilometer warranty, which is two years shy of the premium standard set by mercedes, benz volvo and genesis. That said, the e tron sportbacks battery is covered by a separate 8 year, 160, 000 kilometer term. So there is some extra peace of mind, but theres a lot more to its after sales package, as it also includes six years of roadside assistance, which is double what you get with audi australias, traditionally powered models better.
Yet the etron sportback service intervals are also twice the length of the norm at every 24 months or 30 000 kilometers. Whichever comes first and to make the deal even sweeter. Its first three visits. Dont cost a cent thats up to an impressive six years or 90 000 kilometers of free servicing. Now, when you get behind the wheel of an electric car, the first thing most people want to hear about is the acceleration and the e tron sportback is no different. If you put your foot down, you get that instantaneous torque, which throws yourself and the occupants in the back of their seats. Of course, youve got 300 kilowatts of power and 664 meters of torque available to play with. So it really is no slouch in a straight line, certainly has the equivalent of a hot hatchs performance, but where things start to come a little bit. Undone is the braking front now again, electric vehicle. It has regenerative braking, but in its most aggressive mode as im, demonstrating right now from 40 kilometers an hour. It comes down to a crawl of about 10 ks. Other electric cars have a one pedal driving mode or the at least the option of one and the e tron sport back doesnt. It doesnt have that aggressive regenerative braking that allows you to basically go around town and not have to engage the friction brakes or touch. The brake pedal its a really good way of operating an electric car, but one thats not available here, and it would go some way into helping with the efficiency or lack thereof with the e tron.
It would really help to reduce that energy consumption now. Another thing that doesnt help the energy consumption is the weight of the atron. This is a car that weighs more than 2.7 tons, and you really do feel that weight as you go through the corners. Its really feeling, like physics, are working against you, its not to say that its a terrible handler, but its definitely not a sporty drive in that regard, its something that youre constantly aware of managing the weight of the vehicle, but certainly around town, where you dont necessarily Experience that body roll its its much more manageable, but you can flick the adaptive dampers that the air suspension is fitted with into their dynamic mode, which helps to cancel out a little bit of that body roll. But at the same time it does obviously reduce ride. Quality overall, though ride quality is pretty good. Its comfortable youve got those air springs again, but yeah around town, even on the 21 inch wheels that this particular atron sport back is fitted with its pretty good its comfortable and its one of those things where you just take it around. Town and youll. Hardly ever have a complaint also around town the steering is really nice and light in hand. It makes maneuvers very easy to perform like, u turns and parallel parking and all that kind of fun stuff, but as you get more up to speed its its pretty well weighted too, so it definitely gives you confidence behind the wheel, its also nice and direct.
So in terms of steering its its pretty good, but if you do want a bit more heft again, you can engage the dynamic drive mode, which adds a bit more weight to the wheel if thats your type of thing. But again, i personally wouldnt bother just leave it in comfort, its nice and easy around town. Something else youll enjoy around town or just in general, are the low levels of noise in the car. Again, you dont have an engine whirring away up front, so you do start to notice a little bit of road noise, a little bit of tyre noise and a little bit of the electric motor wind but thats it its quite hushed inside the car and again, if Youve got the bang olufsen sound system pumping, then youre, really not going to notice anything. You are very much well insulated from the rest of the world. Now, normally with other cars, you get a bit of wind noise over the side mirrors. But, as i mentioned earlier, weve got digital side mirrors fitted here. They are basically just aerodynamically friendly stalks, so they hardly make a peep in terms of noise. But again, as you can see now, youve got the little oled displays in the corners of the door, and that is your view out of whats happening behind you now it is very unnatural. When you check your mirrors, normally would look through the front windows, but here you actually look down and dont really look out at all.
So you do lose that peripheral vision and you do place a lot of trust in what you see on the display there. But for the better part of two months i wasnt really happy with that, but it became pretty natural in the end. Well, maybe not natural, but you get used to it over time. So it is really one of those things that grows on you, but at the end of the day, if you have the choice between these digital side, mirrors and actual glass side mirrors a traditional type, you have to go for the glass every time, its cheaper and There is nothing higher resolution than an actual reflection Music, all in all, ive really enjoyed living with the etron sportback over the past three months, like all all electric vehicles in 2021. It is expensive and has some of its quirks, some of which are avoidable, but it still manages to be most things to most people, including myself. After all, the etron sportback is well packaged, looks and feels premium and is comfortable to drive, but all new rivals are coming thick and fast, so it needs to stay on its proverbial toes. But what do you think is the e tron sportback a winner? Let us know in the comments below and dont forget, theres even more detail in my written long term review on the cars guide website, including a breakdown of the upcoming overall score.