2022 Audi Q4 50 E-tron Quattro Review – Not Getting What You Pay For

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Fast Facts

2022 Audi Q4 50 e-tron quattro Fast Facts

Powertrain
Dual electric motors, front and rear (295 horsepower @ N/A RPM; N/A lb-ft @ N/A RPM)
Transmission/Drive Layout
Single-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Fuel Economy, MPGe
100 city / 89 highway / 95 combined (EPA Rating)
Fuel Economy, Le/100KM
2.4 city / 2.6 highway / 2.5 combined (NRCan Rating)
Base Price
$53,300 (U.S.) / $63,400 (Canada)
As-Tested Price
$64,765 (U.S.) / $77,900 (Canada)
Prices include $1,195 destination charge in the United States and N/A for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

Sixty-five grand doesn’t fetch you what it used to, it seems.

Yes, sure, prices inflate over time, we all know that. But even accounting for that fact, and even accounting for the fact that electric vehicles are commanding premium prices and likely will for the foreseeable future, I was nevertheless disappointed with the experience of being loaned a 2022 Audi 50 e-tron quattro* for a week.


*Odd capitalization courtesy of Audi.

Most of my disappointment involved the interior. The cabin’s design, which is heavy on angles, didn’t always have the luxury looks I would like, but then again, design is subjective. More concerning was the fact that too many materials didn’t feel price appropriate, along with the sense that it was a bit too obvious that Audi was using the Volkswagen parts bin.

Any sins committed on the inside could be forgiven with a better driving experience, but the Q4 disappointed here, too. Acceleration was just fine, thanks to the instantaneously available torque that comes with electric motors, but the handling can only be described as no better than competent. It’s not a chore to drive, exactly, and there’s some sport to be had, but I expected better from the Audi badge.

On the ride side of things, the Q4 tilts just over the edge into being a bit stiffer than I’d like for commuting. While stiff is preferable to soft when a car has sporting pretensions, it’s frustrating when the equation slides too far in one direction and bumps go from merely annoying to mildly unpleasant.

Overall, the dynamics feel a bit high-strung during gentle driving yet not quite as well-sorted as they could be when you push a little.

The suspension is MacPherson strut in front and four-link rear axle out back.

At least the Q4 is a looker from the outside – Audi’s angular design theme works well when it comes to the exterior sheetmetal. Certainly better than it does inside.

I’d be a bit less harsh about the minor disappointments regarding the driving dynamics if the cabin felt more luxurious – the Audi’s dynamic flaws annoy but aren’t deal breakers. Problem is, the presence of some downmarket materials at this price point is bothersome. At least the controls are generally easy to learn and use – and that includes the MMI infotainment system.

The drivetrain uses a permanent excited synchronous electric motor in the rear and an asynchronous electric motor up front. Maximum horsepower is 295 and the maximum range is listed at 242 miles. The battery is an 82 kWh lithium-ion unit and the car has a single-speed automatic transmission. Top speed is limited to 112 miles per hour.

DC fast charging should take you from 5 percent to 80 percent in 36 minutes while charging with 9.6 kW will take 9 hours and with 11.5 kW will take 7.5.

Standard features include MMI infotainment with a 10.1-inch screen, 19-inch wheels, Bluetooth, LED headlights and taillights, heated front seats, leather seats, a 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster, power tailgate, panoramic sunroof, and tri-zone climate control.

A Premium Package ($7,600) adds adaptive cruise control, augmented reality head-up display, heated steering wheel with regen paddles, Sonos audio system, hands-free operation for the power liftgate, satellite radio, wireless phone charging, and interior LED lighting. An S Line Plus package ($2,200) added 20-inch wheels, a flattened steering wheel, all-season tires, sport seats, roof rails, and more. With a few other small options, the test vehicle cost nearly $65K.

The idea of the Q4 makes sense – a small, sporty EV crossover with range enough for most commuters. The problem is that the base price is over $50K and the as-tested price made my eyes pop. On top of that, the car isn’t as well sorted, dynamically speaking, as Audis often are – I had a better experience with an A4 sedan not long ago – and the interior doesn’t feel worth the money.

The good news for Audi is that a few tweaks here and there could make this an attractive entrant into a burgeoning EV market. But for now, I’d shop elsewhere.

[Images © 2023 Tim Healey/TTAC]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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2 of 33 comments
  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Jun 24, 2023

    Is that a basketweave pattern on the grille? Possible co-branding opportunity here.

  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Jun 29, 2023

    Audi corporate and its dealers seem to be on the same page. They all roll up the windows when they fart. When an Audi dealer told my wife and I that the A4 price isn't negotiable because Audi is a low volume automaker, I had a hard time containing my laughter.

  • Richard Poore Sure, as the article itself notes (hence my ire) California has mandated that all new vehicles sold in state be EV by 2035. They require EV or hybrid by 2026. Since the author admits to this mandate it seems that the article title is clickbait... was really hoping that there was some sort of changes in the CA position since the state is sorely behind on where they need to be with charging stations for this sort of requirement.
  • NotMyCircusNotMyMonkeys PRESIDENT HARRISS, THE YOUNGEST FEMALE OF COLOR PRESIDENT WILL SCALE BACK EV REQUIREMENTS. FAT ORANGE WILL BE DOING TIME
  • VoGhost When will Audi eliminate the fake, oversized grills that impede aerodynamics?
  • Kelley It's about time! I was so discouraged to see those poor Chevy Bolts stuck at the charging station receiving level 2 speeds after 80%, it was ridiculous. It would be nice if EA would had more level 2 chargers, also, at the same locations for people to top off above 80% on the fast chargers.
  • Tane94 Carmela Harris is supportive of EV adoption, so government incentives will be continuing under her watch.
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