Hybrids & Electrics

Audi’s First Electric SUV is a Winner, But it Has One Fatal Flaw

There are plenty of positives about the 2020 Audi e-tron. MotorTrend even named it a finalist for its SUV of the Year Award. Despite everything MotorTrend’s reviewers loved about the Audi e-tron’s design and capabilities, the award went to the Kia Telluride. There was one main flaw that lost the award for the 2020 e-tron.

The features of the Audi e-tron

The 2020 Audi e-tron provides lots of exciting style and technology. MotorTrend’s editors described the all-wheel-drive e-tron as having a “restrained yet upscale appearance.” It offers buyers an electric vehicle with a traditional crossover style.

MotorTrend loved the interior, especially the shifter, which is just a small slider below a hand-rest pad. The Audi e-tron also features a number of display screens for instruments, an infotainment system, and climate controls, leading MotorTrend to say it has “car-of-the-future interior design.” There are two touchscreens. The top one is a 10.1-inch display, and the lower one, which is mainly for the climate controls, has an 8.8-inch screen.

MotorTrend felt the e-tron provides great driving with a smooth powertrain, low center of gravity, and effective use of regenerative braking. Together the e-tron’s two electric motors produce 355 hp and 414 lb-ft of torque. When in Sport mode, it generates 402 hp and 490 lb-ft of torque.

The motors are supported by a 95.3-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The Audi e-tron is able to go from 0 to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds, and when properly equipped, it has the power to tow up to 4,000 pounds. The e-tron is rated for 74 mpg in the city and 73 mpg on the highway, for a combined 74 mpg.

In addition, the e-tron earned a 2019 IIHS Top Safety Pick+ designation and a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA for the 2019 and 2020 models.

How the e-tron is different

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The Audi e-tron has an impressive interior. According to U.S. News‘ review of 2019 models, the e-tron has a “gentler ride and a nicer cabin with better build quality” than the Tesla Model X. The e-tron also has more passenger and cargo space than the Jaguar I-Pace but less than the Model X.

With the towing package, the Model X can tow up to 5,000 pounds with 20-inch wheels or 3,500 pounds with 22-inch wheels, which is on either side of the Audi e-tron’s 4,000-pound maximum towing capacity. The I-Pace is not recommended for towing.

The unimpressive range of the Audi e-tron

Despite all the great aspects of the 2020 Audi e-tron, its range and efficiency aren’t as good as its competitors’. The 2019 e-tron has an estimated driving range of 204 miles, and information for the 2020 model year isn’t yet available.

Based on information for the 2020 European model, Car and Driver expects the updated e-tron to have a new range of 210 miles. With a 150.0-kW DC fast-charger, the e-tron can be charged to go about 50 miles in 10 minutes or 160 miles in 30 minutes. When at home, the vehicle can be charged with its provided charging capsule. With a standard 240-volt outlet, the e-tron takes about nine hours to fully charge.

The 2020 Jaguar I-Pace has a range of 253 miles, but the 2020 Tesla Model X has the longest range of the three. The Model X Long Range model has a range of 325 miles, while the Performance model has a 305-mile range. Car and Driver suggested that the Audi e-tron has more of a focus on the luxury experience rather than on revolutionizing the capabilities of electric vehicles.

The 2020 Audi e-tron offers a stylish car for drivers looking for a luxury crossover. While its range may not be as far as its competitors, at more than 200 miles, it’s likely sufficient for most drives.