Audi e-tron Sportback interior, dashboard & comfort
It's very hard to find fault with the e-tron Sportback's cabin – it feels beautifully built and there's loads of technology on offer
Quality inside the e-tron Sportback is exemplary. Nothing rattles, nothing shakes and the digital dashboard looks and feels absolutely first-rate. Audi has stuffed its first electric car with technology and most of it works seamlessly – fitting into your daily duties without fuss.
This can’t be said of the e-tron Sportback's digital door mirrors, however. While you do get used to them eventually, if you ever find yourself hopping in and out of different cars, you’ll need extensive (and effective) recalibration of your brain to ensure safe operation. We think they’re a bit of a gimmick; the car is a quiet and refined place to spend time even with the bulkier, conventional door mirrors.
Audi e-tron Sportback dashboard
The e-tron Sportback's dashboard design is among the slickest in any price bracket. It looks premium without feeling too flash, with a pair of touchscreens allowing access to the infotainment system and climate control settings. These screens are complimented by a fully-digital 'Virtual Cockpit' instrument cluster, which is one of the most expertly-integrated systems on the market. You can switch between trip information and full-screen mapping at the flick of the switch, all without losing sight of things like speed and remaining range.
Quality is another high point for the e-tron Sportback. Everything feels beautifully built – and so it should for this car’s £63,000 list price for the entry-level model. We’ve not had a chance to sit in the range-topping Vorsprung model, but if the S line model we tested is anything to go by, we’ve little reason to believe the flagship e-tron would have any trouble rivalling the far pricier Bentley Bentayga for build quality, fit and finish.
Equipment, options & accessories
Since June 2021, the e-tron Sportback has been available in Technik, Sport, S Line, Black Edition and Vorsprung trims, just like the regular e-tron. Entry-level car come with LED headlights and 20-inch alloy wheels, plus Audi’s 'Virtual Cockpit' digital driver’s display, as well as two central touchscreens – one for the infotainment and another to operate some of the car’s features. You also get wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, plus Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant, as standard.
Upgrading to Sport gets you wireless phone charging, Valcona leather seats and upgraded 20-inch alloy wheels. S line adds adaptive air suspension, matrix LED headlights, privacy glass and 21-inch alloys. Black Edition sits above S line, identifiable by its black styling additions and 21-inch Audi Sport wheels. Vorsprung tops the range, with huge 22-inch alloy wheels, digital matrix lights, 'super' sport seats with diamond stitching and a Bang & Olufsen sound system. The S is also available in Vorsprung trim.
Infotainment, apps & sat nav
There’s no denying the e-tron Sportback's infotainment system is packed with features. The graphics look slick and the menus are easy to navigate. If you don’t like the setup, you can hook up your smartphone using wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto (both standard) for a more familiar range of media and navigation apps. Plus, the e-tron Sportback now comes as standard with Amazon's Alexa virtual assistant.
The only thing we’re not sold on is the haptic touchscreen. Most of the features are hidden in one of the two central displays; one houses the infotainment system, including mapping and audio connectivity, while the lower screen allows access to the climate control and heated seats. However, unlike a more conventional touchscreen, the Audi setup requires a firm prod to activate. It feels like the engineers have tried to marry the feel and functionality of a conventional button with the convenience of a touchscreen, without much success.
In This Review
- 1VerdictIs the less practical but more stylish Sportback coupe variant of Audi's e-tron electric SUV worth the higher asking price?
- 2Range, battery & chargingThe Audi e-tron Sportback doesn't have the longest range in its class, but its ability to rapid charge at 150kW makes it an easy car to live with day-to-day
- 3Running costs & insuranceCharging at home is cheapest, but many e-tron Sportback buyers will want to make use of the car's 150kW rapid-charging capability
- 4Performance, motor & driveThe Audi e-tron Sportback feels quite heavy and cumbersome car to drive; it's relaxing, but not that much fun
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfort - currently readingIt's very hard to find fault with the e-tron Sportback's cabin – it feels beautifully built and there's loads of technology on offer
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityThe e-tron Sportback is a big car, which means the compromises you have to make inside for that cool sloping roofline are minimal
- 7Reliability & safety ratingThe Audi e-tron has been around for a couple of years now, so the the technology underpinning this Sportback variant should be reliable