Audi e-tron interior & comfort
The Audi e-tron has a fantastic interior and features some showstopping technology
Superb interior fit and finish has been an Audi calling card for many years now and the e-tron shows that's not going to change as the brand starts producing electric cars. Inside, there's no shortage of high-quality material adorning every surface, with leather, polished plastic and high-grade metal trim everywhere you look.
Audi e-tron dashboard
The e-tron's dashboard is fully digital, ensuring it feels right up-to-date and in step with rivals like the Tesla Model X. Rather than aim for a minimalist aesthetic as is popular with some other manufacturers, Audi has given the e-tron a sharp-edged, sculptural look inside that fits in nicely with the rest of its range. It's trimmed nicely and overall build quality is excellent.
An extra element unique to the e-tron (for now) is digital door mirrors. Standard on the Vorsprung model, this system replaces traditional door mirrors with a pair of high-resolution cameras, which feed their output to a pair of small screens mounted in the top of the doors.
The novelty value of this setup is undeniable, but in practice it's not great to use: the screens aren't as high up as you'd expect, so taking a quick glance at what's behind you feels less natural than with a conventional mirror. We recommend sticking with a normal mirror setup on the standard e-tron, saving yourself £1,250 in the process.
Equipment, options & accessories
Initially, three versions of the e-tron were offered: a standard model, a Launch Edition and an ultra-exclusive Edition 1, with only 30 of the latter making their way to the UK.
Since launch, the e-tron range has been revised and expanded. The range starts with Technik trim, which comes pretty well equipped as standard: 20-inch alloys, progressive steering, adaptive air suspension and a Type 2 charging cable are all included, along with LED lights, heated power-folding door mirrors, leather upholstery, heated front seats and Audi's 'Virtual Cockpit' digital dashboard, plus plenty more.
The step up to Sport adds some desirable kit, including a wireless phone charger, upgraded leather upholstery and a centre armrest, while the Audi staple S line trim gets 21-inch alloys, matrix LED headlights, sports suspension and obligatory sporty S line styling. Black Edition cars use S line as a base, but add extra blacked-out styling touches.
Vorsprung sits at the top of the standard e-tron range, with prices starting just north of £80,000. The all-but-the-kitchen-sink equipment list includes 22-inch alloys, digital matrix LED headlights with 'enhanced light animations', plus uprated 'super sport' seats and a Bang & Olufsen sound system. The sportier e-tron S' biggest differences are in its powertrain and styling, but it is available with a choice of 21-inch alloys. Otherwise, interior equipment remains the same.
Infotainment, apps & sat nav
The e-tron uses the same dual-screen infotainment setup found in the latest Audi A6, Audi A7 and Audi A8 luxury models, combined with the brand's digital dials ahead of the driver. Both of the dual screens are full HD, the upper one measuring 10.1 inches and the lower, 8.6 inches. They incorporate 'haptic' feedback, vibrating slightly so you know you've pressed a control, which takes some getting used to.
It may be a matter of personal taste, but we prefer the feel of physical buttons, and either way, the Audi system isn't quite as intuitive to use as BMW's standard-setting iDrive setup. It's at least fully featured, though, boasting sat nav, a three-year subscription to Audi Connect online services, DAB radio, Bluetooth, wireless phone charging and Audi Smartphone Interface (which incorporates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) as standard.
In This Review
- 1VerdictAudi's first production electric car is impressive, but also outclassed by rivals like the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X
- 2Range, battery & chargingThe Audi e-tron gets impressive rapid-charging capability, but we'd expect better real-world range given the large battery
- 3Running costsThe usual electric-car advantages apply here, but there's no getting around the fact the Audi e-tron is expensive to buy initially
- 4Electric motor, drive & performanceThe Audi e-tron is comfortable and smooth, but far from the last word in sportiness
- 5Interior & comfort - currently readingThe Audi e-tron has a fantastic interior and features some showstopping technology
- 6Practicality & boot spaceSeven seats aren't an option, but in other respects the Audi e-tron is practical and family-friendly
- 7Reliability & safetyThe Audi e-tron fares well in both of these areas, with loads of advanced driver aids and a five-star Euro NCAP score