Audi Q4 e-tron vs Mercedes EQA: performance and handling
Both the EQA and Q4 e-tron are equally matched when it comes to performance, but a flaw in the Mercedes gave the Audi an edge here
The EQA and Q4 e-tron we have here are evenly matched when it comes to performance, with both featuring just one electric motor. The EQA is front-wheel drive and produces 187bhp and 370Nm of torque, while the Q4 e-tron has a rear-axle mounted electric motor producing 201bhp and 310Nm of torque.
Thanks to that extra power, the Q4 e-tron 40 will reach 62mph from a standstill in 8.5 seconds; the EQA will do the same sprint in 8.9 seconds. However, it must be said that both cars do feel faster than those figures might suggest, thanks to their instant torque when you put your foot down.
At low speeds, the Q4 e-tron in particular jumps away from the line, especially if you’re in Dynamic mode, where the throttle response is at its sharpest. The Q4 e-tron’s lively performance is also present when you’re at motorway speeds, too.
The Mercedes meanwhile is prone to be more understeer when entering corners, but it rides smoothly and refinement is very good for the most part, too. However, the EQA’s electric motor does produce a high-pitched whine when you try and accelerate hard, which cuts through that sense of refinement.
But, there are more powerful, four-wheel-drive versions of both models available if you’re looking for something more potent. In fact, only the entry-level EQA 250 is front-wheel drive, with the mid-range 300 4MATIC and top-spec 350 4MATIC both getting an additional electric motor on the rear axle. With the Q4 e-tron, it’s only the top-of-the-range 50 quattro powertrain that gets a dual-motor setup for four-wheel-drive.
It’s worth noting that our Q4 e-tron came equipped with adaptive dampers, which are a £950 option. Our advice is you do go for those: leave them in Comfort mode, where the many bumps that cause the car to jiggle slightly in Dynamic mode rarely make it through the cabin.
But regardless of what setting or driving mode you’re in, the Q4 feels very stable and balanced, whether you’re on the motorway or driving on country roads. The EQA has much lighter steering, which coupled with its 11.4-metre turning circle, makes the Mercedes easier to drive around town.
What doesn’t help the EQA around town is its inconsistent throttle response, which can make it harder to crawl along in traffic at a steady speed.
In This Review
- 1IntroThe luxury compact electric SUV segment is hotting up, but will it be the new Audi Q4 e-tron or Mercedes EQA that’s crowned the best in class right now?
- 2Range and chargingWhile the EQA offers a better predicted range, the Audi’s impressive efficiency means it’s likely to go further on a charge
- 3Performance and handling - currently readingBoth the EQA and Q4 e-tron are equally matched when it comes to performance, but a flaw in the Mercedes gave the Audi an edge here
- 4Space and practicalityThe EQA may feel spacious in its own right, but it can’t match the vast expanse of the Q4 e-tron’s cabin or the size of its boot
- 5Interior and infotainmentWe can’t knock either car on interior quality or infotainment, as both feature well equipped cabin’s and some of the best infotainment systems on the market
- 6Running costs and warrantyWhile both cars are great when it comes to low company-car tax; the Audi’s lower insurance group rating and better efficiency make it the winner in this category
- 7Safety and reliabilityThe EQA’s five-star Euro NCAP rating inherited from the B-Class and the equally high rating from the Q4 e-tron’s sister cars from VW and Skoda are all positives for both models
- 8Verdict and specificationsWhile the EQA has it merits, the Q4 e-tron takes the spot in this test thanks to its spacious interior, styling, greater efficiency and range