Audi Q4 e-tron vs Mercedes EQA: interior and infotainment

We 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

Mercedes EQA

Audi and Mercedes have taken two very different approaches when it came to designing the interiors of their entry-level electric SUVs. The Q4 e-tron features a far more minimalistic cabin, with only a smattering of buttons for the climate control underneath the central infotainment screen, while the gear selector and a few other controls for the drive modes are located on a floating panel beneath that.

The EQA meanwhile has an almost identical cabin to Mercedes’ entry-level SUV, the GLA. The EQA uses the same basic controls as its combustion-engined equivalent, and features a column-mounted gear selector and a similarly designed steering wheel. You also get the same turbine-style air vents and dual-screen cockpit design.

However, none of that is to say the EQA’s cabin feels cheap, as Mercedes does an excellent job of shrinking the interiors of its flagships to suit its more affordable models, and in the EQA, you have to search quite hard before finding any cheaper-feeling materials.

The EQA also features the latest version of Mercedes’ MBUX infotainment system that we’re now familiar with from our time living with the EQA’s big brother, the EQC. In the EQA, you get a pair of 10.25-inch screens: one central infotainment screen and another behind the steering wheel. Plus, the EQA comes as standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, too.

The graphics on the EQA’s system are sharp and the colours bright. Usability is a bit of an issue, as getting used to the fiddly controls on the steering wheel and confusing trackpad can be a bit of a pain. But, after that learning curve, Mercedes' system is actually one of the most intuitive on the market.

All Q4 e-trons come as standard with a 10.25-inch 'Virtual Cockpit' driver's display, plus a 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen. You also get wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but you need to plug your phone in to use the latter. Audi’s 'MMI' operating system is one of the slickest in the business – far superior, in particular, to the one found in the Volkswagen ID.4.

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