Autogefühl: Audi e-tron Is The Best EV In Terms Of Driving

DEC 21 2018 BY MARK KANE 60

Great driving experience and comfort, but high energy consumption.

Autogefühl had a chance to test drive the production version of the Audi e-tron and seems to be amazed by how incredibly well the car drives. It’s very agile, sporty, but at the same time comfortable and quiet even at high speeds (quieter than Tesla for example). The steering is very precise and because the highly refined electric all-wheel drive system, the e-tron feels agile and smaller than it actually is.

The Audi e-tron looks rather traditional with small modifications (front) and some special EV details compared to standard Audi SUVs. The interior design is clean with very high build quality and materials. The seats are comfortable, although the middle one in the rear is affected by the center climate control panel.

The weak point is energy consumption higher than it could be – around 26-30 kWh/100 km during the test drive was considered “too much”. In the video, you can learn a lot about regenerative braking, which can work in automatic or manual mode (the manual feels more neutral for EVs according to Autogefühl).

One of the disappointments of the e-tron are rear view side cameras and displays, which fails to deliver exact effective and safe image road (especially when then sun glare appears). Autogefühl strongly advises against buying or at least test drive before purchase.

Other than that, video presents off-road driving.

“In today’s Autogefühl’s episode, we present you the full driving review of the series production model of the Audi e-tron. As always we cover exterior, interior, engines and driving experience. We show you road driving, a real electric range test, some offroad and a recuperation test.”

Audi e-tron specs:

  • 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds or 0-100 km/h  in 5.7 seconds
  • Top speed – 124 mph
  • about 399 km (248 miles) under WLTP test cycle
  • 95 kWh battery (36 cell modules, each module is equipped with 12 pouch cells, nominal voltage of 396 volts)
  • battery pack weight: 700 kilograms (1543.2 lb)
  • dual-motor all-wheel drive – up to 300 kW and 664 Nm in S mode (boost) or up to 265 kW and 561 Nm in D mode. Front motor is 135 kW, the rear is 165 kW (S mode).
  • Maximum tow rating – 1,800 kg (4,000 pounds) when properly equipped
  • 9.6 kW on-board charger (240 V, 40 A) in U.S. and 11 kW or 22 kW three-phase in Europe
  • DC fast charging up to 150 kW: 0-80% in 30 minutes
Audi e-tron
28 photos
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60 Comments on "Autogefühl: Audi e-tron Is The Best EV In Terms Of Driving"

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I do have to commend the germans for supporting their own companies. American publications don’t do that same.

But, wasn’t there just an article about this car not even having proper regen? Audi seemed to think that 1-peddle driving was a bad thing and sought to eliminate it. After about 20 minutes of getting used to it, 1-peddle driving is one of the best parts of driving electric.

Not true. The e-tron actually has the strongest regen. Audi just uses the paddles for different levels of regen, which is not the most straightforward.

And they provide the option to just have one pedal driving if you want it, via a menu option. So you get to choose.

Are you sure about that? I just canceled my reservation when the test drives did not mention the availability of one-pedal driving?

According to the other Inside EV article (posted below)

“To be clear, EV drivers who are devoted to the one-pedal approach – in which lifting your foot off the accelerator pedal brings the car quickly to a stop – can still make it happen in the Audi e-tron SUV. But it requires searching through a couple of menus on the dashboard, finding the “Efficiency Assist” screen, and setting it to Manual. Only then can you use the paddle shifter on the steering wheel to increase the level of brake regen to two different higher levels and have it remain activated to provide a persistent one-pedal feel. And even in that case, the regen level is relatively mild compared to, say, the BMW i3 or a Chevy Bolt in L gear.”

Of course it has regen, you can choose in the settings if you want one pedal driving or regen adjusted on the steering wheel

The article says the regen is “comparatively mild.” In my opinion, there’s no such thing as too much regen! Using the friction brakes is such a waste.

It has brake by wire. Pressing brake pedal doesn’t mean you get friction brakes at once, you get the same regeneration.

It isn’t a car from 1970s after all. Even EV1 or Prius had some form of brake by wire.

Sometimes fans got some weird ideas and urban legends about how cars work. Overall effect of regeneration is overrated, and you don’t need one pedal for it in general, except specific cars.

One-pedal improves safety, actually. It may well become mandatory some day! A human takes over half a second on average just to move their foot from accelerator to brake. With high regen the car will already have started to slow down by the time your foot finds the brake pedal.

But there would perhaps be more to gain by teaching everyone left-foot braking. In addition to reduced reaction time it basically eliminates “wrong-pedal braking” — the phenomenon of drivers accidentally stomping hard on the go-pedal when they want to stop quickly. It’s not as uncommon as you might think.

Regen is overrated? Really? It’s one of the best parts of an EV. You’re not throwing away all of your momentum in the form of friction/heat.

The car will regen when you hit the break pedal.

There IS such thing as too much regen. See HansBlix’s comment below.

My feet and ankles have been broken too many times to have good throttle discipline.

So my SO, asks me to put in drive on my gen 2 volt so she doesn’t get motion sickness from every little twitch.

No such thing? Do you realize what a stupid statement that is? Given enough grip there’s no real upper limit. According to your ideal then, every EV should stop as if you’d crashed into a mountain once the driver lifts off, with airbag deployment and all.

Obviously that isn’t what you mean, but it really is what you said. Just because regen levels aren’t as high as you’d like doesn’t mean there’s no limits. Same goes for acceleration btw — at some point it becomes uncomfortable, then injurious, then not survivable for a human.

It’s not hard to design a regen system that can handle extreme power. Flywheels, like used in F1’s KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) is one approach. But to make it compact, safe, and cheap at the same time is very hard indeed.

Yup, and I stand by my “stupid” statement. When I lift of the accelerator pedal I want as much regen braking as possible ( up to 99% of the braking force required to lock-up the wheels). Humans lock their wheels braking all the time, and aren’t crushed by the braking force, so I think I’d survive.

If you don’t want that level of regen, or one pedal driving, that’s fine. But we should both have the option to configure regen as we like.

So ALL EV cars should base their setup to what you like and no other customers lines and dislikes are to be considered.
I’ve driven the Leaf 2.0, the Bolt EV, Volt and e-Golf. I see the benefits of 1 pedal driving but I also see how Audi’s setup works for those drivers joining the EV community with the e-tron. With the ability to regen up to .3 g by using the brakes (& no it does not use the brake pads) ICE converts will not be intimidated by the vehicle.

Yes Audi has made a big deal about the high level of regen. this car is capable of, up to 0.4 g I think.

Here or at another site I read that the e tron actually uses only 80kWh of its batterie’s 95kWh total. Anyone know about this. Slowly reducing this huge buffer over the vehicle’s life could mask a lot of capacity loss over time

That would help explain the low rated range. A 95kwh battery should get 300 miles.

The e-tron is inefficient. It needs at least 29kwh when you drive 100km with 120km/h. Not very funny on the German Autobahn.

Read above, menu select. Anyway its more efficient to nuetrally coast then regen. Too bad my timing needs so much work.

Agreed, never braking is the most efficient. It’s just not practical in many situations.

And by “mask capacity loss” you mean the car would not lose any useable capacity, and therefore no range. What a terrible thing!

I don’t believe it’s true, but if it were, it would mean the car is better, not worse, than if it achieved the same range with a less conservative buffer.

So much more straightforward to dig into a second- or third-level menu on a touchscreen to change it..? Paddles are the best way to control regen level. Especially when, like in Kona, one of the “levels” is auto, where the car uses the front radar to adjust the level. The lack of true coasting in my Leaf has me using neutral a lot, and that really isn’t practical!

You really have no idea about what you are saying. Or you are just a troll.

Read the article linked above. The article outright says that the car has comparatively mild regen and Audi thinks one-pedal driving is a problem to be fixed. To me that says they don’t know know squat about what BEV drivers really want.

No real surprise since they’re just getting into the game. After this car is released and gets sub-par real-world range, they’ll hopefully realize that efficiency & regen are important and improve the next version.

You can much better control the regen through the brake pedal. And when regen doesn’t slow down enough, friction comes to help. That’s some good engineering.
I like one pedal but your foot is always tense, especially when you are slowing down.
PS: Autogefuhl people are professional. While Bjorn makes jokes and puts bananas boxes in cars, he gets paid to praise some cars and bash other. I have seen Autogefuhl criticizing Audi cars with Audi bosses sitting in the passenger’s seat like they weren’t there.

Bjørn gets paid to say certain things? I believe you are a liar! And he could bring a libel suit over such a claim it you don’t have evidence. Which I think you haven’t, because I think you made it up.

Bjørn has received prizes (such as his car) from Tesla because he referred a lot of buyers. You could say he has an incentive to say good things about Tesla in order to refer more buyers and get more prizes. But it’s not like he is striking deals with anyone to say specific things. And I personally think he is very fair. He’s given Tesla a lot of criticism as well as praise over the years, and had lots of positive things to say about the e-Golf, Ioniq, Kona, Niro, Soul, i-Pace, Ampera-e, and even the Leaf and e-NV200. He has given balanced coverage to the so-called “rapidgate”, both clearly demonstrating what the issue is about AND explained why it isn’t a big deal for everyone. He has his preferences, but distinguishes clearly between what simply appeals to him versus what is more objectively good and bad.

If you have any evidence for your claim please bring it forward.

Any good implementation makes it easy to control acceleration and regen braking with one pedal. I’ve used GM and Tesla implementations without issue. Having to rotate your foot between pedals gets annoying in traffic. One pedal is so much easier.

I guess you’ve hated the task of driving ICE cars over the years. Or maybe this is your 1st foray in vehicle ownership.

The thing about one pedal driving is that it tends be less efficient as the car will always slow down/regen when you lift your foot up slighlty. A lot of deceleration and acceleration each with conversion losses. Understandable from that perspective. As far as I understood the car will regen when you hit the break pedal and also automatically when approaching a slower vehicle infront of you via radar. Seems rather smart to me.

The one pedal driving style annoys me very much as you drive full speed towards the red light till you have to fully brake???
Seeing a red light and taking your foot of the gas and coasting to possibly hit a green light is multiple times more efficient…
When I am in a car with someone like that I am thinking do you not see the red light?
Are you going to brake?

I don’t think you really understand one pedal driving. When you see a red light, you lift your foot off the accelerator. The car starts slowing down.
One pedal driving makes most people slow down more before the red light. Partly because it slows down more than coasting and partly because there is added incentive to not hit the brake. So you are encouraged to feather the pedal – using some regen – to wait until the light turns green so you never have to move your foot to the other pedal.
So what you are complaining about is the exact opposite of what most EV drivers mean when we talk about 1 pedal driving. (The majority of EV drivers using one pedal driving in the US are driving Tesla’s – each EV has different one pedal characteristics and I fully understand that other EVs are different. Mostly because they can come to full stop without hitting brake.)

Nope, it’s an analog pedal with many levels of acceleration and braking.

So, lift a little and you just reduce acceleration. Lift more and you hit a neutral position with neither acceleration nor braking. Life more and you start regen braking. Lift more and you increase regen braking, etc, etc, etc. It sounds complicated, but it’s actually easier than dealing with the brake pedal.

Based on these comments, I have to assume a lot of people posting here have never owned an electric car….

I have done it and I think it’s annoying. For me it comes more natural to request accelerating force with one pedal and decelerating with the other.

No, Consumer Reports got better range in their Model S tests when Tesla told them to use the higher regen setting. CR assumed what you did, and used the lower regen setting in their early tests, and did not get the most out of the vehicle.

Truth, not mindless boosterism.

Corporations don’t have a country. They’d sell out their home country for 5% off taxes.

Well, Volkswagen is not exactly a worldwide conglomerate that has no loyalty. To compare it to Apple or Google would not be fair.
Volkswagen has 3 large shareholder. Porsche is number one and controlling. This is a family company where the CEO is son of Ferdinand Porsche. He is 75 years old. I suspect he is pretty darn loyal to Germany.
The Second largest is Lower Saxony – This is a state in Germany
The Third is Qatar.

So Volkswagen is owned by 2 countries and a family. There are tons of shareholders from all over the world. But the control is with a German family, a German state and Qatar.

Thomas previously said that the Model S P100D was the best car you could buy. Some of his criticisms of this vehicle were the harshest I’ve seen on the channel. He also repeatedly notes that the vehicle is clearly designed for existing Audi customers who want an Audi. And on top of all that, his comments pretty fairly match up against what most other reviewers are saying about the eTron.

hopefully a silver lining with the massive energy use: winter range won’t drop much from summer range. if it still takes ~5KW to heat the cabin then that is a smaller percentage of the total energy used by the vehicle so it won’t reduce the range as much as it would in a more efficient car.

I never thought of it that way, But you would be correct, if the efficiency of heating systems were the same between the two vehicles you were comparing. Although the worst case scenario could be that if the HVAC system is inefficient, and it still loses more range.

The good thing is that it has lots of range in the first place, so it is less of an issue than the old sub-100 mile EVs

There are so many variables here that we are better off waiting for a winter highway test but the heat pump is about the only thing I miss from my LEAF.

Can’t remember which was noisier in winter – LEAFs heat pump or the ICE in the Outlander PHEV (if the battery is too cold then it auto starts the ICE)

I’d put the mirrors down to a training issue.
Although for a german engineer to not put these on the A-Pillar at the same height as typical outside mirror placement, I’m speechless. It must be the sun can make these invisible.
But, I’d get this option if you’re going to drive long distance, the reduced drag is important.

Does not the front display give you information about cars in your blind spot?
If you get the info there, you don’t need the outside mirror as much.

— Training Issue —

Good to see it’s a driver’s car.
It’s the new definition of Luxury Audi Performance.

A very nice car, but long distance with the e-tron. won’t be a funny experience.

Indeed the position is not optimal. Another flaw is using glossy screen, they should use matte screen, they are much easier to see in non optimal lighting like you will often encounter in daylight with sunlight shinning in.

I hope they will make a second generation with camera sitting close to the car body and additional cameras on the back corners. The front side and back camera image should then be combined as one on the display.

Shocked that a German review finds that the German EV drives the best. That efficiency number is terrible.

One heavy battery @1542 lbs/700 kilos

Model S P100D battery weight is 625 KG by comparison per Tesla’s EPA documents, so yes it is a bit on the heavy side.

NMC is more heavy than NCA, but performs better, is considered safer and longer lasting regarding cycle life.
As well it seems Audi moved some mechanical car structures (stiffness and safety) to the housing of the battery.
You should not simply compare the weight of one component.

The real reason for the weight difference is no doubt that Tesla has the highest energy density in the business. Tesla also uses battery as part of the structure and its batteries have actually proven to be safe and long lasting so I doubt Audi owners have much benefit from dragging extra weight around. For one thing it doesn’t help the poor efficiency.

When I lift my foot off the accel, my EV starts to brake via regen. It does not only make it more energy efficient but it also makes it more safe because in emergency situation or normal driving I DO want to slow down when I lift my foot off the accel pedal. Therefore, my EV is already braking while my foot is in transition from accel to brake pedal. A lot of times I don’t have to use the brake pedal in stop and go traffic and it makes driving that much easier.

Coasting is more efficient than regen. Regen is just more efficient than breaking.

Not true. CR got more range out of a Model S when they took Tesla’s recommendation to use the higher regen setting. CR assumed what you did, and used the lower regen setting, and could not go as far.

What’s up with all these negative, nationalistic comments. A German magazine praised an EV – it’s an encouraging trend.

So what are they supposed to do when they happen to actually like a German product? Not praise it?

The problem is that the journal and its journalists are paid from adevertising. And guess what? Volkswagen/Audi pays the most. Typical example of “Follow the money”. And it gets even worse: the 80 million in Germany believe what is written…

“Audi claimed they can do better than Tesla, Obviously they can’t”

It’s going to be an interesting 5 years as more manufacturers jump on the EV bandwagon.

I wonder if most of the commenters here listened to the review : I thought he was being very fair; as far as ‘boosterism’ goes he really, really, hates those mirrors, which aren’t legal in the states anyway. He was also quite critical of the lack of range at the higher speeds.

On the plus side he basically said it is a nice powerful, quiet electric car. I like the fact that AUDI is keeping much of the toys optional – I prefer a more stripped version at a lower cost. The fact he said it was quieter than the more expensive Tesla got all the Fanboys’ panties in a bunch. One thing about Autogefuhl: they certainly take enough time to do a review.

Okay, please post the respective comment under every article on this site that praises Tesla, so we all get remindet that it’s probably just patriotic propaganda.