It’s no secret that Audi’s main e-tron rivals come from Silicon Valley. Even Audi CEO Markus Duesmann claimed that Tesla was a couple of years ahead of the industry, in terms of electric tech. However, the four-ringed brand is making a valiant entrance into the segment, having launched two new electric SUVs in the span of just a couple of years. In this new quick spec-comparison, we take a look at the Audi e-tron Sportback and Tesla Model Y, along with the standard e-tron for good measure.
When the e-tron first debuted, Audi was clear that it wanted to make an SUV that looked, felt and drove like a traditional Audi SUV. The idea was to attract its own existing customers, to get Q7 customers to make the switch to electric. So it’s not super competitive with most Tesla SUVs in terms of range and price.
Both the Audi e-tron and e-tron Sportback are built on a modified MLB Evo chassis, not a bespoke EV architecture like the Tesla Model Y is. Future e-tron models will get bespoke EV chassis but the current cars are still built on older platforms, which is why they’re so heavy. That massive curb weight drastically reduces range, despite actually having big batteries.
The Audi e-tron and e-tron Sportback have 95 kWh battery packs and only have 222 miles and 218 miles of range, respectively. Compared to the Tesla Model Y, which has 316 miles of range, they seem a bit old-hat. Especially when you consider their prices.
Coming in at $49,990, the entry-level Model Y undercuts the cheapest Audi e-tron by more than $15,000. The standard Audi e-tron starts life at $65,900, while the e-tron Sportback comes in at $69,100. So, on a range-per-dollar rate, the Model Y crushes both e-trons.
Where the Audi e-tron siblings crawl back into the fight is in terms of luxury, comfort, build quality and driving dynamics. While the e-tron isn’t the most fun car to drive, it’s more fun than the Model Y and a surprisingly capable car when driven hard. It’s also wonderfully comfortable, shockingly quiet and one of the best cars in Audi’s lineup.
So if you’re looking for a fantastic luxury car and would like something electric, the Audi e-tron is the car for you. But if you want the best EV tech on offer, you’ll probably enjoy the Model Y more.