When Audi first announced pricing for the Audi Q4 e-tron, we were quite impressed by its competitiveness. At around just $45,000 to start, the Q4 is priced well in the segment, for an all-electric premium crossover. However, it does lack range and power compared to some of its rivals who also offer competitive pricing. So let’s take a look at how the Q4 compares to the rest of the lineup, in the $40,000-$55,000 range.
Before we get started, let’s just get this out of the way; this isn’t going to be an exact apples-to-apples comparison for every car. Electric vehicles in the Q4’s price range are not created equal; some are sedans, some are hatchbacks, some are crossovers. But because EV buyers have such a limited selection, they’re cross-shopping all of them. So even though it might not seem fair that a crossover gets bonus points over a sedan for its practicality, EV customers are going to weigh those factors when searching through their limited choice of EVs.
We’re also going to stick with entry-level prices and specs, as options and packages can be very different and difficult to compare. Since most EV customers’ main concern is always range anyway, we’re just gonna stick with the basics. Additionally, we’ll be using pre-destination prices and excluding any sort of government tax incentives, as some vary.
Audi Q4 e-tron
The Audi Q4 e-tron uses a 77 kWh battery pack and a single rear-mounted motor to make 201 horsepower and 229 lb-ft of torque, so expect a 0-60 mph time of 7.9 seconds. It’s also said to have around 250 miles of range in its entry-level form. Audi says the entry-level Q4 e-tron will start at around $45,000. There will be a dual-motor model coming soon, which will likely start between $50,000-$55,000 and come with 295 horsepower, slightly less range than 250 miles, and a 0-60 mph time of 5.7 seconds.
Audi’s sibling from Wolfsburg brings its own EV crossover to the fight. The Volkswagen ID.4 starts at $39,995 and has a single rear-mounted electric motor, paired with an 77 kWh net battery pack. The motor makes 201 horsepower and 229 lb-ft of torque, getting the ID.4 from 0-60 mph in 7.9 seconds. It’s essentially a cheaper, less premium Q4 e-tron. It has a max range of 260 miles. The dual-motor all-wheel drive model comes in at under $50,000 and should bring the same 295 horsepower, 249 miles of range, and a 0-60 mph time of 5.7 seconds as the dual-motor Audi.
Tesla Model 3
Without question, the most popular EV in the segment is the Tesla Model 3. The entry-level Model 3 is called the “Standard Range Plus” and it comes with a starting price off $39,990. Don’t be fooled by Tesla’s shady marketing that claims it starts at $30,690, because that’s after Tesla factors in the maximum government tax breaks and “gas savings”, which is absurd because its actual starting price is actually very good, so there’s no need to be shady about it. For that money, you get a single rear-mounted motor with 221 horsepower, 302 lb-ft of torque, and a 0-60 mph of 5.3 seconds. Additionally, an 80.5 kWh net battery pack provides 262 miles of range.
However, if you want a bit more miles or better performance, you can choose from either the Long Range ($49,990) or Performance ($56,990). The Model 3 Long Range gets 352 miles of range and a 4.2 seconds 0-60 mph time, while the Model 3 Performance gets 315 miles of range and around a 3.1 seconds 0-60 time.
The Polestar 2 is an out-of-left-field choice but it’s still a good one and in the right price range. It starts at $45,900 and comes with a single front-mounted electric motor (which is unique in this list, as all other single-motor cars are rear-wheel drive), which makes 228 horsepower and 243 lb-ft. It has a range of 265 miles and gets from 0-60 mph in a claimed 7.0 seconds. Again, bumping the Polestar 2 to the same price point as the BMW nets you the dual-motor version ($51,200) that gets 402 horsepower, 487 lb-ft of torque, and a 4.5 seconds 0-60 mph time. Though, range drops to 249 miles.
Mustang Mach E
The Mustang Mach E wears a starting price of $42,895 and for that you get a net 68 kWh battery pack and a single rear-mounted motor with 266 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque. According to Ford, the Mach E can reach 60 mph in 5.8 seconds and achieve 230 miles of range.
Though, if you bump up to the California Route 1 model ($50,400), you get a few extra horses, 290 horsepower to be exact and a 305 mile range. Though, 0-60 drops to 6.1 seconds. The GT model ($59,900) is barely more than what the dual motor Q4 e-tron will be and uses dual motors to make 480 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque, helping it hit 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. Though, it only gets 250 miles of range.
BMW i4 40
The BMW i4 40 is at the pricier end of the segment. The “40” model is the entry level i4 model and it packs a decent amount of power and range for its $55,400 starting price. For that money, you get a four-door sedan, with a hatchback trunk, and a single rear-mounted electric motor that packs 335 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque, getting it from 0-60 mph in a claimed 5.7 seconds. Sending the juice to that motor is a 81.5 kWh battery (83.9 kWh gross). Total range is 300 miles, according to BMW.
As you can see, the Audi Q4 e-tron is a bit outgunned in this segment, even with its competitive starting price. For similar money, or even less, you can get quite a few premium EVs that all have more impressive specs than the Q4. While the Audi’s cabin is nice and it’s apparently nice to drive, the same can be said for the Polestar and Mustang Mach E. The Tesla Model 3, while lacking the nice cabin, is also great to drive and has far better specs.
As good as the Audi Q4 e-tron may be, it seems like it’s going to struggle to find sales in an extremely competitive market.