2019 Audi e-tron essentials: A bridge from ICE to EV

Our Opinion: Nervous about making the jump to an EV? Check out Audi’s e-tron. It looks like a Q5 and basically drives like one, too. It’s even-keeled and rides well. The e-tron separates itself a bit in that it is quiet, more quiet than other EVs I’ve driven. For the most part, though, it drives like a regular crossover. That’s a good thing.
It’s also quite quick both off the line and once up to speed. Boot the e-tron’s ‘throttle’ and the near-immediate torque shoves you back in the seat whether from a stop or on the freeway. Passing power? Plenty quick and then some. Almost no hesitation, no noise, just a smooth, fast, whoosh. The 204-mile range might be a bummer to some, but according to Audi “premium vehicle” drivers average 30 miles a day. We’ve received a few notes from readers whose range is closer to 160 miles, so remember that real-world range in EVs is still very fluid. The good news is that recharge times are coming down: Audi says on a 150 kW public charger the e-tron can take on 54 miles of juice in 10 minutes or 163 miles worth in a half hour.
The ride is comfortable, composed and (since the e-tron weighs 5,843 pounds) planted. Road imperfections don’t seem to upset the ride no matter the setting I’m in. Comfort mode lightens the steering and softens the suspension while the sporty modes make the throttle response faster, the steering a bit heavier and the suspension slightly stiffer. But really, the e-tron is luxury-car silky pretty much all the time.