Audi e-tron 55 quattro review, road test

    Can this premium luxury, all-electric Audi SUV meet the company’s ambitious 200 units per year sales target?

    Published on Jul 31, 2021 08:00:00 AM


    Step into the e-tron and you’d easily identify several design traits and shared parts with other Audis, which is no bad thing. The uncluttered, layered dashboard is pleasing to the eyes, and it nicely wraps itself around the cabin, flowing seamlessly into the door pads. The most striking detail is the twin screen setup – one for the infotainment and the other for the climate control, both of which are angled towards the driver, indicating that this SUV is focused towards the self-driven.

    Neat layout and extremely high quality bits all around; cabin wears a staid design and colours.

    The screens have high contrast, clear displays, as well as an option for haptic feedback (mild vibration) when ‘pressed’. There’s a thoughtful rest area for your hand too, which comes handy while operating the climate control screen, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that, when on the move, you will have to look away from the road while fiddling with the blower speed or setting the temperature. What also lifts the futuristic feel of the e-tron’s interiors is the superb virtual cockpit (full-digital instrument cluster), which is one of the best units around when it comes to sharp coloured displays and ease of use.

    Climate control screen also offers haptic feedback; the icons are large so it’s easy to use.

    The other bit that you’d come to appreciate is the sheer quality and fit-finish on the inside. There’s not a single low-rent area in this Audi’s cabin. The front seats are broad and accommodating, but the cushioning is a bit firm, so that you don’t sink into them, hence these don’t feel as plush or as comforting as some other luxury SUVs.

    Broad seats get firm cushioning, so these don’t feel very luxurious.

    The grey colour of the seats is very business-like, and brighter coloured inserts or contrast stitching would have gone a long way to liven up its persona. Storage areas in the front are aplenty; there’s a clever recess area to wirelessly charge your smartphone while being placed perpendicularly (rather than flat); besides that is a deep cavity to stow beverage cups or even smaller bottles. In addition, the armrest console can swallow some nick-knacks, and the wide door bins will easily gobble up large bottles.

    Multiple storage and charging provisions spread across, including a wireless charger.

    The rear bench is nicely shaped to offer adequate thigh support, and the backrest is set to a comfortable angle too. The good news is that, even though the battery pack has been accommodated beneath the floor, the floor isn’t too high-set. So, you are not seated in an uncomfortable knees-up position, nor has the headroom been compromised. The seat itself is broad enough to accommodate three passengers seated abreast and the floor is almost flat too; the protruding air-con console, however, hampers knee-room for the middle occupant. Also, the panoramic sunroof is a bit small and doesn’t stretch all the way behind, like the Jaguar I-Pace’s full panoramic glass roof.

    Supportive and wide rear bench, with ample leg-, knee-, and headroom.

    Passengers at the rear have the luxury to set their individual temperatures, thanks to the four-zone climate control. They also get two Type-C USB charging ports, cupholders in the centre armrest and large door pockets for storage. At 660 litres, the e-tron’s boot is massive. The space saver tyre is neatly tucked beneath the boot floor, where there’s an additional storage cavity to tuck in the charging cables.

    Cavernous 660 litres of cargo area; expandable up to 1,725 litres.

    What’s more is that, because there isn’t an engine under the bonnet of the e-tron, there’s an additional storage space up front, where a small soft bag can easily be accommodated or even the cables, should you prefer. The option to unlock its ‘frunk’ or ‘front trunk’ isn’t conveniently located on the key, but is at a more conventional location beneath the dashboard on the driver’s side.

    Copyright (c) Autocar India. All rights reserved.


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