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Interview: He doesn’t mince words about his entry-level Audi Q4 40 e-tron

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Interview: He doesn’t mince words about his entry-level Audi Q4 40 e-tron
Written by madishthestylebar

Manufacturers have become accustomed to entrusting journalists with top-of-the-range and/or particularly well-equipped models. Motorists do not necessarily make this choice. So at Benoît Iizuka where an Audi Q4 40 e-tron in its simplest form is used on a daily basis. What does he think of his electric SUV delivered in May 2022?

Audi Q4 40 e-tron

Forming a rectangle of 4.588 x 1.865 m, for a height of 1.632 m, the Audi Q4 40 e-tron is an electric SUV powered by a synchronous motor with permanent magnets which develops a power of 150 kW (204 hp) , for a torque of 310 Nm.

It is powered by a lithium-ion battery with a gross energy capacity of 82 kWh, for 77 kWh usable. To regenerate it: an 11 kW AC on-board charger and 135 kW of maximum power on the DC fast terminals since a still recent update.

Audi Q4 40 e-tron

In entry-level offered from 50,900 euros today on the manufacturer’s website, the machine is based on 19-inch 5-arm alloy wheels and appears in a pebble gray color. Benoît Iizuka preferred the metallic geyser blue then billed at 800 euros (950 euros on August 18, 2022).

On board, passengers sit on black fabric seats. Above them, the headlining is steel grey. Behind the double-spoke leather multifunction steering wheel (without paddle), the instrumentation has a digital display on a 10.25-inch digital screen.

Equipment

Among the standard equipment for this version, and without wishing to be exhaustive, we find: athermal glass windscreen, adjustable central armrest at the front, automatic air conditioning, electrically adjustable and heated exterior mirrors, sound system with 5 speakers and DAB digital radio reception, LED headlights at the front, rain and light sensors, lane departure warning, speed limiter and parking assistance system for the rear.

Our reader added a few options, however, within a strict budget limit. ” The monthly rents of the LLD should not exceed 500 euros. We have benefited from a significant trade discount. After deduction of the government bonus, the contribution was limited to 2,800 euros “, he explains.

Audi Q4 40 e-tron

As an option, we have retained, in addition to the metallic paint, the adaptive cruise control, the front side acoustic glazing, and the Comfort pack to benefit from the electrically folding mirrors and the adjustment of the lumbar “, he aligns.

According to the brochure at our disposal, these elements are offered respectively at 1,140, ​​140 and 980 euros on the Audi Q4 40 e-tron.

Why the Audi Q4 40 e-tron?

A 48-year-old engineer, our interviewee knows the electromobile industry and market particularly well. Today at the retrofit specialist Phoenix Mobility, he saw the debut of the Zoé and the electric Fluence when he was at Renault. Hence various requirements on his side, but not only.

For me, Tesla is essential. I would have chosen a Model 3 to replace the 2014 Mercedes B-Class. But it is basically my wife’s company vehicle. And she doesn’t like the lack of buttons on the American, the stripped look and what she thinks is the “super cheap” finish of this car », justifies Benoît Iizuka.

Audi Q4 40 e-tron

Just like me, she’s quite a geek, with a computer experience for a finance specialist, and among the first to buy an iPhone, in 2008. The big screen inside the Model 3, yes, but she expect more things on board “, he explains.

He himself ruled out the Mercedes EQAs (“ Not successful, with an incorrectly sized battery “), EQB (“ Not available when we signed the purchase order in September 2021 “), EQC (“ Overpriced “), Volvo XC40 (“ Made in China “), Renault Megane E-Tech (“ Trunk too small “), etc.

The best choice ?

Overall I’m extremely happy with the Audi Q4 40 e-tron, and I couldn’t think of any other that would be better for our purposes “, believes Benoît Iizuka. Who loves well chatises as well ! It is entirely with this in mind that our reader has drawn up a rather impressive list of negative points and malfunctions.

Starting with a regret following a misunderstanding related to the equipment of the model made available by the dealership during the test: ” To have the ventilation at the back, you have to take the three-zone air conditioning which is very very expensive [NDLR : 810 euros, selon le catalogue de mai 2022]. We are in Gironde. Our girls are suffering from the heat. For a Premium brand, it’s still limited “.

Audi Q4 40 e-tron

He puts in the same basket the absence of lighting at the level of the vanity mirror, and the impossibility of extending the sun visor when it is positioned on the side. For this last feature, the savings made by the manufacturer certainly does not exceed 20 euro cents. It’s an area I know well. “.

And even : ” The plastic glove box looks very cheap with a Dacia-style closing noise. It’s the same thing with the trunk which is not electric: there was certainly no prototype in this version, otherwise it wouldn’t have happened like that! »

Malfunctions

Our Q4 sleeps in a closed garage. When you open the trunk, 4 times out of 5, you get an error message on the dashboard indicating a charging problem when the car is not plugged in “, reports Benoît Iizuka.

When I drive on the highway, like on the departmental road, I get a very annoying message that asks me to put my hands on the steering wheel, when they are there and my car does not have the help to maintain between the lines . The loud beep that is then emitted wakes the children in the back. On a Bordeaux-Nîmes journey of 500 km, I have this message at least 10 times. It’s random and I don’t understand why, especially for a car of this price. he reflects.

The MyAudi app is very limited. We can only have the state of charge. The connection only works once out of 2. It takes 1 minute to start the air conditioning remotely. It’s related to the computer falling asleep. There could be a cool animation to make it clear that it’s going to launch. Ergonomics is shabby at this level “, he assesses.

Always in the less

For infotainment, my profile is registered on the Internet. At first it worked. Now, half the time it doesn’t work. And I lose all my favorites. In addition, the Plug & Charge system which should make it possible to start charging in Ionity stations without having to identify yourself does not work “, laments Benoît Iizuka.

Audi Q4 40 e-tron

I don’t understand why mode B to maximize regeneration is not the default one, and why the setting jumps with each new use of the vehicle. It lacks a One Pedal Drive system that would drive and stop the car with just the accelerator. There is no GPS. It is therefore necessary that a potential buyer knows that he will not have a preconditioning of the battery in winter in relation to the selection of a terminal on the browser “, he adds.

The Audi Q4 is a large vehicle that is not easy to park. Visibility is not good. But we don’t have a 360 degree camera. As for the radars, they detect with a big beep the vertical angles, even very low, of the boats “, he finishes.

In the most

No matter what the engine speed, you never hear it. The Audi Q4 40 e-tron is really very quiet, with little air noise. Thanks to the laminated glazing, they only appear from 110 km/h. On the other hand, rolling noises are not completely filtered. Between Narbonne and Béziers, we hear the shocks caused by the expansion joints in the roadway “, opposes Benoît Iizuka.

The engine power is very good, despite the weight of the MEB platform. General comfort is good. We’re really good in this car “, he appreciates. ” For the exterior line, it is a real Audi. Next, the design of the Tesla Model 3 is a bit bland “, he compares.

Audi Q4 40 e-tron

The basic version of the Q4 is almost better than the others on several levels. Already with the gear selector in satin rather than the messy Piano Black. But also for the trunk which has only one double bottom and allows better accommodation of luggage “, he admits.

Autonomy, consumption and charging

I note a real autonomy of 540 km in the summer on secondary roads and 360 km at 130 km/h on the motorway. Hence a single stop for recharging between Bordeaux and Nîmes. It may be that the scorching heat is conducive to reducing consumption at this speed. The density of the air being less at 40°C, the aerodynamic friction is therefore less important than at 20°C “, develops the engineer.

Over almost 6,600 km, the average consumption is 18.1 kWh/100 km. Half of it was done on the highway at 130 km/h, with 4 people and a full trunk, and the air conditioning set to 24 or 25°C with an outside temperature between 35 and 40°C “, he testifies.

Audi Q4 40 e-tron

On Ionity chargers, I have never exceeded 125 kW of power. On the other hand, on a new EVBox terminal, I observed 135 kW for a long time, under a temperature of 38°C. But I had to do it 5 times to start charging “, he recalls.

The battery chemistry also likes these temperatures. They make it possible to obtain the maximum powers immediately for fast charging. Note also that the electrical resistance of copper decreases with heat. There are therefore fewer losses by Joule effect, i.e. energy dissipation by heating of the electrical conductors compared to a temperature of 20°C “, he concludes.

Automobile Propre and I would like to thank Benoît Iizuka for his availability, his particularly enlightening testimony on the Audi Q4 40 e-tron, and the many photos provided.

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