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MSRP: $74,800 - 74,800

2019 Audi e-tron Review

The all-electric 2019 Audi e-tron ranks in the bottom half of the luxury midsize SUV class. It boasts a high-tech interior and a refined, engaging ride, but it has some hard-to-use infotainment controls, and its performance is less exciting than class rivals.

Pros & Cons

  • State-of-the-art technology
  • Premium cabin materials
  • Comfortable and engaging ride
  • Some battery-electric vehicles have longer ranges
  • Few physical infotainment controls

Is the Audi e-tron a Good SUV?

Despite its ranking, the brand-new 2019 Audi e-tron is a good luxury midsize SUV. It offers a high-tech, premium cabin, a composed ride, and standard all-wheel drive. It’s also one of the few battery-electric vehicles to get more than 200 miles of range, though a few rivals can go farther on a single charge. It has a small cargo hold by class standards, and a lack of physical controls can make the e-tron's infotainment system tough to operate. Neither is it as exciting to drive as some other SUVs in the class that have multiple performance-oriented variants. To be fair though, as an electric vehicle, the e-tron is somewhat of an outlier in the segment.

Should I Buy the Audi e-tron?

With innovative tech, elegant styling, standard all-wheel drive, and light off-roading ability, the e-tron is a decent pick among luxury vehicles. However, it has one of the highest base prices in the class. That evens out a bit when you look at more direct electric vehicle rivals, such as the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X.

Compare the e-tron, I-Pace, and Model X »

Should I Buy a New or Used Audi e-tron?

Audi debuted the e-tron as an all-new vehicle for 2019. Because of that, your chances of finding a used model are low.

We Did the Research for You: 9 Reviews Analyzed

To make our car rankings and reviews as consumer-oriented as possible, we do not rely on our personal opinions. Instead, we analyze hard data such as cargo space dimensions and predicted reliability ratings, as well as the opinions of the automotive press. This Audi e-tron review draws on nine reviews.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. We care about cars, but we care more about providing useful consumer advice. To ensure our impartiality, an independent party handles our advertising, and our editorial team doesn’t accept expensive gifts from automakers.

How Much Does the Audi e-tron Cost?

The entry-level Audi e-tron has a base MSRP of $74,800. The Prestige trim starts at a slightly pricier $81,800. Production of e-tron vehicles is limited, and models can be reserved on Audi’s website.

While those are some of the highest prices in the class, as an electric car, the e-tron may be available with federal or state incentives. The maximum federal tax incentive for a new EV as of this writing is $7,500.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Audi dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Audi deals page.

Audi e-tron Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Audi e-tron or Tesla Model X?

The number of available Tesla models has grown in recent years and now includes the brand's first SUV, the Model X. Compared to the Audi, the Tesla has brisker acceleration and a longer all-electric range: It goes between 238 and 295 miles, depending on trim level, while the e-tron can go up to 204 miles. The Model X has a much larger cargo hold too, and it can be configured to seat up to seven people. Both vehicles drive more like smaller sedans than bulky SUVs, but the Audi has a gentler ride and a nicer cabin with better build quality. Both are great electric SUVs with similar starting prices, so choosing the best one for you is a matter of preference.

Which Is Better: Audi e-tron or Jaguar I-Pace?

Although it’s a luxury compact SUV, the all-electric Jaguar I-Pace competes in a similar price range with the e-tron. Both rank among the few battery-electric vehicles with more than 200 miles of range, though the I-Pace’s EPA-rated range exceeds the e-tron’s by around 30 miles. The Jaguar has sharper handling as well, and it matches the e-tron’s light off-road capability. On the other hand, the e-tron has more passenger and cargo room. Both are well-rounded electric models, and the right one for you comes down to personal preference.

Which Is Better: Audi e-tron or Mercedes-Benz GLE?

The Mercedes-Benz GLE is a decent choice. Its base trim is significantly more affordable than the Audi, though its performance-oriented AMG models feature comparable prices and features lists. The Mercedes-Benz has more cargo room, and its infotainment system is more intuitive. Ride quality can be a bit harsher on rough pavement though, and the GLE isn’t as nimble as the e-tron.

Although the GLE is not electric, and its plug-in hybrid powertrain was discontinued for 2019, it’s worth noting that for 2020, Mercedes-Benz is planning to release an all-electric SUV called the EQC. Pricing and range information for this new vehicle haven't been announced at the time of this writing.

Compare the e-tron, Model X, and I-Pace »

E-tron Performance

E-tron Engine: Silent and Smooth

This Audi makes 355 horsepower and 414 pound-feet of torque. With the boost function engaged, those ratings rise to 402 horsepower and 490 pound-feet of torque.

The e-tron can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in as little as 5.5 seconds. The motors are near-silent, emitting only a faint whine at higher speeds. This powertrain provides plenty of power for driving around town and passing on the freeway.

E-tron Mileage: E for Electric

The e-tron is a battery-electric vehicle that can drive up to 204 miles on a full charge. It has a 74 MPGe combined city and highway efficiency rating from the EPA. Charging this electric vehicle takes about nine hours with a 240-volt outlet. You can also recharge 54 miles of electric range in 10 minutes or about 163 miles in 30 minutes with Fast Charging. Using a 120-volt outlet would take around 80 hours. For new models, Audi also provides 1,000 free kilowatt hours of charging at select stations.

E-tron Ride and Handling: Gentle and Lively

The e-tron handles more like a sporty sedan than a midsize SUV. It exhibits composed handling, and ride quality remains gentle over rough roads. Many plug-in hybrids and EVs suffer from grabby brakes, but the e-tron’s brakes feel smooth and linear, with natural transitions between regenerative and traditional braking. The standard air suspension has five drive modes for varying road conditions, including an off-road setting. All-wheel drive is standard.

E-tron Off-Roading:

While the e-tron won’t tackle an off-road course as well as a Jeep or Land Rover, it can hold its own on a dirt trail, thanks to its adaptive air suspension, Quattro all-wheel-drive system, 6.9 inches of ground clearance, and off-road drive mode.

Read more about performance »

E-tron Interior

How Many People Does the e-tron Seat?

The Audi e-tron seats up to five people. Leather seating is standard, as are heated and ventilated front seats with power adjustments. Available features include upgraded leather upholstery, massaging front seats, and heated rear seats.

Entering and exiting this SUV is easy thanks to the large door openings. Head- and legroom are generous in both rows, and the seats are comfortable.

E-tron and Child Car Seats

There are two sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats.

E-tron Interior Quality

This electric Audi has an elegant cabin with excellent build quality and ample sound-proofing materials to keep the ride quiet.

E-tron Cargo Space

The e-tron SUV has 28.5 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats. Fold them down and you’ll find a total of 57 cubic feet of space. Those are below-average figures for the class, though they’re more typical when compared to two-row classmates.  

E-tron Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The base model comes with the Audi Virtual Cockpit, the MMI infotainment system, a 10.1-inch touch screen, a navigation system, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a Bang & Olufsen sound system, wireless phone charging, Bluetooth, satellite radio, and two USB ports.

The driver-centric Virtual Cockpit is a 12.3-inch digital screen that replaces the traditional gauge cluster. It puts the primary information that you'd normally see on the main infotainment screen in closer proximity to you, reducing the amount of time you look away from the road. The MMI infotainment system draws some criticism for its lack of physical controls.  

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

E-tron Reliability

Is the Audi e-tron Reliable?

The 2019 Audi e-tron earns a predicted reliability rating of three out of five from J.D. Power, which is about average.

Audi e-tron Warranty

Audi covers the e-tron with a four-year/50,000-mile warranty and the battery with an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty.

Read more about reliability »

E-tron Safety

E-tron Crash Test Results

This electric SUV has not been crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

E-tron Safety Features

This electric vehicle comes standard with rear parking sensors, side assist, a top-view camera, and rear cross traffic alert. You’ll also get Audi Pre Sense City, which includes a pre-collision warning and braking system and pedestrian detection. Adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, a head-up display, and traffic sign recognition are available, as is Pre Sense 360, which can detect and prepare the car for impending collisions by closing the windows, engaging the brakes, and tightening the seat belts automatically.

Read more about safety »

E-tron Dimensions and Weight

The 2019 Audi e-tron measures about 16.1 feet. Aside from the 1,540-pound 95-kWh battery, Audi has not officially released weight estimates as of this writing.

Where Is the 2019 e-tron Built?

Audi builds the e-tron in Belgium.

Which Audi e-tron Model Is Right for Me?

Audi offers the e-tron in two trim levels: Premium Plus and Prestige. Performance-wise, the two are similar. Both are powered by a pair of electric motors and have standard Quattro all-wheel drive. The base trim is a great choice for many shoppers. It’s handsomely equipped and available with many of the features that are standard in the higher-level Prestige. 

It’s important to note that this electric Audi is currently only available through reservation on Audi’s site. Additionally, buying a new model might qualify you for tax incentives. As of this writing, the federal tax incentive for the e-tron is $7,500. Other state incentives may be available too. 

Audi e-tron Premium Plus

The Premium Plus has a starting MSRP of $74,800. It features leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, eight-way power-adjustable front seats, quad-zone automatic climate control, an adaptive air suspension, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, a panoramic sunroof, a 10.1-inch touch screen, the Audi Virtual Cockpit, a navigation system, wireless smartphone integration, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, wireless phone charging, a Bang & Olufsen stereo, two USB ports, and satellite radio.

You’ll also get rear parking sensors, side assist with vehicle exit warning, rear cross traffic alert, a top-view camera system, forward collision warning with brake assist (Audi Pre Sense City), pedestrian detection, and a power tailgate.

The Driver assistance plus package costs $2,850 and adds lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, the Pre Sense 360-collision preparation system, and adaptive cruise control. The Cold Weather package ($900) adds heated rear seats.

Audi e-tron Prestige

The Prestige retails for $81,800. In addition to the contents of the Driver Assistance package, it features a head-up display, massaging front seats, upgraded leather upholstery, and an in-cabin air filter. The Cold Weather package remains available.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Audi dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Audi deals page.

See 2019 Audi e-tron specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2019 Audi e-tron rockets into the electric vehicle market with a lot going for it. Comfortable seats, elegant cabin materials, lots of tech features, a quiet and capable powertrain, and even some light off-road ability all help the e-tron stand out. However, its infotainment system can be frustrating, and some electric rivals have longer EPA-rated driving ranges. The e-tron also has one of the highest starting prices in the luxury midsize SUV class, though it’s in line with other luxury electric vehicles.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "Even for a bit of a cynic like me, the e-tron is an EV I am absolutely considering buying, and that’s not a statement I make lightly. But I finally see a future where EVs are the expected powerplant, not the exception. And that’s very exciting." -- Forbes
  • "If you’re simply in the market for or considering a luxury electric car, you just want to know if the new e-tron is a smart choice compared to the competition. After being among the first in the world to test-drive Audi’s debut electric vehicle, we can safely say it is. The new Audi e-tron nails almost every note with aplomb, and even hits a few others that are unexpected but welcome." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • Sure, it delivers the modern styling and bleeding-edge infotainment Audi is known for, but this is as close as an electric vehicle comes to the traditional luxury-car experience. For buyers who continue to be skeptical of battery-electric technology, the e-tron has the best chance of being the oil that greases the transition from gas vehicles to EVs." -- Car and Driver
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