The 2020 Audi e-tron is intended to magnify the advantages of electric vehicles in a more traditional package that exemplifies the company's luxury pedigree. With standard all-wheel drive and a 4000-pound towing capacity, the two-row crossover has the capability many SUV shoppers expect. This is the future of electric. See special deals and savings below.
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Despite its higher starting price, we think the Prestige model is the e-tron to own. It has better standard features than the base model that include a head-up display, massaging front seats, nicer leather upholstery, and power door closers. It also has adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist. We'd also add the Tow package to utilize its 4000-pound maximum capacity. Likewise, we'd choose the Cold Weather package, which brings heated rear seats and adaptive windshield wipers with heated washer jets.
Beneath the e-tron's heavily creased bodywork is a 95.3-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that powers two electric motors, one located at the front axle and the other at the rear. Together they provide electronic all-wheel drive, but the rear motor does most of the work. In regular driving situations, they make a combined 355 horsepower and 414 lb-ft of torque. However, putting the transmission in Sport mode briefly unlocks 402 ponies and 490 lb-ft. Our initial driving impressions revealed that the e-tron was swift and composed. Its snappy acceleration is typical of electric vehicles, and the smooth and quiet ride quality asserted its luxury pretenses. Its stopping system expertly blended its traditional brakes with the obligatory regenerative brakes. The e-tron is also capable of towing up to 4000 pounds when properly equipped.
The e-tron features a 95.3-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. However, we believe Audi is updating the battery for 2020 to extract more driving range. The EPA estimated the 2019 model had a driving range of 204 miles, which was less than the I-Pace (234 miles) and the Model X Long Range (295 miles). Based on information about the updated European version, we expect the 2020 e-tron will have a range of roughly 210 miles. Otherwise, it will still be compatible with 150.0-kW DC fast-chargers that allow it to regain roughly 50 miles in 10 minutes and just over 160 miles in 30 minutes. Those using a more conventional 240-volt outlet will be able to fully charge the e-tron in about nine hours.
The EPA estimates the e-tron has a driving range of 204 miles; however, we expect that number to slightly increase for 2020. The government also expects it will get 74 MPGe in the city, and 73 on the highway. The 2019 model we tested on our real-world highway route achieved 67 MPGe, which was only 1 mpg worse than its rating and 3 mpg better than the I-Pace earned. We haven't tested a Model X.
The e-tron's most impressive technology is its electrified systems, but the five-seat crossover also has a cutting-edge and practical cabin. Its dashboard is packed with multiple high-resolution screens that include Audi's digital gauge cluster—called Virtual Cockpit—and two flush-mounted touchscreens in the center. Of course, there are a variety of upscale options such as a head-up display and massaging front seats to further round out the e-tron's sophisticated interior, which benefits from a flat floor thanks to its neatly packaged underfloor battery pack. That helps provide its commodious cargo area that measures 29 cubic feet behind the back row and 57 with the seatbacks folded flat. We managed to fit eight carry-on suitcases with the seats up and 13 with them down.
Every e-tron's infotainment system runs through dual touchscreens, with a 10.1-inch display on top and an 8.8-inch unit below it. While the upper screen provides access to the standard Bang & Olufsen audio system, built-in navigation, and smartphone-compatible content, the bottom screen is mainly used for controlling the climate settings. Along with several power points, the system also features a Wi-Fi hotspot and wireless charging.