With the passenger cabins of the Q4 SUV and Q4 Sportback coupe, the new entry points for Audi’s E-Tron electric car range, the German luxury carmaker is taking a relatively conservative approach to interior design. Where some new EVs opt for colossal touchscreens and minimal physical controls to differentiate themselves from gasoline-powered alternatives (think Teslas, Rivians, and Mercedes EQS models), the interior of the 2022 Audi Q4 E-Tron could be confused with that of a Q3 or Q5.
Sizing things up
There’s a distinct advantage offered by the battery-powered bones of the E-Tron. The Q4 twins look huge inside given their interior dimensions. Despite being 3.6 inches shorter in length and 2.3 inches shorter in wheelbase than an Audi Q5, the electric Q4s’ front and rear legroom are less than an inch behind their bigger sibling. The Sportback even offers more cargo space than a Q5.
The seats are as spacious as they look on paper. At 6-foot-1, this author was able to sit behind his own seated position with about half the space of an Audi badge (about 4 inches) between the knees and the seatback. Both of these E-Trons feel closer to their one-size-fits-all counterparts than the Q3 subcompact.
Audi includes a standard opening panoramic sunroof on the 2022 Q4 E-Tron that stops before the rear passenger headroom. That makes it harder to appreciate from the backseat, but it also means Audi was able to hollow out the roof to provide enough headroom in the back, even for a 6-footer. If you plan on carrying full-size adults in the back, we’d recommend skipping the Sportback’s sloping roof; that’ll cost you 1.3 inches of rear headroom and resulted in a noggin pressed tightly against the headliner.
front and center
But what about the people up front? Good news: the seats are luxuriously padded and supportive, and there are nice contrast stitching too. The familiar 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen is responsive and logically laid out, and the 2023 model year brings a version of the same configuration running on a standard 11.6-inch touchscreen. (For what it’s worth, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 both have dual 12.3-inch screens as standard.) Unfortunately, those screens lack the haptic feedback found in other Audis. with the dual-screen system, but we appreciate the Q4s. ‘ Physical buttons and dials for climate control.
Audi has two other new features in the Q4’s cabin: a new floating center console and an optional hexagonal steering wheel design. The floating console looks upscale and allows for extra storage underneath, but the piano-black plastic trim around the shifter attracts fingerprints and already showed up scratched in our near-new tester. As for the steering wheel, it’s available on the twin-motor Q4s as part of the Black Optics package and offers a convincing sporty feel. It reminds us of the “squircle” wheel of the Chevrolet Corvette and will feel out of place when it arrives in Audi’s performance cars.
The driver also benefits from a standard 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster. Opting for the Premium Plus trim makes the panel reconfigurable, and we were particularly impressed with the high-resolution map images that can take up a section of the screen. We often find ourselves using Apple CarPlay for mapping purposes, but Audi’s navigation, both in the center display and in the instrument cluster, is one of the few OEM systems to use.
Another clever implementation here is the new water bottle holder design in each door panel. Each rack is large enough to hold slimmer reusable bottles, but not the larger 32-ounce Nalgenes. Eight cupholders for five passengers is impressive, though we still look back with fondness at the 10 Honda managed to pack into the tiny second-generation Fit.
Front to back
Moving back, the material quality between the front and rear seats is identical, ie generally solid with some rough plastics if you’re looking for them. The headliner feels a bit pedestrian too. Audi is doing something clever in the loading area, however: the multi-piece loading floor is reconfigurable. By default, there’s a few centimeters of space below where Audi stores the included 9.6kW charging cable, but you can remove the floor to accommodate larger cargo or fold it in half to split the hold in two for smaller loads like a few bags of groceries. It’s not the first time we’ve seen this, but we appreciate it nonetheless.
So the interior of the 2022 Audi Q4 E-Tron and Q4 Sportback E-Tron isn’t flashy, and that’s okay. Elements like the floating center console and smart packaging draw on its EV underpinnings while the rest is classic, understated and functional Audi. That’s not to say the Q4 is a perfectly executed electric SUV. For more on Audi’s cheapest electric vehicles, check out our First Drive report.
This seems good! More details?