When Consumer Reports published its first impressions of the Audi e-tron, the organization proved quite optimistic about the German carmaker’s all-electric SUV. In a recently uploaded video, Consumer Reports‘ Mike Quincy, Jon Linkov, and Jennifer Stockburger provided more insights about their experience with the e-tron, covering several aspects of the vehicle such as its design, its range, and how it stacks up in comparison to the Tesla Model X.
Consumer Reports auto journalist Mike Quincy praised the vehicle, noting that the Audi e-tron is the “nicest EV I’ve ever driven” to date. “I like it more than any of the Teslas we’ve driven,” he said. The e-tron also earned some applause for its design, such as its rather conventional interior that follows the theme of Audi’s other vehicles. The SUV’s spaciousness and quietness on the road were also lauded.
The driving dynamics of the vehicle also received some praise, with Director of Operations at the CR Auto Test Center Jennifer Stockburger noting that the SUV performs very well as soon as it’s in motion. Commenting further, Consumer Reports Deputy Content Editor Jon Linkov stated that contrary to the snap of acceleration found in Tesla’s electric cars like the Model S, the Audi e-tron has “more of an elegant pull-away.”
Consumer Reports did have a number of negative comments about the e-tron, particularly on its range and price. At $80,000, Quincy noted that the e-tron seems too expensive for a vehicle that features such a limited range, though it was mentioned that perhaps the SUV’s real-world range was being underestimated. Other quirks of the SUV, such as a gear shifter that is a magnet for wrong inputs, were also mentioned as points for improvement. Linkov, for his part, argued that perhaps the limited range of the e-tron would be a non-issue for its target demographic.
“It may be that the market for this doesn’t take family road trips. They may fly. Electric cars today still make a case, particularly $80,000 ones, for a second car. Now there are a lot of people out there, and there are stories online about people, they own a Chevy Bolt, or they own a Leaf, and that’s their only car, and they still run into those headaches of ‘my gosh, I have to stop and charge it’ and it certainly is a case today depending on what you want out of an electric car,” he said.
In conclusion, Consumer Reports remained quite optimistic about the e-tron’s chances on the market, particularly as it is coming from a well-known company that’s known for good quality vehicles. This, according to Stockburger, is something that Tesla buyers might not have yet. “Do I think it’s gonna give Tesla shoppers a run for their money? Oh yeah. And I think there’s a confidence to be had from a mainstream manufacturer building this car, one with a ton of history, good quality, and I think there might be some confidence in the e-tron that maybe you don’t have in a Tesla,” she said.
Curiously enough, several updates on the e-tron remain unsaid in Consumer Reports‘ recent video, such as the ongoing recall for the SUV due to a potential fire risk. The range challenges of the e-tron have also been documented extensively, even by foreign organizations such as nextmove from Germany; and so far, reviews of the SUV which concluded that the vehicle’s range is being underestimated seem to be quite scarce.
The comparisons with the Model X also seemed quite interesting, considering that there was no mention of the recent update that Tesla rolled out into the SUV, which increased its range to 325 miles per charge using a battery that is only 5 kWh larger than the pack utilized by the e-tron. Long trips in an all-electric car have been addressed for years by the Supercharger Network, which allows Tesla’s vehicles to recharge their batteries during quick stops on the road.
Watch Consumer Reports‘ discussion on its Audi e-tron first impressions in the video below.