Car Review: Audi e-tron Sportback is a stylish take on the humble crossover

Electric vehicles are gaining in popularity and luxury carmaker Audi has their second e-tron model joining the luxury electric vehicle market.

The e-tron Sportback has a racy coupe-like style that trades in some of the utility of the normal e-tron crossover. The sloping roofline might mean less cargo space, but it looks modern and sporty when you park next to the standard e-tron. I liked the large 21-inch 10-spoke wheels and the S-line bumpers that give the Audi a lower carlike look.

The luxury appointed leather-clad interior is a nice place to pass the miles away. The heated and ventilated seats offer massage for those sitting in front. Taller riders will find the rear headroom a bit tight, thanks to the couple-like roofline. The modern Audi virtual cockpit allows for different views including a map display and the usual speedometer. The pair of center screens take a few minutes to learn. The upper screen handles navigation, phone and radio functions. The lower one handles comforts like heating, air conditioning and operations for those comfortable front seats.

Sliding behind the wheel of the e-tron Sportback offers that solid Audi feel. It differs when you hit the start button with just slight whir that replaces the gas engine sound. There is a bit of noise at parking lot speed, probably to warn others that a car is around. Once you are on the move, this is a quiet ride without much outside noise. Acceleration is no problem as soon as you stab the go pedal. There is no waiting for a turbo or higher RPMs to move.

The e-tron Sportback handles the normal commute like a pro, with a suspension that soaks up bumps. It does fine in the curves by selecting the sport mode. It comes alive and plays.

Cost: $77,400; as tested $89,870
MPG: 76MPGe city; 78 MPGe highway. I managed 74 MPGe in 196 miles of mixed driving.
Options: $6,000 Prestige package; $595 Plasma Blue metallic; $4,100 edition one package; $400 rear side thorax air bags; $330 Audi guard protection kit; $50 first-aid kit
Safety: Parking system plus with park assist; head-up display with sign recognition; adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist; Audi active lane assist; Audi side assist with pre sense rear; Audi pre-sense city low speed collision assist
Things to know: Audi e-tron Sportback uses style to move the luxury electric car to a new audience. With a polished interior and usable technology, this is an impressive effort from Audi.

Pros:

  • Performance that meets or exceeds gas-powered crossovers
  • Well-appointed interior with high level of fit and finish
  • A sporty-styled electric crossover that is fast standing still

Cons:

  • The e-tron Sportback costs more than a standard e-tron
  • Loss of space from the couple-like style
  • Range is less than some the competition’s similar models
  • Public charging can be a pain and pricey; an updated home system makes life easier

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