It’s impossible to judge the Audi E-tron without reference to what many will consider its key rival, the Jaguar I-Pace – the car that first brought an established European car brand to the luxury EV market last year. And yet in so many ways this new Audi could sit in a league of its own. It is refined and relaxing enough to break new ground for the electric car, and so practical, capable and luxurious with it that very few other similarly priced SUVs, electric or otherwise, bear comparison.
But it is also not quite a driver’s car: not, at least, in the way the Jaguar is, or in the slightly different performance-flavoured way that an upper-end Tesla may be considered one. While its performance and handling are both strong, neither is strong enough to eclipse the E-tron’s outstanding refinement, classiness or usability as reasons to buy.
A day-to-day cruising range that would be tough to tease above 250 miles is a touch disappointing in light of what the very best electric cars are now bringing to market – but given the E-tron’s size, versatility and charging support, that’s still a very creditable result. And this Audi makes an even more creditable addition to the zero-emissions ranks.