In mid-range form, the Q4 E-tron presents quite an ordinary driving experience. Riding on the coat-tails of other electric cars that had to risk more to break through, it feels like a second-era EV with a bit less to prove.

Audi’s claim for 0-62mph acceleration of 8.5sec is slightly conservative. We timed it to 60mph at a two-way-average 8.1sec, with 30-70mph taking 7.8sec. The identically powerful Kia e-Niro that we tested in 2019 was almost a second quicker to 60mph, and more so from 30-70mph, while the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus that we timed in the same year was a good deal quicker again.

It’s a shame that Audi didn’t develop the under-bonnet charging cable storage solution of the bigger E-tron. Under the Q4’s bonnet there’s no useful space at all. I hope the idea can be resurrected.

This Audi would seem to be the kind of EV whose driving experience is intended not to stand out but blend in, then; not to surprise but to oblige and reassure. Mostly, it succeeds at that. And even if it isn’t quite as quick as rivals, it still performs and responds well compared with conventionally powered SUVs, and is as easy and undemanding to operate in most respects as you could really want a family car to be.

The Q4 E-tron has Audi’s usual selection of driving modes, ranging from Comfort to Dynamic but including an additional Range setting that limits motor output and top speed, and reduces power consumption from the car’s peripheral systems, to maximise battery range. Whichever mode you use, it has a more gentle initial throttle response than some EVs, but balances drivability with urgency cleverly as you move off up to urban speeds and beyond. The Audi always feels measured and mature to drive but can pick up strongly up to the national speed limit when required.

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Energy regeneration can either be managed automatically by the Efficiency Assist regeneration setting using information from the forward sensors and navigation system, or be manually controlled using the car’s shift paddles. In the automatic setting, deceleration is blended in quite gradually as you approach a junction. It can surprise at first, but is handled slightly better overall than by certain other EVs. Even so, most testers preferred driving with the added confidence of manual control over regen, and also enjoyed allowing the Q4 to coast when possible and to conserve its momentum naturally, boosting its operating efficiency.

The car’s brake pedal progression is one notable disappointment. It blends friction and regenerative braking a little clumsily, and can feel soft and spongy at one moment and grabby the next. When the roads are quiet, you can learn to make little use of the car’s brakes, of course; but in heavy traffic, the pedal’s paucity of definition and inconsistency of feel can be frustrating.