Audi offers three mechanical specifications for the Q4 E-tron’s suspension, which is always made up primarily of fixed-height steel coil springs. Entry-level Sport cars get a full passive Comfort set-up, with a lower, stiffer configuration featuring on mid-trim examples, while top-rung Vorsprung versions gain an adaptively damped arrangement. Our test car had the aforementioned adaptively damped configuration fitted as an option, however.
It also had the broadly capable, ever-secure, ever-controlled, slightly aloof, medium-firm-riding and Teutonically flavoured handling character we’ve come to expect of a modern Audi. The application of a rear-drive chassis evidently hasn’t changed Ingolstadt’s approach to the dynamic tuning of a mid-market family car, nor its expectations of the tastes of its customers – and so those who don’t know, or care, which axle does the driving in this car may very well never find out.
Of more importance to Audi, clearly, was that the Q4 be easy to drive; stable, moderate and measured in its responses; and always eminently, intuitively controllable – which, by and large, it is. It is guided through medium-paced steering with quite gentle initial response but gathering pace off-centre. The weight can be adjusted with the car’s drive modes – but there is never that much of it, nor much perceptible feedback. Body control is quite good for a mid-sized SUV, and grip levels are moderately high and tolerant of faster driving. Although the ride is firmer than some might expect, it’s not at all aggressively damped, while the Q4 can also become fairly compliant at low speeds and on uneven roads when you select Comfort mode.