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.

Q4 E-tron is pitched firmly at families who will appreciate its measurables (range, charging capability, cabin space) and driving style (refined, easy to operate, predictable).

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.

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In a two-tonne, high-riding car, some lateral body movement comes with the territory, of course. Since you’re sitting that little bit higher than most in this one, and thanks to that battery positioning also further away from the car’s roll axis than you might be, you do feel every gentle bit of pitch and head toss in the Q4, and you’re aware of every little move it makes. It’s to Audi’s credit that the car controls and conducts itself so competently and consistently, though – albeit without much to get enthusiastic about.

Audi Q4 E-tron comfort and isolation

The Q4’s maturity of dynamic character should make it a good fit for families that want calming refinement and isolation from an electric car. Our noise meter confirmed that the test car’s cabin was fully two decibels quieter than that of a Tesla Model 3 at both 30mph and 50mph, and three decibels quieter at 70mph. A Jaguar I-Pace is no more hushed, and the £88,000 E-tron S we tested only a few weeks ago is noisier at certain speeds.

The driver’s seat had fairly firm foam padding but offered lots of potential for extension and adjustment of the cushion, and kept most testers comfy. The optional 20in alloy wheels and 45/50-profile tyres were quiet over most surfaces, if a little given to roar over rougher ones.

Besides those surfaces, the only thing likely to disturb the calm of the Q4’s cabin are the movements of its own front axle, which can suddenly seem close to your feet when it occasionally clunks over bigger, sharper intrusions taken with a little load in the suspension. These incidences are rare, granted, but they’re one more way in which the Q4 can feel slightly un-Audi-like at times.

Assisted driving notes

The Q4 E-tron has a lane departure warning system that defaults to on with every restart but it can be deactivated via a five-second push of a conveniently placed button on the end of the indicator stalk. As it is, the system remains inactive until the car accelerates beyond 38mph; and when it is active, it isn’t one of the more bothersome set-ups.

Audi’s Pre Sense Front autonomous emergency braking system comes as standard, while blindspot monitoring and rearward-facing crash avoidance systems are available as part of the £650 Safety Package Plus.

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Optional adaptive cruise assistance turns the car’s lane departure warning system into a more dedicated lane- keeping system when you’re running on dual carriageways. It works quite unobtrusively when the other cruise control systems are running, although at times it did seem to slow the car unnecessarily when traffic in neighbouring lanes was detected.