Review: Audi e-tron 55 SUV 2020

Review Date: 29th November 2020
Current Mileage: 7,800 miles

Reviewed by Geoff Bogg

General Overview

This is my first EV but I have been following the development of EVs for a number of years.  I have previously had four Land Rover Discoveries as they had the space and towing capabilities I need. I run some student houses, make furniture, and do general woodworking.

Until the e-tron was announced, nothing electric was capable of towing my 1500kg trailer except the Tesla Model X. I usually cover about 15,000 miles a year and was spending £250 a month on diesel.

I had a couple of test drives in the Audi, a drive in the Tesla and a look at the Jaguar iPace. Tesla was too expensive, the Jaguar iPace will only tow 750kg. The e-tron was very impressive. I ordered the car from Audi at York who were very good, knowledgeable, and helpful. The only extra I ordered was the factory towbar. The car should have been delivered in about June but Audi had closed the order book. York Audi then managed to find almost the exact same car in their stock. This car didn’t have the towbar but did have the camera mirrors. The dealer agreed to fit the towbar later. Much later as it turned out due to the pandemic.

After driving the e-tron for nine months I am sure I made the correct decision. The car is excellent. Comfortable, quiet, massive power, torque and acceleration. I have replaced the £250 diesel bill with a £45 electricity bill, and that will be even less when my smart meter arrives. It pulls the trailer like it isn’t there and has dragged my daughter’s horse trailer up a steep gravel drive that was impossible for her car.

As always, nothing is perfect and there are some things that I would like to talk to the designer about, these are all really minor but annoying. Reversing lights are useless. If it’s dark, which it is up here in the frozen north, you can’t see anything in the reversing camera. The key fob buttons are too sensitive. I often find the tailgate open because I have accidentally pushed the button in my pocket. The tailgate automatic sensor sometimes triggers when I’m getting something out of the boot and it tries to cut my head off. As I said, minor but annoying.

The Interior

The interior is lovely. I don’t like dark interiors so ordered the pale leather. I do use a seat cover when I’m working but nothing has got marked and it all looks as good as new. The touch screen gets covered in fingerprints but they soon clean off with a cloth.  Everything in the car feels good quality and the comfort levels are excellent. I’d have liked a bit longer seat cushion but I’m being really picky there.

Interior Rating: 5/5

The Exterior

Paint and panel fit are top class. I need to be careful loading the boot with tools and materials because the tailgate opening is next to the painted bumper and there isn’t any protective trim. I just use a rubber mat to prevent any damage.

Exterior Rating: 5/5

Any Issues with the Car?

The car had to go in to get the towbar fitted and they had the wrong part so it took longer than it should. The only fault I have had is the tail light failure that seems to be a common e-tron issue and it was replaced in a day. I was given an Audi A6 Avant RS (£95k) as a courtesy car and have to say I couldn’t wait to give it back and drive the e-tron again.

Driving Pleasure

The car is an absolute pleasure to drive. When I had the Discovery costing 20p a mile in diesel I was always conscious of the cost. Now at about 3.7p/mile I don’t care. The really noticeable difference between ICE vehicles and electric is the useful acceleration. When you need to pass something even powerful petrol engine cars have to change down, wait for a turbo to spin up, then they go. In the e-tron as soon as there is a gap, you’re doing 70! I am used to large heavy cars so wasn’t expecting sports car handling, but it is surprisingly good. The weight is mostly at wheel level, so roll when cornering is very acceptable.

Driving Pleasure Rating: 5/5

Running Costs

I have only had the car for nine months and covered 7,800 miles so can’t comment on tyre wear but it looks fine so far. E-trons aren’t the most efficient EV as they are large and heavy. During the summer I was averaging about 2.8m/kWhr. This drops to about 2.1m/kWhr when towing. The e-tron replaced my Discovery and can do everything that that did. The Discovery got through about 20p of diesel a mile. I’m currently on a standard economy seven tariff paying 10p/kWhr at night when charging so that works out at about 3.6p/mile. When my smart meter arrives, I use the Octopus Go tariff at 5p/kWh so then it will cost less than 2p/mile.  VED on the Disco was £475 a year.
The e-tron, £0

Don’t forget that you also save the cost of a Kit Kat by not going to a petrol station, so that’s another £25 a year.

Overall Running Cost Rating: 5/ 5

The Future

I don’t think I will ever buy another ICE vehicle. I’m too sold on the cost savings, speed, comfort and smug environmental feeling.

My wife currently runs a Jaguar E Pace and only drives about 4000 miles a year so the cost savings won’t be as great, but I think that will be replaced with an EV when the time comes.

Free charging on holiday. 300 miles for nowt.

More free leccy. Skelton Lake services on free vend. 148kW

Earning its keep.

Geoff Bogg, very happy Audi e-tron owner.