2021 Audi e-tron – More Range and A Lot Less Expensive!

2021 Audi e-tron

Featuring better range and lower pricing compared to the two previous model years, the 2021 e-tron hit the market strong. This 2021 Audi e-tron, in particular, featured all standard equipment, aside from the optional $595 Mythos Black Metallic exterior paint and the $1,250 Black Optic Package. However, just because it wasn’t fully optioned does not mean it felt underequipped. All e-tron feature a 402hp dual motor setup, adaptive air suspension, leather interior, 20 inch rims, and a liquid-cooled 95kWh battery pack.

Design

While the overall design remains the same as the prior two model years, several minor changes exist. The most important of which is the new standard 20″ rims, which look much more fitting in a car of this price rather than the prior model year’s. The old base rims just seemed out of place, similar to when U2’s Songs of Innocence somehow made it to the forefront of our iTunes libraries. The other change includes the optional Black Optic Package, which gives the Audi e-tron a more aggressive look. Even though these changes are insignificant in the entirety, the e-tron’s conventional design will most likely age quite well, similar to the original Q7.

Interior

Your expectations should be high for a car with a $66,995 starting price, and the e-tron delivers. The base e-tron excels in interior comfort with leather seating and soft-touch material coating nearly every surface within reach. Heated front seats come as standard, but you’d need to upgrade to the “Premium Plus” trim to get ventilated ones.

Furthermore, if you’ve taken a fancy to massaging seats, then you’d sit at $80,195 with the Prestige trim. Along with massaging seats, the Prestige features soft close doors, Volcano leather, LED ambient lighting, and Audi’s “air fragrance package,” which includes two scents: summer and winter. According to an Audi e-tron forum, when replacing the $53.73 fragrance cartridges, there’s a visible warning on the container stating “avoid breathing” – very reassuring! Since $53.73 is a bit pricy, you can always purchase Audi’s Russian-scented gecko for €7.99.

Whether or not you opt for the extras, even the base e-tron’s interior layout and materials are quite impressive. There are three main screens, two of which are touch-responsive, and the other one acts as the driver’s display. The two touchscreens are highly-responsive and feature embedded haptic motors that generate kinaesthetic feedback, so you know you’ve actually clicked on something (similar to Apple’s 3D Touch feedback). Moreover, every interior button, knob, and dial felt satisfying to interact with. The prime example of this is the finely-crafted drive selector, which presents a metallic finish and carries a considerable avoirdupois.

Moving towards the trunk you have a good amount of space although i kind of expected more space it seems a little narrow to me you do have a privacy cover you have some hidden storage underneath the bottom cover although a lot of it is taken up by the spare tire and you have fold downs for your second row and when you fold down the second row you have a good amount of cargo room although the the second row seats don’t fall down completely not not all the way flat but still you get a good amount of storage if you fold them down.

Range

For the 2021 model year, Audi unlocked a little more of the useable battery capacity from 83.6kWh to 86.5kWh, increasing the range from 202 miles to 222 miles. Interestingly, the e-tron has a relatively large charge buffer, unlike Tesla vehicles. Subsequently, the e-tron will normally charge to “100%,” but that “100%” is 91% in actuality. How I see it, since this vehicle’s target audience is previous Audi SUV owners, rather than electric car enthusiasts, the objective of this concept was to cause as little confusion as possible to EV newcomers.

Like the previous model years, the e-tron is capable of 150kW fast charging, which can provide a 0-80% charge in just 30 minutes. While this sounds impressive in theory, 150kW chargers are relatively uncommon at the moment. In Charlotte, there are 13 chargers capable of 50kW and only one capable of 150kW. When charging at 50kW, the 0-80% time will slow all the way down to around an hour and a half. While this certainly is a drawback, especially when compared to Tesla’s Supercharging network, most e-trons aren’t used on long trips, thus rarely requiring public charging. For in-town driving, 222 miles more than enough for several commutes without charging.

Verdict

In its third model year, Audi’s first mass-produced EV has proven that legacy automakers can make great electric cars. Not only does the e-tron provide unique driving dynamics, but it is priced in line with most other luxury European SUVs. Furthermore, since the e-tron is electric, it requires far less maintenance than its gasoline counterparts. While I only spent a relatively short time driving the e-tron, I cannot accurately expound upon the reliability. However, the four-year / 50,000-mile basic warranty along with the federally-mandated eight-year battery warranty should help you make a decision. Regardless, the 2021 e-tron is a fantastic electric SUV, and the interior quality and driving experience are unlike that of any other mainstream EV.

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