Test Drives

2020 Audi E-Tron 55 Review: Cool Running



 

Space and Practicality

Range anxiety is almost a non-issue with modern EVs since from Chinese to Korean to German models, they all do what they claim. Our drive of more than 100km, which included photo shoots, highway driving and city driving, delivered an impressive 24.3kWh/100km. That’s within the range of what Audi claims, which also means we could have done around 390km on a single, full charge.

It’s not particularly easy to see out of, with the whole coupe-SUV styling working against it here. But Audi’s onboard camera system makes it a lot easier, since the 360 degree system also shows a virtual outside view of the car. Audi’s world-first electronic side mirror system, using cameras and OLED panels instead, is still undergoing LTA approval. Check out the video above to see how it works.

Having a longer wheelbase than a Audi Q5 spells for lots of interior space, given the 95kWh battery sits in its own crash-proof cell and makes up the floor of the car. Electric all-wheel drive – via two motors – means no transmission tunnel or driveshaft, and thus a flat floor.

Five adults will fit easily, though with four on board it’s more luxurious, and the second row gets it own AC controls, charging ports, and window blinds.

The boot space of 660-litres is very generous, and expands to a cavernous 1,725-litres with the seats down. There’s also room for a spare tyre/wheel underneath too.

 

Costs and Ownership 

While Singapore’s charging network still isn’t widespread, the fact that you can drive the E-Tron almost 400km here is a definite bonus.

The usual EV caveat applies: You’ll need a place to privately charge it, and for most, that means a landed property with a driveway. The charge time with that unit should be around 12 hours, and the fastest chargers in Singapore (which max out at 50kW DC) will still take two hours at least. The car is capable of 150kW DC fast charging, but there are none here yet.

Interestingly, you can actually own the E-Tron without a charger. The list price includes a charging station (by Schneider Electric) or a year of Audi’s local Charge-On-Demand service, where they’ll take the car, charge it, and deliver it back to you. But that’s not the most practical of options, in this age of reducing unnecessary human contact.

As a full EV, you pay more road tax per year, according to the car’s power output. The Audi’s twin motors add up to 313kW, even if the system total output is only 295kW (400hp), which is why it attracts more road tax (S$6,278 per annum) than the equally powerful competitor, the Jaguar I-Pace (S$5,802 per annum).

Competitors

That car is its key competitor here of course.

Both cars have a similar size, weight, drivetrain setup, battery size and location, and overall concept, but we dare say if you’re looking at an Audi you probably won’t be tempted by the Jag, brand-wise. You can read about the pros and cons of the I-Pace in our review.

Mercedes is launching its EV, the EQC, in 2021 and yeah it’s an SUV that has around 400hp, weighs two-tonnes ish, and is bigger than a GLC in size. Read our review of it here. 

The Tesla Model X is a very different bundle of batteries, with a unique experience, far higher cost, and those fascinating doors. Our Singapore test drive of it is here. 

Still, with power costing S$0.2463 per kWh, the Audi (theoretically) costs only S$24 for a full charge, which is far less than petrol, and less polluting too. Our Dummies Guide to EVs gives you a clearer idea of the cost of an EV here.

A less expensive E-Tron 50 model, with 308hp, will also be launching in Singapore at a later date, that should be even more attractive than this model, the 55.

Continue to Page 5: Conclusion


 

Page 1: Introduction
Page 2: Design, Interior, Features
Page 3: Driving Experience
Page 4: Practicality, costs, competitors
Page 5: Conclusion

about the author

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Derryn Wong
CarBuyer's chief editor has a keen interest in all things mechanical, technological, animal and mineral. He's particularly fascinated by eco-cars and cars which make no logical sense. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he also enjoys cats.