Audi Q6 e-Tron review: new PPE hardware brings long range and skills aplenty to Audi's electric family SUV | CAR Magazine

Audi Q6 e-Tron review: new PPE hardware brings long range and skills aplenty to Audi's electric family SUV

Published: 01 July 2024 Updated: 01 July 2024
Audi Q6 e-Tron review: the new 2024 family electric SUV
  • At a glance
  • 4 out of 5
  • 5 out of 5
  • 5 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, car news magnet, crafter of words

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, car news magnet, crafter of words

► Audi Q6 e-Tron SUV review
► Another electric Audi crossover
► From £68,975, here in September

You’ve gotta hand it to the Germans: they sure know how to do logical model nomenclature. You already know exactly what the Audi Q6 e-Tron is, before you so much as clap eyes on it. That relentlessly rational brand hierarchy positions this new model in bodystyle, footprint, likely cost and powertrain so effectively, making Audi’s job significantly easier to communicate market positioning.

The Q6 does indeed straddle the middle-ground amid Ingolstadt’s assault on the electric SUV market, slotting seamlessly between full-size Audi Q8 e-Tron and Audi Q4 e-Tron junior crossover. Think of it as Audi’s challenger to the BMW iX3, Tesla Model Y and Jaguar i-Pace, priced from some £68,975 when UK sales begin in September 2024.

Read on for our full Audi Q6 e-Tron review to find out whether CAR magazine rates it, after our first drive at the international launch in northern Spain in June 2024. Don’t miss our star ratings, specs, driving impressions, electric range test and a verdict you can trust.

At a glance

Pros: Slick Audi quality; space on board; long range; clever features
Cons: So capable, if predictable; regen braking modes occasionally confusing

New Q6 slots seamlessly between Q4 and Q8 e-Trons

What’s new?

What is less clear on first appearance is the hardware underpinning this 4.8m-long newcomer, which is rather more revolutionary than the same-again design of the classy but conservative wardrobe. This is very much 2024 Face Of Audi and it fulfils its brief of slotting betwixt Q4 and Q8 with few surprises.

The Q6 is based around the group’s latest PPE architecture; rather than protective gear to isolate you from Covid, this stands for Premium Powertrain Electric and it’s been co-developed by Porsche (for its new Porsche Macan Electric) and Audi (Q6 and other new arrivals coming soon).

This is our first taste of PPE on a car wearing four rings and it’s significant because engineers claim that range has leapt by around a third compared with the first e-Tron products of five years ago.

Audi Q6 e-Tron side profile

It also ushers in the latest wave of infotainment and digital services. In layperson’s language, that means niceties like the ability to reserve a hotel room through straight from the touchscreen onboard.

What are the specs?

Two models arrive at launch: the regular Q6 e-Tron (available in Sport, S Line or Edition 1 trims) or sportier SQ6 e-Tron. By far the biggest seller will be the heartland S Line, accounting for around half of all UK sales while the SQ6 will make up just 3% of right-hand drive deliveries.

The latter will be a niche seller, then, but it’s certainly rapid – offering 483bhp and 0-62mph in just 4.3 seconds compared with the regular car’s 383bhp and 5.9sec. The quoted towing capacity stands at 2.4 tonnes, impressive for an electric car.

Priced from £68,975 at launch in September 2024: the new Audi Q6 e-Tron

A single-motor 302bhp RWD Q6 arrives later this year, with a usefully lower price point.

What about the interior?

Climb onboard and you’re met with more familiar Audi motifs: the interior is made of plush materials to a uniformly high quality, give or take the odd surface like the sliding centre console cubby lid whose piano black finish is a little cheaper than you might like. It’s roomy in both rows and the boot is generously proportioned. I was shocked that the ‘frunk’ front boot (below) is a £500 option, as part of the storage and luggage pack, and there’s another hidden cubby below the main boot floor for charging cables and the like.

Audi Q6 e-Tron frunk, or front boot – a £500 option in the UK!

The big news onboard is the latest group infotainment system boosted by Audi’s updated E3 1.2 electronic architecture. We’ll forgive you if incremental updates sound as scintillating as your latest iOS or Android update, but the logic and speed of the MMI touchscreen is impressive and Audi continues to push out over-the-air updates to release extra functionality (alert: Microsoft Teams integration coming soon… not all upgrades are good in our book!).

Notice how twin 11.9in and 14.5in digital screens are integrated into a curved dashboard display, for a cocooning look and easy access to data galore. If anything, there’s too much information: I counted 21 different data points on the driver’s display alone, when all I wanted to know was which regen braking mode I was in. Such is modern life – and that’s before we even mention the optional 10.9in third screen in front of the passenger…

Audi Q6 e-Tron interior

I wasn’t a fan of the haptic sliders on the steering wheel; along with the ‘virtual’ buttons on the driver’s door panel, I miss the simplicity of the physical switchgear that Audi used to do so well. Maybe it’s a generational thing, but I find real buttons quicker and safer to use on the fly than multi-function controls.

The new high-definition head-up display (HUD) is fab and includes clever augmented-reality turn arrows for sat-nav instructions. The field of view is 30% larger than earlier Audi HUD systems and, when parked up, you can even see Audi letting its hair down by introducing video games via the projected image beamed on to the windscreen. How very Tesla.

This is 2024, so there’s a degree of switching off lane-keep assist systems and the like before each journey, but once you set off it’s quickly apparent the Q6 e-Tron offers a comfortable and polished drive.

How does it drive?

All Q6 models share the same motors and suspension hardware. Yes, that’s right: every model is mechanically identical out of the box, the SQ6 package enabled by software.

Author Tim Pollard tests the Audi Q6 e-Tron for CAR magazine UK

This means that the core Q6 models are equally comfortable, hushed and won’t disgrace themselves in corners, where PPE’s more rear-biased power delivery reflects this car’s DNA shared with the Macan. It’s more fun to throw this 2.4-tonne SUV around than it should be.

Performance is well judged, even on the base model, which is capable of the 0-62mph sprint in 5.9 seconds – a time that would shame many a hot hatch. It has that effortless shove that typifies EVs and it won’t give up the ghost at motorway speeds, either.

The 2024 Audi Q6 e-Tron SUV

Step up into the SQ6 and that extra hundred horsepower is instantly felt; response to the accelerator is sharper and around a second and a half is lopped off the benchmark 0-62mph sprint. You’ll either love or hate the e-Tron sound generator available on the Edition 1 models, providing a more dynamic engine rumble.

Every Q6 comes with a 100kWh battery which can be charged at up to 270kW at a sufficiently fast DC charger thanks to PPE’s new 800-volt digital architecture. If you can find a suitably juicy charger, that means 10-80% charge in just 21 minutes; even a quick splash-‘n’-dash 10-minute pitstop would add 158 miles at max recharge.

Maximum charging of 270kW for new 2024 Audi Q6 e-Tron

Pop it in B mode for maximum regenerative braking and we averaged 3.0 miles per kilowatt hour versus the claimed 3.7; faster motorway runs pushed that down into the twos. There are charging flaps on both flanks (only one is for DC fast charging; either side can be used for AC charging at home). Why the fuel flaps are motorised is beyond me; is this how lazy we’ve become as a species?

Another grumble: unless you’re in B for Braking mode (akin to other brands’ one-pedal driving), the car constantly reverts to auto regenerative braking. It means you’re constantly tapping the paddles to select more or less regen and I couldn’t understand why the Q6 didn’t remain persistently in the mode I’d selected.

Audi Q6 e-Tron rear three quarters

Driven carefully thus, Audi claims that 90% of braking can be done simply by backing off and harvesting the energy wasted during deceleration. During a Ionger motorway run I averaged 2.7 miles per kilowatt hour of energy consumption – pointing to a likely real-world range of some 270-300 miles on a single charge.

The best long-range electric cars

Before you buy (specs and trims)

The regular Q6 comes with the following trim levels. We’d recommend the basic car as being pretty well equipped, but you can step up through the spec ladder if you want more toys:

  • Audi Q6 e-Tron Sport: 19in alloys, LED headlights and rear lamps, keyless entry and start, four heated seats, three-zone climate control, MMI navigation, adaptive cruise control
  • Audi Q6 e-Tron S line: Upgrades over Sport include 20in alloys, S line styling, privacy glass, black cloth headlining, S embossed front seats, heated three-spoke sports steering wheel
  • Audi Q6 e-Tron Edition 1: Upgrades over S line include 21in alloy wheels, sports suspension, matrix headlamps, e-Tron sports sound, MMI 10.9in third digital display in front of passenger, electrically adjustable front sports seats, dashboard in Dinamica microfibre with contrast stitching

Audi is rapidly expanding its electric range and UK sales of the brand’s EVs grew by +85% last year: nearly a fifth of all new Audis registered in 2023 were battery electric vehicles.

CAR magazine's new 2024 Audi Q6 e-Tron

Verdict: Audi Q6 e-Tron

The Q6 may not revolutionise the electric family SUV, but it certainly underlines Audi’s ambition. Expect more incremental designs, longer battery range and more swollen RRPs before we start seeing smaller, lighter and – hopefully – more radical electric Audis in future.

For now, though, the new 2024 Audi Q6 e-Tron is a typically polished family electric SUV. It looks like a supersized Q4 – and that’s a compliment – but that clever PPE hardware ushers in much greater range and driving dynamics that strike a fine balance between driving comfort and poise. Mission accomplished, we’d say.


Price when new: £68,975
On sale in the UK: September 2024
Engine: 100kW/h battery, twin e-motors, all-wheel drive
Transmission: Single-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Performance: 383bhp, 631lb ft, 5.9sec 0-62mph, 130mph
Weight / material: 2400kg/steel
Dimensions (length/width/height in mm): 4771/2193/1702mm

Photo Gallery

  • Audi Q6 e-Tron review: the new 2024 family electric SUV
  • The 2024 Audi Q6 e-Tron SUV
  • Priced from £68,975 at launch in September 2024: the new Audi Q6 e-Tron
  • Pick from regular Q6 and SQ6 at launch; further models will follow
  • Audi Q6 e-Tron side profile
  • Audi Q6 e-Tron rear three quarters
  • Audi Q6 e-Tron front three quarters
  • Audi Q6 e-Tron interior
  • Audi Q6 e-Tron rear seats
  • Audi Q6 e-Tron boot
  • Audi Q6 e-Tron frunk, or front boot – a £500 option in the UK!
  • Maximum charging of 270kW for new 2024 Audi Q6 e-Tron
  • A very roomy interior
  • Q6 e-Tron: the first Audi to use the group's latest PPE hardware
  • New Q6 slots seamlessly between Q4 and Q8 e-Trons
  • CAR magazine's new 2024 Audi Q6 e-Tron
  • Audi Q6 e-Tron review: new PPE hardware brings long range and skills aplenty to Audi's electric family SUV

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, car news magnet, crafter of words