Audi Q7 e-tron first drive: Electro efficiency

Plug-in electric vehicles are on the rise, with the Audi Q7 e-tron joining the A3 Sportback e-tron and R8 e-tron – taking the German maker’s count up to three. There’s clearly momentum behind electric, thanks to its efficiency, environmental and fuel-saving implications.

Audi Q7 e-tron PHEV

Audi Q7 e-tron PHEV

But going green might put you in the red. The Q7 e-tron’s anticipated £65,000 starting price is a good £15k more than the combustion-only model – the one we took for a spin back in the summer of 2015 – which is a sizeable premium for this sizeable SUV. Is it worth it? We took the e-tron electric hybrid on the road to see what we made of it.

Audi Q7 e-tron first drive: It’s a 5-seater

First thing’s first, if you’ve thought about buying an SUV then the Q7 really ought to make your shortlist simply because it’s a good looking driving machine that avoids being too tank-like in its ways.

But – and it’s a critical one – if your eyes have veered over to the e-tron version, hand on environmental heart, then you’ll need to consider the space implication of the batteries. They’ve got to go somewhere, after all, and in the case of the Q7 e-tron that means it can only be a five seater, not a seven seater (which may sound at odds with its name, but that’s that way it is).

Audi Q7 e-tron first drive: Electric range

But the obvious trade-off between seating arrangements is that the Q7 e-tron can scoot along happily using only its electric motor – which with 94kW of output, translates to 128bhp – for up to a 35-mile range per charge. That might sound quite conservative, but let’s not forget this is a 2.5-tonne vehicle (it’s 450kgs more than the standard Q7), so perhaps that’s no surprise.

If you’ve got a commuting route with a charger at the other end (7.2kW charging means a refill in 2.5-hours; at-home means 8-hours per recharge), then you’ll quickly save on those pricey diesel top-ups over the course of time.

Read more: Pocket Lint

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