Verdict If you’re able to take advantage of all the ways that this plug-in hybrid Q8’s powertrain can save you money, then this is the pick of Audi’s swoopy SUV range. It’s wonderfully refined both at low and high speeds, and it’ll be very frugal if used as intended. The only thorn in its side comes from BMW; the X5 plug-in hybrid has a greater electric range, is cheaper to run and costs less to buy in the first place. With all the hype around fully electric premium SUVs, sometimes it’s easy to forget that despite offering many of these, Audi still sells quite a few with combustion powertrains. Some of those rely solely on a fuel pump for replenishment;…
The verdict: Redesigned for 2022, the Audi A3 and S3 sedans offer balanced handling and myriad standard features, but hesitant transmissions and inconsistent quality let them down. Versus the competition: With consumers overwhelmingly preferring SUVs these days, any small luxury sedan starting around $35,000 better be one hell of a car to justify its existence. The A3 and S3 have their moments, but drawbacks we experienced behind the wheel and elsewhere keep both cars short of the mark. With front- or all-wheel drive, the A3 runs from the mid-$30,000s to around $50,000. The S3 packs considerably more performance and standard AWD; it’ll set you back another $11,000 or so at either end of the trim lineup. Around Cars.com’s Chicago headquarters,…
As Audi's version of the Porsche Taycan, the new RS e-tron GT is an exciting, Tesla-chasing ride. To make sure the 2022 e-tron GT stands out among the brand's other electric offerings, Audi asked sound engineers to develop a new soundtrack specifically for the e-tron GT and RS e-tron GT models. Before you go looking for it on Spotify, we'll tell you that this "song" is played just for the e-tron driver. It's a sort of intergalactic hum that transforms into a turbine whoosh as you accelerate, culminating in a 78-decibel whir at full thrust. It says, "I am the future," and it'll have you thinking dilithium crystals and calling a Scottish engineer to see how everything is going, but…
The verdict: The 2021 Audi Q5 Sportback trades some of the regular Q5’s utility for a sportier look — and sacrifices less practicality than expected in doing so. Versus the competition: The coupelike SUV trend is a bit of a head-scratcher to us, given the body style often leaves less interior space than a traditional SUV (for more money). The Q5 Sportback doesn’t deviate from this formula, but its relatively few trade-offs enhance its overall appeal. Besides the new Sportback body style, the 2021 Audi Q5 also gets updated exterior styling, a standard mild-hybrid base powertrain and a new multimedia system that drops the knob-based controller Audi has used for years in favor of a touchscreen interface. Take a look…
Audi's redesigned five-cylinder RS3 sports sedan is as vocal as it is potent. Earlier this year, Audi announced that it would cease development of all new internal-combustion engines as it transitions to all-electric powertrains by 2033. Yet, in defiant anticipation of that silent goalpost, the brand's engineers endeavored to equip the redesigned 2022 Audi RS3 with the loudest, most powerful version of the company's turbocharged inline-five engine. With 401 horsepower available—one pony more than before—the RS3's boosted five-pot pulls hard to its 7000-rpm redline with fervent glee. To say that it has character is an understatement—delightfully vocal and charismatic, this is an engine that can seem uncannily human across its rev range. Which makes sense, as its odd-cylinder warble is…
Audi's new e-tron GT Quattro and RS e-tron GT are great sports sedans first and electric cars second. Somewhere between Los Angeles and the desert-like canyon country north of the city, the Audi e-tron GT Quattro ceased to be an electric car. Not literally, of course. Its 83.7-kWh battery pack kept sending electrons to the motors on each axle, which combine to produce 496 horsepower (522 in overboost mode) and 464 pound-feet of torque (472 during overboost). But while cruising at extra-legal speeds, we were struck by how this Audi's goodness as a car overshadowed its method of propulsion. In conventional automobiles, the tall top gears of modern automatic transmissions largely silence the combustion events happening under the hood. So,…
Audi's take on the electric family SUV is cool and classy Audi has revealed full details and prcies of the new all-electric Q4 E-Tron. It's the company's first electric car based on the same technology as the Volkswagen ID.3 and Skoda Enyaq iV and as well as being available as a regular SUV, you can also specify a coupe-like Sportback version. The Q4 E-Tron introduces some new technology and offers some choice in terms of price and range. Firstly, there will be three variants from launch, the 35, 40 and 50 Quattro. As you may have already guessed, the 50 Quattro features all-wheel drive as standard – the 35 and 40 versions are rear-wheel drive only. Rivals? There are a…
Audi’s most popular model gets a midcycle refresh but leaves us wanting a bit more. Just before 2020 ended, we had the chance to drive the 2021 Audi SQ5, the sportier variant of the Q5 powered by a punchy V-6 engine. Like we noted back then, the SQ5 delivers the best of both worlds. It's a comfortable SUV that's great for everyday driving, but also more dynamic when the road turns twisty. Now, we've driven and tested the 2021 Audi Q5, the toned-down normal version that competes in the compact-luxury-SUV segment, one of today's most popular. As you'd expect, then, the Q5 is indeed Audi's most popular model, making up 25 percent of the brand's sales, with the conventionally powered,…
As Audi's version of the Porsche Taycan, the new RS e-tron GT is an exciting, Tesla-chasing ride. To make sure the 2022 e-tron GT stands out among the brand's other electric offerings, Audi asked sound engineers to develop a new soundtrack specifically for the e-tron GT and RS e-tron GT models. Before you go looking for it on Spotify, we'll tell you that this "song" is played just for the e-tron driver. It's a sort of intergalactic hum that transforms into a turbine whoosh as you accelerate. It says, "I am the future," and it'll have you thinking dilithium crystals and calling a Scottish engineer to see how everything is going, but it's not quite right for the e-tron. The…
The verdict: Audi strikes a beautiful balance of sporty, luxurious and high-tech in the revised A4, delivering a satisfying compact sedan experience. Verus the competition: It’s not as athletic as competitors like the Alfa Romeo Giulia or BMW 3 Series, but the new A4 makes up in comfort what it lacks in edginess. It’s easily as quick as most of its competitors, offers similar technology and provides a luxury experience that outshines rivals from Acura, Infiniti and Lexus. There’s been a seemingly never-ending parade of new SUVs showing up in our testing queue lately. Everyone has a new ute to sell to an increasingly ravenous customer base that loves high-riding, family-friendly, cargo-hauling boxes — so when something comes along that’s…
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