After many delays, Audi has a brand new E-Tron available on the market. It’s the This fall, somewhat SUV primarily based on the identical MEB platform that sits beneath the Volkswagen ID.4’s pores and skin.
Meaning the same format and, most importantly, the an identical 82-kWh battery pack right here wrapped with a way more premium feel and look to match its premium value of $48,800, to begin.
It’s simple to check the This fall to its VW company cousin and even the opposite Audi E-Tron fashions; we thought it’d be extra attention-grabbing to line Audi’s newest up towards Tesla’s stalwart SUV, the Mannequin Y. As soon as meant to be an inexpensive entry to the world of electrification, the Y appears to get dearer by the day. In the present day’s beginning value? $65,990.
On condition that monetary delta, this Audi versus Tesla battle may appear unfair. Learn on to see these two are extra evenly matched than you would possibly assume.
Right here’s a break down of the 2022 Audi This fall 50 vs Tesla Mannequin Y by class:
Design will all the time be subjective, but it surely’s arduous to get excited concerning the Mannequin Y’s model. Why? Effectively, it stole the majority of its look from the Mannequin 3, a automotive unveiled over six years in the past. At greatest, the Mannequin Y is an inoffensive, barely extra bulbous model of a sedan that’s in determined want of a visible refresh.
Audi’s This fall E-Tron, then again, has a totally fashionable look. Creased fender flares at each nook give it some refined aggression, whereas the massive grille on the entrance identifies its household lineage even when it’s solely there for appears.
Silver insets entrance, sides and rear present some visible aptitude, although patrons have the choice to black all that out in the event that they like — as on the automotive I examined. That, plus a selection of 4 exterior colours and three separate wheel designs, provides the Audi an edge in relation to manufacturing unit personalization.
Exterior Design Winner: Audi This fall E-Tron
I worry these vehicles’ inside designs could show to be much more subjective, but it surely’s arduous to see the within of a Mannequin Y as approaching the extent of high quality you’d count on from a $65,000 automotive. Each time I sit in a single, I’m reminded that it was designed to simplify manufacturing and reduce value. If you happen to love digging by means of touchscreen menus when you’re driving, then you definately’ll most likely want the Tesla.
Me, I like somewhat extra tactility.
That mentioned, the Audi’s inside isn’t excellent. We’ll begin with the nice: Supplies and general match and end are far larger on the This fall. There are just a few low-cost plastics to be discovered, and the swaths of fingerprinty piano black surfaces are an actual drag.
Nonetheless, the leather-based seats feel and look nice and, crucially, patrons can select between three completely different inside trims in comparison with the Tesla’s two. There’s loads of room, even within the again seats — which, by the way in which, have their very own local weather controls and a pair of USB-C ports.
There’s a touchscreen up entrance, in fact, however discrete HVAC controls with actual buttons dwell proper beneath. A gauge cluster lives behind the steering wheel, one thing Tesla’s Fashions 3 and Y each do with out, plus an augmented-reality heads-up show on the upper trims.
However it’s not all excellent news.
Whereas the Audi’s steering wheel controls are complete, they’re capacitive contact buttons with little house between them. I couldn’t inform you the variety of instances I by accident triggered voice instructions when attempting to lift the quantity. In the meantime, the steering wheel heater could be the weakest I’ve ever skilled, and the heated seats are tepid at greatest.
Lastly, there’s no frunk, which I do know a few of you’re feeling strongly about. That helps give the Mannequin Y the sting on cargo capability: 34.3 cubic ft with the seats up in comparison with the This fall’s 24.8.
The Audi’s higher supplies, further shows and general design make it feel and look much better, however these steering controls and the relative lack of cargo house make it arduous to choose a winner.
Inside Design Winner: Draw
Tech and security
Tesla was an early adopter and excessive proponent of huge touchscreens in vehicles. When the Mannequin S was first launched that was an thrilling factor. 12 years later, Tesla’s person interface appears and feels dated. That every thing from wiper velocity to brake regen mode is buried in menu after menu is an actual annoyance, too.
Extra troubling is the continued absence of each Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It’s clear that this example is unlikely to ever change. The Mannequin Y has dozens of pointless video games and streaming media providers. I’d commerce all of them for the flexibility to make use of Google Maps and simply stream from YouTube Music.
Audi’s infotainment system, then again, has a cleaner, fashionable look, however sometimes sluggish efficiency. Its navigational expertise is somewhat dated, too. Nonetheless, the presence of each Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, wi-fi at that, obviates these considerations. And, with the This fall providing each a correct gauge cluster and a heads-up show, it’s the clear winner.
Security is a little more debatable. Ostensibly, the Mannequin Y’s misnamed Full Self Driving bundle gives better advantages than a conventional, active-safety setup like on the Audi. Nonetheless, given the questionable state of FSD as of the second, I’m not factoring that into the comparability.
The Audi, in the meantime, has parking sensors, ahead collision warning and impediment avoidance, plus lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alerts, and blind-spot warnings. The Mannequin Y affords lots of the similar options, however lacks cross-traffic alerts and, with Tesla opting to take away ultrasonic sensors, it at the moment lacks parking help.
Tech and Security Winner: Audi This fall E-Tron
For outright velocity and acceleration, there’s no query: the Tesla wins. The Mannequin Y leaps ahead with way more aggression than the This fall, even when the latter is on its most aggressive throttle mapping. That’s to not say the Audi is gradual. It, too, is correctly fast. A 5.8-second zero-to-60 time is greater than respectable, however the Mannequin Y’s 4.8 clearly has it beat.
Actually, although, how fast does your small, family-oriented SUV must be? On this class, experience high quality is way extra vital, and right here the Audi comes out on high. The Mannequin Y simply tends to crash over each bump, the sounds of compression transmitted straight into the cabin. The Audi itself isn’t precisely a standout on this regard, particularly on the 20-inch wheels that my take a look at automotive rolled into my life on. (If you happen to’re configuring your personal, the 19-inch wheels are those to get.) Nonetheless, it’s the way more pleasing selection over damaged, uneven asphalt and concrete.
In terms of dealing with, once more the Audi wins. Neither of those are essentially the most participating of nook carvers, however the Audi tracks with extra confidence than the Tesla, which may really feel somewhat wayward by means of fast transitions or when confronted with damaged pavement.
Given the dealing with and experience high quality I’m calling this class for the Audi, however in case you’re somebody who prioritizes outright shove over all else, you would possibly name it for Tesla.
Driving Dynamics Winner: Audi This fall E-Tron
There may be no debate on this one: the Mannequin Y wins. Tesla gives a 330-mile EPA estimate for the Lengthy Vary taste of the Mannequin Y, which drops all the way down to 303 for the Efficiency trim. In my expertise driving a number of Mannequin Ys through the years the 330-mile determine is a bit optimistic, however not far off from the reality in best situations. (That’s: affordable temperatures, no headwinds, flat terrain.)
Audi’s This fall 50 E-Tron Quattro, then again, is rated by a comparatively paltry 241 miles by the EPA, although that steps up by one complete mile in case you go for the marginally slippier Sportback trim. Step all the way down to the This fall 40 E-Tron, which lacks all-wheel-drive, and the vary determine will get a wholesome bump, as much as 265 miles of vary.
The This fall 50 Quattro has an 82-kWh battery pack. Do the maths on that vary and pack measurement and also you come out to a 2.9 mi/kWh effectivity ranking. In my testing of the This fall 50 Quattro, I really scored precisely 2.9. That’s regardless of spending a very good portion of my testing time at freeway speeds, the place many EVs battle due to elevated air resistance. So, relaxation assured that 241 is at the least a practical determine. And, frankly, I feel it’ll be a lot for many.
When it comes time to refill the battery, most people will cost at house more often than not. However, for juicing on the go, Tesla once more comes out forward. Tesla’s supercharger community covers practically 1,500 places within the US. The This fall E-Tron’s main high-speed charging community is Electrify America, which now has greater than 800 places and is rising quickly. That hole narrows in case you issue within the myriad different charging networks the Audi can make the most of. Nonetheless, for the reason that Mannequin Y also can use most of these, it nonetheless comes out forward.
Vary Winner: Tesla Mannequin Y
Tesla Mannequin Y pricing tends to alter with the climate, however as I write this a base Mannequin Y Lengthy Vary within the most cost-effective coloration (white) with no choices comes out to $65,990 plus a $1,200 vacation spot price. (The corporate not too long ago supplied reductions for these delivered in December)
The most affordable This fall E-Tron begins at $48,800, however that’s the single-motor model, so it’s not a good comparability. Step as much as the Quattro taste and also you’re taking a look at $53,800 plus $1,195 vacation spot. That mannequin lacks adaptive cruise and another niceties, like parking help, driver’s seat reminiscence, and an influence liftgate. You’ll want the Premium Plus trim so as to add these issues and a beginning value of $60,400, nonetheless $5,590 cheaper than the Tesla.
The automotive I examined was the top-shelf Status trim, which provides on an augmented-reality heads-up show and sensible, matrix headlights. From there, your solely choices are greater wheels plus premium exterior colours. The Premium begins at $61,900, $4,090 under the Tesla.
Even with each choice field ticked in comparison with an entry-level Mannequin Y, the Audi is less complicated on the pockets.
Worth Winner: Audi This fall E-Tron
General Winner: Audi
Whereas design is subjective and you may undoubtedly make the case for the Tesla to be the winner within the driving dynamics class, the Audi has the lead in most areas. That leaves solely vary because the clear win for the Tesla, and whereas it’s a substantial victory there, once more I feel that 241 miles is greater than sufficient for most individuals in most circumstances. Quick chargers are hardly ubiquitous, however they’re frequent sufficient to permit highway journeys to most locations with out too many prolonged pit stops.
Most significantly, the This fall has extra complete security options, extra dependable driver help, and a much more inexpensive value. Regardless of all of the delays in bringing its all-electric SUV to promote it’s clear that Audi’s This fall E-Tron was definitely worth the wait.