After many delays, Audi has a brand new E-Tron in the marketplace. It’s the This autumn, just a little SUV primarily based on the identical MEB platform that sits beneath the Volkswagen ID.4’s pores and skin.
Which means the same structure 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 worth of $48,800, to start out.
It’s straightforward to check the This autumn to its VW company cousin and even the opposite Audi E-Tron fashions; we thought it’d be extra fascinating to line Audi’s newest up in opposition to Tesla’s stalwart SUV, the Mannequin Y. As soon as meant to be an reasonably priced entry to the world of electrification, the Y appears to get dearer by the day. Right this moment’s beginning worth? $65,990.
On condition that monetary delta, this Audi versus Tesla struggle may appear unfair. Learn on to see these two are extra evenly matched than you would possibly suppose.
Right here’s a break down of the 2022 Audi This autumn 50 vs Tesla Mannequin Y by class:
Design will all the time be subjective, nevertheless it’s laborious to get excited in regards to the Mannequin Y’s model. Why? Properly, it stole the majority of its look from the Mannequin 3, a automobile 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 autumn E-Tron, however, has a completely 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 automobile I examined. That, plus a alternative of 4 exterior colours and three separate wheel designs, offers the Audi an edge in the case of manufacturing unit personalization.
Exterior Design Winner: Audi This autumn E-Tron
I concern these automobiles’ inside designs could show to be much more subjective, nevertheless it’s laborious to see the within of a Mannequin Y as approaching the extent of high quality you’d anticipate from a $65,000 automobile. Each time I sit in a single, I’m reminded that it was designed to simplify manufacturing and decrease price. When you love digging by touchscreen menus whilst you’re driving, then you definately’ll in all probability desire the Tesla.
Me, I like just a little extra tactility.
That mentioned, the Audi’s inside isn’t excellent. We’ll begin with the great: Supplies and general match and end are far increased on the This autumn. There are a couple of low-cost plastics to be discovered, and the swaths of fingerprinty piano black surfaces are an actual drag.
Nevertheless, the leather-based seats feel and look nice and, crucially, patrons can select between three totally different inside trims in comparison with the Tesla’s two. There’s loads of room, even within the again seats — which, by the best way, 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 stay 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 making an attempt to lift the amount. In the meantime, the steering wheel heater is perhaps 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 are 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 autumn’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 laborious to select a winner.
Inside Design Winner: Draw
Tech and security
Tesla was an early adopter and excessive proponent of massive touchscreens in automobiles. When the Mannequin S was first launched that was an thrilling factor. 12 years later, Tesla’s consumer interface appears and feels dated. That every little 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 power to make use of Google Maps and simply stream from YouTube Music.
Audi’s infotainment system, however, has a cleaner, fashionable look, however sometimes sluggish efficiency. Its navigational expertise is just a little dated, too. Nevertheless, the presence of each Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, wi-fi at that, obviates these considerations. And, with the This autumn 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 package deal gives better advantages than a conventional, active-safety setup like on the Audi. Nevertheless, 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 gives most of the identical options, however lacks cross-traffic alerts and, with Tesla opting to take away ultrasonic sensors, it presently lacks parking help.
Tech and Security Winner: Audi This autumn 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 autumn, 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 should be? On this class, journey high quality is much extra necessary, and right here the Audi comes out on prime. 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 automobile rolled into my life on. (When you’re configuring your individual, the 19-inch wheels are those to get.) Nevertheless, it’s the way more pleasing alternative over damaged, uneven asphalt and concrete.
In relation to dealing with, once more the Audi wins. Neither of those are probably the most participating of nook carvers, however the Audi tracks with extra confidence than the Tesla, which may really feel just a little wayward by fast transitions or when confronted with damaged pavement.
Given the dealing with and journey high quality I’m calling this class for the Audi, however for those who’re somebody who prioritizes outright shove over all else, you would possibly name it for Tesla.
Driving Dynamics Winner: Audi This autumn 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 excellent circumstances. (That’s: affordable temperatures, no headwinds, flat terrain.)
Audi’s This autumn 50 E-Tron Quattro, however, is rated by a comparatively paltry 241 miles by the EPA, although that steps up by one entire mile for those who go for the marginally slippier Sportback trim. Step all the way down to the This autumn 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 autumn 50 Quattro has an 82-kWh battery pack. Do the mathematics 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 autumn 50 Quattro, I really scored precisely 2.9. That’s regardless of spending a great portion of my testing time at freeway speeds, the place many EVs battle because of elevated air resistance. So, relaxation assured that 241 is at the least a practical determine. And, frankly, I feel it’ll be loads for many.
When it comes time to refill the battery, most folk will cost at residence more often than not. However, for juicing on the go, Tesla once more comes out forward. Tesla’s supercharger community covers almost 1,500 areas within the US. The This autumn E-Tron’s main high-speed charging community is Electrify America, which now has greater than 800 areas and is rising quickly. That hole narrows for those who issue within the myriad different charging networks the Audi can make the most of. Nevertheless, because the 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 least expensive colour (white) with no choices comes out to $65,990 plus a $1,200 vacation spot payment. (The corporate not too long ago supplied reductions for these delivered in December)
The most affordable This autumn 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 worth of $60,400, nonetheless $5,590 cheaper than the Tesla.
The automobile 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 larger 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 autumn E-Tron
General Winner: Audi
Whereas design is subjective and you may positively 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 widespread sufficient to permit highway journeys to most locations with out too many prolonged pit stops.
Most significantly, the This autumn has extra complete security options, extra dependable driver help, and a much more reasonably priced worth. Regardless of all of the delays in bringing its all-electric SUV to promote it’s clear that Audi’s This autumn E-Tron was definitely worth the wait.