After many delays, Audi has a brand new E-Tron in the marketplace. It’s the This autumn, a bit of SUV based mostly on the identical MEB platform that sits beneath the Volkswagen ID.4’s pores and skin.
Meaning an analogous format and, most importantly, the equivalent 82-kWh battery pack right here wrapped with a way more premium appear and feel to match its premium value of $48,800, to start out.
It’s straightforward to match the This autumn to its VW company cousin and even the opposite Audi E-Tron models; we thought it’d be extra fascinating to line Audi’s newest up in opposition to Tesla’s stalwart SUV, the Model 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. As we speak’s beginning value? $65,990.
On condition that monetary delta, this Audi versus Tesla struggle might sound unfair. Learn on to see these two are extra evenly matched than you may 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, however it’s onerous to get excited in regards to the Mannequin Y’s model. Why? Properly, it stole the majority of its look from the Model 3, a automobile unveiled over six years in the past. At finest, 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, then again, has a totally trendy look. Creased fender flares at each nook give it some delicate aggression, whereas the large grille on the entrance identifies its household lineage even when it’s solely there for seems.
Silver insets entrance, sides and rear present some visible aptitude, although consumers 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, provides the Audi an edge in terms of manufacturing unit personalization.
Exterior Design Winner: Audi This autumn E-Tron
I worry these automobiles’ inside designs might show to be much more subjective, however it’s onerous 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. In case you love digging by way of touchscreen menus whilst you’re driving, then you definately’ll in all probability favor the Tesla.
Me, I like a bit of extra tactility.
That stated, the Audi’s inside isn’t excellent. We’ll begin with the great: Supplies and total match and end are far greater on the This autumn. 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 appear and feel nice and, crucially, consumers 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 reside 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 area between them. I couldn’t inform you the variety of instances I by chance triggered voice instructions when attempting to lift the quantity. In the meantime, the steering wheel heater may be the weakest I’ve ever skilled, and the heated seats are tepid at finest.
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 autumn’s 24.8.
The Audi’s higher supplies, extra shows and total design make it appear and feel much better, however these steering controls and the relative lack of cargo area make it onerous to choose 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 person interface seems and feels dated. That all the pieces from wiper pace 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 case 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, trendy look, however often sluggish efficiency. Its navigational expertise is a bit of dated, too. Nonetheless, 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 offers higher 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 most of the similar 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 pace and acceleration, there’s no query: the Tesla wins. The Mannequin Y leaps ahead with much 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 sluggish. 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, trip 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 immediately 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. (In case you’re configuring your personal, the 19-inch wheels are those to get.) Nonetheless, it’s the much more pleasing alternative over damaged, uneven asphalt and concrete.
On the subject of dealing with, once more the Audi wins. Neither of those are essentially the most partaking of nook carvers, however the Audi tracks with extra confidence than the Tesla, which might really feel a bit of wayward by way of fast transitions or when confronted with damaged pavement.
Given the dealing with and trip high quality I’m calling this class for the Audi, however for those who’re somebody who prioritizes outright shove over all else, you may 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 offers 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 splendid circumstances. (That’s: affordable temperatures, no headwinds, flat terrain.)
Audi’s This autumn 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 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 dimension and also you come out to a 2.9 mi/kWh effectivity score. In my testing of the This autumn 50 Quattro, I truly 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 believe it’ll be lots for many.
When it comes time to refill the battery, most people 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 major 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. Nonetheless, for the reason that Mannequin Y may also use most of these, it nonetheless comes out forward.
Vary Winner: Tesla Mannequin Y
Tesla Mannequin Y pricing tends to vary 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 charge. (The corporate just lately offered discounts 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 $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 automobile I examined was the top-shelf Status trim, which provides on an augmented-reality heads-up show and good, matrix headlights. From there, your solely choices are larger wheels plus premium exterior colours. The Premium begins at $61,900, $4,090 beneath the Tesla.
Even with each possibility field ticked in comparison with an entry-level Mannequin Y, the Audi is simpler on the pockets.
Worth Winner: Audi This autumn E-Tron
Total 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 believe 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 value. 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.