I got the chance to drive some of the higher end EVs on the market, like the BMW i4 M50, Audi e-tron GT, Mercedes EQS and Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback. Here’s how they felt on my first drive!
The BMW i4 was possibly the most “conventional” drive, it felt a lot like the M4 – albeit a heavy one. It stuck to the road well even with a boot full of accelerator, and still goes like the clappers. It had plenty of space inside (although I would prefer an estate version…), felt comfortable for cruising and definitely a more premium feel to it as well. The only catch is the range, which even on our short test drive wasn’t exactly impressive.
The Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback was a rather confusing car. There’s no mistaking it’s a much more premium vehicle compared to the VW ID.4, but it still has the same sort of strangely stiff suspension, yet somewhat wallow-y ride. It’s reasonably spacious, although the addition of the Sportback styling does leave me scratching my head – isn’t the gimmick of SUV’s that they are big and spacious? Then why chop a load of boot space out to make it basically a lifted coupe? Anyway, as a whole it’s a decent ride, reasonable range and certainly a higher end experience, albeit with a higher price tag to match.
The Mercedes EQS though… That’s in a league of its own – both in pricing and luxury. The second you get in and shut the door the silence is abundantly clear. The outside world almost ceases to exist as you waft around in your £150,000 of luxury. Then, fear strikes through your heart as you try to stop the damn thing! Mercedes decided that when the car regen brakes, the brake pedal should MOVE ON ITS OWN. The majority of the pedal’s travel seems to be controlling the regen braking, so when you do need to come to a firm stop you have to notice the brake pedal moving away from your foot and push harder – only for ABS to kick in almost immediately. The friction brakes were terrifyingly bad, to the point where I genuinely thought I was going to crash because it just wouldn’t stop. But beyond that… It’s a wonderful car with more power than you could ever want, an £8,000 optional extra of a second infotainment screen where a glovebox normally is that’s fully separate from the main infotainment display, and even a sport mode for good measure.
Finally, the Audi e-tron GT. That was an absolute blast. I had the chance to hoon it around the hill route at Millbrook, and I can safely say it’s a whole lot of fun. It has plenty of power on-tap, has grip for days and handles incredibly well. I felt confident pushing it through corners and blasting out of a turn. The fact it’s also a practical, 4 door, daily driver is just the icing on the light-speed cake. Me likey.