The Audi e-tron represents the very first attempt of this iconic German premium luxury automaker on making a fully electric serial production car. The e-tron was first introduced for the 2019 model year and it seemed to be a decent alternative to the Tesla Model X. However, not long after many owners started complaining about the car experiencing a bunch of issues.
It seems like the early e-tron models are notoriously unreliable but subsequent models seem to fare a lot better. It seems like Audi figured out that the e-tron was not really reliable enough and that that could potentially hamper the sales. As such, Audi stepped up their game and got the e-tron to a more satisfactory level.
This means that current e-tron models are better, but still aren’t the most reliable EVs out there. The most common Audi e-tron issues are associated with the software, the powertrain, the reverse gear, peculiar water leaks, and issues with the equipment/electricals.
Most of these have been fixed throughout the car’s production, but you still need to do your due diligence and investigate if the model you are looking at has had these issues resolved. It’s worth mentioning that the customer satisfaction with the e-tron is great.
Audi e-tron software issues
It comes as no surprise that a car as complex as the e-tron experiences software-related problems because it is the first Audi EV anyway. These issues were severe enough for Audi to postpone the e-tron market release by up to four weeks in order to try and remedy these issues as much as possible. These include warning lights coming on out of nowhere, and MMI freezing up.
Some reports state that the earliest e-tron models suffered from up to 100 different software issues which were serious enough to make Audi completely postpone the car’s release. However, modern e-tron models do seem a lot better but are still not completely free of software-related faults.
Audi e-tron powertrain issues
One of, if not the most serious issue that plagues the e-tron is one where the powertrain completely shuts off while the car is driving. Many owners stated that their e-tron models just stopped working in various situations, even while overtaking on a highway. This can be a huge safety hazard which means that you need to check the model you are looking at for these issues.
The reason why this happens is that the coolant is able to find its way into the motor which then stops making any power. Some say that the issue is related to the gasket that fails and thus causes these issues. These issues can leave you stranded and they can even require a complete electric motor replacement.
Audi e-tron reverse gear issues
Another fairly serious issue with the e-tron is one where the car shuts itself down or engages the neutral/park while backing up. Many owners have stated that the car does this without any apparent reason and that Audi is not really up to date with this issue, at least not on a larger scale. This means that the issue itself is not as widely spread as it can be.
All in all, one owner stated that these issues are down to faulty safety sensors which stop the car because they think the car is going to crash into something. Either way, this can also be a big safety hazard and you should ask your Audi dealer about these issues if you want to buy an e-tron.
Audi e-tron water leaks
The Audi e-tron also suffers from issues related to all sorts of water leaks into the cabin and into the car’s battery compartment. The most common places where water tends to enter the cabin are around the mirrors, the sunroof, the passenger footwell, and the tailgate.
These can cause massive issues if not properly taken care of so be sure to check these components to see if there are any signs of water ingress. Audi even issued a recall for around 1,600 2019 models because water could potentially find its way into the battery compartment and cause a dangerous thermal event.
Audi e-tron equipment/electrical issues
The e-tron also tends to suffer from additional issues related to defective rear lights and the tailgate and doors not being able to stay open. A few owners complained about the tailgate closing without them wanting it go which can even cause injuries if not taken care of.
These are relatively small niggles that don’t affect the car’s usability but can affect the enjoyment big time. As such, don’t forget to check these as well.
Is the Audi e-tron worth it?
We have already mentioned that the Audi e-tron is not the most reliable EV money can buy these days, but that most of its owners are more than satisfied with their ownership. The reason why is simple, because it is an Audi. Audi knows how to make a nice luxury car that does not take itself too seriously and just makes your life a lot easier.
Therefore, there might be better EVs out there when it comes to dependability, but the e-tron seems to be one of the most enjoyable ones. That is why Audi is a luxury car brand and why it is indeed worth it to buy the e-tron.
Is the Audi e-tron better than the e-tron GT?
The Audi e-tron GT is a four-door coupe that shares many of its parts with the Porsche Taycan. According to most people, the e-tron GT is by far the best Audi EV money can buy and I tend to agree with that. The e-tron GT is more reliable than the e-tron SUV, it is faster, it looks better, and it can last longer.
If you prefer SUVs over sedans, you are probably going to prefer the e-tron, but if you want the better car overall, the e-tron GT is the one.
How long can an Audi e-tron last?
According to most sources, the e-tron should be able to last between 200,000-400,000 miles without needing a new battery. If you do around 15,000 miles per year, you can expect 10-15 years of use before needing a brand new battery.
The e-tron might not offer the most range (230 miles) out of all available EVs, but it certainly does make up for itself in the luxury, technology, and desirability department.