Audi Q4 e-tron 50 quattro vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E AWD

Audi Q4 e-tron 50 quattro vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E AWD

The electric offensive in the automobile industry is accelerating and the arrival of these two new mid-size SUVs is already ‘moving’ the market. Ford takes advantage of the prized image of the Mustang to take on Audi’s Q4 e-tron head-on . Direct rivals in the light of the new e-mobility, with around 400 km (real) of autonomy and very competent performance and behaviors .

As electric cars become mainstream across brands, we are forced to realign our thinking about market segmentation and positioning. For example: choosing between a generalist brand and a premium brand was not a very common situation , because the former favors rationality and the latter has greater aspirational power, with implications in terms of prices, perceived quality and, sometimes, technical solutions applied to vehicles. Now that we have entered the electric age, some of these notions are a bit watered down, while other priorities may be more determining, namely autonomy and charging power .

Audi Q4 e-tron 50 quattro vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E AWD

Comparative

Comes the preamble note regarding this confrontation between the Ford Mustang Mach-E and the Audi Q4 e-tron that would perhaps raise some eyebrows in the context of cars with combustion engines, but that in this new era seems to make total sense. . And even more if we consider the pedigree nickname of the American car: yes, it is a Ford, but catapulted by the Mustang surname, which is not for everyone , thus feeling more comfortable to face the ‘German enemy’, of the e-tron branch. (electric) from the Audi Q (SUV) family.

On the one hand, we have the second Mustang in history, which is the first electric Ford (there was a Focus before , but it was very limited and still with outdated technology and general concept) and which debuts a platform designed from scratch , a rare privilege. in our days. Something that even caused some surprise when Ford and Volkswagen announced that the former became a customer of the latter by buying the MEB platform for their future compact / midsize electric cars (from 2023, for vehicles from the size of the Fiesta to almost the size of the Mondeo ), which is now the ‘backbone’ of VW, Skoda, Seat and Audi electrics (this Q4, because the e-tron GT uses the base of the Porsche Taycan).

Audi Q4 e-tron 50 quattro vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E AWD
Any of these electric SUVs is capable of fulfilling the function of being the main car of the family.

The thing is, the Mustang Mach-E was ready. On the other side is the Q4, which is just one of the 20 electric models that Audi wants to have on sale in 2025 and of which it then hopes to obtain a 40% share of total registrations worldwide.

Visually we have the first surprise of this confrontation … or maybe not. That’s because throughout the days that I drove the two SUVs, the Mach-E spun four out of every five heads it encountered , while the Q4 had incomparably less of an impact (even though it had a more consensual rear design than the second body in the range, called Sportback, which, unlike what happens in other Audi models, was not born on a day of great inspiration from German stylists, in addition to having less space at the rear and being around 2,000 euros more expensive than this Q4, said, SUV).

Audi Q4 e-tron 50 quattro vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E AWD
The Ford Mustang Mach-E (4.71 m) is 13 cm longer than the Audi Q4 e-tron (4.58 m).

There may be several explanations for this greater impact caused by Ford. On the one hand, the Audi does not differ much from the other SUVs of the German brand for ordinary mortals who do not even notice that the radiator grille is sealed and that the floor of the car is higher than normal. On the other hand, the name Mustang provokes some adrenaline for the mythical and affordable sports coupe and appearing on the body of an SUV (with clear markings in the front and rear optics and on the rear glass) generates some amazement. Finally, it is not difficult to admit that the lines of the Mach-E are bolder than those of the e-tron , especially since Audi always goes for a more conservative design.

The Ford is much longer (4.71 meters, 13 cm more than the Audi), being almost the same in height (around 1.60 m) and again prevails in width (2 cm more). The German car has a 4 cm higher ground clearance (which gives it that SUV look compared to the more crossover ‘air’ of the Mach-E), but what is really surprising is the big difference in the wheelbase (22 cm larger than the Ford).

Audi Q4 e-tron 50 quattro vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E AWD

So we have two SUVs with a family vocation that can perfectly accommodate five occupants (driver included), because although three passengers in the second row travel a little tighter in width, the absence of a tunnel in the floor is very positive (possible when no transmission or exhaust system components crossing the length of the cars).

The height is always very generous , even for people who measure 1.90 meters, both in the front and in the back, and in this case, with the height of the seats higher than the front ones, to create the appreciated amphitheater effect , improving the views towards the landscape. Either one prevents rear passengers from traveling with their legs too bent (remember that the huge batteries are under the floor).

With the tape measure in hand, it is concluded that the Ford offers an additional 2 cm of width in the front and rear , that the height of the two is similar (although the test Mustang had a panoramic roof to the full length of the vehicle). passenger compartment, which usually steals habitability, not being the case) and that in length the Audi has 4 cm more for the legs behind (81 vs 77 cm), a surprise because the Mustang is much larger between axles as we have seen. And although it is shorter, the Q4 has a larger trunk (520 versus 402 liters), but the American car tries to compensate with a second trunk under the front hood , of 81 liters.

Audi Q4 e-tron 50 quattro vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E AWD
Ford opted for a huge upright tablet to dominate the very simplistic dashboard.

Not only does it balance the total capacity of the trunks of the two cars, but it is also an advantage in terms of functionality: in the Audi you will have to remove the suitcases / bags to be able to reach the cables under the floor when you have to charge the batteries in trip, but in the Mach-E it is enough to open the hood and remove the cables from the ‘frunk’ (English neologism that joins the words front trunk).

The trunks of both models have very usable geometric shapes, their capacity can be increased by lowering the rear seat backrests (60/40 in Ford and 40/20/40 in Audi) and they have a tray that can be mounted in two heights (the highest allows a completely flat cargo area to be created when the seat backs are down).

Where there is no surprise is the advantage of the German model on the dashboard, both for the better quality of the materials and for the mounting that inspires more confidence and also for the more integrated and consistent appearance of the central display , mounted horizontally. In the case of Ford, it seems that someone has fixed a giant tablet in the center of the dashboard and that the budget has been exhausted to make a little bigger and more complete instrumentation.

The Q4 makes the driver feel more involved with his mission also because the center screen is focused towards him , while in the Mustang it is more ‘social’, positioned completely upright, inviting the front passenger to touch it (being much more visible by its dimensions: 15 “against 10.25” in the German car – in a few months a larger 11.8 “with a higher definition will be launched, which will become the largest used in an Audi).

In the Q4, below this screen are the climate controls ( Audi decided, well, to keep these physical controls ) and below, between the two seats, a very open area, where we find the driving mode selector and the transmission (from one speed), plus audio volume and little else. Also noteworthy is the new steering wheel (flat on the top and bottom) and sensory buttons (instead of mechanical).

In the Mustang, behind the wheel we have a very narrow and (little) configurable digital instrumentation , changing its appearance according to the chosen driving mode. There are three that have received creative names: Whisper (Whisper), Active and Untamed (Indomitable), instead of the usual, but duller, Eco, Normal and Sport , and they ‘play’ with parameters such as the digital sound of the engines ( amplified in Untamed and off in Whisper), throttle response, interior lighting, electronic driving and steering aids.

Two flaws in this regard: there is no ‘Individual’ mode that allows you to configure different settings within each of the modes (that is, sports steering with comfortable suspension, for example), which limits the suitability of driving to suit your tastes. each; and it is not possible to visualize the amount of energy recovered when braking , nor is there a graphic animation that shows the energy flows, unlike what happens in the Q4 e-tron. By the way, the Q4 also stands out for being able to have a head-up display (projection of information on the windshield) and with Augmented Reality, which does not exist in the American rival.

If there is one piece of information that we can take for granted about the dynamic behavior of electric cars, it is that they fire instantly at the slightest touch of the accelerator and these two SUVs weighing around 2.2 tons (and with a motor on each axle, ensuring 4×4 traction) they are no exception. The maximum speed in both cases is limited to 180 km / h and accelerations and speed recoveries can leave anyone glued to their seat, as understood in the 6.7 seconds that the Audi takes to accelerate from 0 to 100 km / h. h, the Mach-E being even faster ( 5.1 seconds ), already in pure sports car territory.

 

The position and weight of the batteries contribute to improved dynamic stability , reducing the center of gravity, while helping to achieve a nearly even mass distribution. This is not to say that the weight is not felt in the curves, impairing a little agility , something that should improve with the suspension with shock absorbers (which the Mustang will only have in the imminent GT version).

In both cars, the suspensions are independent on all four wheels (with multiple arms behind) and very competent in the way they absorb irregularities and guarantee a very acceptable level of comfort, while maintaining silence, which is important in 100% electric vehicles. where there is no engine sound to mask any other noise produced by the moving vehicle.

Audi Q4 e-tron 50 quattro vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E AWD

With lower ground clearance (14.5 cm versus 18 cm in the Audi), the Ford exhibits more cornering stability (being wider and having larger, heavier batteries helps), although the Audi doesn’t rock too much in part because of the contribution of the wider and lower tires (and mixed: 235/50 R20 front and 255/45 R20 rear) than those of the Mustang (225/55 R19).

But there are differences. Audi’s steering is more precise and communicative (they make the same 2.6 turns of the wheel from lock to lock), while Ford’s feels more ‘synthetic’ even when switched to ‘Untamed’ driving mode. Speaking of the matter, the driving modes are more differentiated in the case of the Ford (but there is no indication in the instrumentation about the selected mode), while in the German car it is even good that the mode we are in can be consulted. ..

The unit used in this comparison was equipped with an extensive list of options ( more than 10,000 euros of extras ) but, if we want to start erasing, it is best to give up the variable electronic dampers , because the difference is hardly noticeable even between the modes more distant (and we saved about 1,300 euros).

In both cases, the torque delivery varies according to the selected mode, and more is gradually sent to the rear wheels in the sportiest programs, with a torque vectoring effect, with selective interventions in braking that end up assisting the steering. and decreasing the tendency to lengthen the curved trajectories (the so-called understeer effect). The Mach-E can have a markedly sportier behavior when we select the Untamed program, which generates funny moments in which the rear is ‘loosened’, if the driver provokes it (much more than in the Audi, where this behavior is much more content).

As we have seen before, there are three levels of energy recovery at Ford , the strongest of which allows driving with only the accelerator and almost forgetting the brake pedal. So-called ‘driving a pedal’ is a setup in which deceleration energy is so aggressively retained that it practically exempts the driver from touching the left pedal.

The levels of retention intensity are defined through the central display (there could be a physical button …), where the electronic simulation of the sound of a gasoline engine can also be adjusted. There are also three modes in the Audi (one of them also suitable for ‘one pedal drive’), in this case selectable from the paddles behind the steering wheel, creating an effect similar to that of gearbox reductions in sports driving (e including an automatic level that changes the holding force according to traffic conditions).

Electric autonomy

Here the two top versions (so far) of these SUVs with more power and, above all, more autonomy were compared. Having a larger battery (88 vs 77 kWh), it is not surprising that the Mustang can do more kilometers for each full charge : 540 km are officially promised (against 486 for the German model), but during these tests the distances verified They were smaller, that is, 460 km for the Ford and 383 km for the Audi , but they already allow living with these two models without strong anxiety generated by the danger of running out of power in the middle of the trip.

Of course, one can stop along the way to charge, with a new advantage of the Mustang in this domain, by allowing the batteries to ‘fill up’ (in direct current, DC) with a charging power of 150 kW , while the Q4 does not do it at more than 125 kW (there are not many ultra-fast charging stations in Spain, but this will inevitably happen in the future). In alternating current (AC) the maximum is the same for both models (11 kW). In DC, with the respective maximum currents, in 10 minutes the Audi can receive power for 130 km and the Ford for 119 km , while in AC, at 11 kW it will take more than 7 hours in any case (about an hour more for Ford).

Audi Q4 e-tron 50 quattro vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E AWD

The entry price of the Audi Q4 e-tron 50 quattro ( 58,160 euros ) is lower than that of the Ford Mustang Mach-E AWD Extended Range ( 64,963 ) but they are much more level in these ‘stuffed’ versions and when we balance the contents as much as possible (The Mustang has almost everything as standard, including equipment that is paid extra in the Audi such as the dynamic cruise control assistant, the driving modes, the electric front seats, the leather seats, the alarm, more speakers, etc.).

What are the main strengths of each? On the Ford side, sportier behavior, superior autonomy and faster loads, faster performance, in addition to a more ‘marked’ aesthetics. Audi responds with a more technologically advanced interior, complete and well-built, as well as being a bit more spacious.

Audi Q4 e-tron 50 quattro

Price: 58 160 euros

Motors: (2) synchronous electric 299 CV / 460 Nm

Weight / power ratio 7.4 Kg / CV

1 speed automatic transmission

Weight: 2,210 kg

Length / Width / Height: 4.58 / 1.86 / 1.61 M

Wheelbase: 2.76M

Trunk: 520-1,490 liters

Performance: 6.2 s 0-100 Km / h; Max speed 180 Km / h

WLTP consumption: 18.1 kWh / 100 km (20.1 *)

Lithium ion battery

Capacity: 82 kWh (useful: 77 kWh)

Warranty (70% charged): 8 years / 160,000 km

WLTP autonomy: 486 Km (383 Km)

Charging times: 7.5 h (11 kW); 38 m (125 KW)

Maximum load power in DC: 125 kW

Maximum charging power in AC: 11 kW

In favor of the Audi Q4 e-tron 50 quattro

  • Quality of materials / construction
  • Dashboard concept
  • Information
  • Space / trunk

Against the Audi Q4 e-tron 50 quattro

  • Less autonomy
  • Undifferentiated aesthetics
  • Less noticeable driving modes
  • Too many options

Ford Mustang Mach-E AWD

Price: 64,963 euros

Motors (2): electric synchronous 351 CV / 580 Nm

Weight / power ratio: 6.2 KG / CV

1-SPEED automatic transmission

Weight: 2,182 kg

Length / Width / Height: 4.71 / 1.88 / 1.60 M

Wheelbase: 2.98 m

Luggage compartment: 402-1420 liters 81 liters (2nd luggage compartment)

Performance: 5.1 s 0-100 Km / h; Max speed 180 Km / h

WLTP consumption: 18.7 kWh / 100 km (19.1)

Lithium ion battery

Capacity: 98.8 kWh (useful: 88 kWh)

Warranty (70% charged): 8 years / 160,000 km

WLTP autonomy: 540 Km (460 KM)

Charging times: 8.5 h (11 kW); 45 m (150 kW)

Maximum load power in DC: 150 kW

Maximum charging power in AC: 11 kW

In favor of the Ford Mustang Mach-E AWD

  • More fun behavior
  • Superior autonomy
  • Benefits
  • Mustang Image
  • equipment

Against the Ford Mustang Mach-E AWD

  • Price
  • Use of interior space
  • Very simple instrumentation
  • Lack of information

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *