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2025 Audi Q6 and SQ6 E-tron First Drive: Audi's Best EVs Yet

The new Q6 shines over its other E-tron siblings

2025 Audi Q6 E-tron front 3/4
  • This new electric SUV slots between the compact Q4 E-tron and midsize Q8 E-tron.
  • It offers over 300 miles of estimated range.
  • And very quick charging speeds.

Audi fans who are in the market for an electric vehicle currently only have two choices: the small, affordable Q4 E-tron and the larger but substantially more expensive Q8 E-tron. Audi plans to shoot the gap between the two with a new model, the 2025 Q6 E-tron. Based on all-new EV underpinnings and featuring a fresh interior, the Q6 is a fresh electric SUV for Audi — and it’s a good one, too.

There’s a likability to the Q6 that’s simply missing from the other E-tron SUVs. It's more stylish than the Q8 and more sophisticated than the Q4. We were skeptical whether or not Audi actually needed a third electric SUV on sale, but after some time behind the wheel, we’re sold on the Q6 because it’s better than the other E-tron models and seems to be very competitive with the Acura ZDX, Mercedes EQE SUV and electric version of the Porsche Macan.

Audi Q6 E-tron rear

New EV tech makes a big difference

Every version of the Q6 will come with two motors and all-wheel drive. The entry-level Q6 is good for 422 horsepower (boosted to 456 hp in short bursts) and the spicier SQ6 version with 483 hp (with a temporary boost to 509 hp). The base car will hit 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, while the S will do it in 4.1 seconds. Audi says an even more powerful RS model is coming, likely next year.

The Q6 E-tron will be the first vehicle in Audi's arsenal riding on the Premium Platform Electric architecture co-developed with Porsche. A key component of this platform is that, unlike the current Audi EVs, the Q6 E-tron is underpinned by a high-capacity 800-volt electrical system, which means great things for range and charging.

Audi Q6 E-tron front driver-side

Audi expects that the Q6 will be good for an EPA-estimated 307 miles of range on a full charge. So, the Q6 has the potential to be the farthest-driving Audi SUV in our independent Edmunds EV Range Test, which we should hopefully run later this year. The pre-update Q4 E-tron managed 270 miles and an older version of the Q8 E-tron did 248 miles.

Charging times are also better than with other Audi EVs. When plugged into a high-powered fast-charging station, the 100-kWh battery pack is expected to charge from 10% to 80% in 21 minutes. That's one of the quicker charging times for a luxury EV.

A refined way to drive

Our first drive experience in the Q6 E-tron was accompanied by a massive storm that soaked the roads for the majority of our time behind the wheel. That said, we still learned a lot about Audi’s newest EV — mainly that it’s simply better to drive than any of the other E-tron SUVs. This might not be a shock considering the Q6’s hardware was co-developed with Porsche and the new Macan EV, but regardless, it’s clear that Audi is trying harder to make its EVs more enjoyable on the road.

The Euro-spec Q6 we drove was very similar to the version we will get. However, it gets quite a bit less power — about 70 hp. That means when we put our foot down hard in this EV we were only experiencing 350-ish ponies. It was evident that more power would be a good thing, and the promised 422 hp in the U.S.-spec version should do the trick.

2025 Audi Q6 e-tron front

Through some very rain-soaked mountain passes, we pushed the Q6 gently and were pleased with how it behaved. The Q6 has the easy drivability that you want from a luxury SUV with the benefits of instant power and smooth one-pedal driving that come with an electric powertrain. The learning curve to get up to speed driving this car comfortably happens quickly — this would be a great EV for a first-time buyer.

Though it only makes an additional 61 hp, the SQ6 is instantly recognizable as more athletic than its entry-level sibling. Audi dialed in the SQ6 for more athletic driving with a host of hardware tweaks to accompany the power boost. The dampers are tuned a step more aggressively, the front brakes are upgraded to six-piston units, there are bigger anti-roll bars and, perhaps most importantly, optional summer tires.

Like virtually every other electric SUV, the Audi’s 5,300-pound curb weight is evident on a curvy road. That said, the SQ6 held its own, carrying impressive speeds in the corners before eventually giving in to understeer. Like in the Q6, the optional adaptive air suspension is the star of the show, keeping the SUV planted and well balanced at all times. The low point of the experience is the vague steering feel that doesn’t do a great job of telling you what’s going on through the wheel. We can tell you that the Q6’s cousin the Porsche Macan EV does better in this regard.

2025 Audi Q6 E-tron profile

While the rain ruined most of our chances to drive the Q6 hard, it provided an excellent opportunity to see how this EV does as an everyday driver. The Audi has a phenomenal ride quality that strikes a perfect balance of being connected to the road and forgiving over bumps. It was impressive in just about every scenario we threw at the car and one of the big reasons that it stands out over its Q4 and Q8 E-tron siblings. Most of this can be attributed to the fantastic air suspension that can alter the SUV’s personality at the push of a button. It’s optional on both the Q6 and SQ6 and well worth the money.

We’re also very pleased with how calm and quiet the Q6’s cabin is. Luxury EVs should be the quietest vehicles on the road and the Q6 really excels in this department. Only at full highway speeds does any major noise from the road or the wind intrude inside, and even then it’s very manageable.

Audi Q6 E-tron front interior

A new interior for Audi

Audi says the Q6 E-tron is dimensionally roughly the same length as the Q5 compact SUV on the outside, but a long wheelbase and short overhangs should translate into more passenger space than its gas-powered sibling offers. We consider the Q5 one of the roomier choices in its class, and we can report that Q6 E-tron also has plenty of space across both rows.

That said there are some drawbacks. A distinct lack of physical buttons is a big one. Most of the car's controls are touchscreen-based. You want to change your fan speed? Now it’s a few clicks on the screen instead of a single button press. Thankfully, Audi kept a real volume knob but put it in the usual awkward spot on the center console.

Audi Q6 E-tron profile of front interior

The new steering wheel features capacitive touch buttons on either side that take a while to get the hang of. We would prefer to have good ol’ fashioned regular buttons instead of having to guess whether or not we actually clicked something.

If you’d like your Audi Q6 E-tron to be even more environmentally friendly, there are lots of recycled materials throughout the cabin. Available are a recycled polyester that stretches from door to door across the dashboard, a similar fabric for the seats and headliner, and seats wrapped in microfiber (also made from recycled materials). You can also select diamond-stitched leather upholstery for a more classic Audi experience.

The majority of the dashboard is taken up by an 11.9-inch digital instrument panel and 14.5-inch central touchscreen, which are joined under a single curved display that immediately steals attention. The driver-oriented touchscreen means that a front passenger may have a hard time playing DJ on road trips. To solve this, a third 10.9-inch screen is available, allowing the passenger to help with audio tuning or navigation. This screen's narrow viewing field also allows the passenger to watch movies without causing driver distraction. Translation: This thing is packed to the brim with screens, so if that’s not your thing then look elsewhere.

Audi Q6 E-tron dashboard

Music lovers will want to check the option box for the available Bang & Olufsen audio system that spreads 22 speakers throughout the cabin, including a pair of headrest-mounted speakers for each front seat. A playlist consisting mostly of Taylor Swift’s greatest hits indeed confirms that this system bumps with the best of them.

We still don't know the full breadth of the Q6 E-tron's advanced driver assist features when it hits the States, but we found one big feature on the first drive to love. This EV will offer an augmented reality head-up display that very smartly displays information with a depth of field that's more in line with the driver's natural viewing area. The AR layer actually projects the HUD info far in front of the driver, partially achieved by using an angled image. This shifts the driver's focus to the actual road rather than directly behind the steering wheel. We’ve used it in other products from Mercedes and find it helpful just about every time.

The Q6 E-tron's cargo area measures 30.2 cubic feet with the rear seats up, so max storage is quite a bit less than the Q4 E-tron or Q5. But you do get a frunk as well with an extra 2.3 cubic feet of room — perfect, Audi says, for storing the charging equipment or smaller travel bags.

Edmunds says

The Q6 E-Tron is Audi's best EV to date. With more sophisticaed powertrain hardware and a clean-sheet redo on the interior, this SUV points the company in a solid direction moving forward.