2021 Audi e-tron SUV adds range and cuts starting price

Audi is adding a new, more affordable trim to its all-electric 2021 e-tron SUV, bringing down the cost of entry while also bumping up the range over the previous year. The electric luxury SUV is being joined in dealerships by the new 2021 Audi e-tron Sportback, a more stylish version with a swooping roofline.

Until now, the cheapest way to get behind the wheel of the e-tron SUV has been the Premium Plus model. That starts at $74,800 plus $1,095 destination, before any federal or state tax incentives or similar.

For the 2021 model year, however, Audi is adding a new entry-level trim. The 2021 e-tron SUV Premium will start at $65,900 (plus destination; before incentives), and have the same 355 horsepower – or 402 hp in Boost Mode – and 95 kWh battery. It'll come with 20-inch 5-spoke wheels, four-zone climate control, a heated steering wheel and front seats, power tailgate, and Audi virtual cockpit plus.

There's also lane departure warnings, comfort pre-conditioning, rear window and tailgate privacy glass, the Audi sound system, and heated, auto-dimming power-folding side mirrors. A $69,400 Premium w/ Convenience Plus Package trim will add the Drive Assistance package and the Black Exterior Trim Kit, the latter including the matte black grille, front and rear bumper trim, and matte black roof rails.

The 2021 e-tron SUV Premiums Plus keeps its starting price, and adds in things like heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and a 3D Bang & Olufsen audio system. Finally, the $79,100 Prestige trim throws in a head-up display, upgraded front massage seats, the full leather package, multi-color LED ambient lighting, power door closers, rear sunshades, and dual-pane acoustic side window glass.

The other change is to range. At launch, the e-tron SUV got an EPA rating of 204 miles, but for the 2021 model year that's being increased to 222 miles. Audi says that, while the overall battery size hasn't been altered, it's now giving access to 86.5 kWh of that for everyday use, almost 3 kWh more. The automaker had faced criticism from some quarters that it was being needlessly conservative when it came to the offset for natural battery degradation over time.

Other tweaks include the ability for the SUV to completely disengage the front electric motor when not required; that cuts power usage "dramatically," Audi says. The motor instantly kicks back in when required. Premium Plus trim now gets the option of dual charge ports, too, so that the e-tron SUV can be charged from either the left or right side.

As for the 2021 Audi e-tron Sportback, that has the same performance figures – including a 5.5 second 0-60 mph time – and is rated for an estimated 218 miles of EPA range. It starts at $69,100 (plus destination; before incentives) for the Premium trim, with S line exterior package, 20-inch 5-spoke wheels, and the other extras from the regular 2021 e-tron SUV Premium. The Premium Plus trim will be $78,000, and the Prestige from $82,300.