In-depth reviews

Audi Q5 hybrid review

The Audi Q5 TFSI e plug-in hybrid is fast, spacious and returns up to 27 miles of electric range

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£32,835 - £95,655
Fuel Type:
Hybrid Petrol

Pros

  • Practical yet posh family SUV
  • Quiet and comfortable
  • Smart, solid interior

Cons

  • Lack of cable storage
  • Easy to spend a lot on options
  • Other PHEVs go further on battery
Car typeElectric rangeFuel economyCO2 emissions
Plug-in hybrid26-27 miles105-118mpg49-61g/km

Even before it got the electrification treatment, the Audi Q5 was already a practical yet luxurious family SUV that offered a tidy balance of comfort and handling on the road. But the plug-in hybrid powertrain adds increased efficiency and sportier performance to Audi’s rival for the BMW X3 xDrive30e, Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 e and Volvo XC60 Recharge plug-in hybrid SUVs.

There are two plug-in hybrid Q5 models on offer: 50 TFSI e and 55 TFSI e. Both feature a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, and use a 141bhp electric motor powered by a 14.1kWh battery. Both models also feature a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission as well as Audi’s quattro four-wheel-drive system. There’s also a Sportback coupe-SUV version of the plug-in Q5 available now, which uses the same powertrains.

The difference between the two models is their total power output, with the Q5 55 TFSI e that we tested producing 362bhp, while the less expensive 50 TFSI e model produces 295bhp. Regardless, in pure-electric ‘EV’ mode, the plug-in Q5 is impressively quiet with well insulated suspension and tyre noise and virtually no noise from the electric motor. You can cover 25 miles or so on electric power, all the way up to motorway speeds.

But, as with all plug-in hybrids, charging the Q5 is critical if you want to achieve its claimed 107-118mpg. If you don’t plug it in, you’ll see the big SUV return figures closer to 40 or even 30mpg. Thankfully, charging is easy, with a 7kW home wallbox charger capable of recharging the Q5 in roughly two hours.

But, when you do switch between the electric and petrol powertrain, you’ll struggle to notice – it’s seamless with no hesitation or odd changes in throttle response. On top of that, the Q5’s ride comfort is good, even when the S line Competition 55 TFSI e we tested come with 20-inch wheels. However, top-of-the-range Vorsprung models do get air suspension, but only those models.

Passenger and boot space are on par with the plug-in Q5’s rivals from BMW, Mercedes and Volvo. Boot space is reduced by 95 litres over the petrol and diesel variants, but at 450 litres (with the seats up), there’s still plenty of room for families. Standard equipment on the Q5 is also good, with even entry-level Sport models getting LED headlights, heated and power-adjustable front seats, a 10.1-inch touchscreen and Audi’s Virtual Cockpit driver’s display. As well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless phone charging and more.

However, that does come at a price – the cheapest 50 TFSI e model starts at just under £51,000, while the 55 TFSI e comes in at around £56,000 –  over £6,000 more expensive than an equivalent non-electrified diesel or petrol Q5. Opting for the Sportback version will also increase the price by around £2,500, as will adding some of option packs available on the Q5. With all that considered, the Volvo XC60 T6 looks better value given its more generous standard equipment, although arguably the Q5’s better residual-value forecast and superior efficiency with the petrol engine running could make up for it.

Overall, the Q5 manages to be almost any car for any person. It’s fast, roomy, quiet, cheap to run if you plug in regularly, and has enviable brand swagger to boot. Provided you don’t want something that excites on a good road, it’s got every other aspect of the modern family sports-SUV nailed. It’s not cheap, but it’s good enough that you won’t feel short-changed. For more on the Q5 hybrid, read on for the rest of our in-depth review…

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