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In-depth reviews

Audi Q5 hybrid performance, engine & drive

The Q5 plug-in is comfortable, quiet and relaxing to drive, but packs plenty of performance as well

Overall rating

3.5 out of 5

Performance, engine & drive rating

3.5 out of 5

Price
£36,400 - £106,230
Fuel Type:
Hybrid Petrol
Model0-62mphTop speed Driven wheelsPower
50 TFSI e6.1s148mphFour295bhp

The plug-in hybrid Q5 has a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine coupled with a 141bhp electric motor fed by a 17.9kWh (14.4kWh useable) battery. All models get a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, and quattro all-wheel drive.

The power output of the 50 TFSI e is 295bhp and 450Nm of torque, which isn't as much power as you'll find in the Lexus NX 450h+ or Volvo XC60 Recharge. A faster, more powerful Q5 55 TFSI e used to be offer but has since been discontinued in the UK.

Audi Q5 hybrid electric motor, 0-62mph and acceleration

Accelerating from 0-62mph takes 6.1 seconds in the 50 TFSI e. The electric motor assists the engine and provides decent punch if you give it everything off the line, but this isn't a car that encourages hooliganism. It's best to enjoy the excellent refinement, whether shuffling quietly through town under electric power or with the barely audible petrol engine working away at a steady motorway cruise.

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You can use its dedicated EV mode to make steady and near-silent progress up to motorway speeds. Hybrid mode shuffles between the petrol engine and electric motor to aid fuel economy. 

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Suppose you need to conserve battery power for driving in a city. In that case, you can either do this manually using the battery hold function or by setting your destination in the car's sat-nav, where it'll automatically save battery power for use during slower parts of the trip.

The car's regenerative braking system is reasonably intuitive. There isn't a 'one-pedal' setting as you get in the Nissan Leaf; it uses sensors to automatically increase the brake forces autonomously to keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front, and it even knows if you're approaching a roundabout or junction and varies the regenerative braking force accordingly.

The Q5 also decouples the regenerative braking system and the petrol engine to coast when you lift off the throttle on a clear road as another clever way to save fuel. It sounds complicated and can be unnerving initially because it feels like the car's running away from you, but you get used to it quickly, and if you touch the brakes or accelerator pedal, the engine will start up again seamlessly.

Handling

The plug-in hybrid Q5 excels at motorway cruising. It's quiet, with minimal road and wind noise, and when the engine fires up, there’s no jerkiness as it switches between power sources. The ride is comfortable on 19-inch alloy wheels and fitted with stiffer S line suspension. 

The Audi Q5 hybrid is no sports SUV. It's precise and composed with well-weighted steering, but you wouldn't describe it as engaging as a Ford Kuga PHEV can be. Everything about the car feels dialled towards effortless cruising capability, with stoic stability and stress-free outside-lane pace whether you're in EV or Hybrid mode.

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Richard is editor of DrivingElectric, as well as sister site Carbuyer.co.uk, and a regular contributor to Auto Express. An electric and hybrid car advocate, he spent more than five years working on the news and reviews desk at Auto Express and has driven almost every new car currently on sale.

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