What might be higher than a plug-in hybrid Audi Q5? All that roominess, the executive-plush inside, neat dynamics and enviable model swagger, full with an official 26 miles of electrical working and a 2.Zero-litre petrol engine to maintain you going after that. It may properly be the plug-in hybrid that loads of patrons have been ready for.
There are two plug-in Q5 TFSI e fashions on supply, each full with a 14.1kWh battery and 141bhp electrical motor. The acquainted 2.Zero-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine options in each, alongside Audi’s venerable quattro lively four-wheel drive and seven-speed dual-clutch auto gearbox.
Mixed with the electrical motor, this brings energy as much as 295bhp for the entry-level 50 TFSI e, or 362bhp for the 55 TFSI e that we’re testing right here. The concept being, after all, is that you are able to do the college run or shorter commutes nearly fuel-free after which have the liberty of a petroleum automotive on the weekend.
And in apply, it truly is near the very best of all worlds. In pure-EV mode, it’s silent, suave and simply usually makes you’re feeling filled with smug. You are able to do motorway speeds in electrical mode with ease, and naturally the uninterrupted stream of energy is right for slicking across the metropolis.
We managed to get some 20 miles of electrical working throughout our motorway-heavy take a look at drive, so 25 miles needs to be doable in good climate round tow. With low battery cost and in Hybrid mode, the turbocharged petrol engine nonetheless returns near 40mpg in unhurried use.
Simply don’t overlook that, as with every plug-in hybrid, it’s a must to cost the Q5 often to get the effectivity on supply. That’s straightforward sufficient to do – a traditional three-pin home socket will ship a full cost in round six hours, whereas a 7kW house wallbox will do it in two – and the mandatory cables are equipped as customary.
For longer journeys, Hybrid mode is your finest guess. Stick a vacation spot within the automotive’s nav and it robotically switches between electrical and petrol working because it deems finest with a purpose to achieve essentially the most effectivity. Intelligent stuff, because it even prioritises electrical working for slower roads and petrol for most important artery routes.
Not solely that, however it switches cleanly between the 2 powertrains with none sudden change in throttle response or lurch in progress to distract you from Radio four or your latte-to-go. Plus, the petrol engine itself is super-quiet, and barely any extra intrusive on a gradual throttle than the electrical motor.
It’s additionally very snug. The Q5 trim vary has had a shake-up with the addition of the plug-in hybrid, however if you would like air suspension then it’s a must to go for one of many Vorsprung trims which have it included – it’s not an choice on the others. Thoughts you, our S Line Competitors 55 TFSI e rode with spectacular composure, feeling taut but pliant – a powerful steadiness for a heavy, high-riding SUV. We’d say the adaptive air set-up actually is pointless.
The TFSI e doesn’t encourage you to drive as vigorously as an SQ5 does, however it’s tidy and balanced in corners, and the straight-line efficiency within the 55 TFSI e isn’t far off that of the SQ5 fashions, both. Not unhealthy for a automotive that additionally will get free entry into London (till October 2021, at the very least) and low-cost firm automotive tax.
You even get ample passenger house within the again and sized boot; at 450 litres it’s 95 litres smaller than the usual Q5’s and there’s no choice of a space-saver tyre. Nevertheless it’s nonetheless simply adequate for a chunky buggy or huge canine. The most important annoyance is the cumbersome cable case that hooks onto a lashing eye and hangs round, taking over house within the boot.
Cable storage is one factor, however it’s extra prone to be the worth that makes you query the Q5 plug-in hybrid. The most affordable 50 TFSI mannequin begins at just below £50,000, whereas the 55 TFSI e is available in at virtually £55,000 – some £6,000 greater than an equal diesel or petrol Q5.
And whereas it does get LED headlights, heated and electrically adjustable seats, Audi’s spectacular nav system, Apple CarPlay, wi-fi telephone charging and extra, you’re nonetheless prone to wish to add metallic paint and a panoramic sunroof, in addition to the Consolation and Sound pack for keyless entry and the Tour pack to get adaptive cruise management. Earlier than you realize it you’ve obtained a £60ok automotive. A Volvo XC60 T8 Twin Engine isn’t going to be as environment friendly because the Q5 when it’s obtained the petrol engine going, however spec-for-spec it’s actually cheaper to purchase.