New Audi Q5 55 TFSI e 2019 assessment
There are two plug-in Q5 TFSI e fashions on supply, each full with a 14.1kWh battery and 141bhp electrical motor. The acquainted 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine options in each, alongside Audi’s venerable quattro energetic four-wheel drive and seven-speed dual-clutch auto gearbox.
• Greatest hybrid SUVs on sale
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, in fact, is that you are able to do the varsity run or shorter commutes just about fuel-free after which have the liberty of a petroleum automobile on the weekend.
And in apply, it truly is near the most effective of all worlds. In pure-EV mode, it’s silent, suave and simply usually makes you’re feeling stuffed 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 check drive, so 25 miles must be attainable 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 neglect that, as with every plug-in hybrid, it’s important to cost the Q5 commonly to get the effectivity on supply. That’s simple sufficient to do – a standard 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 required cables are equipped as normal.
For longer journeys, Hybrid mode is your greatest guess. Stick a vacation spot within the automobile’s nav and it robotically switches between electrical and petrol working because it deems greatest with a purpose to achieve probably the most effectivity. Intelligent stuff, because it even prioritises electrical working for slower roads and petrol for most important artery routes.
Not solely that, nevertheless 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 need air suspension then it’s important to go for one of many Vorsprung trims which have it included – it’s not an possibility on the others. Thoughts you, our S Line Competitors 55 TFSI e rode with spectacular composure, feeling taut but pliant – a formidable stability 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, nevertheless 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 automobile that additionally will get free entry into London (till October 2021, at the very least) and low cost firm automobile tax.
You even get ample passenger area within the again and a great sized boot; at 450 litres it’s 95 litres smaller than the usual Q5’s and there’s no possibility of a space-saver tyre. Nevertheless it’s nonetheless simply ok for a chunky buggy or massive canine. The largest annoyance is the cumbersome cable case that hooks onto a lashing eye and hangs round, taking over area within the boot.
Cable storage is one factor, nevertheless it’s extra more likely 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 nearly £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 more likely 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 understand it you’ve acquired a £60okay automobile. A Volvo XC60 T8 Twin Engine isn’t going to be as environment friendly because the Q5 when it’s acquired the petrol engine going, however spec-for-spec it’s definitely cheaper to purchase.