The Audi Q5 TFSI e might not be the German firm’s first plug-in hybrid, but it’s the first time Audi has offered a plug-in hybrid version in the mid-size SUV sector.
With the Q5 being a popular fleet favourite, it’s easy to see why Audi has chosen to launch PHEV derivatives of this BMW X3-rivalling model. Here’s what you need to know about the Q5.
The Q5 introduces new badging for Audi’s plug-in hybrid models. They were once known as ‘e-tron’, but with that nameplate now just being used on pure-electric models, Audi has had to find a new name for the PHEVs.
And the new moniker is ‘TFSI e’ – something that will be rolled out across many of Audi’s models. Plug-in hybrid versions that have already been confirmed are the A6, A8 and A7 Sportback, as well as the new Q5.
Two plug-in hybrid powertrains
Audi is offering its new Q5 TFSI e with two new plug-in hybrid powertrains, which will be badged as the 50 and 55.
They both utilise a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine, which comes paired to a 14.1kWh lithium-ion battery and electric motor. The combined output of the 50 unit is 295bhp, but in the case of the 55, the power output is upped to 362bhp. That latter figure equates to an impressive 0-60mph time of 5.1 seconds, as well as a top speed of 148mph.
Both powertrains come with quattro all-wheel-drive and a seven-speed S tronic automatic transmission.
Low running costs
The key benefit of plug-in hybrids is that all-electric range, and in the case of the Q5 TFSI e, it can travel for 26 miles purely on electric. That means that the Q5 can return a claimed fuel economy figure of up to 111.7mpg, along with CO2 emissions as low as 56g/km.
It offers drivers the opportunity to half their company car tax costs. That’s because the Q5 has a Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) rating of just 16 per cent in the first year (dropping to 14 per cent in the second and third year). If you pay tax at 20 per cent, that means you’ll pay £1,391 in tax.
Let’s compare that to a similarly powerful petrol version of the Q5 (a 45 TFSI), whereby a BiK rating of 37 per cent would mean you paid £3,225 in tax each year. Multiply that by three, and compare it to the plug-in hybrid, and it’s clear to see where the savings can be made.
Lots of trim level choice
As with the regular Q5, the trim level choice is plentiful.
Buyers can choose from the S line, Black Edition, S line Competition, Vorsprung and the range-topping Vorsprung Competition.
Standard equipment is very generous, too, with highlights including LED headlights with dynamic indicators, heated Alcantara and leather sports seats, 19-inch alloy wheels and satellite navigation. Prices for the hybrid start from £49,735 and rise through to £66,415 for the flagship model.