Audi Q5 TFSI e: Audi’s plug-in hybrid SUV delivers a smooth, comfortable, quiet ride

Audi Q5 TFSI e: Audi's plug-in hybrid SUV delivers a smooth, comfortable, quiet ride

The Audi Q5 is a mid-range premium SUV with loads of area for 5 individuals and their baggage. With the TFSI e although, it’s additionally attempting to be just a little friendlier to the planet due to its plug-in hybrid motor.

It means you may drive the Audi Q5 as a completely electrical car (EV) throughout brief journeys, lowering petrol consumption (and value) and dangerous emissions. For longer journeys – and if you wanted a lift of energy – the petrol engine can step in to ship a robust punch.

The Audi Q5 55 TFSI e begins at $52,900 / £49,735, nevertheless we drove the quattro S Line Competitors mannequin, with a bunch of extras on it (together with the consolation and sound pack, parking help pack and tour pack), which introduced the full as much as £61,805 (round $80,000).

It’s not low-cost then, with the value tag shifting it out of the vary for a lot of households, however for these households and enterprise individuals that may afford the Audi Q5, you’re going to love what you discover.

Audi Q5 TFSI e design and drive

We drove

(Picture credit score: TechRadar)

Audi Q5 55 TFSI e quattro S line Competitors
Engine: 2.Zero TFSI four-cylinder
Energy: 370hp
0-62mph:  5.three seconds
High pace: 148mph
Gasoline effectivity: 108.6mpg
EV vary: 26 miles
Worth: £61,805 

The Audi Q5 is an efficient wanting automotive. It follows the design of Audi’s premium saloons, with a contoured hood and enormous grill giving it a robust stance.

Open the door and slide inside, and also you’ll admire the experience peak of the Q5. Not too excessive as to show tough to enter and exit, however excessive sufficient to supply a wonderful view of the street forward. In actual fact, visibility is sweet all spherical, with massive home windows and loads of cameras to information you within the areas you may’t see – however extra on these later.

Permit the door to shut and the sound-proofing is immediately recognizable. The cabin is spacious, comfy and quiet. Even when travelling at pace, the Audi Q5 does a very good job of deadening exterior sounds and street noise, offering a extra enjoyable driving expertise.

The seats present ample assist, and in addition to being heated, on this mannequin additionally they embrace a therapeutic massage operate. A small round dial on the aspect of the 2 entrance seats (sorry rear-seat passengers, no heating or therapeutic massage features for you) means that you can management the situation, kind and depth of therapeutic massage. Initially we discovered the controls just a little tough, and we needed to verify the guide to fully perceive what was required of us.

There are three differing types to select from; wave, stretch and knead, every with three ranges of depth to pick out. It’s a luxurious function, however one which works effectively and was welcome on our lengthy drives.

There are three seat massage options available in the Q5 TFSI

There are three seat therapeutic massage choices out there within the Q5 TFSI (Picture credit score: TechRadar)

Hit the street and the Audi Q5 cruises comfortably round city, and is easy to shift on highways. The beginning/cease motor and automated digital parking brake which activate if you come to a cease supplies some good petrol saving and the safety that you simply gained’t roll ahead if you happen to elevate your foot off the brake.

Press the accelerator and the engine springs again to life and the parking brake releases itself, permitting you to drag away with none fuss.

The seven pace automated gearbox works effectively, with clean adjustments and little or no lag between you urgent the pedal and energy being supplied to all wheels. In the event you’d like guide management over gear shifts, you may decide to make use of the paddle-shifters mounted simply behind the wheel. They don’t get in the best way of driving, however are equally simple to achieve when required.

Actually put your foot down, and regardless of the Audi Q5 being a mid-size SUV, it will get going at a wholesome price, with a 0-62mph time of simply 5.three seconds. It’s spectacular, and means you may stand up to hurry rapidly and simply, with out feeling uncontrolled.

That is potential due to the mix of petrol and electrical energy within the hybrid engine, however you don’t at all times need to burn fossil fuels to get round within the Audi Q5.

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Audi Q5 TFSI e charging and EV mode

As we talked about at first, the Audi Q5 has the flexibility to drive as a completely electrical car. There’s a button on the middle console – cleverly labeled ‘EV’ – which you’ll press to enter this all-electric mode.

There are a few limitations, nevertheless. First up, you’ll have to plug the Q5 right into a charging station to prime the battery up – the automotive isn’t in a position to replenish the battery (positioned on the rear of the automotive, beneath the trunk ground) by itself.

Plugging it into a regular three-pin UK residential socket and we have been round 11 hours for a full cost. That’s hardly speedy, however if you happen to discover a public charging station, Audi additionally supplies a quick charging cable to prime up at these, permitting you to chop that point down from hours to minutes.

Press the EV button to go all-electric

Press the EV button to go all-electric (Picture credit score: TechRadar)

You’ll be able to at all times set up a sooner charger at your property too, though it’s possible you’ll wish to keep on with in a single day charging from a regular socket.

That’s as a result of the Audi Q5’s battery solely has a spread of round 26 miles (relying in your driving model and street situations). It’s not stunning, as usually most plug-ins provide this form of all-electric vary.

What it does present is sufficient distance to pop to the retailers, do the college run or, if you happen to’re fortunate, commute to work and again with out utilizing any gasoline.

Lastly, when in EV mode the highest pace is proscribed to 84mph, whereas acceleration additionally takes a success, with the 0-62mph time dropping to 14.three seconds. Contemplating its brief vary, that’s probably not a difficulty because it’s design for metropolis driving.

The virtual cockpit shows you how many electric and petrol miles you have left

The digital cockpit reveals you what number of electrical and petrol miles you may have left (Picture credit score: TechRadar)

Audi Q5 TFSI e specs and tech

The Audi Q5 TFSI e we obtained our palms on got here totally laden with tech from extra customary fare equivalent to local weather management, auto wipers and lights, and adaptive cruise management to good lane help, wi-fi telephone charging, a number of cameras across the automotive and a few sizable shows.

The principle show, positioned on the prime of the central console was brilliant, clear and colourful, nevertheless it’s not a touchscreen. As a substitute it’s important to use the round dial, sitting simply in entrance of the gear shift, to navigate across the display. 

Its rotating bezel means that you can cycle by means of menus and lists, it clicks in to pick out and you may transfer it in 4 instructions (up, down, left, proper) to open up further menus or to return.

There’s additionally a contact pad in entrance of that, with core buttons equivalent to menu and again, for many who discover the clicking wheel just a little an excessive amount of. After a brief little bit of apply we picked up the controls and have been in a position to enter navigation addresses, choose radio stations and modify varied automotive settings with ease.

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The second show is behind the steering wheel, and takes up your entire area of the instrument cluster. This isn’t the first time we’ve come across Audi’s 12.3-inch virtual cockpit display, and we’re still big fans.

The default display is two large instrument gauges left and right, with a map in the middle. However, click the ‘View’ button on the steering wheel and the gauges shrink into the corners of the display, giving you a full-width map view.

Use the arrow keys on the wheel and you can skip between the map navigation, audio select, your phone’s call list (if connected via Bluetooth) and various vehicle information screens. It’s intuitive, feature rich and great to look at.

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Switching focus back to the main display, and there’s DAB digital radio and the option to play audio from your smartphone via Bluetooth – however you can get deeper integration than that.

Plug your phone into the visible (and illuminated) USB port, and you’ll be able to use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on the Audi Q5. This gives you access to your handset’s maps and navigation app (such as Apple Maps and Google Maps), as well as other apps including Spotify, iMessage and WhatsApp.

That said, the stock navigation built into the Q5 is very good. It uses Google Maps, provides you with three route options to choose from for most journeys and comes with live traffic updates so give you accurate arrival times.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a modern smartphone which supports wireless charging you can place it on the charging pad which slides out from under the central armrest for cable-free charging (there’s a second USB port and an AUX port under the armrest too).

A nice touch on the Q5 is when you park up and open the driver’s door, a voice reminds you to take your phone from the charging pad, so you don’t leave it in the vehicle.

When you’re stopped (or stuck in traffic) you can dive into the menu of Audio’s MMI infotainment system and get live weather and news bulletins – a handy way to pass the time while you wait.

Audio – be it navigation instructions, a podcast or music – sounds fantastic thanks to the Bang and Olufsen sound system in the Audi Q5, which includes a powerful subwoofer for deep bass.

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Apple CarPlay in action on the Q5 TFSI

Apple CarPlay in action on the Q5 TFSI (Image credit: TechRadar)
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You can check the weather and keep up to date with the latest news

You can check the weather and keep up to date with the latest news (Image credit: TechRadar)
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The Audi Q5 TFSI has a 360 degree camera view

The Audi Q5 TFSI has a 360 degree camera view (Image credit: TechRadar)

Another tech-inclusion we found useful was the multiple cameras all the way around the Q5. Put the car in reverse and you’ll be shown two camera views – one shot of behind the bar and another birds-eye-view from above, which uses all the cameras to give you a 360 degree view around the car. It ensures you won’t miss any low obstacles, and lets you check you’re inside the lines of your parking bay.

There’s a front facing camera too, and an array of parking sensors to give you all the visual and audible warnings required to not put a dent in the Q5.

If you can afford it (and that’s an ask for most), the Audi Q5 TFSI e provides an excellent, premium experience. It’s comfortable, quiet, spacious, powerful and laden with tech to keep you safe, make your drive easier and simply entertain you.

The addition of the plug-in hybrid engine makes it a little easier on the wallet when it comes to running costs, not to mention the environment, and the EV mode is great for short trips.

  • John McCann is getting behind the wheel to give you an alternative look at the wealth of cars – and the tech inside them – available today. From super-fast sports cars to tech-packed hatchbacks, he’ll take you through a range of makes, models, power and price tags in his regular TR Drives column.

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