2015 Audi Q5 Hybrid Review

Q5 Hybrid

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2015 Audi Q5 Hybrid Overview

Keeping in mind the luxury-loving, eco-minded, fuel-budget-conscious commuter with a small family, Audi returns its popular Q5 2.0T Quattro Prestige Hybrid for 2015. Essentially unchanged from 2014, this high-end 5-passenger compact/midsize crossover again offers a commanding view, a nimble yet supple drive and plenty of fuel-miserly power to complement its wealth of standard creature comforts and its handsome profile. Surprisingly roomy and with cargo area totaling 57.3 cubic feet (rear seatbacks folded), this downsized hybrid mini-ute boasts, besides its altitudinous stance, a plethora of swoops and curves in the sheetmetal, a sedan-like ride and agility and, alas, a hefty MSRP.

Of course, in keeping with tradition the Q5 Hybrid is available only in the single 2.0T Prestige trim with Audi’s all-wheel drive (AWD) system, what Audi fondly calls the Quattro system, again standard. Said AWD system allows a 50-50 split in torque between the front and rear axles when cruising in normal conditions, resulting in class-leading handling attributes. When challenging traction conditions prevail, the Quattro system automatically and instantaneously directs power from the wheels that slip to the wheels that grip, front or rear.

Yet again for 2015, the Q5 2.0T Quattro Prestige Hybrid packs a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder (I4) powerplant working in tandem with a 54-hp, 40-kilowatt electric motor, with all managed by an 8-speed modified shiftable automatic transmission boasting steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Look for a total of 245 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque from this gas/electric drivetrain, while mileage is again estimated at 24 mpg city/30 highway. Naturally regenerative braking complements the 266-volt lithium-ion battery to keep the electric motor toting plenty of juice, thus allowing Audi to crow that this princely people-hauler can cruise along for nearly 2 miles on electric power alone at moderate speeds. Towing capacity is claimed by the German automaker to be some 4,400 pounds with the proper equipment, but that info should be taken with a grain of salt.

Appearance-wise, expect the 2015 Q5 Hybrid, in its sole Prestige iteration, to once again flaunt 19-inch alloy wheels, a roof rack, a power sunroof, heated power-adjustable mirrors and a power liftgate. Inside, meanwhile, look for standard leather upholstery, heated power-adjustable front seats, full power accessories, cruise control and telescoping tilt-wheel steering to be bolstered by some alloy and leather cabin posh.

Of course, a remote garage door opener, 3-zone auto climate control and memory for driver's settings adjusting the seat, mirrors and audio controls also comes standard once again for 2015, as do an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and Bluetooth hands-free technology.

Audi’s touted MMI (Multi Media Interface) voice-activated navigation system returns to this high-class hybrid as well, bringing with it rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera, while entertainment again consists of a premium 505-watt Bang & Olufsen stereo boasting a single-CD player, 14 speakers, satellite radio, a memory-card slot and an auxiliary audio input (USB port). Furthermore, all this techno-bling remains integrated with the standard center-stack-mounted Audi Connect infotainment display.

Should you be wondering, options are indeed available for the already well-endowed Q5 Hybrid and include the Comfort Package, sporting premium leather upholstery, ventilated front seats and 4-way power lumbar adjustment (front seats only), and the Sports Interior Package, with sport front seats and a 3-spoke sport steering wheel.

Standalone options, meantime, include upsized and upgraded wheels, rear-seat DVD entertainment, a tow package and Audi’s Side Assist technology, which uses rear-mounted radar sensors to help drivers safely change lanes.

Finally, standard safety features in the 2015 Q5 Hybrid again include the usual government-mandated antilock braking system (ABS), traction and stability control, side-mounted airbags, and front and rear head airbags, with all of it complemented by front head restraint whiplash protection. Once again, turn-signal-integrated mirrors remain standard, as do LED daytime running lights, front fog/driving lights, a post-collision safety system and a remote antitheft alarm. And, like its non-hybrid Q5 siblings, this green-leaning crossover offers optional rear side-mounted thorax airbags as well.

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Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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