Q5 Hybrid Plug-in

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2020 Audi Q5 Hybrid Plug-in Overview

Audi’s Q5 is the best-selling vehicle in the brand’s North American lineup, so it’s logical that a hybrid version is offered for 2020. With a claimed 20 miles of all-electric range, an advertised all-electric top speed of 80 mph, and no compromise to cargo or passenger space, the Q5 PHEV looks like a practical choice among compact luxury SUVs.

Like the standard Q5, the PHEV version uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine as its primary motive power source, but it adds an electric motor between the internal combustion engine and 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. Every Q5 hybrid has all-wheel drive (AWD) and uses Audi’s quattro with ultra technology, which seamlessly switches between front-wheel drive (FWD) and AWD, optimizing for either grip or fuel economy.

A relatively large-capacity 14.1-kWh battery resides beneath the rear cargo area. At 362 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, the hybrid powertrain's output is significantly higher than that of a standard Q5. Audi claims a 0-to-60 time of 5.0 seconds for the Q5 PHEV, almost a full second quicker than it claims for the non-hybrid version. The EPA rates the Q5 PHEV at 27 mpg combined on gasoline and 65 miles-per-gallon equivalent combined on gas and electricity.

Stepping up to the Q5 PHEV adds more than just power, however. Hybrid models also get more standard features across the lineup. Three trims are available: Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. Standard equipment on Premium trims includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Audi's virtual cockpit (a 12.3-inch configurable instrument cluster), navigation, leather seats, heated front seats, and 19-inch wheels. Automated emergency braking is also included.

Premium Plus trims come with all the features on the Premium trim and add dynamic LED headlights and LED taillights, auto high-beam adjust, keyless start, a hands-free liftgate release, front and rear parking sensors, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. Prestige trims add adaptive cruise control, a 755-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system, a surround-view monitor, head-up display, and parking steering assist.

The Q5 PHEV’s most obvious competitor is the BMW X3 XDrive30e, which is also a plug-in hybrid and comes standard with AWD. BMW claims a 60 miles-per-gallon equivalent combined rating for the X3 PHEV, though its combined output (288 hp, 310 lb-ft) is substantially less than the Q5 PHEV's. Both Mercedes-Benz and Lexus also offer conventional (non plug-in) hybrid-powered compact SUVs in the GLC 350e 4Matic and RX 450h AWD, respectively. Both also have AWD.

Although it’s wildly popular, the Q5 lacks interior space relative to many of its competitors, but what it lacks in space it makes up for in technology and build quality.

Updated

Josh Jacquot is an automotive journalist who has held positions at both enthusiast- and consumer-based automotive publications for more than 20 years. With a far-reaching knowledge of all things automotive, his career has put him behind the wheel of everything from snowplows to 600-horsepower rallycross cars. His driving resume includes wins at the national level in NASA Rallysport competition and the California Rally Series in addition to one regrettable night at the inaugural 25 Hours of Thunderhill. Though he likes most anything that can be driven, he has a particular affinity for box flares, Campagnolo wheels, and gratuitous wings and ducts. Someday he will own an Renault R5 Turbo.

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Q5 Hybrid Plug-in

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