Examined: 2021 Audi Q5 Plug-In Hybrid Prioritizes Pace over Effectivity

The electrical-vehicle market has abruptly exploded with fashionable, fascinating vehicles, vehicles, and SUVs. Autos that plug in to cost are actually fairly modern. The development has even expanded to plug-in hybrids equivalent to this 2021 Audi Q5 55 TFSI e. Launched for the 2020 mannequin 12 months, the Q5 55 plug-in hybrid shoehorns an 11.3-kWh battery pack and a 141-hp electrical motor into the present Q5’s powertrain for a mixed output of 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.

Doing so required no compromise to the SUV’s cargo area, however its all-electric vary estimate of 23 miles is worse in contrast with comparable plug-in hybrids. The Lincoln Corsair PHEV and the Lexus NX450h+, for instance, each can journey additional on battery energy alone. Moreover, we noticed 17 miles of electrical driving at 75 mph on a full cost and had been disenchanted to see that, in contrast to the Volvo XC60 T8, the Audi is not capable of recharge its battery utilizing the gasoline engine. Which means re-juicing can solely be finished when you have entry to a charger.

Michael SimariAutomotive and Driver

HIGHS: Shockingly fast acceleration, agile dealing with, commonplace all-wheel drive.

With the battery depleted, the EPA estimates the Audi’s mixed gas financial system at 26 mpg; that determine is decrease than the Lincoln’s 33 mpg or the 36-mpg score for the Lexus. In truth, the nonhybrid Q5 is rated at 25 mpg mixed—which makes the difficult PHEV powertrain right here a questionable worth simply to bump that up by 1 mpg.

If it isn’t that gas environment friendly, and its electrical driving vary is puny, what is the level of the Q5’s plug-in hybrid powertrain? Nicely for one factor, the Q5 55 is fast—faster than the performance-oriented SQ5, actually. At our check observe, the Q5 55 sprinted to 60 mph in simply 4.5 seconds, beating the final SQ5 we examined (a Sportback mannequin) by 0.3 second. For comparability, the non-PHEV Q5 Sportback made it to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds.

Michael SimariAutomotive and Driver

Dealing with is lithe, and the 55’s 518-pound heavier curb weight in comparison with the common Q5 is barely noticeable. It is simply as simple to hustle across the skidpad, too, as each fashions delivered the identical 0.83 g consequence. Whereas the Q5 55 was the quickest Q5 variant to achieve 60 mph, its stopping distance from 70 mph was the longest, requiring 176 toes. The Q5 Sportback stopped seven toes shorter, and the SQ5 solely wanted 156 toes.

LOWS: Minimal gas financial savings over the usual Q5, quick electric-only driving vary, vague styling.

On the highway, the Q5’s hushed cabin is quieter nonetheless when working beneath electrical energy. When the gasoline engine kicks on as electrons run out, it does so with minimal disturbance. The trip is agency however not uncomfortably so, and the Q5’s steering is appropriately weighted however missing considerably in suggestions.

Michael SimariAutomotive and Driver

Aside from its electrified powertrain, there’s not a lot else that differentiates the plug-in-hybrid mannequin from the common Q5. In truth, there’s nary a badge anyplace that signifies that this Q5 is packing something particular beneath its hood. Take your advantage signaling elsewhere. The Q5 is roomy, sensible, and nicely outfitted. At $60,740, our Premium Plus check car got here with a $950 Bang & Olufsen stereo, $800 20-inch wheels, and $1500 in-dash navigation with web connectivity.

Regardless of a lightweight exterior refresh for 2021, the Q5’s design is beginning to look extraordinary when in comparison with extra not too long ago launched rivals. The Genesis GV70, for instance, wears a couture model that makes the Q5 seem extra off the rack as compared.

Whereas it will not be on the innovative, it is nonetheless an Audi and it appears to be like costly sufficient that it will not embarrass you on the valet stand. However whereas we just like the added energy and efficiency from the electrified powertrain, the Q5 PHEV does not stay as much as expectations for gas conservation, and for us that makes it a questionable worth.


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Patrick Moore

Patrick is our chief editor and he's very passionate about cars. He has a bachelor's degree in marketing and he studies journalism. His favorite brand is BMW and he drives an X5 series. When he's not writing for Vehiclenews.net, he enjoys spending time with his family and 9 years old son.

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