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Audi Q5 2024 review: 55 TFSI e quattro S line

  • Battery capacity17.9kWh
  • Battery typeLithium-ion
  • Electric range55km WLTP
  • Combined Range(km)
  • Plug TypeType 2
  • DC charge rateN/A
  • AC charge rate7.2kW
  • Electric motor output105kW/350Nm
  • Combustion engine output195kW/370Nm
  • Combined output270kW/500Nm
  • Petrol efficiency2.0L/100km
  • Electric efficiency23.9 kWh/100km
Complete Guide to Audi Q5

Audi has had a mixed history with plug-in hybrids (PHEV) in Australia. Under its ‘e-tron’ banner it has launched PHEV versions of the previous A3 hatch, and the Q7 SUV, with limited success.

But the German marque believes the time is right to add plug-in power to one of its most popular models - the Q5 mid-size SUV.

With decent driving range and a packed standard features list, Audi is not messing around. But how does it stack up value wise against the already popular BMW X3 and Volvo XC60 PHEVs?

Price and features – Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?

Dipping its toe back in the plug-in hybrid market, Audi is keen to appeal to buyers looking to reduce their carbon footprint, but also to driving enthusiasts requiring a bit of zing with their environmental credentials.

That’s where the Q5 55 TFSI e quattro comes in. Audi Australia had the option of introducing a less performance focused Q5 PHEV grade, but opted instead for the higher output model.

Audi sees this as the SQ5 you buy when you want to save the planet. And the 0-100km/h sprint time of 5.3 seconds suggests it’s pretty close.

20-inch Audi Sport alloy wheels. 20-inch Audi Sport alloy wheels.

Pricing for the 55 TFSI e quattro starts at $102,900, before on-road costs, for the SUV body style.

Opting for the Sportback carries a $7300 premium, making the price $110,200. But you get some more gear in the Sportback over the SUV, including the S-line interior package, and Matrix LED headlights with dynamic front and rear indicators.

Other equipment standard on both grades includes a panoramic sunroof, hands-free power tailgate, ambient lighting (with 30 colours), keyless entry and start, front leather-appointed seats with heating and power adjustment, three-zone climate control, a 10.1-inch multimedia touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, digital radio, 10-speaker audio, auto-dimming interior mirror and 20-inch Audi Sport alloy wheels.

The 'Technik' option pack costs $4900 for the SUV and $4700 for the Sportback and adds a head-up display, a more premium Bang & Olufsen audio system, and high-tech head or tail-lights, depending on the body style. The 'Technik' option pack costs $4900 for the SUV and $4700 for the Sportback and adds a head-up display, a more premium Bang & Olufsen audio system, and high-tech head or tail-lights, depending on the body style.

You can opt for different 20-inch wheels or 21-inch hoops as well.

The 'Technik' option pack costs $4900 for the SUV and $4700 for the Sportback and adds a head-up display, a more premium Bang & Olufsen audio system, and high-tech head or tail-lights, depending on the body style.

All in all it’s a healthy standard features list. I’ve said it before recently, but it’s worth repeating - it’s good to see premium brands including more standard features in their models, rather than making everything an option.

Matrix LED headlights. Matrix LED headlights.

That said, maybe heated rear seats (as well as the standard front seats) might have been a nice addition. 

So, how does the Q5 compare with its PHEV counterparts? Its most obvious rival is the BMW X3 xDrive30e which is more expensive at $111,800.

Then there’s the Range Rover Evoque R Dynamic HSE ($104,310) and Volvo XC60 Recharge ($101,990), which line up closely with the Audi, while the Lexus NX450h+ undercuts them all ($91,423).

Design – Is there anything interesting about its design?

The second-generation Q5 has been around for six years, and it was very much an evolution of the original, but it still looks attractive in the metal. You couldn’t call it edgy, but it is handsome.

Both PHEV body styles get the S line exterior package as standard, which adds a unique honeycomb grille, S line bumpers front and rear, Audi Sport wheels and it borrows the rear spoiler from the SQ5.

While many will favour the swoopy Sportback body style, I think the Q5 is at its most arresting in SUV body style, bathed in the gorgeous 'District Green Metallic' paint. Stunning.

The second-generation Q5 has been around for six years, and it was very much an evolution of the original, but it still looks attractive in the metal. The second-generation Q5 has been around for six years, and it was very much an evolution of the original, but it still looks attractive in the metal.

Inside, only the Sportback gains the S line interior, which includes a leather three-spoke steering wheel with multifunction, shift paddles and hands-on detection, Nappa leather upholstery with contrast stitching, and aluminium inlays. The SUV seats are leather-appointed. 

It’s fair to say Audi’s interiors have modernised since the launch of this Q5 in 2017, but it’s still hard to fault. The multimedia screen jutting out the top of the dash is a little old school these days, but the materials and quality are top notch.

Practicality – How practical is its space and tech inside?

As - predominantly - a family hauler, the Q5 has always done well in the practicality stakes. And adding a plug-in hybrid powertrain hasn’t changed that. Although you do lose some boot space compared with the petrol models - but more on that in a bit.

Up front, the Q5 has plenty of nooks and storage slots in the console, including a longer shallow slot to hold phones. The central bin is deep enough and the door bins can swallow big bottles and more. Housing the phone charger on the top of another storage spot in the console works as it can be hidden by the larger storage lid for security.

As the Q5 is older than some of Audi’s fresher models, there are physical buttons for things like air conditioning, seat heaters, and controls for drive modes and other vehicle functions.

It might not look as schmick as having a screen to house everything, but from a practicality and safety perspective, it’s welcome.

Up front, the Q5 has plenty of nooks and storage slots in the console, including a longer shallow slot to hold phones. Up front, the Q5 has plenty of nooks and storage slots in the console, including a longer shallow slot to hold phones.

This approach also extends to the multimedia system which is fairly simple to navigate with a logical menu. Audi’s system gets a tick, as does the digital cockpit - something the brand pioneered.

While the leather appointed seats in the SUV are nice, the quilted Nappa leather seats in the Sportback are much more luxurious. And the ‘Rotor Grey’ colour scheme is simply beautiful. They offer more than enough support in the front row and they are comfy without being super plush.

There’s ample leg and headroom in the front row.

That is the same for the second row. So much headroom even with a panoramic sunroof. And behind my 183cm (six foot) driving position, there was room to spare in front of my knees. It’s such a good size.

The rear seats have some bucketing so passengers will feel a little spoiled. There’s also knee-level air vents, map pockets, two USBs and a 12-volt port, a fold-down armrest with cupholders and ISOFIX points on the outboard seats. The rear seats have some bucketing so passengers will feel a little spoiled. There’s also knee-level air vents, map pockets, two USBs and a 12-volt port, a fold-down armrest with cupholders and ISOFIX points on the outboard seats.

Also, the rear seats have some bucketing so passengers will feel a little spoiled. There’s also knee-level air vents, map pockets, two USBs and a 12-volt port, a fold-down armrest with cupholders and ISOFIX points on the outboard seats.

The rear row folds 60/40 and there’s decent room in the boot, which has a power operated tailgate. 

 

  • 2024 Audi Q5 55 TFSIe Quattro S-Line I Boot 2024 Audi Q5 55 TFSIe Quattro S-Line I Boot
  • 2024 Audi Q5 55 TFSIe Quattro S-Line I Boot 2024 Audi Q5 55 TFSIe Quattro S-Line I Boot

Given some of the PHEV hardware sits directly under the boot floor, it’s little surprise that the SUV version (465 litres) loses 55L of space compared with the petrol-powered 45 TFSI.

Similarly, the Sportback (455L) drops by 45L. Also, despite the swoopy roofline, the Sportback only loses 10L of cargo space compared with the more practical looking SUV.

Those PHEV bits also mean there is no spare wheel - only a tyre repair kit.

Under the bonnet – What are the key stats for its motor?

The Q5 pairs a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine - found in many VW Group products - with a plug-in hybrid set-up that includes a lithium-ion battery pack and an electric motor.

The total system output is 270kW of power and 500Nm of torque. The total system output is 270kW of power and 500Nm of torque.

The total system output is 270kW of power and 500Nm of torque, which is impressive. In fact, it has more power - but a little less torque - than the SQ5 performance flagship. 

It drives all four wheels thanks to Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system, and does that via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Efficiency – What is its driving range? What is its charging time?

The PHEV’s battery capacity is 17.9kWh and that ensures the Q5 has an electric driving range of up to 55 kilometres on the WLTP protocol. 

Audi says the average daily commute of an Australian is 35km, so technically many people could get to work and back using electric power only.

It might not sound like a huge amount, but it’s more than the 41km offered by the BMW X3, although it doesn’t come near the Lexus NX’s 87km claim.

The PHEV’s battery capacity is 17.9kWh and that ensures the Q5 has an electric driving range of up to 55 kilometres on the WLTP protocol.  The PHEV’s battery capacity is 17.9kWh and that ensures the Q5 has an electric driving range of up to 55 kilometres on the WLTP protocol. 

Energy consumption is rated at 23.9kWh/100km, and the official fuel consumption figure for the Q5 is 2.0 litres per 100km - bettering the X3’s 3.2L/100km figure but not as frugal as the Lexus (1.3L).

It has a 54-litre fuel tank and emits 45 grams per kilometre of CO2.

The Q5 PHEV has a Type 2 plug and comes with a charger to add more juice at home.

It has an AC charging capacity of 7.2kW and it will take two and a half hours to fully charge using a home wallbox charger. You can also plug it into a regular wall socket at home and it’ll be charged up in about eight hours, or overnight. It's not capable of DC charging.

Driving – What's it like to drive?

The Q5 has always been the driver’s pick among its peers - specifically the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC. You could argue a Porsche Macan is more engaging and you’d probably be right. But of those immediate German rivals, the Q5 takes the cake.

Adding a PHEV powertrain and the circa-300kg of extra weight that brings should impact dynamics - but somehow, it doesn’t. 

First of all, the Q5 PHEV can do the 0-100km/h dash in just 5.3 seconds which is hot hatch territory. 

 The Q5 PHEV can do the 0-100km/h dash in just 5.3 seconds which is hot hatch territory.  The Q5 PHEV can do the 0-100km/h dash in just 5.3 seconds which is hot hatch territory. 

But the really impressive thing about this Q5 is how well it handles, despite that extra weight. The battery pack is housed under the boot floor, and Audi engineers have done a bang up job in ensuring it retains that dynamic prowess it's known for. 

We drove on some delightfully twisty roads in the Gold Coast hinterland for this launch event, and the Q5 didn’t miss a beat.

It maintained composure when pushed into tight corners, and had plenty of grip. And the electric urge coming out of those corners - providing you have battery charge left - only helps the experience.

Typically sharp Audi steering is indeed present and welcome. Typically sharp Audi steering is indeed present and welcome.

Typically sharp Audi steering is indeed present and welcome.

Riding on 20-inch Audi Sport alloy wheels, and with a sporty bent, you’d think the ride quality would be impacted. But that was another pleasant surprise.

The Q5 soaks up corrugations with the standard suspension set-up, and the tyres have a decent sidewall. So no unpleasant sharp bumps detected.

The cabin is reasonably well insulated from most outside intrusion as well.

Safety – What safety equipment is fitted? What is its safety rating?

The Q5 plug-in counts an impressive level of safety gear, including eight airbags in total, although that does not include a front centre airbag.

It comes with the usual suite of driver aids, including Audi’s ‘pre-sense city’ system that activates emergency braking at speeds up to 85km/h, ‘pre-sense front’ emergency braking up to the Q5’s maximum speed, as well as attention assist, an active bonnet, a tyre pressure monitor, and hill descent control. 

While the rest of the Q5 range is covered by a five-star ANCAP safety rating dating back to 2017, the Q5 plug-in hybrid remains unrated for now. While the rest of the Q5 range is covered by a five-star ANCAP safety rating dating back to 2017, the Q5 plug-in hybrid remains unrated for now.

It also features adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, blind spot monitor, safe exit assist, cross traffic alert and a 360-degree camera with an excellent display. 

While the rest of the Q5 range is covered by a five-star ANCAP safety rating dating back to 2017, the Q5 plug-in hybrid remains unrated for now.

Ownership – What warranty is offered? What are its service intervals? What are its running costs?

The Q5 comes with Audi’s five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty. This was an increase on its previous term that Audi announced at the start of 2022. The PHEV is also covered by an eight-year/160,00km battery warranty.

Service intervals are every 12 months or 15,000km, whichever comes first, and Audi offers a capped-price service plan for five years that costs about $3500 all up. That’s a little pricer than BMW and Volvo’s plan.

  • Battery capacity17.9kWh
  • Battery typeLithium-ion
  • Electric range55km WLTP
  • Combined Range(km)
  • Plug TypeType 2
  • DC charge rateN/A
  • AC charge rate7.2kW
  • Electric motor output105kW/350Nm
  • Combustion engine output195kW/370Nm
  • Combined output270kW/500Nm
  • Petrol efficiency2.0L/100km
  • Electric efficiency23.9 kWh/100km
Complete Guide to Audi Q5

It might be a late return to the PHEV game for Audi, but it’s an impressive one. Everything great about the Q5 remains - dynamically engaging, responsive powertrain - but you get the added benefit of electric power.

This could be the car to prove that plug-in hybrid medium SUVs don’t have to be bland family transport. If the Q5 is anything to go by, going green can be downright fun!

Note: CarsGuide attended this event as a guest of the manufacturer, with travel, accommodation and meals provided.

$102,900

Based on new car retail price

Score

4/5
Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.