2021 Audi Q5 Plug-in Hybrid prioritizes speed over efficiency

The electric vehicle market has suddenly exploded with stylish and desirable cars, trucks, and SUVs. Cars that are delivered with charge are now completely fashionable. The trend has expanded to include plug-in hybrids such as the 2021 Audi Q5 55 TFSI e. Launched for 2020, the Q5 55 plug-in hybrid is an 11.3 kWh battery pack and 141 hp electric motor in the current Q5 powertrain to produce a total of 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque.

Doing so required no compromise on the SUV’s cargo space, but the all-electric range estimate of 19 miles is worse compared to a similar hybrid. The Lincoln Corsair PHEV and Lexus NX450h+, for example, can travel farther on battery power alone. On top of that, we noticed 17 miles of electric driving at 75 mph on a full charge and were disappointed to see that unlike the Volvo XC60 T8, Audi is unable to recharge its battery using the gasoline engine. This means that re-squeezing can only be done if you have access to the charger.

Michael Cimaricar and driver

HIGHS: Fast, shocking acceleration, agile handling, and standard all-wheel drive.

With the battery dead, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates Audi’s combined fuel economy at 26 mpg; This figure is lower than the 33 mpg on the Lincoln or the 36 mpg rating for the Lexus. In fact, the non-hybrid Q5 is rated at 25 mpg combined — making the complex PHEV powertrain here a questionable value only for increasing that by 1 mpg.

If it’s not that fuel efficient, and its electric driving range is minimal, what’s the point of the Q5’s plug-in hybrid powertrain? Well, for one thing, the Q5 55 is faster – in fact faster than the performance-oriented SQ5. On our test track, the Q5 sprinted 55 to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds, beating the last SQ5 we tested (the Sportback model) by 0.3 seconds. For comparison, a non-PHEV Q5 Sportback model hit 60 mph in 6.1 seconds.

Michael Cimaricar and driver

Handling is light, and the heavier curb weight of 558 pounds compared to the regular Q5 is barely noticeable. It’s easy to move around the skidpad too, with both models delivering the same 0.83g result. While the Q5 55 was the fastest Q5 variant to reach 60 mph, the stopping distance of 70 mph was the longest, requiring 176 feet. The Q5 Sportback stopped seven feet shorter, and the SQ5 only needed 156 feet.

LOWS: Minimal fuel economy compared to the standard Q5, short electric-only driving range, and understated styling.

On the road, the Q5’s quiet cabin stays quieter when working under electric power. When a gasoline engine runs with the electrons out, it does so with minimal turbulence. The ride is firm but not uncomfortable, and the Q5’s steering is appropriately weighted but somewhat lacking in feedback.

Michael Cimaricar and driver

Other than the electrified powertrain, there’s not much that distinguishes the plug-in hybrid model from the regular Q5. In fact, there’s no badge anywhere that indicates the Q5 is packing anything special under the hood. Take your virtues elsewhere. The Q5 is spacious, functional and well-equipped. Priced at $60,740, our Premium Plus test vehicle came with a $950 Bang & Olufsen stereo, $800, 20-inch wheels and $1,500 dashboard navigation with internet access.

Despite a light exterior update for 2021, the Q5’s design is starting to look mundane when compared to recently introduced competitors. The Genesis GV70, for example, wears a haute couture style that makes the Q5 seem over the rack by comparison.

While it may not be cutting edge, it’s still an Audi and looks pricey enough not to embarrass you in the parking lot. But while we love the added power and performance from the electrified powertrain, the Q5 PHEV doesn’t live up to expectations for fuel economy, and that makes it a questionable value to us.

to specify

to specify

2021 Audi Q5 55
Vehicle type: front-wheel drive, mid-engine, four-wheel drive, 5-passenger, four-door wagon

Basic / As tested: $52,995 / $60,740
Options: Premium Plus package (auto-dimming, power-folding outside mirrors, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, heated steering wheel, 360-degree camera, panoramic roof), $3,900; Navigation package, $1,500; Bang & Olufsen audio system, $950; 20-inch wheels $800; Ultra Blue Metallic Paint, $595

Turbocharged and Intercooler DOHC 16-valve inline 2.0L, 248 hp, 273 lb-ft + AC, 141 hp, 258 lb-ft (combined output: 362 hp, 369 lb-ft; 11.3 kWh lithium-ion, (7.7 kW internal charge) Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch automatic

Suspension, F / R: multi-link / multi-link
Brakes, F/R: 13.8″ ventilated disc / 13.0″ ventilated disc
Tyres: Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season
255/45R-20101H M+S AO

Wheelbase: 111.0 in
Length: 184.3 inches
Width: 74.5 inches
Height: 65.3 inches
Passenger size: 99 feet3
Payload size: 26 feet3
Curb Weight: 4733 lbs

grandfather Test results
60 mph: 4.5 seconds
100 mph: 12.2 seconds
1/4 mile: 13.2 seconds @ 104 mph
120 mph: 19.1 seconds
The results above delete 1 foot from subtracting 0.3 seconds.
Rolling start, 5 to 60 mph: 4.9 seconds
Top gear, 30-50 mph: 3.0 seconds
Top Gear, 50-70 mph: 3.9 seconds
Top Speed ​​(Government Limited): 128 mph
Braking, 70 – 0 mph: 176 feet
Road, 300 feet Skidpad: 0.83g

grandfather fuel economy
Number of observatories: 26 mpg
75 mpg highway driving, EV/Hybrid Mode: 75 mpg/26 mpg
Highway range, EV/Hybrid mode: 17/480 miles

Fuel economy by the Environmental Protection Agency
Complex/city/highway: 27/25/29 mpg
Gasoline + Electricity: 61 mpg
EV range: 19 miles

grandfather Explanation of the test

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