Audi Q5 55 TFSI e

quattro S line

Competition

Audi Q5, front
Audi Q5, front
Audi Q5, front
Audi Q5, front
Audi Q5, side
Audi Q5, interior
Audi Q5, rear
Audi Q5, rear
Audi Q5, boot

AUDI has come up with a stylish solution for those who want the benefits of electric motoring without the restriction on range a battery imposes.

The German car maker has introduced a plug-in hybrid version of the Q5 SUV as part of a programme to electrify its range of vehicles.

It solves the main problems that appear at the moment to be a brake on the market for electric motors - limited driving range and an inconsistent charging infrastructure.

The Q5 55 TFSI e quattro S line Competition offers a zero emission range of up to 26 miles on battery power alone, with the back up of a 2.0-litre petrol engine which, when the car is in hybrid mode, offers startling fuel economy of 108mpg and a CO2 figure of 56g/km.

This is a manna from heaven for company car drivers looking to save on their tax and fuel bills as well as removing the fear of what happens when the battery goes flat and there's nowhere to charge it.

As long as you've got gas in the tank you're okay - although if you want to enjoy this Q5's excellent fuel economy the battery needs to be kept in the game.

If you want to recharge it from your domestic supply via a normal three-pin domestic socket there is a six-hour wait but a 7kW home wall box will do it in two with the necessary cables supplied as standard.

It can be topped up in everyday use from roadside chargers, assuming the infrastructure problem mentioned earlier isn't prevalent in your area.

Different driving modes provide for EV, hybrid and a hold mode - the latter saving the battery charge for use when required.

As with anything boasting electric in its title there is a cost for all that technology - so Audi's plug-in hybrid isn't cheap at £54,900 and that's before you start ordering off the optional extras menu.

But the price-tag does guarantee - for the commuters, fleet operators and company car drivers Audi is aiming this beast at - an exciting drive thanks to the 367ps developed by the hybrid powertrain aided by Audi's legendary quattro active four-wheel drive and seven-speed automatic gearbox.

This allows what is a big SUV to hit 62mph from a standing start in a, forgive the pun, electric time of 5.3 seconds on its way to a top speed of 148mph.

The exterior is surprisingly sleek - with a powered boot, natty alloy wheels plus good-looking grille and LED headlights stealing the show.

The sumptuous cabin is a delight with good quality materials used throughout aided by an excellent fit and finish.

An 8.3-inch infotainment screen - which takes centre stage on the dashboard - is controlled via a rotary dial and touchpad with buttons allowing you to jump to different options like the digital radio or the sat nav, while a large digital display in front of the driver offers a raft of information.

There is plenty of room for four adults and you'll be able to cater for one more without any drama, while the boot easily copes with their luggage.

There is lots of safety equipment - but you will have to spend more via the optional extras menu to get some of it with this test car sporting the £1,250 Tour pack and £1,350 parking assistance pack.

FAST FACTS

Audi Q5 55 TFSI e quattro S line Competition

Price: £54,900

Mechanical: 367ps, 1,984cc, 4cyl petrol engine and electric motor driving four wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 148mph

0-62mph: 5.3 seconds

Combined MPG: 108.6

Insurance Group: 41

C02 emissions: 56g/km

Bik rating: 14%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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