NOT so long ago, the best selling Audi SUVs were diesel powered. But, as we all know, diesel sales have dipped in favour of petrol and electric.
Not ones to be left behind, Audi has a reasonable compromise in the shape of a plug-in Hybrid. With an electric-only range of up to 37 miles, the Q5 50 TFSI e quattro hybrid can be charged in less than three hours on a typical home wall charger or in eight hours on a three pin plug.
It may not be quite as cheap to run as the long-established 2.0 TDI but the petro-electric combination provides much greater refinement and punchy acceleration from the 2.0-litre turbo engine.
With 62mph coming up in just over six seconds it really earns its ‘sporting' utility vehicle tag line. Top speed is given as 148mph. Economy in our hands worked out around the 40mpg mark - good for a nimble heavyweight, although noticeably poorer than the official figure of 166-188mpg.
Audi styling tends to follow a sort of Russian doll approach to car design, so the Q5 looks rather like its big brother the Q7, and not dissimilar to the smaller Q3.
The lines are conventional, not unattractive but the family of high riders are now looking somewhat staid and a tad old fashioned to our eyes.
No problem, however with the interior space or the cabin design. High grade, good fitting plastic panels make up the fascia with easy-to-read dials and big touchscreen. Switchgear has a solid feel and Audi's virtual cockpit is a strong selling point.
Overall, the dash and cabin has an appropriately classy feel with wide well-shaped seats that offer plenty of support.
Boot space is somewhat impaired by the necessary electric bits which raise the cargo platform reducing capacity to 465 litres, a bit below the class average but sufficient for most family trips.
The ride is much better that than of the diesel, perhaps because of a lighter front end. Bumps are well suppressed and cornering is athletic and relatively roll-free for a tall family car.
With full time four wheel drive, there's seldom a lack of traction either negotiating bends or during fast getaways from standstill.
The 50 TFSI gets a reasonable array of standard equipment including Alcantara upholstery, LED headlights, climate control and 18-inch alloys.
But you don't get electrically adjustable seats or heads-up display, a fact that might disappoint owners of large Japanese-made SUVs, considering the pricepoint of the Audi is nudging Â£60k.
A seven-speed S Tronic automatic gearbox is fitted and works a treat, making childsplay of town driving and yet allowing maximum driver satisfaction when enjoying windy country routes. Discreet paddles on the steering wheel allow greater driver involvement when required.
Ratios are well chosen and the changes are nearly imperceptible.