Plug-in hybrid 5-door SUV with 14.1kWh lithium ion battery, MMI Navigation and Parking system plus
The firm’s new dominant single-frame grille is the crowning glory of a design language intended as the outward expression of the kind of obsession with technical precision that gives you body panels pressed with remarkable surface complexity and fitted with perfectly aligned creases while overlapping their neighbours in unconventional ways.
The car’s outline is one with raked pillars and a less boxy profile than those of most of its rivals, which is partly why so many will perceive the car as more stylish than its peers.
But better still is the rest of the Audi Multi Media Interface (MMI), which combines a large central screen with a controller on the centre console. Previously, Audi had resisted the urge, to which BMW has succumbed, to make the screen touch sensitive - although the new A8 was the one that broke the ice.
With a control pad and its adorning buttons, however, it’s
easy to navigate through the myriad systems.
There’s a touchpad, too, which we used mostly for inputting addresses on the navigation, while the rotary dial can be turned, pressed or nudged to navigate through menus. It’s not quite as intuitive as BMW’s iDrive system, but it’s second-best in the industry.
Sensibly, Audi retains separate buttons and switches for operations such as the heating and ventilation system, heated seats and so on, and the whole caboodle is supplemented by steering wheel controls for major functions.
Inside, there is tri-zone climate control, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a powered tailgate, auto lights and wipers, keyless entry and Audi's MMI infotainment system complete with a 7.0in display, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, DAB radio and smartphone integration.
Available to order in June priced from around £55,000, the
plug-in Q5 pairs a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine with a 105kW electric motor
and 14.1 kW battery positioned under the boot floor. Total system output is a
not-at-all shabby 362bhp and 369lb ft, giving 0-62mph in 5.3 seconds and a top
speed of 148mph. More importantly, you’re looking at 113mpg, 49g/km of CO2 and
some 26-miles of electric range (at speeds of up to 84mph).
The ‘predictive efficiency assistant’, for example, adjusts the level of recuperation based on GPS and radar info. It also tells the driver when to lift off the gas - for max efficiency - before lower speed limits, junctions, roundabouts, traffic build-ups, hills and so-on.
LED headlights with High Beam Assist, 20-inch contrasting grey alloy wheels, fully electric adjustable sport seats with massage function, three-zone automatic climate control and a Technology Pack incorporating virtual cockpit, MMI Navigation High and PHEV-specific displays and are all fitted as standard and form part of the S line Competition specification. The rear seats can also be shifted longitudinally and their seat back angle adjusted. Its visual impact comes courtesy of the S line bumpers front and rear, a diffuser with a double clasp at the rear and a unique design in the Singleframe grille with various elements in dark chrome.
The Q5 TFSI e is available in different versions, known as trim levels. These allow you to choose a version that reflects your preferred styling, driving experience and equipment level. Standard equipment and the choice of options both vary by trim.