Photo Credits: Audi Media, Car and Driver
A Class of its Own, a Hybrid Built with Audi DNA.
2021 Audi Q5 PHEV
Base MSRP: From $52,895
- Premium 55 PHEV – From $52,895
- Premium Plus 55 PHEV – From $56,795
- Prestige 55 PHEV – From $62,695
Tax Credit: Up to $6,712
Battery Size: 14.1 kWh
EPA Range: 20 electric miles, 400 total miles
Charging Acceptance Rate: 7.4kW
Performance: Electric motor, turbocharged 2.0-liter, combined 362 horsepower
Mileage estimate: 50 mpge
Price estimate: $37,683
Warranty: 4 years / 50,000 miles
Drivertrain warranty: 4 years / 50,000 miles
Roadside Assistance: 4 years /60,000 miles
Corrosion: 12 years / unlimited
2021 Audi Q5 Plug-in Hybrid Review
While all-electric vehicles are currently growing in numbers, many plug-in hybrids have a somewhat brief shelf life in the United States. Pardon the pun, but the plug is being pulled early on multiple plug-in hybrids (PHEV) in the U.S. Reportedly, Americans don’t immediately grasp the hybrid technology and are much more comfortable purchasing an electric vehicle (EV) or a pure hybrid model.
Yet it’s really not complicated. Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) use a battery to power an electric motor and gasoline to power an internal combustion engine.
Audi is one auto manufacturer who hasn’t abandoned its commitment to PHEVs. In fact, the German auto manufacturer is making a strong pledge to keep expanding those vehicles. It currently has three plug-in hybrids – Q5, A8, A7 Sportback – and plans are in the works to add more. Ideal for many families, a PHEV is a good option for people who commute a short distance to work and can do that gas free.
Prior to the 2020 pandemic shutdowns, the average American had about a 29-mile commute each day. The Audi Q5 is capable of traveling roughly 20 miles on pure electric compulsion. On the weekends, drivers of hybrid cars may seek out more adventurous travels that requires the gas-powered engine of the Q5.
Many people consider the gas-powered Audi Q5 a terrific compact luxury crossover SUV. Since its introduction in 2009, the Q5 has been a consistent Audi offering. Sales has exceeded 40,000 yearly since 2013 with a high of 69,978 sold in 2018. The addition of an electric motor is a huge benefit to those who have shorter daily commutes as the electricity required often costs a fraction of gasoline prices.
Once a manufacturer that seemed plagued with service issues, Audi has flourished in recent years as one of several luxury brands under the Volkswagen flag. And one of reasons for its success is Audi’s commitment to the future of alternative fuel vehicles.
Range and Hybrid Charging
Introduced a year ago, the Q5 PHEV has a 14.1 kWh battery pack and gets 20 miles of range, according to the EPA. Audi is anxious to boost that figure and has already targeted approximately 50 miles of electric range for its next-generation of plug-in hybrids.
The mileage is not extensive and neither is the recharging time. A full charge using a 240-volt, Level 2 charging station only takes about 2½ hours, according to Audi. A typical 110-volt home outlet can fully charge the battery overnight. When one enters the vehicle the next morning and turns on the Q5, an EV button on the center stack should illuminate.
An updated, high-quality interior is part of the Q5 appeal. It has a new 10.1-inch center infotainment touchscreen with faster updates this year. It also has menus solely devoted to adjusting and monitoring the PHEV’s recharge schedule. The onboard navigation software allows for Android Auto or wirelessly for Apple CarPlay.
Unlike most PHEV crossovers, the Q5 battery doesn’t reduce the size of the cargo area – 25.85 cubic feet behind the rear seats.
Performance and Speed
The Q5 comes with standard all-wheel drive and won’t disappoint in the performance department. It has a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder that generates a combined 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, and is paired with a seven-speed transmission. The electric motor is responsible for 141 horsepower.
Despite its heavy curb weight (4,619 pounds), the Q5 still travels 0-60 mph in 5.0 seconds and has a top speed of 130 mph. In electric mode, the PHEV gets 50 MPGe, doubling the 25 mpg combined average of the gas-powered Q5. The standard Q5 has an 18.5-gallon gas tank and the PHEV is smaller at 14.3 gallons.
Like many luxury crossover SUVs, the Q5 delivers a smooth and quiet ride. It corners well and is easy to maneuver, even in cramped parking lots. It has solid list of standard safety features, including collision mitigation, rear cross traffic detection with auto-braking, auto high beams, lane departure warning, and parking distance sensors.
If going green is part of the plan, choosing the 2021 Audi Q5 PHEV is a solid option. With the $6,700 in federal tax incentives, the PHEV is priced only around $3,000 more than the gas-powered base model Audi Q5.
User Video Review: Audi Q5 PHEV
Recommended Charging Stations = HCS-40
Recommended Power Level of Charging Station = 32A
Vehicle Acceptance Rate: 7.4kW