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The Audi Q5 is joining the increasing ranks of plug-in hybrids for 2020.
Fresh off the refresh of its A4 sedan sibling, the Q5 is getting its own set of updates. Audi’s best-selling crossover is getting a plug-in hybrid version this year, offering better fuel efficiency in addition to improved performance.
First, efficiency. The Q5 TFSI e, to give it its official name, comes with the four-ringed brand’s familiar 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder. An electric motor slots in between it and the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, with the motor drawing power from a 14.1 kWh lithium-ion battery. Running solely on electric power the Q5 TFSI e can hit up to 20 miles before needing to start drinking gas. All told, buyers can expect to hit an EPA-certified 65 mpg equivalent.
On to performance, then. With both the battery and four-pot engaged, combined output sits at 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of twist. That’s comparable to the high-performance SQ5, with more ponies and an identical torque figure. Mash the throttle and the 0-60 mph sprint in five seconds flat—making it the quicker of the two, if only by a tenth. Naturally the TFSI e comes with standard quattro all-wheel drive.
All this performance and parsimony add up: the Q5 TSFI e starts at $53,895 including $995 in destination. The SQ5 comparisons continue here too, since that’s the exact same starting price. The plug-in hybrid tops out at $61,345, $300 less, but Audi predicts customers will be able to get up to $6,712 back in federal tax credits. That bumps the effective MSRP down to as low as $47,183.
The Q5 TSFI e comes with three plug-in-specific driving modes. Hybrid mode optimizes battery use in tandem with gas power, EV sticks to pure electron munching, and Battery Hold keeps battery power in reserve for later use.
Standard equipment includes Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit setup, 19-inch wheels, Apple CarPlay plus Android Auto, and emergency braking. The options list includes interior pre-heating, adaptive cruise control, parking sensors, head-up display, 20-inch wheels and more. There are two paint options the plug-in shares with the SQ5 that are unavailable to the rest of the Q5 lineup as well, including the sweet Turbo Blue shown here.
On paper, the Q5 plug-in overpowers its Bavarian competition, the BMW X3 xDrive30e. Both vehicles target the same 20 mile all-electric range, and both use a combo of 2.0-liter turbo, battery, and all-wheel drive. BMW has yet to release pricing for the X3 however, which arrives later this year.