Obviously, that hybrid powertrain is the big news for the Q5. Elsewhere, things are largely unedited. It sits on the regular but refreshed Q5 platform. This means that the interior has been given a light update and the exterior has been graced with a series of nip-and-tuck features too, but nothing too drastic.
It’s not a ground-up new model, that’s for sure, but the changes have been made to allow the Q5 to keep pace with key rivals.
It’s under the bonnet where things get interesting. You’ll find a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol unit, and here it’s linked to an electric motor and battery. When combined, the result is a healthy 362bhp and 500Nm of torque, making it far punchier than you’d expect. In fact, 0-60mph takes just over five seconds, which puts this Q5 only just behind the performance-orientated SQ5, in fact.
Audi claims that you could potentially see up to 108mpg combined, but this relies on the batteries being fully charged. Emissions of 49g/km CO2 are impressive, however. The Q5 can offer a reasonable all-electric range of 26 miles, meaning that those with shorter commutes or trips shouldn’t have to trouble the petrol engine too much.
When it comes to charging, you should be able to replenish the Q5’s batteries to full from flat in around six hours via a conventional domestic three-pin socket.
From a start, the Q5 gives you that blissfully serene driving experience that you only get with hybrids. Around town, it’s quiet, refined and pleasingly easy to drive. You can lock the car in all-electric mode, too, so in urban areas, there’s little need to go near the engine.
Providing you keep charge in the batteries there’s performance, too. However, once you’re out of juice and you’re left on engine power alone, efficiency and performance take a downwards spiral. The 2.0-litre engine is up to the job of getting the Q5 up to speed in a decent enough time, but it feels slightly blunted as a result of additional weight from the batteries that it has to lug around.
On the plus side, the Hybrid looks just like any other Q5, and that’s likely to make it an appealing prospect to those who don’t want to shout about their electrified car ownership or who love the styling of Audi’s conventional crossovers. It’s a smart-looking thing, for sure, and it’s only the additional fuel cap cover that gives away its hybrid nature.