Audi currently offers a plug-in hybrid version of the Q5 called the Q5 55 TFSI e and also a fully electric Audi e-Tron SUV that more or less is a fully electric version of the Q5 considering its size and market positioning. Both of these are designed as more efficient and eco-friendly versions of the Q5.
The Q5 55 TFSI e was launched in 2020 and it offers a relatively small electric battery and the standard Audi 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo for a combined output of 362hp and 369lb-ft of torque. The good thing is that the Q5 55 TFSI e does not sacrifice any cargo space in order to fit the electric motor and the batteries.
On the other hand, the Audi e-Tron SUV is available in two similar versions depending on the size of the battery. The e-Tron was the very first true serial production Audi SUV which means that it competes directly with the Mercedes EQC, the Tesla Model Y, the Jaguar I-Pace, and the electric BMW X3.
Both of these two are true Audi SUVs which means that they offer a nicely designed exterior and interior, lots of space, lots of technology, and a fairly high entry price.
Audi Q5 55 TFSI e – The plug-in Q5
Starting at $52,995 the 55 TFSI e plug-in Audi Q5 is positioned between the entry-level Q5 45 TFSI and the top-of-the-line Audi SQ5. The recent Q5 facelift made the Q5 look more in-line with all the other existing Audi models because it now sports a larger grille and a pair of more aggressive-looking headlights.
The 55 TFSI e combines a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo with an electric engine for a combined output of 362hp and 369lb-ft of torque. It also comes with a standard 7-speed S-Tronic gearbox that takes care of shifting without you even noticing it. Quattro AWD also comes as standard which makes the 55 TFSI e able to do a 0-60mph run in 5 seconds which is almost as fast as the SQ5.
The 55 TFSI e s 550 pounds heavier when compared to the regular 2.0L Q5, but that added mass does not sacrifice the driving experience. The 55 TFSI e comes with a modest 14.1 kWh battery which offers an all-electric range of about 20 miles.
The overall MPG results are around 27MPG, but with the assistance from the battery, the 55 TFSI e can actually do around 50 MPGe. Besides this, the Q5 is identical to a non-plug-in Q5 which means that it is comfortable, luxurious, and quiet to drive.
Audi e-Tron SUV – The first Audi electric SUV
If you want an electric equivalent to the Q5, you will have to go through the Audi e-Tron route as the admittedly more expensive e-Tron SUV is more or less an electric Audi Q5. The e-Tron starts at $67,095 which makes it quite a bit more expensive than the Q5.
However, for this price, you are getting more special treatment because Audi has made sure that the e-Tron and the e-Tron Sportback look the part. Audi says that the e-Tron should be able to do an adequate 218-222 miles between charges, but the upside is that the charging times are fast across the board.
The e-Tron offers 355hp and 414lb-ft of torque in regular driving mode, but if you switch it to sport, the e-Tron ups that power temporarily up to 402hp and 490lb-ft of torque. All versions of the e-Tron are able to charge at a rapid rate of 150 kW which means that the e-Tron can be fully replenished in around 40 minutes.
The e-Tron is rated at 78 MPGe while the Sportback version is rated at 75MPGe. Besides the powerplant, the e-Tron is more or less the same as the Q5.
Audi Q5 55 TFSI e vs Audi e-Tron SUV?
The Q5 costs a lot less than the e-Tron which means that you are able to spend quite a bit of money on optional equipment and still be way off the e-Tron’s MSRP. That being said, you should spend money on optional equipment if you want your Q5 to look and feel as premium as it can.
Between the two, the e-Tron is a bit better looking, especially in Sportback form as it incorporates a more confident design language. If you are transitioning from an ICE car, you should first try out the Q5 as it offers you the ability to propel yourself with both an ICE and an electric engine.
However, if you want to enjoy a fully electric car, the e-Tron is one of the best electric SUVs you can buy right now. All in all, both of these are amazing, but your preferences for a plug-in hybrid or an EV are likely going to decide the ultimate outcome.
Is Audi going to release an electric Q5?
As mentioned previously, the e-Tron is more or less an electric version of the Q5 so it’s not likely that Audi is going to release an electric Q5 per se. Maybe down the line, Audi will separate the e-Tron branch from regular Audi’s as it seems like electric Audi’s don’t necessarily employ the same design language.
Either way, there is simply no need for Audi to release an electric Q5 as long as the e-Tron SUV is on sale. Audi is likely going to come out with an electric sedan soon that is going to rival the Mercedes EQS and the Lucid Air.
Are plug-in hybrids better than electric cars?
A plug-in hybrid is a middle ground between a regular ICE car and a fully electric car which means that it employs both a combustion engine and an electric engine. A plug-in hybrid powertrain is the more flexible one which means that you don’t always have to drive in pure EV mode.
However, an EV is the natural next step after a plug-in hybrid and that’s why most people are so interested in them. As such, EVs are better, but only if you are able to fully utilize them.
What is the best Audi electric car?
The Audi e-Tron is indeed a really nice car, but the best Audi EV is undoubtedly the e-Tron GT as it is the best-looking EV on the market in my opinion. The e-Tron GT is based on the same platform as the Porsche Taycan which means that it is inherently sporty and dynamic.
However, many automotive journalists deem the e-Tron RS GT to be a more dynamic version of the Porsche Taycan which is a surprise to many. All in all, the e-Tron GT is the clear winner when it comes to a superior Audi EV.