2020 Audi Q5 Hybrid

2020 Audi Q5 Hybrid Review: No Need For An SQ5

by Roger Biermann

As the world moves towards full electrification, hybridization is the natural stepping stone towards the end goal. It's a mantle Audi has taken up with zeal, rolling out a range of hybrid vehicles across its lineup for the 2020 model year. But perhaps the one most likely to spark a revolution will be the Audi Q5 Plug-in Hybrid. Not only is it semi-attainable for the layman at a starting price of $52,900 but with 362 horsepower on tap from a combination of a 2.0-liter gasoline engine and an electric motor, it comprehensively outpowers not only the base model but the Audi SQ5 as well. Throw in the popularity of the crossover segment, Audi's stellar design and build quality, and high levels of technology, and there's seemingly no way the Q5 isn't a winner. But when you rival the SQ5 on power, you take on all-new competition. While BMW's X3 xDrive30e is the most similar in classification, the Q5 Hybrid's power means it can just as easily draw comparison with an X3 M40i, as well as the 400-hp Volvo XC60 Hybrid.

2020 Audi Q5 Hybrid Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2019 Q5 Hybrid?

The Audi Q5 Hybrid is a new addition to the Q5 lineup for the 2020 model year, retaining the same three trim levels, and in turn, specification levels, as the regular model, but adding a dose of plug-in electric assistance. It retains the same 2.0 TFSI gasoline engine but supplements this with a 14.1 kWh battery and an electric motor sandwiched between the engine and gearbox to develop 362 hp. The electric systems also afford the Q5 Hybrid with a claimed 20 miles of all-electric range. The new powertrain is differentiated by the "55 TFSI e Plug-in Hybrid" denomination.

Pros and Cons

  • More power than an SQ5
  • More comfortable than an SQ5
  • Impressive gas mileage estimates given the performance
  • High levels of standard safety equipment
  • Flawless cabin design
  • Less cargo space than rivals
  • Power and performance, but without character
  • Electric range isn't especially impressive

2020 Audi Q5 Hybrid Trims

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Prestige
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid
7-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$52,900
Premium Plus
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid
7-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$52,900
Premium
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid
7-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$52,900

Q5 Hybrid Exterior

Audi doesn't differentiate its hybrid models from standard siblings very obviously, and at first glance, the Q5 Hybrid is just another Q5. That said, the PHEV gets the S line treatment as standard, including a blacked-out grille, S line badging, and 19-inch five-spoke V-design alloy wheels. Xenon headlights are standard on the base Premium model, with LED headlights equipped from the Premium Plus. All receive LED daytime running lights and LED taillights, while the rear bumper houses integrated quad-exit exhaust finishers. The Q5 Hybrid also inherits two exclusive colors from the SQ5 in the form of Turbo Blue and Daytona Gray.

2020 Audi Q5 Hybrid Front View Audi
2020 Audi Q5 Hybrid Rear View Audi
2020 Audi Q5 Hybrid Front-End View Audi
See All 2020 Audi Q5 Hybrid Exterior Photos

Dimensions

With the standard S line equipment, the Q5 Hybrid differs in size from the regular model in length, measuring 184.4 inches - a growth of 0.8 inches. However, it shares the same 111-inch wheelbase and stands the same 65.3 inches tall and 84.3 inches wide including the wing mirrors. Ground clearance is 0.2 inches lower, at eight inches, while the curb weight sees an increase of 640 lbs over the base non-hybrid model at 4,685 lbs.

  • Length 183.6 in
  • Wheelbase 111.0 in
  • Height 65.3 in
  • Max Width 74.5 in
  • Front Width 63.6 in
  • Rear Width 63.3 in

2020 Audi Q5 Hybrid Exterior Colors

  • Azores Green Metallic
  • Florett Silver Metallic
  • Glacier White Metallic
  • Matador Red Metallic
  • Moonlight Blue Metallic
  • Mythos Black Metallic
  • Daytona Gray Pearl Effect
  • Manhattan Gray Metallic
  • Turbo Blue
  • Brilliant Black
  • Ibis White

Q5 Hybrid Performance

2020 Audi Q5 Hybrid Forward Vision Audi
2020 Audi Q5 Hybrid Driving Back View Audi
2020 Audi Q5 Hybrid Engine Bay Audi

Engine and Transmission

Hybrids, in general, tend to boast detuned combustion engines for the sake of efficiency with electrification augmenting outputs to match the regular models. Audi tossed that book out the window with the Q5 Hybrid, retaining the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (which develops 248 hp in standard guise) and adding an electric motor between it and the seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Combined outputs best even the SQ5, with 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque directed to Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive system - albeit 'with ultra technology', meaning drive to the rear wheels is disengaged until absolutely necessary, saving fuel compared to the regular system. 0-60 mph takes a claimed five seconds flat, while top speed is limited to 130 mph - or 85 mph in pure electric mode. The standard model may have been guilty of sluggish behavior down low, but the Q5 Hybrid is anything but.

  • Engine
    2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid
  • Transmission
    7-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain
    AWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Audi hasn't forgotten to increase the handling and stopping power of the Q5 either, and the Q5 Hybrid is on the receiving end of larger 13.7-inch front brake discs. They help, and the braking response from the Q5 Hybrid is exceptional. So too are the handling dynamics, with the luxury compact SUV nimbly following steering inputs, turning adeptly, and handling mid-corner bumps without trouble. But while it's comfortable and capable, it's hardly involving, and not even the jolt of electricity is capable of really spicing things up for the Q5.

The plug-in hybrid system enables the addition of three hybrid-specific drive modes to tailor the experience. The first, aptly named Hybrid mode, uses route guidance to customize battery usage for the duration of the programmed route, while Battery Hold mode reduces use of the electric motor in order to preserve the current levels of charge. The third is EV mode, which is activated upon start-up and uses the electric motor only until such point as the battery is depleted or the driver's throttle inputs necessitate combustion assistance.

Q5 Hybrid Gas Mileage

A standard Q5 is already a very frugal machine, with EPA-rated fuel economy of 22/28/24 mpg city/highway/combined. But the hybrid does better still - despite the extra power - providing a combined estimate of 27 mpg, while electric power only equates to 65 MPGe. The 14.1 kWh battery pack takes around two hours to charge on a pre-installed wallbox, but this number grows to around six hours on a standard 110-volt household socket, affording a claimed 20 miles range when fully charged. With a 15.3-gallon gas tank requiring premium unleaded (down from the 18.5 gallons on base Q5s), the Q5 Hybrid can manage around 410 miles range in mixed conditions.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    14.3 Gallons
* 2020 Audi Q5 Hybrid Premium Plus 55 TFSI e quattro

Q5 Hybrid Interior

2020 Audi Q5 Hybrid Front Seats Audi
2020 Audi Q5 Hybrid Central Control Panel Audi
2020 Audi Q5 Hybrid Dashboard Audi
See All 2020 Audi Q5 Hybrid Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

While classified as a five-seater, four adults would be most comfortable in the Q5 Hybrid. With headroom figures of 41.7/39.3 inches front and rear (when not equipped with a sunroof) and legroom of 41/37.8 inches respectively, even six-footers will have little trouble getting comfortable. Those up front get the added comfort of heated eight-way power-adjustable seats from the base trim, while the rear seatbacks feature adjustable reclination and boast a 40/20/40 split. Leather seating is also standard, as are genuine Dark Brown Walnut wood inlays on the dash (other styles optional). It's a well-laid-out interior, with premium materials solidly assembled, and a design that feels warm and inviting. Easy ingress and egress through tall door openings with a moderate step up into the cabin add the finishing touch on a thoughtful interior.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 41.0 in
  • Front Head Room 40.2 in
  • Rear Leg Room 37.8 in
  • Rear Head Room 37.7 in

Q5 Hybrid Trunk and Cargo Space

Despite storing its battery under the floor of the cargo compartment, the Q5 Hybrid doesn't sacrifice any cargo volume compared to standard derivatives. You still get 25.1 cubic feet behind the rear seats, and when flattened (they fold in a 40/20/40 split), you get up to 53.1 cubic feet. Rivals like the BMW X3 offer several cubes more in both configurations, but the Audi's space can still cater to more than a dozen carry-on suitcases with the seats folded thanks to a practical layout, and the standard power tailgate aids usability. Inside the cabin, Audi's typical German sensibility reigns, with a sizable storage bin beneath the center armrest, short but wide door pockets, seatback map pockets, a storage cubby for rear-seat passengers, cupholders for four occupants, and a standard-sized glovebox. It's not exceptional, but in this segment, most buyers will be happy.

2020 Audi Q5 Hybrid Trunk Space Audi
2020 Audi Q5 Hybrid Trunk Space with Seat Folded Audi
2020 Audi Q5 Hybrid Side View Audi

Q5 Hybrid Infotainment and Features

Features

Not many options are available for the Q5 Hybrid because even the base-level Premium trim is loaded with comfort and convenience features like tri-zone climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror (auto-dimming wing mirrors from the Premium Plus), heated eight-way power front seats, cruise control, a rearview camera, a power tailgate, keyless access, push-button start, and Audi's virtual cockpit digital instrumentation. Higher up the trim ladder, full LED taillights, a panoramic sunroof, driver's seat memory, and a parking assistant are added on Premium Plus models, while the Prestige gets power steering column adjustment, LED interior lighting, adaptive cruise control, surround-view cameras, and a head-up display. It also gets added driver assistance in the form of traffic sign recognition and a lane keeping system, while lesser models still benefit from forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, as well as rear cross-traffic alert.

Infotainment

Comprehensive infotainment suites are becoming a staple for Audi, and the Q5 Hybrid continues this trend with the standard MMI navigation plus system and Audi virtual cockpit. All the expected functionality is present, including Bluetooth, SiriusXM satellite radio, HD Radio, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration. Details are displayed on an 8.3-inch dash-mounted screen, with controls via various buttons, as well as Audi's touchpad control system. The standard sound system comprises 10 speakers, while the Prestige gets a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system as standard - an option on the Premium Plus for $950. The Audi phone box wireless charger and signal amplification system is added from the Premium Plus as standard.

Q5 Hybrid Problems and Reliability

Despite being new to the market for 2020, the Q5 Hybrid has already been the subject of one recall. As part of a broader Q5 and SQ5 recall spanning 2018-2020 year models, the rear wheel arch cover trim may detach. This is fairly minor, however, and Audi provides a comprehensive four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty with unlimited mileage roadside assist for the same time period. One free service is also included for the first scheduled maintenance visit, covered within the first 10,000 miles.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    12 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Maintenance:
    1 Years \ 10,000 Miles
  • Hybrid/Electric Components:
    8 Years \ 100,000 Miles

Q5 Hybrid Safety

While the NHTSA hasn't specifically tested the hybrid Q5, the standard model received five out of five stars overall. Likewise, the IIHS awarded top marks of Good in almost all tests, with collision avoidance systems scoring 'Superior' remarks. Six airbags are standard - including dual front, front side, and side curtain airbags, with rear-seat side airbags available optionally on all trims. Additionally, a rearview camera, rain-sensing wipers, collision warning and mitigation, and high beam assist are standard, while higher trims add park assist and rear cross-traffic alert, and the top-spec Prestige benefits from a surround-view camera, adaptive cruise control, and traffic sign recognition.

Verdict: 🏁Is 2020 Audi Q5 Hybrid a good SUV?

A quick look at the high starting price of the Q5 Plug-in Hybrid might scare some buyers off, but look beyond that and the electrified SUV justifies its price tag thoroughly. It may be down on cargo volume compared to rivals, but the interior is spacious, practical, and thoroughly equipped with comfort, convenience, and safety features. More than this, the hybrid system results in improved economy and SQ5-rivalling performance, while the standard suspension setup means the Q5 Hybrid rides pliantly and with high levels of composure. But it's not the most thrilling prospect, providing shoppers with a quick, efficient sensory deprivation tank in which they can reach their destination in comfort. We feel the Q5 Hybrid more than acquits itself for asking nearly $10,000 more than a standard model, but we'd advise holding off on purchasing for just a while longer. At the time of writing, the Q5 Hybrid doesn't yet qualify for federal tax incentives, but we believe that in a few months, shoppers could potentially earn around $7,000 back, in addition to other state-specific incentives. However, you might also be better off cross-shopping with the more powerful Volvo XC60 T8, which asks similar money for more power and impeccable refinement.

🚘What's the Price of the 2020 Audi Q5 Hybrid?

With a starting MSRP of $52,900, the Premium trim is the cheapest version of the Q5 Hybrid available, but it represents an increase of $9,600 over the standard non-hybrid Q5 Premium. One step up, the Premium Plus asks $56,600, while at the top of the pile, the Prestige carries a base price of $60,350. Prices exclude Audi's $995 destination charge, as well as any state-specific discounts and incentives. At the time of writing, the EPA has no official federal tax rebates for the Q5 Hybrid, but we believe these will be made available in due course.

See All 2020 Audi Q5 Hybrid Trims and Specs

🚗What Audi Q5 Hybrid Model Should I Buy?

With even the Premium trim being well-equipped, we'd be happy in the base Q5 Hybrid, but if it's the best value for money package you're looking for, the mid-spec Premium Plus is it. It receives LED headlights, front and rear park sensors, rear cross-traffic alert, a panoramic sunroof, upgraded leather interior, driver seat memory, and Audi phone box technology with a wireless charging pad that the base model doesn't get, but inherits tri-zone climate control, the Audi virtual cockpit, and standard heated front seats with power adjustment. It may miss out on the standard inclusion of traffic sign recognition and surround-view camera systems of the Prestige as standard, but considering you can option items like the Bang & Olufsen sound system and adaptive cruise control with lane keeping assist, you can spec a comprehensive model without breaking the bank.

Check out other Audi Q5 Styles

2020 Audi Q5 Hybrid Comparisons

Lexus RX Hybrid
Volvo XC60 Hybrid CarBuzz
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Audi Q5 Hybrid367 hpTBC$52,900
Lexus RX Hybrid 308 hp31/28 mpg$46,800
Volvo XC60 Hybrid 400 hpTBC$53,950

2020 Audi Q5 Hybrid vs Lexus RX Hybrid

The Lexus RX Hybrid occupies the larger luxury midsize segment, bringing with it additional space and the option of a seven-seater long-wheelbase configuration. But it's also not a plug-in hybrid, which means no all-electric range. It counters this with combined gas mileage of 30 mpg, besting the Q5 Hybrid's 27 mpg combined figure. Performance-wise, the Audi is the better pick, though. It's smaller, nimbler, and with 54 hp more power, the Q5 is quicker as well. The RX may have more legroom up front, but rear seat occupants in the Audi get a similar amount of space, despite the size deficit, and the Audi is a nicer place to sit. Infotainment is a strong suit in the Audi, too, with greater versatility and an easier to use interface. But the RX has a trick up its sleeve, as in hybrid form it only costs $46,800 at a base level. Still, for the infotainment, technology, and performance on offer, the Audi's additional price premium is entirely justifiable, and in our eyes, it's the better hybrid SUV.

See Lexus RX Hybrid Review

2020 Audi Q5 Hybrid vs Volvo XC60 Hybrid

The Q5 Plug-in Hybrid's stiffest competition in this segment comes from Sweden, with Volvo's own XC60 Plug-in Hybrid bringing an extra 38 hp and 103 lb-ft to the table with its hybrid powertrain (in non-Polestar guise), although the 0-60 mph sprint only occurs 0.1 seconds quicker. Both boast similar interior dimensions, although the Audi has a marginally larger cargo bay. Likewise, both play host to high levels of standard safety, comfort, and infotainment technology - although we prefer the Harman Kardon sound system on top-spec Volvo trims. The Volvo carries an asking price of around $1,600 more than the Q5 Hybrid, but currently qualifies for up to $5,419 in federal tax credit. At the end of the day, both PHEV SUVs are phenomenally luxurious, with the Volvo erring more toward outright comfort in standard form, while the Audi is a little more focused on the driving - even if only by a micron. We'd personally have the Volvo but can't fault anyone for looking the way of the German instead.

See Volvo XC60 Hybrid Review

Audi Q5 Hybrid Popular Comparisons

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2020 Audi Q5 Hybrid Video Review

Check out some informative Audi Q5 Hybrid video reviews below.

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Audi Q5 Hybrid