Not only is the new Q5 55 TFSI e efficient, it's also quicker and more powerful than the SQ5.
Say you're in the market for a compact luxury crossover, and you've settled on the Audi Q5. Now you'll have to choose which powertrain you want. In standard 45 TFSI spec, Ingolstadt's mid-range sport-ute comes with a 2.0-liter turbo four. Then there's the SQ5 performance model, with a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6. But the one you'll want is the new Q5 55 TFSI e, which the EPA has rated at 26 miles per gallon on the combined cycle - or the equivalent of 65 mpg with the electrical component of the powertrain taken into account. And it'll go for 20 miles on electric power alone.
That's pretty impressive, considering that the standard Q5 45 TFSI gets a combined 24-mpg rating from the same US Environmental Protection Agency, and the SQ5 gets only 21 mpg. What's more is that this, the first plug-in hybrid in the Q5 lineup, is also the most powerful and quickest-accelerating member of Audi's mid-size crossover family.
The base Q5 45 TFSI deploys 248 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque to return a 5.9-second 0-60 time. The SQ5, meanwhile, packs 349 hp and 369 lb-ft for a 5.1-second sprint. But the electrified Q5 55 TFSI e boasts 362 hp and 369 lb-ft for a 5.0-second run.
Even more interesting is that Audi has priced the plug-in hybrid version exactly the same as the performance-oriented SQ5, both models starting at $52,900. But with slightly better performance, more power, the same torque, and far better fuel economy, the Q5 55 TFSI e seems like the pick of this particular litter, and makes us wonder what exactly is the point of the performance model. So don't be surprised to see a more potent SQ5 - with or without a hybrid assist - emerge in the near future... and maybe, just maybe, an RS Q5 to top the range and better challenge rivals like the BMW X3 M and Mercedes-AMG GLC 63.