Audi’s 2023 Plug-in Q5: King of the Suburbs
The 2023 Audi Q5 plug-in builds on its already strong rep
Although Audi may not do as much local assembly in Thailand as rivals like BMW and Mercedes-Benz, it still offers a wide mix of models spanning all segments, including hybrids and electric cars.
One of the most popular Audi models in Thailand is the Q5 compact crossover, which is offered as a hybrid with two body styles – standard and sporty.
In this review we drive the 2023 Q5 55 TFSI e quattro S line Black Edition, which competes with other European crossovers including the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC and Volvo XC60, as well as the Lexus NX.
The Q5 comes with the big, bold radiator grille you’d expect from an Audi and may look more dynamic than larger models like the Q7 with its squat stance, but overall its design is very subtle.
Although it certainly doesn’t stand out from the crowd, the Q5 still has that expensive, stylish look that many luxury car buyers seek.
The base model comes with an S line chrome exterior package and 19-inch wheels, while the S line Black Edition model we tested gets sporty 20-inch wheels and gloss black trim as well as interior design upgrades.
The cabin, also with the S line package, features Nappa leather upholstery, sports seats with diamond-cut stitching and a D-shaped steering wheel, as well as high-quality metals and craftsmanship. The controls are easy to access and use without having to take your eyes off the road, while driving information is laid out in an easy-to-digest way.
Build quality is something you’d expect in an Audi and the Q5 is a good example. The doors close with a solid click and the touch points for the interior are solid too, whether it’s the console and door panel lining or the various switches and knobs.
There’s a large 12.3-inch digital driver display (Audi Virtual Cockpit) and a 10.1-inch central touchscreen, which feels smaller when compared to the larger driver display. The small upgrade to 12.3 inches is sure to be appreciated by Audi customers.
The Black Edition also gets a Bang & Olufsen sound system and four USB ports, but Audi doesn’t offer a wireless charger for this model, which is ironic considering this is a hybrid vehicle.
While Audi’s seats are known for their high levels of comfort, the Q5’s available sport seats make you wonder if comfort seats might be more convenient (it’s only a crossover). However, both front seats are powered and come with lumbar adjustment.
The rear seat backrest comes with tilt and fold mechanisms, which will likely get used a lot given the Q5 hybrid’s limited trunk space. Since the battery is located in the boot floor, luggage space has been reduced from 500 liters to 465 litres, with no under-floor storage space. By folding the rear seat backrests, you can now gain 1,405 litres of space.
In terms of safety, there’s standard Audi Pre Sens, lane change assist, rear cross-traffic alert, as well as Audi Parking Aid.
Aside from the 2.0-litre turbo engine, there’s also an electric motor that works together to pump out 367bhp and 500Nm, which is transmitted to all four wheels via a 7-speed S tronic transmission and Audi’s famous quattro all-wheel drive system. System.
Thanks to a 17.9 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the Q5 can operate in electric mode for a range of up to 54 km (WLTP). A small EV switch on the center console allows the driver to manage how electricity is managed as well.
The battery can be charged in two and a half hours via the wallbox, but it also charges using the engine while on the road, saving energy for later use (eg in city center traffic). However, this results in increased overall fuel consumption.
There are the usual Audi driving modes that the driver can select via the Drive Select switch. Thanks to electric assistance, the Q5 provides the driver with quick response and very quick acceleration, reaching the 100 km/h mark from a standstill in 5.3 seconds, and continuing on to a top speed of 239 km/h.
The electro-hydraulic steering (with manual reach and tilt adjustment) provides adequate precision and feel for quick cornering, while the brakes are responsive enough at high speeds.
Ride quality is the area where the Q5 shines. Audi says the suspension has been softened on the 2023 model to improve ride comfort and it’s very easy to feel the difference. The Q5’s suspension absorbs road vibrations very effectively, resulting in a silky-smooth ride. Low wind noise, even at high speeds, also contributes to providing a high level of comfort for passengers in the Q5.
The Q5 55 TFSI e quattro S line Black Edition is a great example of an Audi SUV that offers customers the brand’s core strengths alongside a usable electric vehicle range of plug-in hybrid technology.