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Long Term Test: Audi Q5 55 TFSIe

Long-term test reviews

1 June 2020

Audi Q5 LTT 2020

With all that’s been going on you may not have noticed that we’re in a new tax year and that means a change to company car tax bands.

When we first received the Audi Q5 it sat in the 16% benefit-in-kind band, but, thanks to being registered in 2019 and having a CO2 figure of 49g/km it’s in the 14% band. Great!

Audi Q5 LTT 2020However, Audi has revised its official CO2 figures thanks to WLTP regulations, so if you were to register the same specification Q5 PHEV now, the CO2 figure is 56g/km so new versions will be back in the 16% band. Hardly a great difference, particularly when you consider the diesel equivalent is in the 37% BIK band.

So the Q5 TFSIe is still a company car winner.

The stats

Audi Q5 55 TFSIe

P11D: £54,830

Official combined mpg: 117.7mpg

Our combined mpg: 108.6mpg

CO2: 56g/km

18 May 2020

Audi Q5 PHEV long-termer 2020

Maximising the electric range on the Audi Q5 TFSIe may not be forefront of everyone’s mind while we’re in lockdown, but while a lot of workers are sat at home it’s a good time to learn new skills, so this is bit of a ‘how to’ get the most out of the Q5 PHEV’s battery range.

To start it really is worth selecting E for the efficiency mode. Yes, there’s a slight drop-off in urgency to the acceleration, but the car will easily go an extra few miles in Efficiency compared to the standard Drive mode. What’s good too, is that the Q5 remembers your previous setting so you don’t need to select it every time you get in.

Audi Q5 PHEV long-termer 2020However, the biggest boost to the range appears to be setting the satnav for any journey. Setting the nav means the Q5 will do its best to save and use the EV mode in the most efficient way before you plug-in again.

This was proved on a pre-lockdown 22 mile trip to a business meeting. Despite it being a cold day and the route being mostly motorway, the Q5 still had 2 miles of EV range left when I arrived.

The only issue was a lack of charge points at my destination which meant the return journey used petrol.

Tristan Young

Tester's notes

• Warmer weather has seen the initial indicated range jump 24 to 28 miles. That’s a hike of nearly 17%.

• The myAudi app has been updated to usefully add a mileage tracker.

The stats

Audi Q5 55 TFSIe

P11D: £54,830

Official combined mpg: 117.7mpg

Our combined mpg: 134.5mpg

CO2: 56g/km

1 May 2020

Audi Q5 LTT 2020

Sometimes you’ve got the ideal car for the ideal time. The current lockdown means very few people are travelling any real distance and I’m the same, just once a week to the local supermarket.

Audi Q5 LTT 2020But as it turns out this is ideal territory for the plug-in hybrid Audi Q5.

I last put petrol in the tank nearly eight weeks ago. That’s nearly twice as long as normal because all of the mileage I’ve done since the start of lockdown has been in pure EV mode.

I’m more concerned that the petrol will have gone off, than run out. I’ve done 566 miles on half a tank of fuel which equates to 94.2mpg.

Oddly, with all the pollen in the air, the one thing the car still needs is a regular wash because the blue paint really shows the yellowy-green particles.

Tristan Young

The stats

Audi Q5 55 TFSIe

P11D: £54,830

Official combined mpg: 117.7mpg

Our combined mpg: 77.7mpg

CO2: 56g/km

17 April 2020

Audi Q5 LTT 2020

One of the more significant differences the plug-in Audi Q5 has that electrified vehicles from other brands is the way it operates the brake-energy battery regeneration function.

Like all electric cars, when you slow down the Q5 regenerates power to the battery. However, unlike almost every other EV I’ve driven, Audi doesn’t allow the driver to control the strength of that regeneration. In other words, there’s no mode to allow the driver to increase the level of regen. The car controls it all.

Audi Q5 LTT 2020If you’ve driven other EVs then this is, at first, a little odd. Sometimes, when driving, the Q5 will just roll to maintain momentum without using the battery when you lift off the accelerator. And other times the Q5 PHEV will activate regeneration and slow the car. This may sound odd, but in the real world it works really well. It’s a little like having a very clever adaptive cruise control on all of the time. If the Q5 ‘sees’ the road ahead is clear and you lift off the accelerator, it will just carry its momentum. If there’s traffic or a junction ahead it will slow using regeneration.

I suspect purists, who like to be fully involved in the driving experience, won’t like this level of automation but for your typical mid-size SUV driver it’s the simplest option and means you can divert your attention to what’s going on ahead, rather than worrying about which mode to be in.

Tristan Young

Tester's notes

• Really enjoying the massage seats that come as standard the S-line Competition trim level

• Although I’d rather have a memory seat function instead.

The stats

Audi Q5 55 TFSIe

P11D: £54,830

Official combined mpg: 117.7mpg

Our combined mpg: 77.7mpg

CO2: 56g/km

6 April 2020

Audi Q5 PHEV LTT 2020 charging

We’re just over halfway through our time with the Audi Q5 PHEV, so let’s have a look at the fuel costs so far.

Audi Q5 PHEV LTT 2020Covering 2226 miles has cost £167.06 in petrol, that’s 7.5p a mile, plus £139.66 for electricity which makes for an additional 6.3p a mile. That takes the total fuel-cost per mile to 13.8p. For reference, my electricity costs 14.5p a kWh.

As a comparison, our family BMW 335d Touring, which is similarly quick and similarly sized, has a fuel-only cost of 19p a mile. 

Most of the journeys and mileage in the Q5 have, so far, been local, short trips which really helps the economy. As soon as allowed, I’ve got a few longer runs planned, so we’ll see how this impacts the figures.

Tristan Young

The stats

Audi Q5 55 TFSIe

P11D: £54,830

Official combined mpg: 117.7mpg

Our combined mpg: 77.6mpg

CO2: 56g/km

18 March

Audi Q5 PHEV LTT 2020 sunroof

Most of these reports on the Q5 plug-in hybrid have focused on the hybrid aspects of the car (and will continue to do so), but for one report it’s worth assessing the options our car came with. Especially now that we’re more than 4000 miles in.

Audi Q5 PHEV LTT 2020 screenThe highest-priced option is the panoramic glass sunroof, at £1400. I’ve hardly used it and just think it adds weight; don’t bother.

The comfort and sound pack, at £1395, adds an B&O stereo which is ace, keyless locking, hands-free boot opening (which works every time, unlike some others), some extra interior lighting and a reversing camera. I like and use these features.

A further £1350 gets you the parking assistance pack, which not only includes a 360-degree camera view and automatic parking that actually works, but also some useful safety kit that warns you about oncoming traffic when manoeuvring. It’s a very useful thing to have.

The tour pack (£1250) includes a host of safety gadgets but best of all very smooth and clever adaptive cruise control with stop and start function. Love this.

The £650 upgraded LED headlights are excellent and well worth going for if you can. At £175 the storage pack is the least expensive option and includes lots of handy extra storage ideas. It’s easily worth the money.

Tristan Young

Tester's notes

• There’s no light for the charge point on the side of the car, which makes plugging in at night harder than it needs to be.

•  I’ve recently found that the MyAudi app allows you to set the charging to ‘prefer’ using off-peak electricity. Good idea.

The stats

Audi Q5 55 TFSIe

P11D: £54,830

Official combined mpg: 117.7mpg

Our combined mpg: 77.6mpg

CO2: 56g/km

4th March 2020

Long Term Test - Audi Q5 55 TFSIe - Update - 4th March 2020 - Main Image - Overlooking the motorway at Pangbourne

Charging at home means using my 7kw point installed by Chargemaster, which has the added bonus of being able to see (through an online account) how much electricity I’m using in the Q5.

Long Term Test - Audi Q5 55 TFSIe - Update - 4th March 2020 - Image 2 - Charging at home won't happen any fast than 3.5kw - Audi says it's a cable issueI’ve noticed that the charging won’t happen any faster than 3.5kw (but did charge faster for other PHEVs I’ve had).

Audi says this is a cable-related issue. Early Q5 PHEVs came with a cable that limits the charge speed on single-phase (most residential homes) electricity. Newer cars come with a better cable.

The only real downside is that for public 7kWh charge stations that bill by time, rather than electricity, you’re effectively paying double the cost per hour.

Tristan Young  

The stats

Audi Q5 55 TFSIe

P11D: £54,830

Official combined mpg: 117.7mpg

Our combined mpg: 60.3mpg

CO2: 56g/km

18th February 2020

Long Term Test - Audi Q5 55 TFSIe - Update - 18th February 2020 - Main Image - Charging the Audi Q5 out and about

A friend has asked me how much a fully electric mile costs in the Audi Q5 55 TFSI e, and how does that compare with a petrol-only mile?

Long Term Test - Audi Q5 55 TFSIe - Update - 18th February 2020 - The readoutIt’s a very interesting point, so here are the all-important sums. I’m getting 1.5 miles for every kWh. My home electricity costs 14p a kWh. That means an EV mile costs 9.3p. And a petrol-only mile? Once the battery is drained, I’m getting 30mpg.

With the average price of petrol currently at 126p a litre, that works out at 19.1p a mile. What all this number-crunching means is that if you’re out and about and you find a public charge point that costs more than 28.6p a kWh, there’s no point in paying to use it.

Tristan Young

The stats

Audi Q5 55 TFSIe

P11D: £54,830

Official combined mpg: 117.7mpg

Our combined mpg: 60.3mpg

CO2: 56g/km

22 January 2020

Audi Q5 PHEV LTT 2020

The Q5 plug-in hybrid has been in our hands fora few weeks and it’s time for some early thoughts.

Audi Q5 PHEV LTT 2020 appFirst things first, it really suits my mix of journeys, the vast majority of which are local, usually acting as Dad-taxi service. As a result, it was nearly a month after the Audi arrived before I first needed to put petrol in because I was able to either charge up at home or, increasingly, while parked waiting for a child to finish some activity or other. On that note, hats-off to Woking for its free and open 22kW charge point in the car park under the WWF building. Doing this means I’m more likely
to go shopping there than in other towns.

The Q5 charges at a maximum of 7.4kWh but the cable supplied with the car only allows approximately 4kWh (on a single-phase, home supply), so from empty the Audi takes about three hours to fill the 14.1kW battery that will take it about 21 (real world) miles – the car’s averaging 1.5 miles per kWh.

The next plus is the myAudi app which allows you to see how charged the car is, where it is, remote lock and unlock and a host of other features. It also lets you pre-heat the car before you even leave the breakfast table. It’s just a shame that this depletes the battery, rather than using electricity directly from the charge point (house supply), even though it’s plugged in.

Tristan Young

Tester's notes

•  I’ve yet to have the voice activation correctly recognise a sat-nav destination. Fortunately, you can send the address from your phone to the
car via an app.

• The rear seats slide forward and back so you can have more boot space at the expense of rear passenger leg room.
A useful feature.

The stats

Audi Q5 55 TFSIe

P11D: £54,830

Official combined mpg: 117.7mpg

Our combined mpg: 60.3mpg

CO2: 56g/km

27th November 2019

Long Term Test - Audi Q5 55 TFSIe - Preview - 27th November 2019 - Main Image - Plug-in the Q5 to get the best from it

Having been in possession of the Audi Q5 55 TFSIe plug-in hybrid for less than a week, it would be a little premature to issue any sort of judgement.

Long Term Test - Audi Q5 55 TFSIe - Preview - 27th November 2019 - Image 2 - Hybrid Q5 is a tax winner

Hybrid Q5 is a tax winner

Instead, I’ll just mention the tax position. The petrol-electric hybrid Q5 emits 49g/km of CO2 so sits in the 16% Benefit-in-Kind company car tax band. For reference, a similarly trimmed Q5 40 TDI sits in the 37% BIK band. Ouch.

What’s more, from April next year the plug-in hybrid drops to the 14% band.

For a 40% taxpayer, this means a bill of £9,652 for the Q5 55 TFSIe, while the diesel (which is also slower) would receive a tax bill of £19,008 over three years.

The only question remaining, is how will the fuel costs compare?

Tristan Young

The stats

Audi Q5 55 TFSIe

P11D: £54,830

Official combined mpg: 117.7mpg

Our combined mpg: n/ampg

CO2: 56g/km