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Audi entered the hybrid market for the first time in 2013 by strapping a gas-electric powerplant into its small-but-tough Q5 crossover. The system pairs a turbocharged 2-liter gas engine with a 54-horsepower electric motor for a combined output of 245 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission delivers power to all four wheels. So equipped, the Q5 dashes to 60 mph in only 6.8 seconds, and returns 24 mpg city and 30 mpg highway.
The 2013 Q5 Hybrid comes in a single trim level -- 2.0T Prestige -- and is loaded with premium features like leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof and navigation. Buyers can choose from two option groups: the Sport Interior Package adds a three-spoke multifunction sport steering wheel with shift paddles, sport-style front seats and 12-way power seats with lumbar adjustments; the Comfort Package, meanwhile, wraps the upper instrument panel and door armrests in Nappa leather, and includes Milano leather seating, 12-way power seats with lumbar adjustments, and ventilated front seats.
The Q5's main competition is the Lexus RX 450h, which comes with a 295-horsepower hybrid drivetrain, a 32 mpg city rating and standard cloth upholstery. The BMW X3 is another option, with a standard 240-horsepower 2-liter engine, a 21 mpg city and 28 mpg highway rating, and leatherette seating. The Land Rover Range Rover Evoque serves as a non-hybrid alternative, with partial-leather seating and a 2-liter engine that delivers 200 horsepower, 18 mpg city and 28 mpg highway.
Standard features on the Q5 Hybrid's sole 2.0T Prestige trim level include: automatic headlights; adaptive xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights; fog lights; 19-inch wheels; a 14-speaker 505-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system with AM/FM/SiriusXM/HD Radio capabilities and iPod integration; Bluetooth connectivity; HomeLink; and leather seating.
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Great city mpg, high-powered drivetrain and lower price, but lacks base luxury features and lower highway mpg
Good city mpg, nice power and well-equipped Limited trim, but lacks luxury at the base level
Super-low pricing, decent highway mpg and peppy four-cylinder, but faux leather standard and low city mpg
Stylish body, decent highway mpg and lower price, but only partial leather and low city mileage