New Audi Q5 vs Volvo XC60: costs

The new plug-in hybrid version of Audi’s Q5 large SUV promises low running costs and stonking performance. Does that make it a match for its Volvo XC60 rival?...

Audi Q5 driving

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security

Unsurprisingly, given that the plug-in hybrid Q5 is brand new, you’ll get greater discounts on the XC60. However, depreciation is predicted to be slower for the Q5, so it’ll cost a private buyer slightly less over three years of ownership.

Neither is exactly a budget option if you’re buying on PCP finance, with repayments (assuming a three-year term and a £5000 customer deposit) of nearly £800 per month. The XC60 is £20 per month cheaper, mind you.

Plug-in hybrids make far more sense for company car drivers, because their sub-50g/km CO2 emissions mean relatively low benefit-in-kind tax bills. This pair will cost a 40% taxpayer £293 per month, falling to £256 next April, when new incentives for choosing greener cars are introduced.

Volvo XC60 driving

Although these cars have official fuel economy figures of more than 100mpg, most people won’t be able to achieve anything like that unless they do mostly short trips and recharge the battery after each one. In our tests, with no pure electric range remaining, both cars averaged around 30mpg – not bad, given their size and performance.

You can charge either battery by plugging a cable into a domestic three-pin socket. A fill from empty takes around seven hours with the Q5 and eight with the XC60. A Type 2 cable (supplied by Audi but £50 extra from Volvo) enables faster charging, but 0-100% will still take about 2hr 30min with the Q5 and 3hr 15min with the XC60.

We don’t have specific reliability data for these plug-in hybrids, but the regular XC60 was one of the most dependable large SUVs in our 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey. The Q5 didn’t score quite as highly but was still well above average.

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