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Used hybrids: Audi Q5 vs Volvo XC60 interiors

Buy either of these two premium plug-in hybrid SUVs at a year old and you'll save more than £13,000, but which is the better option?...

Audi Q5 TFSIe - interior

Interiors

Driving position, visibility, build quality, practicality

We doubt that you’ll have many complaints about the driving position in either of these cars. Both have electric seat height adjustment and adjustable lumbar support to help you get comfy, although in the XC60 you have to slide the driver’s seat back and forth using your own bicep power; it’s just a matter of pressing buttons in the Q5. Then again, most of our testers found the XC60’s seat comfier once everything was set up just so.

Volvo XC60 interior

Big windows make it fairly easy to see out of each car, although the XC60 has larger door mirrors. Both cars get front and rear sensors to help with parking and powerful LED headlights to give you longer-range vision at night.

Build quality is exemplary throughout the Q5, and each press of a button elicits a satisfying click. The XC60 is virtually on a par, though; it has one of the plushest interiors of any large SUV.

As far as the infotainment systems go, the Q5 comes with an 8.3in display that’s controlled by a rotary dial between the front seats – much less distracting to use on the move than a touchscreen. All plug-in hybrid models come with a sat-nav system featuring 3D maps by Google and an online search function that means you don’t need to know the exact address of your destination. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity are also standard.

Meanwhile, the portrait-orientated, tablet-like 9.0in touchscreen infotainment system in the XC60 could be easier to use – especially when you’re driving. Some of the icons displayed on it are too small to hit accurately, and there’s sometimes a long delay between you prodding the screen and anything actually happening. At least the screen is bright and its graphics sharp.

The rear of each car is plenty spacious enough for six-footers. The XC60 provides a bit more head room, but leg room is very similar in both. The Q5’s rear seats slide back and forth in a two-part split, so you can prioritise rear leg room or boot space, and the seatbacks recline. Its central pew is broader and more comfortable to sit in, too.

Audi Q5 boot

Compared with the petrol and diesel versions, both of these plug-in hybrids have slightly smaller boots. Even so, you’re hardly going to struggle with the weekly shopping or a weekend away, because both can swallow seven carry-on suitcases – although it’s more of a squeeze in the Q5.

Volvo XC60 boot

When you need to carry more clobber, the rear seats in the Q5 fold down in a handy 40/20/40 split, whereas the XC60’s are in a less flexible 60/40 configuration. Both cars’ rear seatbacks lie virtually flat when folded down.