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Audi and BMW are working towards an electrified future, and that means we’re getting exciting plug-in SUVs, or PHEVs, from both brands. The Audi Q5 and the BMW X5 are two of the most popular luxury SUVs you can buy today, and they both come as luxury plug-in SUVs. Though the Audi Q5 is a smaller SUV than the BMW X5, many buyers cross-shop these two luxury plug-ins and there’s a lot that’s similar about these two, and a lot that’s not.

The Q5 PHEV costs less than the BMW PHEV

Audi Q55 PHEV in grey
Audi Q5 55 PHEV | Audi

The plug-in Audi Q5 comes in three trims, Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige, that range from $54,400 to $65,300. Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system is standard on each, but the more expensive models add a panoramic sunroof, navigation, or heated/ventilated sport seats. The 2023 BMW X5 PHEV starts at $65,700 and comes standard with all-wheel drive. You can add the xLine exterior or an M Sport package for an additional $2,950.

The plug-in BMW X5 is bigger than plug-in Audi Q5

2021 BMW x5PHEV
BMW X5 xDrive45e | BMW

Really, the Q5 (despite its name) competes more in the compact range with the X3 more than the X5. They are both five-passenger, five-door, SUVs. But for our PHEV purposes, the Q5 is smaller. In the back, you can get 25.8 cubic feet of stuff in the Audi. In the BMW, you can fit 33.9. But, in terms of passenger space, the two are within just an inch or two of each other.

The Audi is faster, but the BMW has more power

interior of hte Audi Q5 PHEV
Audi Q5 interior | Audi

According to their manufacturer’s 0-60 miles per hour figures, the Audi Q5 would win in a drag race. While the BMW xDrive 45e has more power, at 389 horsepower, it is heavier and reaches 60 in 5.3 seconds, according to BMW. The Audi can get to the same speed in 5.0-seconds, despite being outgunned with only 362 horsepower.

The Luxury plug-in SUV from Audi is more efficient

2022 BMW x5
Plug-in X5 PHEV interior } BMW

According to the EPA both SUVs are more efficient than their gasoline counterparts. The 2022 Audi Q5 TFSI e gets a combined 61 MPGe, while the xDrive45e gets 50 MPGe. The Audi’s range is 23 miles on all-electric power, the BMW’s is 31 miles on all electric power.

They both have complicated names

BMW X5 xDrive45e badging
Plug-in BMW X5 | BMW

The first thing these two have in common is complicated names. Audi’s Q5 comes in a gas model, but the 55 TFSI e Plug-in is the Q5’s PHEV designation. Audi’s numbers, like the 55, designate how much horsepower the SUV has compared to other Audis, while the TFSI stands for turbo fuel stratified injection, according to In the BMW’s case, it’s the xDrive45e, where the e designates electrified and the x (as opposed to the s) means all-wheel drive. BMW, too, uses numbers to compare the horsepower of its models.


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