Audi Q5 review
The Audi Q5 is refined and comfortable, but other SUV rivals offer a bit more involvement and agility
The Audi Q5 is only in its second generation, but it is firmly established as one of the most popular premium SUVs on the market - it's a very solid rival for the likes of the BMW X3 and Mercedes GLC.
The Q5 shares chassis parts with the larger Q7, as well as the highly regarded Audi A4. It offers a comfortable, refined driving experience, but doesn’t quite match the X3 or Jaguar F-Pace for driver involvement. It compensates for this with a supremely well finished cabin, though, and bags of safety technology and hi-tech equipment, including some of the best infotainment packages available on any car.
The 2.0-litre diesel will be a fine choice as a rapid family SUV. The 2.0-litre petrol isn’t bad, with plenty of power, but it's not exactly cheap to run and feels a bit frantic for a big SUV like this; it’s worth going for one of the excellent plug-in hybrid models, if you can afford it.
The Audi Q5 is one of the most popular premium SUVs for sale today, and should be on your shortlist if you're looking to buy or lease one of these classy family 4x4s. The second generation arrived in 2016, with a facelifted model in 2020 bringing further styling and tech tweaks.
The combustion-engined Q5 includes Sport, S line, Edition 1 and Vorsprung trim levels, while the Q5 TFSI e plug-in hybrid does without the entry-level Sport and Edition 1 specifications - instead adding the Black Edition, S line Competition and Vorsprung Competition equipment levels.
With prices starting from just under £44,000, the Audi Q5 is right in the mix of the premium SUV class. Its main rivals are the BMW X3, Jaguar F-Pace, Volvo XC60 and Mercedes GLC, while other cars worth considering include the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Lexus NX and Land Rover Discovery Sport.
Where the Audi Q5 impresses is with its interior quality. Like all Audis, there's a solidity and premium feel that puts it above its main rivals. And with all cars getting sat-nav, LED interior lighting, leather seats (heated up front), three-zone climate control and Audi's MMI infotainment system, you're not short of kit. However, higher-spec cars add even more equipment, and there's still an extensive options list that can bump up prices further.
The standard car is offered with either a 261bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine, badged 45 TFSI quattro, or a 201bhp 2.0-litre diesel unit labelled 40 TDI quattro. Those with deeper pockets can opt for the Q5 TFSI e plug-in hybrid version which brings power outputs of 295bhp or 362bhp. All cars utilise a seven-speed S tronic automatic gearbox.
The performance-orientated SQ5 uses a 3.0-litre diesel engine to produce 342bhp, with an eight-speed tiptronic transmission.
Overall, the Audi Q5 feels like a premium product, but despite the tweaks to this facelifted second-generation car, it doesn't really stand out in any particular area to put it at the front of the hugely competitive premium SUV pack.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Audi Q5 is refined and comfortable, but other SUV rivals offer a bit more involvement and agility
- 2Engines, performance and driveExcellent cruising refinement, but despite a composed chassis and comfortable suspension, it's not the most involving drive
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsLighter construction, 'on-demand' quattro four-wheel drive and revised engines should deliver good efficiency
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe facelifted Q5 cabin remains smart, functional and beautifully finished, with improved levels of standard equipment
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceComfort and visibility are first-rate, although the Q5's boot space is only average for the premium SUV class
- 6Reliability and SafetyAudi has equipped the Q5 with plenty of safety kit, while a strong NCAP rating provides peace of mind
- 7Long term reviewFinal report: plug-in hybrid Audi Q5 rocked our man’s world for five months