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 new premium interior and improvements in every area.
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As before, there are Sport, S line and Black Edition models available, while the Vorsprung version has an extensive kit list, but also has a premium price tag. With prices starting from around £41,000, 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.
There is a relatively small range of engines on offer – one petrol, two diesels and a pair of plug-in hybrids.
The 40 TDI is a 187bhp 2.0-litre diesel which gives the Q5 a 0-62mph time of 8.1 seconds. If that's not fast enough for you, the 45 TFSI is a 242bhp 2.0-litre which can do the same sprint in 6.4 seconds. Both engines come with a seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch auto gearbox and quattro four-wheel drive, while a clever decoupling system means front-wheel drive is selected most of the time to boost fuel efficiency.
The sportier SQ5 uses a 342bhp V6 diesel engine with a huge 700Nm of torque; 0-62mph takes just 5.1 seconds and top speed is limited to 155mph.
The Audi Q5 is also available as a plug-in hybrid. Power comes courtesy of a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, 141bhp electric motor and a 14.1kWh battery; total power is 295bhp in the 50 TFSI e and 362bhp in 55 TFSI e form. All-electric range of around 26 miles is available with full batteries, while performance is strong and ride quality is excellent. It’s a great plug-in hybrid family SUV, but prices are a little steep.
Overall, the Audi Q5 feels like a premium product, but 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, part-time quattro four-wheel drive and revised engines should deliver good efficiency
- 4Interior, design and technologyFamiliar design cues from the likes of the Audi A4, but the Q5's cabin is smart, functional and beautifully finished
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceCapable enough, with flexible rear seat configuration as an option - but no better than the class average
- 6Reliability and SafetyNew engines and chassis should bring improved reliability. Plenty of safety kit and a strong NCAP rating provide peace of mind
- 7Long term reviewFinal report: plug-in hybrid Audi Q5 rocked our man’s world for five months