Audi Q5 review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
Comfort and visibility are first-rate, although the Q5's boot space is only average for the premium SUV class
If you’re wondering if the Q5 is big enough to cope with four adults and their luggage, then let us set your mind at rest: there’s decent space inside for those grown-ups, and the boot is just about big enough to cope with three big suitcases and a couple of overnight bags.
The plug-in hybrid versions feature a flexible rear seat system that can alter fore and aft, along with adjusting the seat back angle, to prioritise either cabin space or the boot capacity. The key benefit here is that you can squeeze another 60 litres of boot space on top of the standard 550 litres.
That aside, it’s hard to fault the package; the view out of the driver’s seat is excellent, it’s reasonably easy to place all four corners of the car in tighter manoeuvres and there’s even some clever tech that knows when you’ve attached a roof box and adjusts the stability control systems accordingly to reflect the fact that you’ve got some extra weight higher up than normal.
The Q5 is about par for the course in the premium SUV segment. Its length and width – 4.66 metres and 1.89 metres – are within a few millimetres of the BMW X3’s and Mercedes GLC’s dimensions. The Audi’s roofline does sit a little lower than the BMW’s, though, at 1.66 metres.
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Perhaps more significantly, the second generation of the Q5 gained a few millimetres in wheelbase, so it’s now 2.82 metres. That’s still far from the longest in the class, but it does give the Q5 a fighting chance against the likes of the GLC when it comes to cabin space, particularly rear legroom.
Leg room, head room and passenger space
Four adults will be extremely comfortable in the Q5. There’s bags of shoulder space and headroom up front, and in the rear, even that tapering roofline doesn’t manage to make it cramped for six-footers. There’s really enough space, in fact, for the Q5 to cope with five adults on more than a short journey; that’s a decent effort in this class. Despite the sloping roofline of the Sportback coupe-SUV model, it’s still perfectly fine back there for adults, the backseat passengers would definitely appreciate the optional panoramic roof.
Getting in and out of the front seats is easy, thanks to the raised ride height that you get in this type of SUV. Adults will be able to slide in and out of the rear seats with relative ease too, although the thick C-pillar means that taller passengers may have to duck their head just a little as they perform the manoeuvre.
Audi offers a pair of Isofix points in the outermost rear seats, but there’s no real scope for this car to accommodate three child seats across the second row. This isn’t unusual in the class, though.
The Q5’s 550-litre boot is large enough to hold three decent-sized suitcases, with a couple of overnight bags squeezed in around them. But in raw capacity, it’s not quite up to the class best. By comparison, Jaguar’s F-Pace has a whopping 650 litres on offer, the new Mercedes GLC has up to 620 litres and the BMW X3 has 550 litres with its (fixed) rear seats in place.
Fold down the rear seats completely and the Q5’s capacity extends to 1,550 litres, which is 190 litres down on the Jaguar’s.
However it's worth nothing that there’s a 14.4kWh battery under the plug-in hybrid Q5’s boot floor, which eats up a lot of boot space. With the rear seats in the place, the Q5 PHEV (pictured below) offers 465 litres of cargo space, and 1,405 litres with the sliding 60:40-split rear bench down. There’s no under-floor storage either, so the charging cable takes up some of the boot as well.
There are a couple of hanging hooks at the side of the Q5’s boot, and Audi offers a luggage net that does a decent job of keeping things clamped down to the floor on twistier roads.
The boot aperture itself is excellent, with a nice, wide opening – although there’s actually quite a high lip to lift items over. The tailgate operates electrically on all models; it’s activated by a button on the boot lid or the key fob, although there’s an option that allows you to perform the same function by waving your foot below the rear bumper.
Those people thinking of using the Audi Q5 to tow are limited to 2,400kg, which should be more than enough to pull a caravan or some form of hobby vehicle. This doesn’t change between the petrol or diesel, nor the body styles, but the plug-in hybrid maxes out at 2,000kg.
In this review
- 1Audi Q5 reviewThe 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, the Q5 isn't 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 space - currently readingComfort 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 Euro NCAP rating provides peace of mind
- 7Long term reviewFinal report: plug-in hybrid Audi Q5 rocked our man’s world for five months