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Audi Q5 Review

Find out more about the Audi Q5 in the latest Motors.co.uk Review

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6
Out of 10
Average Price £28,543
Model Review

First unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show in 2008, the Q5 was the second SUV brought the market by Audi and was a smaller companion to the large Q7.

Audi has since unveiled the small Q3 and even smaller Q2, making the Q5 the mid-range model in the German brand’s SUV line-up.

As with other Audi models, the Q5 comes with a sportier sibling – the SQ5 – which adds more dynamic performance, suspension and more aggressive capabilities, although for an SUV this can sometimes make it a bit too unwieldy if not done correctly.

Following a facelift in 2012, the second generation Q5 was released in early 2017 that offered an altered design, smaller engine line-up and further refined driving feel.

Latest Model

As one of the more sought-after SUVs on the market, the German brand had to re-invent the Q5 to keep up with rivals such as the Jaguar F-Pace, Mercedes-Benz GLC and BMW X3, and although the build quality is better and very Audi-like, it looks rather similar to first generation.

After a mini diet, the new Q5 has lost 90kg compared to the previous model after it was switched to the MLB Evo base and is based on the larger Q7 and A4 saloon.

The engine line-up has been slimmed down also, with the Q5 now coming with the choice of either a 187bhp 2.0-litre diesel or a 2.0-litre petrol producing 248bhp.

New technological features are now available to bring it up to date and both drivetrains come with the quattro all-wheel drive system and a seven-speed S tronic semi-automatic gearbox.

Value for money

To compete with other medium luxury SUVs, Audi has fitted the base Q5 with the lots of standard features to appeal to its customers and keep it in the higher echelons of the sector. The Q5 comes with leather seats, heated front seats, multi-function leather steering wheel, MMI infotainment system with a seven-inch screen and control wheel, power-operated tailgate and cruise control with speed limiter.

Also added is Audi’s parking system plus and pre-sense city, as well as quattro all-wheel drive, comfort dynamic suspension and LED daytime running lights. The £37,240 starting price is competitive against its market rivals.

As the latest generation has only recently been released, only top spec first generation models can outstrip the new Q5 on both price and accessories. A 2015 Q5 with top spec S line trim is available for £34,992 and with it you get 20-inch alloys, nappa leather seats with S line embossing, black styling pack, three-zone air conditioning, heated front seats, technology pack, satellite navigation and three-spoke multi-function steering wheel, with plenty of other additions aside.

With 16,242 miles on the odometer, this example clearly has a lot to offer and as it is £2,500 cheaper than a new base model, it is worth looking on the used market for suitable.

Looks and image

The Q5 offers a high-level of driving appeal, as comes with the badge recognition of any Audi. Looks are simple, but generally the Q5 remains a striking car.

The ride is comfortable enough but in some circumstances the Q5 doesn’t feel as exciting and as composed as the Mercedes GLC, which for keen drivers can be a turn off. The optional air suspension does improve the overall quality of the drive but doesn’t make it up to the GLC’s level. The steering is direct enough but fails to provide enough feedback from the front wheels and can feel very numb.

The quattro all-wheel drive will give plenty of grip and good traction off-road, with this ability being aided by the adaptive air suspension that can raise the ride height and protect the underside of the car. Body roll is kept in check with the more conventional suspension set-ups, but with the air suspension you should watch out which mode you’re in to contain it.

As standard, the Q5 comes with comfort dynamic suspension that performs well along most roads, although can feel unsettled along well-worn surfaces and over cracks. With the S line comes sport suspension and despite improving some of the performance, it is more uncomfortable – especially with bigger rims – and doesn’t quite provide the same ride as the comfort dynamic suspension.

The interior space for passengers is excellent and that is paired with the supportive leather seats, which include lumbar alteration settings for the front set. Although there are three places for passengers in the back, it will be a squeeze to fit them all across the back.

Space and practicality

As Audi has made the car lighter but larger, there is more space on offer and the interior has been designed cleverly to optimise that space accordingly. The three rear seats can drop individually in a 40/20/40 layout to create 1,550 litres of storage with a mostly flat floor. With the rear seats up the 540-litre boot is of a reasonable size, but others in the sector will provide marginally more space.

The cockpit has been intelligently designed also and clever storage solutions have been added for your mobile phone in the central console and for other bits and bobs in storage bins.

As is now expected with cars nowadays, the Q5 comes with a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating and it has plenty of safety equipment to offer – although many of those features come in expensive optional packs.

The adaptive cruise control plus and parking assistance packs include the majority of the vital pieces of technology you would want, including adaptive cruise control, traffic sign detect, pre-sense front and rear, 360-degree camera and park assist. All of these will be of help, but if you choose to add both of those it will cost an extra £2,100 on top of the OTR prices, which can seem quite steep.

With plenty of space, good safety and an adaptable interior design, the Q5 could be a great option for families. Including the Isofix points on the rear seats for child equipment and seats, the Q5 can work very well for families.

Engines

Coming with only two engines, the Q5 does have limited power options but both do have their upsides. The 2.0-litre TDI quattro is likely to be the more popular choice due to its more efficient fuel return and has been refined really well so only a low grumble occasionally gets into the cockpit.

The 2.0-litre TFSI petrol does offer the punchier performance and can be the better option as diesels are clamped down upon due to emissions. However, it isn’t as fuel efficient as the diesel. Both do struggle to get their power down due to the S tronic gearbox, which struggles to get off the mark as the software sluggishly gets into it.

Running costs

As you would expect the diesel is better option in terms of running costs due to its fuel economy of between 54 and 56mpg. But emissions for both the diesel and petrol are in excess of 130g/km CO2, meaning a first year cost of more than £160 and £140 every year thereafter. The petrol option is definitely the one you will need to be filling up more with the 40.9mpg optimal efficiency figure. Diesel models are classified in insurance group 29, with the petrol fitting into group 35.

Things to look out for

The Q5 has managed to be majorly unscathed throughout its time on the road and that is down to Audi’s continually improving reliability. Fuel leak issues, a reduction in brake performance and side airbag failures are the major problems that has befallen the model, and all of those were able to be fixed easily.

Rivals

In terms of performance, the Jaguar F-PACE and Mercedes-Benz GLC are more involved and more exciting to use day to day, while the Land Rover Discovery Sport can offer a more premium feel. The incoming Volvo XC60 and established BMW X3 are also capable rivals that are similarly priced.

Depreciation warning

Due to its recent release there is no depreciation data on the latest Q5, but it can be expected that it will do as well as comparative Mercedes and BMW at around 50 per cent of its residual value. Audis generally do well on the used market, especially the lower end trims with diesel engines fitted thanks to the better efficiency and decent trim accessories from the base level.

Which Q5 to Pick

Trims Explained

Coming with three trim options the Q5 does have quite a limited range, especially when you consider the lack of engine options. There is also the SQ5 on offer, which includes more dynamic exterior features and a 3.0-litre V6 petrol producing 349bhp.

SE

For the SE spec, the Q5 comes with comfort dynamic suspension, cruise control with speed limiter, parking system plus, pre-sense city, power-operated tailgate and LED daytime-running headlights. Comfort features include leather seats, heated front seats, MMI infotainment system and control dial and three-spoke multi-functional leather steering wheel. You even get quattro all-wheel drive from this spec, which is a good feature on all Audis.

The £38,035 starting price is quite steep compared to models you can get on the market that do a similar job.

Sport

Little is added to the Q5 when bought in Sport trim, but you do get satellite navigation, Audi Connect infotainment service, front sport seats in twin leather and LED interior light pack.

18-inch alloys are also added, meaning a £39,135 OTR price, which is a fair jump from the previous trim.

S Line

The top spec S line comes with exterior styling additions, 19-inch alloys, LED head and tail-lights, sports seats in leather/alcantara trim, perforated leather multi-function steering wheel and gear knob, privacy glass and contrasting stitching on the seats.

What to look out for

  1. Comfortable to drive
  2. No manual selection
  3. Lethargic automatic transmission
  4. Characterless exterior design
  5. Holds its value well
  6. Few issues have come about
  7. Rivals are better to drive
  8. Very practical interior
  9. Safety rating is very good
  10. Engines provide good performance

Review Rating

"Despite its same-again looks suggesting otherwise, the second-generation Audi Q5 SUV is based on different underpinnings, with A5 Coupe-aping voluptuousness along the flanks, and a chunkier Q7-esque grille lending an aggressive air to the front end.... Read More"