A practical family car with a premium name badge. Thinking of adding it to your shortlist? Check our Audi Q5 review.
Lots of cutting-edge technology
Only 2 engines to choose from
Not the most exciting to drive
The Audi Q5’s premium styling and enticing infotainment system make it one of the best SUV cars on the market. It may only be a five-seater, but it's practical cabin and vast boot space make it an extremely comfortable one at that.
Performance-wise, the Q5 excels. The combination of refined engines, Audi’s standard quattro four-wheel drive system and modern technology ensures that the Q5 delivers comfortable performance (on & off-road) with impressive fuel economy to match.
Audi’s progressive and forward-thinking approach has seen the Q5 rub shoulders with some of the best in the ‘large family SUV’ business. It may not be as big as some rival alternatives, but the Q5’s all-round performance and practicality make it a true competitor against some of the best family cars like the BMW X3, Volvo XC60, Mercedes GLC and Land Rover Discovery Sport.
Despite the Q5 lacking the option of seven seats, there’s plenty of head and legroom in the front and rear seats for a family of five to pack up their camping gear and hit the great outdoors.
If you’re looking for a charismatic new car to provide a wonderful motoring experience, then stay with us for the rest of our Audi Q5 review.
It may be entry-level, but the Q5 Sport trim is anything but basic. It comes with a bunch of impressive standard equipment including 18” alloy wheels, an engaging dynamic suspension, heated front sport seats in twin leather, and Audi’s MMI Navigation with a 7” colour screen and a HD sat-nav.
The S Line spec provides the Q5 with a number of subtle upgrades that really embody Audi’s meticulous design ethos. The wheels have been bumped up to larger 19” alloy wheels, while the exterior has been given an S Line styling pack including privacy glass, and several ‘S’ badges on the grille, door sills and stitched into the Alcantara leather heated front seats.
As you might have guessed, the Black Edition trim replaces the majority of the aluminium trims with a striking titanium black styling pack. The 20” anthracite black, Audi Sport alloy wheels are an instant giveaway and once you step into the car you’ll struggle to see anything other than glossy black materials with spots of aluminium on the dashboard, pedals and 3-spoke flat-bottomed steering wheel.
If money is no object, the Vorsprung trim is the bee’s knees of the Audi Q5 range. Alongside the 21” Audi Sport alloy wheels, the Vorsprung boasts a set of contrast bumpers in Manhattan grey and matrix LED headlights that use sensors to detect cars. The heated front sport seats are embroidered with fine Nappa leather upholstery with 8-way lumbar adjustment and you’ll also have the pleasure of getting to know Audi’s Virtual Cockpit and Bang & Olufsen Sound System.
At every angle you look, the Audi Q5 is blessed with smooth and delicate contours. It’s curved shoulder line and flared wheel arches are defining features that give the Q5 a dominating presence on the road.
90kg lighter than the previous model, the new Audi Q5’s mechanical diet has paid off, and only heightens its agility and performance.
Engine and Performance
The Q5 is available with a choice of one petrol and one diesel engine. Both come with quattro four-wheel drive and a seven-speed automatic gearbox as standard.
The 245bhp 2.0-litre 45 TFSI quattro 5dr S tronic petrol engine is a decent option for pottering around town. It’s slightly quieter and smoother than the diesel equivalent, but take it on the motorway and its a bit disappointing, with fuel economy that leaves a lot to be desired.
Taking all things into consideration, the 190bhp 2.0-litre 40 TDI quattro 5dr S tronic diesel engine is our preferred choice. It may not be as quick as you’d like, but it's effortlessly comfortable on the motorway and much easier on your wallet in the long term.
The new Audi Q5 may not be a speed demon, but it’s more than quick enough to satisfy your thrill-seeking needs.
The 40 TDI diesel engine glides from 0-62mph in 8.1 seconds with the power to reach a top speed of 136mph. The slightly more potent 45 TFSI has the capability to reach 62mph in an impressive 6.4 seconds, while achieving an effortless top speed of 147mph.
If that’s still not enough to get the blood pumping, the Audi SQ5 has a serious amount of fire in its belly. It’s capable of going from 0-62mph in just 5.1 seconds, while reaching a top speed of 155mph.
The Q5’s standard quattro four-wheel drive system paves the way for the cars’ excellent grip through tight corners and iffy weather. There’s a touch of body roll, but the Q5 doesn’t lean into corners like a sports car does.
The Audi Q5 is definitely more of an accomplished motorway cruiser than an off-road extraordinaire. It’s capable of dealing with arduous conditions, but take it to unfrequented terrain and it’s got nothing on the Land Rover Discovery Sport.
Steering is accurate enough, but the Q5 doesn’t give you the same refined connection on the front wheels that you’d feel on other premium SUVs like the Jaguar F-Pace.
You get two suspension set ups on the Audi Q5. The majority of models get Audi’s standard dynamic suspension, while the Vorsprung comes with the more flexible and comfortable adaptive air suspension with damper control. The optional upgrade is available on lower trims but it’ll burn a hole in your pocket.
The slightly firmer dynamic suspension isn’t too noticeable until you hit consecutive potholes or speed bumps. Saying that, once you get onto the motorway, things start to feel graceful and composed.
With the adaptive air suspension on the Vorsprung, you get the best of both worlds. You’ve got the flexibility to change between the more comfortable and sporty set up depending on your personal preference or the road conditions.