Audi Q5 Review
Audi refresh their Q5 model, but is it still the one to beat in the premium SUV segment?
- Improved ride over previous version with optional adaptive air suspension now available
- Packs plenty of technology
- Competitively priced
- Not a big choice of engines
- Boot space is limited by slanted tailgate
The Q5 has been around nearly ten years, the SUV cementing its popularity with over 1.5 million of them sold since it came onto the scene in 2008.
With Audi continuing to add to their large model line up both new Q4 and Q8 models are destined to be added to the current Q2, Q3, Q5 and Q7 range, you could say they’ll have an SUV to cater for every single taste.
However, the Q5 has now been refreshed so we took it for a drive to see how it compares to the previous version.
On the Road
There are currently just two engines available for the Audi Q5, a 2.0 TFSI petrol producing 252PS which is mated to an automatic, seamless seven-speed S tronic transmission is a good choice for the SUV as it’s fairly rapid at getting up to speed.
For those wanting a diesel then there’s a 2.0 TDI delivering 190PS although at times we felt it lacked some torque necessitating the heavy foot to get anything out of the engine.
There will be another engine option available at a later date, a V6 TDI with 286PS for those that want some more power.
The previous iteration didn’t fare so well with relation to ride comfort but this new Q5 has been massively improved to be unfazed by the odd uneven road. Available for the first time on this model is adaptive air suspension so if you’re looking to go for a sportier ride your comfort won’t be reduced.
The Q5 is now up to 90kg lighter so it feels less like you’re driving a big bus, and coupled with sharp responsive steering it makes it feel a lot more agile.
With the Audi drive select system on the car as standard there are plenty of modes to choose from including offroad and sport.
Audi are top of the class when it comes to refinement, the cabin is now even more insulated to eradicate any engine, road and wind intrusions so expect an impressively quiet driving experience.
The exterior design pretty much is still notably Q5, the Singleframe grille continues to dominate the front, while the tapered window line leads to the expansive, distinctive rear
In the car
The manufacturer does comfort well, the heated seats are extremely comfortable and the flat bottomed, perforated leather steering wheel and gear selector does give it that high-end RS feel.
The optional virtual cockpit display, a 12.3-inch high resolution screen does give it that extra wow factor and provides plenty of information to the driver depending on the view they choose.
There are two USB and one AUX ports to connect smartphones and portable devices and it’s now possible to use Apple CarPlay and Android. Phones can also be given some extra juice by a wireless charging pad for when you forget your cable - and we’ve all done that haven’t we...?
The 8.3-inch display is operated by their MMI all-in-touch system which features a large touchpad for all navigation, phone, media and car settings that can be adjusted using this intuitive feature.
Up front there is ample head and leg room, the rear can accommodate five but space seems a bit limiting and leg room could be improved upon.
The boot holds 550-litres but like the smaller Q3, the slanted nature of the power tailgate wraps around the C-pillars and so means you really have to manoeuvre items to fit in so you can shut the boot.
The rear seats split 60/40 and can be folded flat by either a lever in the boot or next to the seat. It’s really easy to operate but the seats can be heavy to push back upright. Boot space increases to 1,550 litres with seats flat and if you have large, heavy items to put in the car, then it’s possible to lower the car body with the adaptive air suspension - useful for that spring garden makeover with bags of cement...
A big, deep armrest up front has plenty of storage, while space is deep in the doors too which is ideal for bottles.
The Audi Q5 costs from £38,305 with rivals such as the Jaguar F-Pace and BMW X3 just a fraction more. All Audi models come with a three year/60,000 mile warranty.
If you’re looking for a large, premium SUV then you can’t go wrong with the Q5, although Audi could do with offering a wider choice of engines.
Cap Gold Book predict it will have strong residual values with the 2.0 TDI S Line retaining 51% of its original price after three years/60,000 miles.
The 2.0 TFSI will have a combined 40.4mpg and emit 159g/km of CO2 so will now fall into tax band I costing £500 for the first year, £140 thereafter.
The 2.0 TDI should get around a mid fifties mpg and with CO2 emissions as low as 133g/km it will cost £200, then £140 yearly.
If you’re looking for a high quality, stylishly designed car both inside and out, then you can’t go wrong with anything made by Audi. Everything is well-made, durable and finished to a very high standard. If you’re looking for cheap plastics you won’t find them in the Q5.
This model seems to have been a fairly reliable car for the brand, but as a whole they need to pull up their socks to keep up with their rivals as they tend to languish in the bottom half of the least reliable manufacturers.
The latest Audi Q5 has been rated in the Euro NCAP scoring the maximum five stars for safety, with 93% for adult occupant protection and 86% for a child.
It comes with a whole host of airbags with plenty driver assistance systems also featuring including, rear cross traffic assist, adaptive cruise control, active lane assist, traffic sign recognition, active bonnet which will help to protect pedestrians if they’re hit by the front of the car and park assist.