Audi Q5 review


What is?

The Q5 has been making numbers for Audi since its launch in 2008, selling in huge numbers almost everywhere it’s available. In fact, the former was, according to the company, the world’s best-selling premium midsize SUV for about six years, ahead of the BMW X3, Mercedes GLC/GLK, and the Q5’s Porsche Macan cousin.

The current second generation Q5 went on sale in the UK in 2017 and received a facelift in mid-2020. Based on the same ‘MLB’ platform as the A4, A5 etc in Audi’s lineup, it lies above the smallest Q3. but below the seven-seater Q7. The main improvements over the old Q5 are in the areas you’d expect: up to 90kg lighter thanks to lots of aluminium, better economy, more technology.

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What’s new?

New to the facelift, in addition to the revised LED light clusters and mandatory ‘more grill’ styling tweaks, is a 12-volt mild hybrid boost that makes the start-stop system more efficient, which helps save fuel. Inside, Audi has included its gloriously tactile and easy-to-use click wheel menu system for a new touch screen.

So there are more fingerprints and your eyes are out of the way more often. Where is the logic in that? Fortunately, the climate controls aren’t hidden in the touchscreen, as that nonsense is reserved for the new Q8 and A6.

What do I buy instead?

You might consider a BMW X3 or a Mercedes GLC, both of which are about the same size and price. Then there’s the Jaguar F-Pace, the Volvo XC60, or maybe the Range Rover Evoque or Velar. Audi has long resisted a coupe version of the five-seat Q5, but when BMW pummeled the X4 and Mercedes the GLC Coupe, it relented and there’s now a narrower Q5 Sportback.

As for the engines, with the regular Q5 you have the simple choice of a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol or a 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel. Then there’s the Q5 TFSIe hybrid, which combines said petrol engine with a battery and electric motor for reduced CO2 emissions (and therefore paying taxes) and a few miles of electric-only range, and the mildly sporty SQ5 (with a big diesel V6 engine) . All have automatic gearboxes and quattro all-wheel drive as standard.

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Prices start at around £43,000 and rise to almost £60,000 for the SQ5. Or up to half a billion pounds if you get a little familiar with the list of options. It is an Audi after all.

Our choice of the range.

Audi Q5 white corner
45 TFSI Quattro S Line 5 doors S Tronic

What’s the verdict?

Quiet, comfortable, spacious and well built, the Q5 hits the mark with the basics you need

The Q5 isn’t a remarkable car by any measure, but it’s good enough in a number of ways to make it worthy and well-rounded. And it is worth thinking about if you are looking for this type of car.

although it is not like that funny to drive like an X3, Macan or Jag F-Pace, it’s very quiet, comfortable and practical, if a bit dull. Who buys a fancy crossover to race down a back road in a hurry? The Q5 succeeds as a cruiser, traffic smoother, and critically avoids the trap of trying to be too sporty and ending up awkward and uncomfortable, like the Q2, Q3, and Q8, to name a few.

The hybrid? It’s impressive technology, but the usual caveats apply. If you are a company car driver, this will definitely save you a ton of taxes. But if you buy for you, think carefully about the type of riding you do before you commit. And if that’s the type of driving that suits electric, then Audi is now making the Q4 e-tron an extremely attractive EV alternative…

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Audi Q5 whiteAudi Q5 whiteaudiuk00029137_audi_q5_quattro.jpg

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