The front exterior of a silver Audi Q5

Audi Q5 review

The Q5 is Audi’s mid-size SUV and is a popular choice in the UK. It’s wonderfully finished inside, feeling luxurious, comfortable and laden with tech. It has the best interior in its class.

Pros

  • Great interior with excellent equipment
  • Comfortable to drive on different road types
  • There’s an engine to suit everyone

Cons

  • Not the cheapest car to buy
  • Some reliability issues with expensive parts
  • Not the most exciting car to drive fast

Summary

“A luxurious and practical SUV that’s comfortable to drive and well equipped.”

The Audi Q5’s real strength is its interior. Smart, comfortable, quiet and well-made, the Q5 is a fantastic way to travel. With lots of Q5s on the market, there’s something to suit your preferences; when new, this car is available with a long list of optional extras, and you’ll find a lot of them fitted to a used Q5 as a result. 

Several engines are available, so there should be something to meet your requirements. Larger diesels make very good tow cars, which is why the Q5 is so popular with horse owners and caravanners.

Control shot of the Audi Q5

What's the interior like?

“A premium feel even in entry-level models and just the right amount of kit.”

The Q5’s interior features high-quality materials, a superb dashboard layout, sumptuous leather and excellent finishes. Early models have a basic version of Audi’s infotainment system, accessed through a simple control dial in the centre console and easy to use buttons on the steering wheel.

The Q5 is super spacious with lots of leg and headroom for the driver and passengers. Some models also have a sliding rear seat which is great for taller adults. However, this does eat into luggage space a bit.

The Q5’s interior was updated in 2016 with an even more premium look and feel, as well as lots more technology. This includes a significantly improved infotainment system and the option of Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster (the information you see through the steering wheel). The materials were also improved and there’s more sound insulation making the cabin quieter than ever.

The interior of an Audi Q5 shot with dashboard and wheel

What's it like to drive?

“A great ride on a range of roads and it’s even comfortable on bumpy back streets.”

A comfortable driving position and great all-round visibility make the Audi Q5 an easy car to drive, even on long trips. Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system adds stability in slippery conditions, especially during winter weather or on crumbly road surfaces.  

If you choose a model with Audi’s Drive Select you can adjust how comfortable or sporty you want the ride to be. The souped-up SQ5 models are sportier but not overly so. 

The diesels are the most popular engine choice but the most basic models may lack power for some. The 2.0 TDI versions with the S-Tronic automatic gearbox offer a good balance of performance and economy. If you prefer petrol, the 2.0 TFSI is the one to choose, which features a plug-in hybrid system in the latest post-2016 generation.

The rear exterior of a green Audi Q5

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“Premium quality and finish, but without the premium running costs.”

The Q5 isn’t the cheapest SUV although buying used will give you excellent savings compared to buying new. The 2.0-litre diesel versions are the cheapest to insure but all models are in similar insurance groups to rivals. Road tax rates are also on a par with the Q5’s competitors.

The popular models including the latest generation 2.0-litre diesels from 2017 onwards can deliver up to 48 mpg which helps to keep down running costs.

Boot shot of the Audi Q5

How reliable and safe is it?

“Brilliant safety kit but there have been some reliability issues.”

Generally, the Q5 has a good reputation for reliability, but there have been some issues, particularly with problematic gearboxes. There were also a number of recalls including one for ‘Dieselgate’ fixes, but these will already have been dealt with.

 Safety is excellent with a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating and lots of standard safety equipment - even more so on the latest generation.

Engine shot of the Audi Q5

Which one is best for you?

Best for economy - 2.0 TDI SE

Best for family - 2.0 TFSI (230 hp) SE

Best for fun - SQ5 

The 2.0 TDI is the most popular car in the Q5 range and is a great choice for people who go on longer motorway trips. Pick the more powerful 187bhp version if you normally set off fully laden with people and luggage. If you drive less than 12,000 miles a year, though, or if you mostly pootle around town, pick the 2.0-litre TFSI petrol instead.

The seven-speed S-Tronic automatic gearbox makes life easier in traffic than the manual one. 

The SE specification of the older pre-2017 model will suit most people, particularly because you're likely to find these cars with a few optional features added, including sliding rear seats that make the car more versatile when carrying large loads. In newer cars, the entry-level Sport trim is well-equipped.

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