Review

Audi Q5 SUV

Price  £32,580 - £52,300

Audi Q5 SUV

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Car-like to drive
  • Strong resale values
  • Excellent build quality
Cons
  • High price tag
  • Feeling its age
  • Not very good off-road

At a glance

The greenest
2.0 TDI quattro SE 150PS 5dr £32,580
The cheapest
2.0 TDI quattro SE 150PS 5dr £32,580
The fastest
3.0 TDI quattro 8-speed tip plus 5dr £52,300
Top of the range
3.0 TDI quattro 8-speed tip plus 5dr £52,300

"The compact Audi Q5 is easy to drive and has a practical interior. However, firm suspension and a high price dent its overall appeal."

The Audi Q5 was the second of the German company's entrants into the SUV arena, offering much of the visual appeal of the larger Q7 in a more compact, affordable package. Since its arrival, the ranks of competitors have swollen to include the Land Rover Discovery Sport, Mercedes GLC and Volvo XC60, alongside the more established BMW X3.

As with all mid-size SUVs, the Q5 has the elevated driving position and muscular, go-anywhere styling that new car buyers continue to show an appetite for. It also has one of the best interiors in its class, full of high-quality materials that feel great to the touch, as well as a classy, simple layout. It still stands up well against rivals despite being a comparatively old design.

It's spacious, too, and has a very good-sized boot, which offers sufficient practicality for daily family use. Active families may appreciate the Q5's prowess as a tow car, which is helped in no small part by Audi's quattro four-wheel-drive system that also offers improved grip on loose or slippery surfaces.

Audi has a strong and well-deserved reputation for good diesel engines and the 2.0-litre diesel in the Q5 is very well suited to its role. It can return up to 50mpg yet can still accelerate the car from 0-62mph in nine seconds.

Buyers can choose between the usual SE and the more sportily dressed S Line and S Line Plus models. There are also the SQ5 and SQ5 Plus high-performance versions. Every Q5 has an infotainment system with a 6.5-inch screen and DAB radio, as well as climate control, parking sensors, automatic headlamps and wipers.

If there's one criticism it would be that the ride is rather firm – a common Audi trait. To minimise this, you should steer clear of the larger alloy wheels as the smaller offerings give a much softer ride quality. Despite this firmness, the Q5 still isn’t as sporty to drive as a BMW X3, nor is it as capable off the beaten track as a Land Rover Discovery Sport. Its appeal as a good-looking, prestigious all rounder is strong, though.

MPG, running costs & CO2

2.6 / 5

Stick to diesel versions of the Audi Q5 to keep running costs low

Engines, drive & performance

3.5 / 5

No Audi Q5 feels slow, but the SQ5 lays down startling performance figures for a diesel SUV

Interior & comfort

3.2 / 5

Beautifully constructed interiors are an Audi trademark and the Audi Q5 doesn’t disappoint in this area

Practicality & boot space

3.3 / 5

The Audi Q5 has a more practical interior and better towing ability than the A4 Avant estate

Reliability & safety

4 / 5

Owners rate the build quality of the Audi Q5 better than any other model

What the others say

3.8 / 5
based on 4 reviews
4 / 5
"Excellent road manners show where the Q5 is designed to work best. With positive steering and tight body control, the Audi has the kind of car-like precision that its prestige rivals can’t match from behind the wheel."
10 / 20
"Decent small SUV that can threaten the larger Q7 price-wise if you start getting jiggy with the options."
4 / 5
"Audi has set its sights high with the Q5 and it's managed to score a direct hit thanks to its 4x4's superb comfort, space and quality. If only the cars with the semi-automatic gearbox were a little smoother when taking off from a standstill."
4.5 / 5
"With sharp styling, a comfortable cabin and the best handling of any off-roader, the Q5 is a superb all-round 4x4."
What owners say 
4.4711111111111
4.5 /5 based on 45 reviews
82%
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
30 Jun 2016
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