Audi Q5 SUV

£32,580 - £52,300

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.