In-depth reviews

Audi Q5 SUV review

"The Audi Q5 does many things well in its fight against the BMW X3, Mercedes GLC and Jaguar F-Pace"

Carbuyer Rating

4.3 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.7 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Powerful and efficient engines
  • Very comfortable on the road
  • Spacious and practical

Cons

  • Unadventurous styling
  • Steering doesn't have much feel
  • Infotainment screen doesn't retract

Since the first Audi Q5 was introduced around a decade ago, the SUV market has changed dramatically, with nearly every manufacturer introducing a high-riding model. In this time, the Q5 has continuously evolved thanks to tweaks to keep it competitive in what is now a fiercely contested premium SUV market. Today, the Q5 finds itself up against a host of talented rivals, including the BMW X3, Mercedes GLC, Land Rover Discovery Sport and Jaguar F-Pace.

Gradual improvements have been beneficial, with the latest Q5 offering a smoother ride, more comfort, increased efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions. More updates were made in 2020, with a facelift that introduced reworked front and rear styling. The latest diesel engines also offer improved fuel economy to help keep running costs down, and there's a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) that has an electric range of almost 40 miles. Buyers who don’t need the maximum in boot can also choose the Sportback version of the Q5, which has a sloping ‘coupe-style’ rear roofline. Rear headroom is a couple of centimetres less as a result and boot space drops by 10%.

Top 10 best 4x4s and SUVs 2021

You can buy the standard Q5 with one of two engines. A turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder ‘45 TFSI’ petrol engine produces 261bhp or there’s a 201bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine, badged ‘40 TDI’. Both engines come with a seven-speed S tronic automatic gearbox and quattro four-wheel drive and are capable of getting the Q5 from 0-62mph in under eight seconds. For those that want a faster version of the car, there is the range-topping Audi SQ5, which boasts a more powerful 336bhp 3.0-litre diesel engine.

Drivers looking for the most cost-effective Q5 will find the 2.0-litre 40 TDI diesel appealing. It returns up to 44.8mpg and emits around 165g/km of CO2, so company-car drivers can expect a top rate Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax bill. These figures are a good match for the equivalent Mercedes GLC and a little better than the Land Rover Discovery Sport, but are in the top two brackets. The 2.0-litre 45 TFSI petrol Q5 returns 32mpg, a figure that decreases when bigger wheels are fitted (something that also has a detrimental effect on ride quality).

The PHEV is offered in two versions, the 295bhp 50 TFSI e and the 362bhp 55 TFSI e, which return up to 188mpg and 157mpg respectively in official economy, while both emit less than 40g/km of CO2. Of course, fuel economy will depend on how often you charge the battery and how far you drive once it’s flat.

You can get standard and Sportback versions of all powertrains, including the plug-ins and the SQ5, and trim levels are fairly straightforward. The standard SUV and Sportback come in Sport, S Line, Edition 1 and Vorsprung grades, while the TFSI e adds Competition and Competition Vorsprung grades that mimic the style of the SQ5 high-performance flagship. 

The SQ5 comes in ‘standard’ and SQ5 Vorsprung trims but all Q5 variants are decently equipped, with even the basic Sport getting LED headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, navigation and Audi’s impressive Virtual Cockpit driver display.

The latest Q5 actually delivers a more comfortable ride than earlier versions, but those who choose smaller wheels will be rewarded with a little extra cushioning over bumps. You'll find that the Q5 feels safe and easy to handle, but enthusiastic drivers may feel the car's responses are a little too dull to encourage spirited driving.

High interior quality has become Audi’s trademark and the Q5 combines impressive materials and in-car technology to challenge the very best in class. Its standards in this regard are on a par with the excellent Audi A4 and don't fall far short of the top model in the company's SUV line-up, the Audi Q7.

The Audi Q5 received the maximum five stars in Euro NCAP crash-testing. It features some very advanced safety technology, including standard autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection.

Overall, the Q5 is one of the best all-rounders in its class and should be on your shortlist if you're looking at a premium SUV of its size. The Q5 is beautifully made, comfortable, modern and boasts a great engine range, plus it undercuts cars like the Jaguar F-Pace on price.

Recommended

MG 5 EV estate review
MG 5 Estate
MG 5
15 Oct 2021

MG 5 EV estate review

New 2022 Mercedes GLC will have more tech
Mercedes GLC render
Mercedes GLC
15 Oct 2021

New 2022 Mercedes GLC will have more tech

Tesla Model Y SUV review
2022 Tesla Model Y
Tesla Model Y
15 Oct 2021

Tesla Model Y SUV review

New Tesla Model Y on sale in the UK priced from £54,990
2022 Tesla Model Y SUV
Tesla Model Y
15 Oct 2021

New Tesla Model Y on sale in the UK priced from £54,990

Most Popular

Top 10 best 4x4s and SUVs 2021
Peugeot 3008 SUV rear 3/4 tracking
Family SUVs
29 Sep 2021

Top 10 best 4x4s and SUVs 2021

What is a V5C? Here’s everything you need to know about the log book
V5C close up
Tips and advice
27 Sep 2021

What is a V5C? Here’s everything you need to know about the log book

Electric MG 5 EV estate gets new look for 2022
New MG 5 EV
MG 5
12 Oct 2021

Electric MG 5 EV estate gets new look for 2022

More on Q5

Audi Q5 Sportback SUV review
Audi Q5 Sportback SUV - front 3/4
Audi Q5 Sportback
18 Jun 2021

Audi Q5 Sportback SUV review

"The extra kerb appeal and exclusivity of the Audi Q5 Sportback comes with surprisingly few compromises"
Audi Q5 vs BMW X3: rivals comparison
Audi Q5 vs BMW X3
Compare cars
2 Feb 2021

Audi Q5 vs BMW X3: rivals comparison

The Audi Q5 and BMW X3 are both excellent luxury family SUVs but which one should you buy?
Updated 2020 Audi SQ2 now available to order
Audi SQ2 SUV
17 Nov 2020

Updated 2020 Audi SQ2 now available to order

New technology and styling refresh for facelifted Audi SQ2 SUV
Facelifted Audi SQ5 TDI now available to order
Audi SQ5
12 Nov 2020

Facelifted Audi SQ5 TDI now available to order

Latest Audi SQ5 SUV has 342bhp diesel engine; prices start from £56,600
2020 Audi Q5 Sportback coupe SUV set to rival BMW X4
Spy shot of secretly tested future car
Audi Q5
24 Jul 2020

2020 Audi Q5 Sportback coupe SUV set to rival BMW X4

The sleek Audi Q5 Sportback will cost slightly more than the standard Q5
Facelifted Audi Q5 on sale in July
Audi Q5 facelift driving
Audi Q5
29 Jun 2020

Facelifted Audi Q5 on sale in July

2020 Audi Q5 gets mild-hybrid tech, updated styling and interior improvements
New Audi Q5 plug-in hybrid model unveiled
Audi Q5 55 TFSI e Quattro - front quarter view
Audi Q5 SUV
22 May 2019

New Audi Q5 plug-in hybrid model unveiled

The new Audi Q5 55 TFSI e has a pure-electric range of 26 miles
Audi announces new plug-in hybrid powertrains
Audi A8 saloon
6 Mar 2019

Audi announces new plug-in hybrid powertrains

Audi has revealed new PHEV drivetrains for the Q5, A6, A7 and A8
Audi SQ5 review
Audi Q5 SUV
23 Jan 2019

Audi SQ5 review

The Audi SQ5 offers strong performance and an excellent interior but it’s rather numb to drive
Audi Q2 S line review
Audi Q2
16 Jan 2019

Audi Q2 S line review

The Q2 crossover is a desirable alternative to traditional family hatchbacks
Volvo XC60 R-Design review
Volvo XC60
16 Oct 2018

Volvo XC60 R-Design review

The handsome Volvo XC60 looks even better in R-Design trim and comes loaded with features
Audi Q5 S line review
Audi Q5
3 Oct 2018

Audi Q5 S line review

Is the big-selling S line the best Audi Q5 trim level?
Top 3 used performance SUVs for £25,000 – Audi SQ5, BMW X5 & VW Touareg
Audi SQ5
22 Aug 2018

Top 3 used performance SUVs for £25,000 – Audi SQ5, BMW X5 & VW Touareg

"Dear Carbuyer, I've got £25,000 for a fast prestige SUV that won't cost the earth to run. What do you recommend?"
Skoda Kodiaq Sportline review
Skoda Kodiaq
9 Jul 2018

Skoda Kodiaq Sportline review

It looks good, but the Sportline trim is expensive and hampers ride comfort
X3 vs Q5 vs GLC vs XC60 vs Tiguan
Volkswagen Tiguan
12 Mar 2018

X3 vs Q5 vs GLC vs XC60 vs Tiguan

There's plenty of mid-size SUV choice, but does Volkswagen, Volvo, Mercedes, BMW or Audi make the most practical machine?
Audi SQ5 SUV
Audi SQ5
7 Aug 2017

Audi SQ5 SUV

“The fast Audi SQ5 does a lot of things right, but it’s numb to drive”
Watchdog: Shock at £7k repair bill for Audi Q5 turbo
Audi Q5
26 Jul 2017

Watchdog: Shock at £7k repair bill for Audi Q5 turbo

Alistair says garage should have spotted problem during routine maintenance on Audi
New Audi SQ5 gets petrol power, 349bhp & is on sale now
Audi Q5 SUV
17 Feb 2017

New Audi SQ5 gets petrol power, 349bhp & is on sale now

Audi performance SUV switches from diesel to petrol; performance reduces slightly but remains sufficient
Audi Q5 SUV now on sale: prices and specs revealed
One of the best-selling models in the company's range, the new Audi Q5 is vital for the company's continued success
13 Jan 2017

Audi Q5 SUV now on sale: prices and specs revealed

Order books are now open for Audi’s second-generation Q5 premium SUV – here are all the facts and figures you need to know
Audi Q5 SUV (2008-2016)
Audi Q5 SUV
30 Jun 2016

Audi Q5 SUV (2008-2016)

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

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
3 Jun 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
29 Sep 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2021
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021
Volkswagen ID.3
Best cars
12 Aug 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Mercedes AMG A45 - rear
Hot hatches
25 Jun 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks