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In-depth reviews

Audi Q5 SUV - Interior & comfort

Predictable as it may be to say it, the interior of the Audi Q5 is a triumph of clear design and luxurious appointment

Carbuyer Rating

4.3 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.8 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Interior & comfort Rating

4.5 out of 5

The last Q5’s interior stood the test of time well, so it’s no surprise to learn that the latest Q5 builds on this successful formula of a clear layout, an elegant design and a sophisticated sense of build quality. In fact, we have only one real complaint about the new Q5’s dashboard, and it’s far from a deal-breaker.

Audi Q5 dashboard

Some drivers may object to the way the Q5’s standard 10-inch infotainment display sits (or ‘floats’, as Audi would have it) on top of the dashboard, as it does resemble something an enthusiastic yet inexperienced DIYer might have installed over a weekend.

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At this height, the screen is ideally placed in your line of sight, and it’s not an issue that it doesn’t fold down because fold-away screens look quite old-fashioned now. But step out of a Q5 and into the new Audi A3, and it’s clear which car has the more modern-feeling interior – despite the A3 being nearly half the price.

Everything else about the interior is excellent. The Q5 takes its interior design cues from the larger Q7 SUV, so you get a chunky gear selector for the automatic gearbox, beautifully designed and easy-to-use air-conditioning knobs and the sense someone thought long and hard about what people want in their cars. Audi is claiming class-leading aerodynamics for the Q5, so expect wind noise to be much reduced from the previous car, which was pretty hushed to start with.

Equipment

All Q5s come with a power-opening boot, Audi’s ‘Drive Select’ with five modes for the gearbox and engine, a much-improved 10.1-inch infotainment screen, three-zone climate control, Audi’s upgraded Virtual Cockpit dials, a reversing camera and LED headlights.

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Entry-level Sport trim will be good enough for most people, while S line adds sportier looks inside and out, firmer suspension, bigger wheels (19-inch rather than 18 inches), and unique interior trim with microfibre fabric inserts in the seats for a sporty feel.

The Black Edition topping the conventional Q5 range features much the same equipment as the S Line, but upgrades to 20-inch alloy wheels, swaps the S Line’s brushed aluminium exterior inserts for gloss black equivalents, and the steering wheel features a flat bottom, like some of Audi’s performance models.

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High-performance SQ5 models come with Nappa leather-covered sports seats, three-zone climate control, a 10-speaker stereo and Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit dashboard dials. A display with MMI Navigation Plus is also included. The SQ5 Vorsprung builds on the SQ5 Black Edition with several extra electronic safety and assistance features (including adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree parking camera, and a head-up display, among others), as well as specific suspension settings and a Sport differential, matrix LED headlights, and 21-inch alloy wheels.

Luxurious Competition and Competition Vorsprung variants of the TFSI e PHEV were previously offered, but have now been discontinued. These were designed to offer PHEV buyers a sporty style mimicking that of the flagship SQ5 performance model.

Options

As well as interior design, Audi also does options very well and boy, does the Q5 get plenty. You can cherry-pick some of the desirable features from high-spec models, so our S line test car came with the fancy OLED rear lights, massaging front seats, panoramic roof and self-parking functionality from the top-spec Vorsprung trim – but after the long list of extras it cost as much as the SQ5.

One particularly worthwhile addition is the adaptive air suspension, which soaks up all but the very worst in road imperfections – if you'll be doing long journeys and want the best in comfort and serenity, it's worth the money, and puts Q5 ride quality above that of rivals such as the Jaguar F-Pace.

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Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    40 TDI Quattro Sport 5dr S Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £48,115

Most Economical

  • Name
    50 TFSI e Quattro Sport 5dr S Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £55,440

Fastest

  • Name
    SQ5 TDI Quattro Black Edition 5dr Tiptronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £65,970

Andy is Carbuyer's managing editor, with more than a decade of experience helping consumers find their perfect car. He has an MA in automotive journalism and has tested hundreds of vehicles.

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