Audi Q5 SUV (2008-2016) - Interior & comfort
Beautifully constructed interiors are an Audi trademark and the Audi Q5 doesn’t disappoint in this area
When the Audi Q5 came out, it had a beautifully built interior, but - especially compared to other, newer, Audis - it's beginning to feel its age. Ride quality isn't a strong point of the Q5, but 18-inch alloy wheels combined with the softer SE suspension (a no-cost option on S line models) makes the best of a bad job. The ride quality of the SQ5 and SQ5 Plus, meanwhile, is very firm, but you expect that from a performance car.
At least the range of adjustment for both the driver’s seat and steering wheel means it’s easy to find a comfortable driving position, although the pedals seem a little offset to one side. The SQ5’s high seating position and huge wing mirrors also guarantee excellent visibility all round, while the controls are uniformly light and easy to operate.
Wind noise is noticeable at speed, but never becomes intrusive, however models with bigger wheels suffer from more road noise.
Audi Q5 dashboard
If you’ve spent time sitting in any other Audi product, then you’ll know exactly what to expect when you climb into the driver’s seat of the Q5. A paragon of simplicity, all the car’s controls are clearly marked and logical to use, while the 6.5-inch colour display (fitted to all Q5s) negates the need for a sea of buttons. Plastic quality is – for the most part – excellent and all models come with a leather-upholstered interior as standard.
The Q5 is a premium SUV, so it’s not a cheap car to buy, but it does come with lots of standard equipment. That includes regular fare such as DAB digital radio and cruise control, plus automatic headlights and wipers. Rear parking sensors are a useful feature in a big car like this, while the three-zone climate control is a relatively rarity, even in expensive rivals. This gives separate ventilation controls to the two front-seat occupants, as well as an individual temperature setting for the rear seats.
Q5 S line models are all about sporty looks and come adorned with various S line exterior appendages, including unique bumpers and side skirts. There’s also the option to specify S line sports suspension, but we’d strongly urge that you go for the no-cost optional (and much softer-riding) standard setup instead. Upgrading to S line Plus gets you xenon headlights, a visual parking aid, sat-nav and an electrically operated tailgate.
The SQ5’s firmer ride comes courtesy of suspension that’s 30mm lower and even stiffer than the standard car’s. More welcome additions include an SQ5 body kit, which gives it the sportiest looks in the range, plus classy LED interior lighting. The SQ5 Plus gets 21-inch alloy wheels and a black gloss styling package as standard, while inside it boasts diamond stitched leather sports seats and sat-nav as standard. It's disappointing that you don't get it as standard on the normal SQ5.
The options list for the Q5 is long and comprehensive, but we’d recommend cherry-picking items such as the Technology Pack (£2,320). This includes active cruise control and active lane-keeping assistance, allowing the car to not only match the speed of the vehicle in front, but also (to a limited extent) keep itself in the right lane. The Off-Road Pack (£1,795) offers beefier looks and extra underbody protection, but no additional off-road equipment.