Audi Q5 4x4 full 9 point review
Petrol engines are 2.0-litre units with 178bhp or 222bhp; the latter is impressively quick, but the diesels feel more suited to powering an SUV such as the Q5. Of these, the 148bhp 2.0-litre should be brisk enough for most, but we'd go for the faster and suitably effortless 175bhp version. The 242bhp 3.0-litre V6 diesel is a little irrelevant when the smaller diesels are so good. The SQ5 also has a 3.0-litre diesel engine, but it has two turbochargers and pumps out 309bhp; it's very fast indeed.
Ride & Handling
If you want an SUV that handles like a hatchback, the Q5 is about as good as it gets. Body control is impressive and there's a decent amount of grip, so you'll have more fun driving it than you will most other cars in the class. It's just a pity the steering is rather numb. The ride is good as long as you avoid the optional S line suspension or the larger alloy wheels.
Whichever version you choose, the Q5 provides a reasonably quiet way to travel. Yes, you hear a smattering of wind and road noise, but there's not enough of either to really upset you. The diesel engines are among the quietest around, but the 222bhp petrol becomes rather boomy when revved hard.
Buying & Owning
It's fashionable and it's an Audi – that's why you should be prepared to part with so much money for your Q5. Don't be too worried by the high purchase price, though; the Audi badge also means desirability, and that contributes towards some of the strongest values around when it comes to selling your car on. Fuel economy and CO2 emissions are reasonable for the class, so running costs won't be crippling.
Quality & Reliability
There are a few areas of the Audi Q5's cabin where the company seems to have focused on making things long-lasting rather than pleasant to the touch. Most of the areas you come into contact with frequently, however, are a delight, and build quality feels impressively solid. On the other hand, Audi's reputation for reliability has taken a few knocks recently, and the Q5 was awarded an average reliability rating by owners in the most recent JD Power ownership satisfaction survey.
Safety & Security
The Q5 provides all the obvious safety defences, including six airbags and a tyre pressure-monitoring system. It also throws in a few novelties, such as stability control with a special off-road programme. The system can even detect if you have a loaded roof rack and respond sooner to prevent any risk of the car toppling over.
Behind The Wheel
The high driving position means you get a good view out, and there's lots of adjustment to the seat and steering wheel. Sadly, models with a manual gearbox have offset pedals that make things uncomfortable. The infotainment interface is simple to use once you get the hang of it, but get the hang of it you must; the four corner buttons perform a different function depending on which menu you're in. The air-con controls are a little fussy, too.
Space & Practicality
Audi admits that 'sporty' looks were a priority with the Q5, but this doesn't impinge on practicality; there's generous space for four adults and the boot is huge. Luggage space is virtually trebled when you fold the rear seats down, too. These rear seats also recline, and there's the option of runners that give them 10cm of forwards and backwards travel. A folding front passenger seat is also an option.
Entry-level SE trim gets leather seats, three-zone climate control, 18-inch alloys, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, a digital radio and automatic lights and wipers all as standard. You have to pay extra for sat-nav and heated front seats, however, which come as standard on some rivals. S line versions come festooned with sporty aesthetic touches inside and out, and xenon headlights, while S line Plus adds sat-nav, an electronic tailgate, metallic paint and privacy glass.