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What Car? says

4 out of 5 stars

For The Audi Q5 is desirable, has strong diesel engines and a decent boot

Against The Q5 is let down a firm ride and shortage of rear legroom

Verdict The Audi Q5 is a desirable and well equipped SUV

Go for… 2.0TDI SE

Avoid… 3.2 FSI S Line

Audi Q5 4x4
  • 1. The Audi Q5 is comfortable, refined and spacious, and a serious alternative to rivals from BMW and Land Rover
  • 2. The Audi’s sharp handling means it’s enjoyable to drive, but the trade-off is a rather firm ride. The is further exaggerated by the larger alloys fitted to some models.
  • 3. The Audi’s fit and finish is first rate, and there’s hardly any wind-, road- or engine noise.
  • 4. As with most SUVs, you should consider the diesel models ahead of the petrol versions
  • 5. Early diesel models can experience high oil consumption; using as much as one litre every 2000 miles
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Audi Q5 4x4 full review with expert trade views

The Audi Q5 is a serious alternative to rivals such as the BMW X3 and Land Rover Freelander.

There's room for four adults, with particularly impressive legroom up front. However, the rear-seat space is less generous, and a huge transmission tunnel makes legroom extremely tight for centre-seat passengers. The rear bench does slide, though, allowing an extra 10cm to be assigned to passengers or boot space.

The boot remains a good size, even with the bench pushed fully back.

The Q5’s sharp handling means it’s enjoyable to drive, but the trade-off is a firm ride. This is exaggerated by the larger alloys fitted to some models.

The Audi’s fit and finish is first rate, and there’s hardly any wind, road or engine noise.

Trade view

Stick with the diesel models – you’ll lose less money through depreciation.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

As with most SUVs, you should consider the diesel models ahead of the petrols.

The 2.0-litre diesel is the most popular, and available with 141bhp or 168bhp. There’s also a 237bhp 3.0-litre diesel, but it's rare on the used market.

Petrol options are a 2.0-litre turbocharged unit, with 176bhp or 208bhp, and a 266bhp 3.2-litre FSI. These models will all come with high fuel bills and poor resale values.

All Q5s have four-wheel drive, and stop-start engine technology was fitted to the 2.0-litre models from mid-2009. Audi’s S tronic semi-auto gearbox was available on the more powerful petrol and diesel models, but it’s not the smoothest when pulling away.

The entry-level car gets climate control, alloys and four electric windows, but we’d go for the SE, which has leather upholstery, three-zone climate control and automatic wipers. The S line gets larger wheels, sporty styling touches inside and out, and xenon headlights.

Trade view

Great fun to drive, but the firm ride can infuriate on bumpy roads

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

The introduction of stop-start technology in 2009, made the cars slightly more efficient. The 2.0-litre petrol models improved from 33.2mpg to 34.9mpg, while the 2.0-litre diesels increased from 42.1mpg to 45.6mpg. The 3.0 diesel does 37.6mpg, while the 3.2-litre petrol averages 30.4mpg.

The larger petrol engine emits 218g/km of CO2, while the big diesel produces 199g/km. The 2.0-litre units have CO2 emissions that are average for this class of car.

Insurance costs are also on par with those rivals, with the Q5 ranging from groups 21 and 32.

We expect servicing costs to be lower than those of key rivals such as the BMW X3 and the Land Rover Freelander.

Trade view

Stick with the diesel models – you’ll lose less money through depreciation.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

Electrical glitches are common, with the air-con, tyre-pressure-monitoring system and stereo being the most likely cause of complaint.

The engine’s control unit (ECU) can also fail and some cars have had turbo and intercooler issues. Early diesel models can suffer high oil consumption, using as much as one litre every 2000 miles.

Owners have also reported problems with the sunroof, which can refuse to shut properly.

Trade view

Great fun to drive, but the firm ride can infuriate on bumpy roads

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor
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