Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Pricing for entry-level and mid-range Q5 Sportback models is comparable to the BMW X4 equivalents, but they're much less expensive than the Mercedes GLC Coupé. You'll still have to pay thousands more for the slinky styling of the Sportback over a standard Audi Q5, though. You might get some of that back with the Q5 Sportback's excellent resale values, which are predicted to be stronger than the regular version's.
As for running costs, the Q5 Sportback closely matches the efficiency figures of the GLC Coupé (we managed to average 35mpg fairly easy on hilly country roads in the 45 TFSI). The 40 TDI is RDE2 compliant but it's still in the top tier of benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax. You'll want the plug-in hybrid 50 TFSIe if you're conscious of keeping your tax bills low as it's in a much lower banding. There isn’t a plug-in hybrid X4 yet to challenge the Q5 Sportback.
Audi as a brand didn’t finish in a particularly brilliant position in the 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey, coming 22nd out of 31 manufacturers. There is some better news, though, because the Q5 is one of the brand’s more dependable models, managing a good showing in the large SUV reliability category.
In terms of safety, the Q5 Sportback either matches or (for child and pedestrian protection) exceeds the X4’s score, with both getting the maximum five-star Euro NCAP rating overall. The GLC Coupé got five stars too, but it did so under an older testing regime so the results are not comparable.
The optional City Assist pack (an extra on Sport and above but standard on Vorsprung trim) adds further safety technology, including blind-spot monitoring and a system that warns you about approaching vehicles when you're backing out into a road.
Meanwhile, the optional Tour pack (an extra on S line and above but standard on Vorsprung trim) includes turn assist, which stops the Q5 Sportback if you fail to spot a car when pulling out of a T-junction, plus adaptive cruise control and traffic sign recognition, to keep you informed of the prevailing speed limit. All Audi Q5 Sportbacks come with a Thatcham-approved alarm and immobiliser as standard.