Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Pricing for entry and mid-range Audi Q5 Sportback models is comparable to that of the BMW X4, but it is much less expensive than a Mercedes GLC Coupé. However, you will still have to pay thousands more for the slinky styling of the Sportback over a standard Q5.
It’s much the same story with running costs because the Q5 Sportback closely matches the figures of the GLC Coupé, although the plug-in hybrid 50 TFSIe is better on emissions than the equivalent model from Mercedes. If you’re a company car driver devoted to diesel, the X4 20d diesel is better for emissions and, therefore, benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax than the Q5 Sportback, but there isn’t a plug-in hybrid X4 yet to challenge the Q5 Sportback.
We’d stick with the entry-level Sport version for the ride comfort reasons mentioned earlier, and because it comes with more than enough standard kit to keep you happy, although the S line does add handy matrix LED headlights that allow you to keep main beam headlights on at night (they dim automatically to avoid dazzling oncoming traffic).
Audi as a brand didn’t finish in a particularly brilliant position in the latest 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 4th place result out of 22 for large SUV reliability.
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. The GLC Coupé also gets five stars, but it did so under an older testing regime.
The optional City Assist pack (an extra on Sport and above, but standard on Vorsprung trim) adds further preventative safety aids, including blindspot monitoring and a system that warns you about approaching vehicles when you're backing out on to 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.
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