What Car? says...
The Audi Q5 has long been one of the most popular large SUVs out there. That's no surprise, given that it sits in a sweet spot when it comes to size, has a great interior and gives you a good mix of sportiness and everyday usability.
In fact, the Q5 (which sits between the smaller Q3 and the larger Q7 and Q8 in the Audi range) has the potential to be an attractive prospect to almost every car buyer.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? But is it really enough to make the Audi Q5 stand out against the best large SUVs?
After all, its competition includes premium cars including the BMW X3, Mercedes GLC and Volvo XC60. You might even find yourself taking a look at the similarly priced but more rugged Land Rover Discovery Sport, the Land Rover Defender or the sportier Jaguar F-Pace.
So, how well does the Audi Q5 stack up against those rivals and is it a good buy? Over the next few pages we’ll give you the full lowdown on what it’s like in all the key areas and let you know which version we think makes the most sense.
Whichever car you decide to buy, make sure you check out our free What Car? New Car Buying service before parting with any cash. You might be surprised by how much you can save with one of the Audi Q5 deals.
Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
Need something even quicker? You’ll want to read our Audi SQ5 review. The SQ5's 336bhp 3.0 diesel engine enables you to hit 62mph from rest in 5.1sec, riding a huge wave of low-rev grunt along the way. Whichever Q5 engine you go for, you get four-wheel drive (quattro in Audi speak) and an automatic gearbox.
Suspension and ride comfort
All Q5s have four-wheel drive, giving great traction in slippery conditions and good grip through corners. There's a lot less body roll than in the XC60 or DS 7 Crossback. Indeed, the Q5 feels more akin to a well-sorted hatchback on stilts than a lumbering SUV and is a close match for the BMW X3 in this respect.
Agility is one thing, but, compared with the Jaguar F-Pace and Porsche Macan, the Q5 isn’t especially rewarding to drive quickly. This is mainly due to its steering, which doesn't give you quite the same sense of connection to the front wheels that you’ll feel in the best large SUVs. It's precise enough to allow you to place the car accurately through bends, though.
As you'd expect the performance-focused SQ5 is the most capable of the Q5 bunch.
Noise and vibration
- In the 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey, the Audi Q5 finished in a fairly middling 11th place in the large SUV category. It was shown up somewhat by the BMW X3, which finished in first place, but beat the Mercedes-Benz GLC, which came 14th. As a brand, Audi put in a pretty average overall performance, too; it came 18th out of 30 manufacturers. It finished ahead of Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo, but behind BMW and Lexus.Read more here
- The Audi Q5 is available as a plug-in hybrid; the 50 TFSI e offers an official all-electric range of 37 miles, and it’s quite possible to accelerate to motorway speeds without using any petrol at all. A full charge, using a 7.4kW wallbox, will take two and a half hours. While there’s no fully-electric Q5, you might want to consider the slightly smaller Audi Q4 e-tron, some versions of which can officially manage more than 300 miles on a charge. The Q5’s petrol and diesel engines feature mild hybrid assistance, too, helping to improve performance and fuel economy. Read more here
- Of all the Audi Q5’s engine options, it’s the 201bhp 40 TDI diesel engine that impresses us the most. Mild hybrid assistance helps to boost its performance and economy slightly, and it feels effortlessly strong from low revs – helpful in a big, heavy SUV like the Q5. We recommend teaming that engine with the Sport trim level; you’ll get a generous level of kit, including a 10.1in touchscreen infotainment system with sat nav, as well as cruise control, three-zone climate control and handsome 18in alloy wheels. It’s the best value trim-level in the line-up. Find out more here
- The S line trim level is one step up from Sport. It gives you all the same standard equipment as Sport, but has a more imposing appearance, with more dramatic bumpers, privacy glass and bigger 19in alloy wheels. It’s also worth bearing in mind that S line models have a lower, stiffer sports suspension set-up that makes the Q5 a little more nimble in corners, but this comes at the expense of low-speed ride comfort; you’ll feel urban potholes and scruffy road surfaces more clearly. Sport models, meanwhile, use what Audi calls “Dynamic” suspension, which – combined with the trim level’s smaller 18in wheels – provide a very comfortable ride at all speeds. Read more here
- The Audi Q5 has a full-featured infotainment system with a 10.1in touchscreen, which incorporates sat-nav, Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, allowing you to use the apps on your phone via the car’s central touchscreen. Unlike some rivals, such as the BMW X3 and Mazda CX-5, which offer a rotary controller, the Audi’s system requires that you reach forward to touch the icons, and this can be awkward and distracting on the move. Fortunately, the sensitive screen reacts quickly to inputs, and the menus are more intuitive than those of the Volvo XC60’s system.Read more here
- If you choose a mild hybrid petrol or diesel-powered Audi Q5, you get a 500-litre boot. That’s roughly the size of those found in the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC. It’s a usefully square shape, too, with no awkward intrusions from the wheelarches, and you’ll easily fit a folded-up buggy or nine carry-on suitcases. If you add an option called Rear Bench Seat Plus, you can slide the back seats forwards to increase the boot to 610 litres. While the plug-in hybrid versions’ boots are the same useful shape, the need to carry a battery for the hybrid system means they miss out on storage space under the boot floor, taking overall capacity down to 465 litres. Read more here
|RRP price range||£45,975 - £77,095|
|Number of trims (see all)||10|
|Number of engines (see all)||8|
|Available fuel types (which is best for you?)||diesel, petrol, hybrid|
|MPG range across all versions||156.9 - 44.8|
|Available doors options||5|
|Warranty||3 years / 60000 miles|
|Company car tax at 20% (min/max)||£1,164 / £5,596|
|Company car tax at 40% (min/max)||£2,328 / £11,192|