Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
You won’t be short of space in the front. The seats move far enough back to afford even the tallest folk plenty of leg room, and the high roofline provides an equally generous amount of head room.
Storage space is abundant. Each front door has a sizeable bin that’s shaped to accept a large bottle, and there are a couple of cupholders between the driver and passenger for takeaway coffee. You’ll also find a small cubby in front of the gear selector for loose items, and there’s a bigger storage cubby underneath the front armrest. Oh, and there’s a good-sized glovebox.
The two outer rear seats offer decent head room, and a reasonable amount of knee room for those who are long-of-leg, but not quite as much as they’ll find in a Volvo XC60 or Land Rover Discovery Sport. There’s enough width for three adults to sit side by side in decent comfort although, again, the middle passenger won’t be quite as comfortable as they would be in the back of the rivals mentioned.
That's partly due to a high central floor tunnel that eats into the Q5’s foot space, while the protruding rear interior light pinches a bit of the middle occupant’s head room. And, if you want seven seats, you’re out of luck. Of the Q5’s premium large SUV rivals, only the Discovery Sport offers that convenience. Of course, there are non-premium seven-seat SUVs, too, such as the excellent Peugeot 5008.
Storage options in the back include a couple of decent-sized door bins that each have space for a litre-sized bottle. If you add the relatively cheap Storage Pack, you get nets on the backs of the front seats and two cupholders in the central rear armrest.
Seat folding and flexibility
The Q5 offers plenty of seating permutations. As standard, you get folding rear seats that are arranged in a 40/20/40 split. These are easy to drop, thanks to a couple of handy levers that are placed just inside the tailgate opening.
Sliding and reclining rear seats (named Rear Bench Seat Plus on the options list) are something we’d recommend to increase the Q5’s versatility as sliding the rear seats forward increases luggage capacity. The recline feature is a bonus if your passengers fancy a snooze, too.
While it’s a shame that this feature only comes as standard on the Vorsprung, TFSIe and SQ5, it's not an expensive option. It's also one that goes unmatched by rivals such as the Volvo XC60 and Mercedes GLC.
Meanwhile, the front passenger gets an array of adjustments, including seat height and electric four-way lumbar adjustment. Full electric seats are standard only on the poshest trim levels.
Audi provides an electric tailgate on all Q5s; all you need to do to open it is press a button. In fact, if you upgrade to the optional hands-free opener (standard on Vorsprung trim), you don’t even have to do that; simply waggle your foot under the rear bumper and hey presto.
At 550 litres, the boot volume matches that of rivals such as the GLC and BMW X3. And, with no intrusions from the wheel arches, it’s a useful, square shape that’s easily large enough to swallow a fold-up pram or up to nine carry-on suitcases. That’s one more than an XC60 will take; we know because we’ve tried it. The TFSIe plug-in hybrid has a smaller boot, at 455 litres (roughly equivalent to losing two carry-on cases worth of space) because its battery occupies space under the boot floor, but there’s still a decent amount of room back there.
The Rear Bench Seat Plus option that we mentioned earlier increases boot space to 610 litres when slid all the way forward. This figure places the Q5’s among the very biggest boots in this class.