Premium German-made SUVs from Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW are popular sights on UK roads. Buyers love their luxurious but practical interiors, go-anywhere capability and high seating positions. If you're looking for a mid-size model, your choice here is confined to the BMW X3, Mercedes GLC and the Audi Q5.
While all three models impress - and they all scored four stars on our road test - the Q5 is worthy of special attention because of its classy styling, practical, family friendly interior and generous boot space.
Here are 7 reasons to consider an Audi Q5.
7 reasons to buy an Audi Q5
7. Small-car handling
The Q5's handling characteristics don't make it feel like a large SUV - in fact, it changes direction with the eagerness and agility of a far smaller model. It's great fun to drive, and the sportier SQ5 version is sharper still. The optional Dynamic steering system makes the slightly numb standard set-up a bit more responsive, too.
6. Comfy over long distances
One of the Q5's biggest advantages is its refinement. There is some wind and road noise, but the Q5's diesel engines are among the quietest around. Six-cylinder models get double-glazed windows as standard, helping to reduce noise levels even more.
5. Rear bench seat plus
This small cost option greatly increases the Q5's seating flexability, allowing each section of the rear seat to slide fore and aft by up to 10cm - allowing you to either prioritise rear leg room or luggage space.
4. Diesel power
Our favoured engine is the 2.0 TDI 190 - you pay slightly more for its extra power, but there's no noticeable increase in fuel economy or CO2 emissions. It's pleasantly refined, and can be had with Audi's seven-speed semi-automatic gearbox.
3. Rear visibility
Like most SUVs, the Q5's high driving position gives you a commanding view of the road from most angles. Its rear visibility is also better than most rivals, and even entry-level cars come with rear parking sensors.
2. Get your money back
With the range starting from £32,580, the Q5 isn't the cheapest mid-sized SUV around. It does hang on to its value better than most, though, which is good news for those selling their cars on.
1. SE trim
There's no need to look beyond entry-level SE cars, as they come with everything you're likely to need. Every Q5 gets leather upholstery, climate control, rear parking sensors, alloy wheels and automatic lights and wipers as standard. You have to pay extra for satellite navigation, though.
The current generation of Q5 has been around for a long time, so is starting to show its age in places, and the interior doesn't offer the same level of gadgetry that you'll find in Audi's newer SUVs.
What about buying used?
The Audi Q5 has been on sale since 2008 and received a comprehensive facelift in 2012. The pre-facelift version is largely the same as the current car, and offers generous space inside for four adults. Rear-seat passengers should be aware that the car's large transmission tunnel means that the middle seat doesn't have much leg room, though. As you'd expect, the fit and finish of the Q5's interior is top notch, and it's impressively refined.
As is the case with the majority of SUV models, you should look for a diesel variant over the petrol options. We'd go for Audi's 2.0-litre diesel engine, which is available in 141bhp or 168bhp forms. All models get four-wheel drive as standard, and post-2009 cars get stop-start technology as well. Our favoured trim level is SE, which gets your leather upholstery, three-zone climate control and automatic wipers.
The Q5 holds onto its value well, but a budget of £13,000 will get you a Q5 from this era with around 70,000 miles on the clock. For our favoured 2.0-litre diesel models in SE specification, expect to spend around £18,000 for a low-mileage example.
Potential problems to be aware of include small electrical gremlins and issues with the car's Electronic Control Unit (ECU) and turbocharger. As ever, a thorough test drive should give you enough time to identify any faults.
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