Audi Q5 long-term test review: report 5

This second-generation Audi Q5 has long been a favourite in the large SUV class, but has a recent facelift made it even better? We're living with one to find out...

Audi Q5 waiting at junction

The car Audi Q5 45 TFSI quattro 265 S line S tronic Run by Darren Moss, deputy editor

Why it’s here We already think the Audi Q5 is one of the best large SUVs you can buy, but is this facelifted version a step forwards or a leap back?

Needs to Be comfortable for both short and long journeys, spacious and able to function as a mobile office when needed


Mileage 1750 List price £46,500 Target Price £43,498 Price as tested £52,800 Test economy 30.5mpg Official economy 32.8mpg


4 April 2021 – A little more haste

There’s a roundabout at the end of my road for which the word “busy” is an understatement. This roundabout has seven exits, including one to get on to a major motorway, so it’s perpetually jammed up, thus launching onto it with gusto is important. Unfortunately, while the gearbox in my Audi Q5 is super smooth on the motorway, shifting between gears with all the precision and quietness of a Rolex watch, it doesn’t act in the same manner at lower speeds.

Putting my foot down when I see an opening has the Q5 pause, think and then lurch forward after a short break. This may take less than a second or so, but that's long enough for the gap I planned to move into to have shrunk or been missed entirely.

This slightly jerky action that afflicts many automatic gearboxes at low speeds is a byproduct of ever-tightening emissions legislation. In light of these, the car doesn’t want to shift to a lower gear. It would rather you build speed gradually and gently, and as economically as possible. 

Audi Q5 centre console

This might be great news for low emissions ratings, and, by extension, for your wallet, but for busy roundabouts and junctions it’s difficult to get along with. When the rest of my experience with the Q5 has been so rosy, this stands out as one of its very few thorns.

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