Audi Q5 long-term test review
The old Audi Q5 was a stalwart among premium family SUVs, so can this new model move the game on even further?...
- The car: Audi Q5 2.0 TDI quattro 190 S line S tronic
- Run by: Darren Moss, deputy editor whatcar.com
- Why it’s here: The old Q5 was Audi’s best-selling model worldwide, so this new version needs to be even better in every respect, while holding off increasingly competent rivals.
- Needs to: Be all things to all people – economical and comfortable over long and short journeys, with enough space inside to take a full load of passengers plus luggage.
Price: £41,085 Price as tested: £45,050 Miles covered: 2072 Official economy: 55.4mpg Test economy 40.2mpg Options fitted: Technology Pack (£1395), Floret Silver paint (£645), Advanced key with hands-free boot opening (£525), Rear-view camera (£450), Rear bench seat plus (£350), Audi Virtual Cockpit (£250), Storage Pack (£175), Flat-bottom multi-function steering wheel (£100), Hill-hold assist (£75), Sport suspension (free)
6 July 2017 – taking the Q5 to the far end of England
Surely there’s no better way of getting to know your new car than by bundling some friends and luggage into it and setting off on holiday. A 292-mile trip from Twickenham to Porthcurno in the far reaches of Cornwall would give me a perfect opportunity to test our Q5 on motorways, dual and single carriageways, and the thin, twisting country roads which Cornwall specialises in.
With two friends aboard and the boot fit to bursting with suitcases, props and costumes – the practicalities of doing am-dram at the famous Minack Theatre – we set off, and immediately Audi’s MMI infotainment and navigation system was put to the test, getting us through the worst of London’s traffic and out onto the motorway. It did an admirable job, suggesting alternative routes and warning us of hold-ups ahead – made even more accessible as the map was placed right in front of my eyes via the optional Virtual Cockpit display.
That freed up the main infotainment screen for music, and with three phones vying for the Bluetooth connection I was grateful that multiple devices could be connected simultaneously. I was also impressed with the sound quality of the Q5’s stereo. You can upgrade to a Bang & Olufsen setup with 19 speakers for £750, but my experience suggests it’s not worth the upgrade unless you’re a real music aficionado.
Having tackled this drive twice before, I was ready for a dull aching in my lower back to arrive at around the 200-mile mark. But it never did. The Q5’s seats are wonderfully supportive, and despite not being electrically adjustable on our car, I found it easy to find a comfortable driving position, with decent lumbar and thigh support. I wasn’t the only one, either – both passengers commented on how fresh they felt at the end of our long journey.
And the icing on the cake? Arriving in Porthcurno after more than seven hours at the wheel, I found we’d averaged 43.1mpg. Still not up to the 56.5mpg official tests say is achievable, then, but not bad for a fully loaded family SUV.