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?...

Audi Q5 long-term test review
  • The car Audi Q5 2.0 TDI quattro 190 S line S tronic
  • Run by Darren Moss, deputy editor,
  • 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 covered7267 Official economy 55.4mpg Test economy 42mpg 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)

12 October 2017 – the mobile office

Juggling work, am-dram rehearsals and family errands has meant I’ve spent a lot of time in our long-term Audi Q5 recently, effectively turning it into a mobile office. Apple CarPlay makes this very easy, as connecting my iPhone via a USB cable gives me access to my phone, messages, Spotify music streaming and my own personal assistant in Siri.

I wanted to see how well Audi handles those tasks without Apple’s assistance, though. First task: a friend can remember the name of an Italian restaurant in Kettering where we’d like to go but can’t remember where it is. Enter Audi’s MMI infotainment system with Google integration – a few taps later and we’re on our way to what I consider to be the best spaghetti carbonara in Northamptonshire.

Audi Q5 long-term test review

In fact, the connected services on offer in the car extend to a wi-fi hotspot, which could be ideal for keeping children entertained on long journeys and social media integration for Twitter. On most versions of the Q5, you get three months of Audi Connect as a trial before having to pay for the service, but in our S line car there’s three years free. If you need to top up the subscription, you can purchase it from your dealer, although Audi couldn't give me a price for the service.

It’s easy enough to make a phone call in the Q5, and writing out numbers on the car’s touch-sensitive pad rather than using a touchscreen or buttons usually makes for short work. I say usually, because there have been some cases when the system can’t understand my handwriting, leading to frustration and, eventually, resorting to the traditional rotary dial to enter information.

Audi Q5 long-term test review

There’s also a handy app for the car (as there is for most Audis) called MMI Connect, which allows me to keep track of the Q5’s whereabouts – perfect for a car so highly requested for weekend trips and holidays. From my smartphone, I can lock or unlock the car remotely, check on any servicing or warning messages and even send a destination to the car’s sat-nav. Plus, if you can’t remember where you parked, the app can direct you back to the car. It’s simple to set up and will surely prove a time-saver on future trips.