Autotrader ad desktop

In partnership with Auto Trader

Used test: Audi Q5 vs Jaguar F-Pace interiors

It's tough to defeat a used, two-year-old Audi Q5, but this suave Jaguar F-Pace aims to do exactly that. Let battle commence...

Audi Q5 2021 dashboard


Driving position, visibility, build quality, practicality

You’ll have very few complaints about the driving positions of either of our contenders, but the Jaguar F-Pace has the advantage.

Its deeper sports seats – courtesy of the R-Dynamic trim upgrades – not only hold you more firmly in place through corners but also provide 12-way electric adjustment that makes it easy to make tiny tweaks to fine-tune your position behind the wheel. Meanwhile, the seats in the Audi Q5 offer decent side support and are comfy, albeit rather firm, and provide plenty of adjustment, but it’s a shame that this is manual, rather than electric.

Jaguar F-Pace 2021 dashboard

The F-Pace also has the high-set large SUV driving position that many buyers are after, even if you drop the seat as low as it can go. In comparison, the Q5 places you lower, giving you a driving position that doesn’t feel all that far removed from what you’ll find in a family hatchback.

Its 2021 overhaul has given the F-Pace a significantly updated interior, with posher materials that look smart and feel more substantial. The (standard from new) leather upholstery, contrasting stitching and aluminium trim combine for a sumptuous feel, and the big rotary climate control switches are nicely damped. There are still some flimsier finishes to be found, but not in prominent places.

The Q5’s dashboard is more understated to look at, but its switches and buttons are logically arranged and easy to use, and when it comes to fit and finish, it beats not only the F-Pace but also every other car in this class.

Audi Q5 2021 rear seats

The F-Pace wins the screen one-upmanship war, with a bigger (11.4in) touchscreen than the Q5's (10.1in) one. Both of these cars get sat-nav, Apple CarPlayAndroid Auto and all the connectivity and entertainment features you’d expect. The F-Pace has one of the best touchscreens in the class, with a clever configurable home page, although the Q5’s screen responds more quickly.

There isn’t a whole lot of difference between the Q5 and F-Pace when it comes to passenger and boot space. Both are airy, and you’ll get two six-footers in the back seats even with a lanky driver and matching front seat passenger.

There’s also plenty of head room in both cars, although tall passengers in the back of the F-Pace might find their hair brushing the headlining if you've gone for an example that has the £1600-from-new panoramic glass roof, which serves to lower the ceiling slightly. A panoramic roof isn’t available on the Q5 unless you've chosen the range-topping Vorsprung trim, which gave you one as standard from the factory.

Jaguar F-Pace 2021 rear seats

The Q5 does gain a practicality advantage if you have the Rear Bench Seat Plus package, a £350 optional extra when new. It brings rear seats that slide, recline and split in a 40/20/40 format for added versatility. It’s well worth seeking out, but if you do choose to ignore it, the Q5 still gets those handy three-way split seatbacks.

Meanwhile, the F-Pace’s rear seats don’t slide or recline, but the seatbacks split and fold down in the same three-piece configuration as the Q5’s, so there’s plenty of potential to take long items, such as skis, while still carrying a pair of rear passengers.

Anyone sitting in either car’s middle rear seat will find their raised cushion rather hard and will have to splay their feet to clear a hump in the floor. Still, either car will carry five adults easily enough. Neither offers a seven-seat option; for a premium SUV with that sort of carrying capacity, you need a Land Rover Discovery Sport or a Mercedes GLB.

Audi Q5 2021 boot

Both of our protagonists have electric tailgates, good-sized loading apertures and boots that are more than big enough to take bulky items, such as a set of golf clubs or a double buggy.

The F-Pace provides a useful underfloor cubby that’s big enough to stow a laptop bag, but the Q5 has the more practical boot overall; it can swallow nine carry-on suitcases, while the F-Pace manages eight below its load cover.