Price range: $63,400 – $75,500
Good: Audi have made a great compromise between maximising cabin space and minimising road mass. This classy Q5 comes with a choice of four excellent engines, has class-leading interior ambience…and handles very well for an SUV.
Not so Good: Firm ride brings no favours over lumpy surfaces… Beware the fun & expensive option list.
Design and Engineering
Good : Audi have successfully hidden the bulk when styling the classy Q5 – we even prefer the shape over the Q7. It shares the same platform as the Audi A4 sedan & wagon and A5 Coupe & Convertible yet offers the MOST interior space of the lot. The Q5 is also shorter than the A4 Avant (wagon) even though it wins on luggage carrying capacity.
Not so good : The Q5 is significantly heavier than the similar-sized Audi A4 Avant, but that’s no surprise given the AWD hardware and the higher-sitting chunkier body.
Interior and Styling
Good : The excellent, elegant dash design is logically laid out with high quality materials on show; all the buttons are clear to read and nice to touch. There’s excellent forward visibility due to the raised body height and relatively thin windscreen pillars PLUS a very comfortable driver’s seat. Decent levels of rear legroom & headroom and the cargo space is significantly larger than, say a Volkswagen Tiguan, and the second row seats also fold down so you can easily carry a bicycle in the rear when necessary.
Not so good : Rear seat is designed more for 2 rather than 3 adults (however, how often does this size vehicle have five large adults on board?) No third row seating option – Audi’s fans requiring seating for seven will need to look at the significantly larger Q7 SUV.
Good : All four engines are fine indeed. The smaller displacement 2.0L Turbo Petrol or Diesel grades both offer impressive levels of power and torque so think twice before opting for the larger engines. That said, we especially liked the 2.0L TFSI Petrol engine with a lovely 155kW of power and 350Nm of torque. It delivers peak power low-down in the rev range and is fitted with an excellent high-tech seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
Not so good : The Q5 is a good bit heavier than the Audi A4 wagon, so of course, performance isn’t as thrilling; however we think the Q5 offers far better overall value than the A4 Avant.
Ride and Handling
Good : Excellent handling for an SUV. The ride is the best when you select the AUTO mode of the three-setting ‘Drive Select’ system rather than the softer COMFORT or the sporty DYNAMIC setting.
Not so good : Over rough bitumen the firm suspension can result in a less-than-comforting ride. We’d recommend resisting the larger size alloys rims to preserve ride quality. The steering, whilst not bad in isolation, is not class-leading in terms of providing a natural feeling.
Buying and Owning
Good : Entry-level grades don’t mean entry-level engine technology – the Diesel engines are frugal and the Petrol powerplants offer good economy for the performance on offer. Six airbags and Electronic Stability Control as standard ticks the safety features box. The Q5 has also performed very well in independent crash tests.
Not so good : Be careful when ticking the option boxes as the price can very quickly head north. The space saver only spare wheel limits Australian touring ability.