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Audi Q5

What is the Audi Q5?

The Q5 is Audi’s medium-sized SUV to rival the Land Rover Discovery Sport, BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC. Less obvious rivals include the Lexus NX, Jaguar F-Pace and Porsche Macan.

The Q5 is now into its second generation, having replaced the first version in 2016. That car had been in service since 2008. When launched, it was the high-riding SUV sibling to the Audi A5 Coupe.

At-a-glance specs

  • Top-speed: 134-147mph
  • 0-62mph: 7.9-5.4 seconds
  • Fuel economy: 34-56mpg
  • Emissions: 144-189g/km
  • Boot space: 550-1,550 litres

Which versions are available?

The Audi Q5 is available with the usual range of Volkswagen Group petrol and diesel engines, ranging from four cylinders to the big-power V6 in the SQ5, and it’s exclusively available with all-wheel drive and a dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

In terms of specification, you can have Sport and S Line, Black Edition and Vorsprung trim levels. There’s just the one bodystyle for the Q5. 

What is the Audi SQ5?

The Q5 hasn’t had RS treatment yet. Not to worry, though, there is a sporty S-badged model to please anyone who likes a sports car but needs the practicality of an SUV. The SQ5 comes with a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 engine, also featured in the S4 and S5, and packing more than 350hp.

Audi SQ5

It isn’t a particularly exciting drive, but it'll really get moving. How does 0-62mph in 5.4 seconds sound? That’s quick enough to leave many hot hatches standing.

Styling and engineering

The Q5, while a bit junior alongside cars like the Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne and VW Touareg, rides on the same MLB Evo platform. Indeed, the same architecture underpins the Q8 and Lamborghini Urus, too. Nice to know it’s engineered to handle more than 600hp.

Looks-wise, the new Q5 is smart, if not exactly exciting to look at. It’s not a massive departure from the car it replaces, save for the new corporate face, LED lighting and fiddly detailing. Regardless, it’s still a plush German SUV, although all second-generation Q5s are built in Mexico.

Audi Q5 side

Inside, it’s updated from the previous version, but feels a touch dated compared with the screen-laden dashboards of the A6, A7 and A8.

How does it drive?

The Q5 benefits from a strong range of petrol and diesel engines, connected to the road via dual-clutch transmissions and Quattro four-wheel drive. It steers well, even if it doesn't set your hair on fire with excitement. It feels more tied-down than the equivalent Mercedes GLC, while the SQ5 adds an element of entertainment.

Its ride quality is lovely if you choose the optional air suspension. The Allroad and Off-road modes add a respectable degree of all-terrain ability to this city-slicking SUV.

Long-term review: Audi Q5

How much does it cost?

This is where things get difficult for the Q5. It’s not cheap, especially once you’ve got the engine, trim level and options you want. No way are you paying the £40,000 start-price to drive home in the car you actually want. You can get into an X3 for as much as £2,000 less, and a Mercedes-Benz GLC for a whopping £5,000 less. Both of these have long and expensive lists of options, but so does the Audi.

Discover what Q5 drivers think of their SUVs with our Audi Q5 owners’ reviews.

Audi Q5 Model History

Current generation Audi Q5 model history

January 2017 – Second-generation Q5 available to order with first deliveries from April. Only 2.0-litre TFSI petrol and TDI diesel available initially, each with a choice of SE, Sport and S Line specifications. Standard gearbox is the seven-speed S Tronic dual-clutch automatic.

February 2017 – There’s a 354hp 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine with an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic for the second iteration of the Audi SQ5, available to order now for June delivery. Grey exterior detailing and different bumper and grille treatment differentiate it from the less powerful models.

September 2017 – Audi adds a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine to the range, boasting 286hp. 

September 2018 – Audi temporarily removes 3.0-litre V6 and SQ5 engines from the Q5's model range. The remaining engines (190hp 2.0-litre TDI and 245hp 2.0-litre TFSI) are renamed 40 TDI Quattro and 45 TFSI Quattro.

First-generation Audi Q5 (2008-2016)

Audi Q5 Mk1

The first Audi Q5 was part of a three-pronged ‘B8’ model effort – B8 being the generation of A4 that debuted that year (the Q5 SUV and A5 Coupe were both spin-offs). Its styling was previewed by the odd Cross Cabriolet Quattro Concept of 2007, before its production debut in 2008.

A hybrid model was offered very briefly for American and Japanese markets, but we never saw it in the UK. A torque-rich BiTDI SQ5 diesel arrived after the 2012 facelift. A petrol version with the supercharged S4 and S5 motor was sold in Europe and America, but not in the UK.