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4.3 out of 5 4.3
Parkers overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 4.3

Second-generation Q5 is hard to fault

Audi Q5 SUV Review Video
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At a glance

New price £41,050 - £67,015
Lease from new From £603 per month
Used price £17,825 - £55,945
Fuel Economy 30.7 - 39.2 mpg
Road tax cost £145 - £465
Insurance group 25 - 45 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Excellent build quality
  • Spacious interior
  • Comfortable, composed ride
  • Superb infotainment system

CONS

  • Evolutionary looks
  • Expensive options
  • S Tronic’s slow low-speed reactions
  • Plug-in hybrid expensive to buy

Audi Q5 SUV rivals

Written by Tom Goodlad on

The Q5 is one of Audi’s most popular models – a five-seat mid-size SUV aiming to appeal to families upgrading from smaller crossovers or family estate cars. It does this by packing in plenty of kerb appeal into a package that’s not as intimidating as the larger Q7, as well as a high-quality, roomy interior and the choice of plenty of powerful and punchy engines.

There’s a lot of strong competition out there though, and while the Q5 does look quite similar to the model it replaced, it’s one of the more subtle Audis in the current range with a desirable image and many reasons to pick it over the competition.

The cars it needs to stay ahead of are the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Volvo XC60, Alfa Romeo Stelvio and a trio of products from JLR in the form of the Jaguar F-Pace, Land Rover Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque (depending on where your priorities lie). That sounds like a tough job, but the Q5 is one of our favourite premium SUVs on sale. What makes it so good?

Familiar choice of trims to pick from

2019 Audi Q5 S Line Competition front

When it first arrived in 2017, the Q5 featured a familiar line-up of SE, Sport and S Line trims. Since then the range has evolved, jettisoning the base SE and introducing Black Edition and high-spec Vorsprung above the S Line. Evidently, Audi Q5 buyers like a well-specified model. At the very top of the line-up is the sports-focused SQ5 as a trim in its own right.

Most popular are S Line and Black Edition cars that have a slightly sportier look, but there’s no need to feel short-changed by the Sport model. It actually has the same amount of kit as the S Line for the most part, it just doesn’t have quite as much kerb appeal. You still get 18-inch alloys, LED lights, a high-quality interior, impressive infotainment system and keyless ignition.

However, as of the end of 2019, the Q5 is only available in Black Edition trim, while the plug-in hybrid 55 TFSIe model has a choice of S Line, S Line Competition, Black Edition, Vorsprung and Vorsprung Competition.

Plenty of room in high-quality interior

2019 Audi Q5 S Line Competition interior

It comes as no surprise to learn that the Q5 has an exquisite interior. It’s understated and of high quality, with a nice combination of raised ride height without feeling like you’re sitting on top of the car.

The dashboard is shared with the A4 and A5 family of cars, but still features the rotary dial-controlled MMI media system that’s been replaced in the A4 in favour of MMI Touch. It’ll likely happen with a facelift for the Q5, but for now it’s a very easy system that works well in combination with the Virtual Cockpit digital dials.

The Q5 is spacious too – if not quite as roomy as a Volvo XC60, but there’s easily room for a family, space is good front and rear and the boot is well-shaped with 550 litres of space accessed via an electric tailgate.

Strong engine range – a choice of powertrains

There were as many as four different engines choices available in the Q5, however as of mid-2018 all but the 190hp 40 TDI version were taken off sale in the regular line-up. Previously, a 3.0-litre V6 TDI diesel was available, as well as a less-powerful 40 TFSI petrol.

Since then, the silky smooth 45 TFSI petrol (Audi switched to a numerical engine naming structure in 2018 instead of engine sizes) has been added to the range with 245hp, while SQ5, 50 TFSIe and 55 TFSIe plug-in hybrid options are also available.

All Q5 models come with Quattro all-wheel drive and an S Tronic automatic transmission. Simple.

2019 Audi Q5 55 TFSIe S Line Competition side profile

Lots of modern technology

Technology and the whole SUV sector have moved along leaps and bounds since the first Q5 appeared, with the second-generation model employing many of the benefits of the latest features.

An improved MMI (Multi Media Interface) with much more responsive voice control is the centrepiece of the impeccably well-constructed cabin, although this too is slightly dated as the rest of Audi’s range moves towards touch controls for virtually everything across the interior, with more advanced voice control too. There’s still something pleasing about the rotary control of the Q5, though.

Outside you’ll spot niceties such as the (optional) LED matrix headlights that automatically adapt their beam patterns to road types and weather conditions. But the tour de force you feel rather than see is the adaptive air suspension. That also costs extra, but should be top of your priority list if you can stretch to it.

By allowing the car to be raised by up to 45mm in Offroad mode, the Q5 becomes much more capable off the beaten track, able to traverse terrain that would halt models with the standard suspension arrangement. More importantly, the air suspension affords the Q5 an excellent ride quality on even the worst roads the UK has to offer.

It’s never going to be a rugged go-anywhere SUV – that the Quattro Ultra all-wheel drive system is not permanent on 2.0-litre models and has no method of locking drive to all four wheels sees to that – but it’s more capable than you’d expect.

Read on for the full Audi Q5 review.

Audi Q5 SUV rivals

Other Audi Q5 models: