Parkers overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 4.3
  • Beautifully made cabin
  • Feels special if not innovative
  • Few blind-spots; excellent visibility

With the marque’s wholly justified reputation for the supreme quality of its interiors, there’s no surprise that the Audi Q5’s cabin is an exquisite place in which to spend time.

Like the Q5’s exterior, its passenger compartment doesn’t stray away from Audi conventions in terms of how it looks – here it feels like there’s a fusion of A4 and Q7 going on, and that’s no bad thing.

Plastics in the upper reaches of the dashboard have a satisfyingly deep degree of squidginess, while everything is assembled with such accuracy and working to incredibly tight tolerances, that it feels like it will last for years and still be as good as it was on day one.

Expensive-feeling switchgear feels delightful to use and is beautifully weighted, reinforcing the Q5’s premium positioning, although we remain unconvinced about the multimedia display screen that now stands proud of the dashboard on a permanent basis, rather than being fully integrated, or concealed when not in use.

Audi’s not the first to employ this tactic and it cites a customer preference for having these tablet-aping screens on show all of the time.

Should you wish to make your Q5’s cabin feel even more special you can push the boat out financially and opt for the 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit – a configurable screen that replaces the conventional instrument cluster – or the excellent head-up display (HUD) that projects data onto the windscreen. Best to choose one or the other – both feels like overkill.

Finding a suitable driving position is easily achieved, regardless of whether or not the front seats are electrically adjustable, and the steering adjusts for distance and angle. All-round visibility’s decent, too, helped by the Q5’s third side windows and slender windscreen pillars.

How comfortable is the Q5?

  • Air suspension improves Q5’s comfort
  • Leather seats and three-zone climate control
  • Rear seat would be a squeeze for three adults

One aspect that the first-generation Audi Q5 majored on was comfort, and it features even more prominently second time around.

Earlier Q5s were available with a very effective - and expensive - adaptive air suspension system that served-up one of the most cosseting experiences in this corner of the SUV market, but this was discontinued in 2019.

Even in the appropriately-titled Comfort setting, the Q5 remains composed, rarely suffering from the kind of nausea-inducing floatiness that blights the Mercedes GLC when equipped with a similar kind of suspension.

Most Q5 buyers will choose the S Line trim, complete with 19-inch wheels. Even with those, in Dynamic mode, passengers are extremely unlikely to complain about being jolted about.

However, the standard suspension with conventional metal springs is well-judged in terms of balancing the need to be comfortable, but also deliver good body control when being driven more enthusiastically. Even on Q5s fitted with larger alloy wheels, the compromise feels fine, with little sharpness of poor surfaces felt in the cabin.

As per the class norms, there are five seatbelts within the Q5, although seating a quintet of adults comfortably will be a challenge, especially with the narrower, firmer centre rear seat. Four-up there’ll be no grumbles, with decent head- and legroom and a fine view out from the elevated seating positions.

The seats themselves feel very supportive – all front chairs have an electrically-adjustable lumbar support, while standard leather trim makes the cabin feel that bit more special.

S Line versions upwards have rear privacy glass and acoustic side windows (to limit exterior noise entering the cabin) as part of the standard package. Three-zone climate control features across the line-up, enhancing comfort that bit further.

Wind noise is low, but certain types of road surface do amplify the tyre roar, although it’s effectively drowned out when you turn on the audio system.