Parkers overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 4.3

Living with an Audi Q5

Audi Q5 2.0 TDI S-Line long-term, Navarro blue

  • Model tested: Audi Q5 2.0 TDI Quattro 190PS S Line
  • Miles covered: 15,271
  • Real-world average fuel economy: 41.6mpg, (77% of official claim)
  • Official combined fuel economy: 54.3mpg
  • On Parkers fleet: February 2018 – July 2018
  • Run by: James Dennison

Introduction to the Audi Q5

I’m going to kick off this series of long term reports with a confession. The first time I drove Audi’s second-generation Q5 (in top-of-the-range SQ5 spec, no less) I didn’t like it.

Sure, it was quick – as it should be with 354hp and 500Nm of torque – and the cabin was lovely, but that was about it. There was none of the excitement you’d naturally want and expect from a £50,000 performance Audi.  

With that in mind, I was obviously the perfect candidate to take ownership of an Audi Q5 2.0 TDI Quattro 190PS S Line for the next five months. However, before anyone thinks that this is going to be a whitewash, I reckon I might actually like this version of Q5.

Why? Well, with the 190hp 2.0-litre diesel engine, there’s no expectation of excitement attached. It’s just supposed to be a big, comfy, reasonably economical SUV to schlep around town and cruise down the motorway in. And, if memory serves me correctly, the Q5’s chassis is more than capable of providing the comfort part.

Audi Q5 2.0 TDI S-Line long-term, Navarro blue, side view

So, now I’ve aired my initial reservations, it’s time to look at the latest addition to the Parkers long-term fleet in a little more detail.

S Line spec with a few acessories

Sitting at the top of the trim level pile on regular Q5s is the ‘sporty’ S Line spec. I put the word ‘sporty’ in parentheses as, in reality, there’s nothing remotely sporty about it.

However, that’s no bad thing and, when complemented with the S Line front and rear bumpers, side skirts, rear spoiler and diffuser, I reckon it’s rather handsome – as SUVs go.

Standard kit includes a 7.0-inch infotainment screen with sat-nav, DAB radio, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and Bluetooth phone connectivity.

Audi Q5 2.0 TDI S-Line long-term, interior and dashboard

In addition to this, there’s other handy features such as cruise control, three-zone climate control, Xenon headlights, front and rear parking sensors, keyless ignition, drive modes, autonomous emergency braking (in the form of Audi’s Pre-sense City safety system) and hill-descent control.

As generous as the standard equipment list may be, however, few buyers will opt for a totally standard Q5. With this in mind, options on KX67 VNB include:

  • Navarra blue metallic paint (£600)
  • 20-inch ‘five-segment-spoke’ contrasting grey, diamond cut alloy wheels (£900)
  • A 70-litre fuel tank (no-cost option)
  • 24-litre AdBlue tank (no-cost option)
  • Storage pack (£175) – cupholder in rear centre armrest, moveable storage compartment in front centre armrest, storage net on the back of the front seats backrests, closed storage compartment up front, a lockable glovebox and straps for the luggage bay
  • Extended LED interior light pack (£150) – Switchable ambient interior lighting in a rainbow of different shades
  • Comfort and sound pack (£1,295) – keyless entry with hands-free boot opening, Bang & Olufsen Sound System, a rear-view camera and hill-start assist
  • Technology pack (£1,395) – 8.3-inch infotainment screen with touchpad, Dynamic route guidance with live traffic updates, Audi Virtual Cockpit, wireless charging and Audi Connect infotainment services with high-speed internet access and access to apps such as Twitter and Google Earth
  • Adaptive comfort suspension with damping control (£900)*
  • Collapsible spare wheel (£175)

*No longer available on UK cars.

It’s a nice spec, but one thing that has already been bugging me is the absence of electric folding mirrors (they’re a £325 option and only come in combination with the electrically adjustable front seats).

Audi Q5 gear selector and centre console

Granted, it might sound like I’m being fussy, but the Q5 has a sizeable pair of side mirrors that – ideally – you’d want to fold in whenever parked. Having to do this manually on a near-£50,000 SUV just doesn’t feel quite right.

Life in the old diesel dog yet?

Call me boring, but I still reckon the tried-and-trusted 190hp 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine is the best fit for a Q5 at this money. It’s quiet, has plenty of real world shove and should return at least 40mpg. We’ll be comparing it with the 252hp 2.0-litre TFSI petrol in due course, so keep an eye out to see if my opinions change.

Is the Q5 the ultimate mid-sized premium SUV?

If you’re after a high-end SUV but don’t want to upgrade to the full road-going tank like the Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLS, the Q5 should be an ideal fit.

However, it’s positioned in an incredibly congested section of the market and can count heavyweights such as the Mercedes-Benz GLC, BMW X3 and Jaguar F-Pace as rivals. No mean feat to come out on top in this class; something I’ll make a judgement on towards the end of my time with the Q5.

Read the complete long-term test of the Audi Q5 here.

Audi Q5 rear review, Navarro blue