It’s a mid-sized premium SUV that more than makes up for the lack of prestigious with its build quality and practicality.
Plus, choosing a used Audi model can mean enjoying cars like the Q5 for less.
Audi has never been exactly shy when it comes to its branding or looks. When you see those four rings in the rear-view mirror, you know exactly who’s on your tail. It's no surprise, therefore, that its whole SUV range has a certain Audi look to them.
For the Q5, this means there’s a sort of refined ruggedness with a radiator grille that's distinctly in-your-face, and chunky styling to match.
In 2020, the car had something of a facelift, which included widening the grille, adding bigger bumpers, and running a chrome strip along the tailgate. It all adds up to a car for drivers who want to get noticed.
There’s a sort of refined ruggedness with a radiator grille that is distinctly in-your-face and chunky styling to match.
What’s it like to drive?
Even the most basic models in the Q5 range are going to give you the elevated driving position that's one of the biggest selling points of SUVs. Where it differs from other, less-refined cars in the category is in its handling. Close your eyes – only if you’re a passenger, of course – and it can feel more like a well-behaved hatchback than an SUV.
For the driver, the quattro four-wheel drive means great grip going around corners and when the road conditions are slippery or wet. It’s also equally good for doing the school run or long motorway journeys, during which the brilliant soundproofing keeps the road noise to a whisper rather than a roar.
Are you sitting comfortably? Well, you will be when you get behind the wheel. The driver’s seat is height adjustable and there’s a four-way electrically-operated lumbar support. There’s even extendable under-thigh support so you can fine-tune your sitting position to your heart’s (and back’s) content.
Behind the wheel, the so-called virtual cockpit gives you all the information you’re ever going to need. In some higher-spec models, the info is displayed onto the windscreen, making you feel more like you’re piloting a fighter jet. Visibility to the front of the Q5 is great thanks to the unobtrusive corner pillars, while parking’s made a whole lot easier thanks to the rear sensors and camera.
As you’d expect from Audi, there’s a premium feel to the interior, and switches and other controls click firmly and decisively into place when you use them.
The car’s comfortable for four passengers – as long as the fifth doesn’t mind squeezing in the middle of the back seat. The three-zone climate control/air-con means everyone can be as cool or as warm as they want, so there’s no fighting over the temperature
In terms of infotainment, there’s a 10.1-inch touchscreen that will be able to tell you everything from where you’re headed to the song that’s playing on the in-car sound system, which also packs quite a punch.
When you’re splashing out on an SUV, it’s generally because you need plenty of space. While it might not be quite as generous with its storage as a car like a Land Rover Discovery, it’s not too shoddy at all. The boot swallows everything from baby buggies to golf bags with ease, and the 40/20/40 rear seat split allows for various combinations of boot and passenger space.
In the cabin itself, the front door bins have room for large bottles and there are twin cup holders between the front seats for that flat white while you're on the go. In the rear, there are a couple of pretty practical floor bins, and on models fitted with the additional Storage Pack, there are handy nets on the back of the front seats.
Running costs and reliability
Whether you go for the 40TDi diesel engine or the 45TFSi petrol version, you’re going to find that fuel economy is reasonable, if not spectacular. The latter will give between 30.7-33.6mpg, while the thriftier diesel is between 32.8-44.8mpg.
The 70- and 65-litre fuel tanks, respectively, mean that it’ll usually be over 500 miles between trips to the service station.
What we love
We love the fact that Audi has been bold enough to combine a distinctive-looking SUV with all the quality and attention to detail that the brand is famous for.
It's also gone the extra mile in terms of making a practical and flexible car that’s great for families who need a reliable-yet-stylish set of wheels, whether it’s going for a weekend in the country or taking the kids to Saturday-morning football training.
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What else to consider? Audi Q5 alternatives
Town and country drivers
A classy mid-sized SUV that not only stands out from the crowd, it also retains its value better than some others we could mention. It’s no wonder that the Q5 makes it onto so many people’s shopping lists when they’re looking for quality, but not at any price
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