The Audi Q5 is classy and desirable car with great engines and good cabin space. It should appeal to families and those looking to downsize from their larger 4x4s.
Audi Q5 Car Review
The Audi Q5 is a handsome motor. It looks sleek, thanks to a coupe-like profile, while its deep front grille and the relatively low stance gives it a good on-road presence.
It’s longer than its main rivals, offering exceptional space inside with the cabin one of the roomiest in its class. It is also exceptionally well finished.
The Audi Q5 offers flexibility, tall stance and sheer rugged appeal along with all-time four-wheel drive via the famous Quattro system – hence the ‘Q’ initial. But it’s a step down in size from its big brother – the Q7 – so will carry five rather than seven people. On the plus side the Q5 is less likely to incur the wrath of the environmental lobby.
With a similar footprint to the A4 saloon, it aims to blend 4×4 virtues with reasonable economy and good manoeuvrability.
Good looking and car-like to drive, the Q5 is very much a stylish car for our times, but be prepared to pay well over the list price if you are tempted by the vast array of optional extras.
Audi has said that ‘sporty’ looks were a priority on the Q5, but this hasn’t taken anything away from the car’s practicality.
Space for five passengers is ample in the Audi Q5 and luggage room works out at 540 litres with the rear seats in place but cargo loaded to the roof, with up to 1,560 litres available when the seats are folded. A folding front passenger seat is also an option.
The cabin’s finish is good with most areas you come into contact with not disappointing. The driving position is commanding while the dash – taken from the A4 – is clear and easy to use thanks to the MMI central controller.
The Q5 comes with a choice of three engines. There are 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol and diesel engines – both so supremely flexible and strong you’ll have a hard time choosing between them. There’s also a 3.0-litre V6 diesel. The smaller oil burner comes with a six-speed manual gearbox. The other two power units are fitted with seven-speed twin-clutch semi-automatic transmissions.
Fuel economy ranges from 33.2mpg for the petrol engine, up to 42.1 for the 2.0-litre diesel, while emissions impressively sit below 200g/km for the whole range.
The Q5 won’t amaze off-road in the same way as some of the competition – its ground clearance is a disadvantage here – but it does have an off-road setting which helps provide the best traction on greasy surfaces such as snow, ice or gravel. It also has an electronic hill descent control so it offers respectable off-road performance.
Big isn’t beautiful in this day and age! Especially when it comes to cars, and even more so if they are sporting a four-wheel-drive badge.
Traditional big off-roaders have felt the chill breeze of harsh economic reality and the wrath of the green lobby. But all is not lost for those buyers who appreciate the qualities they offer! The Audi Q5 is one of a new generation of Sports Utility Vehicles that make 4×4 motoring cool again.
If you want an off-roader that handles like a hatchback – then the Audi Q5 is perfect. There’s immense grip, solid body control and nicely weighted steering. So you’ll have more fun driving it than perhaps any other SUV in its class.
But there is a cost for this ability! The cost is a firm ride that may not be to everybody’s taste.
The Audi Q5 offers a very quiet way to get from A-B. There’s a smattering of wind and road noise, but not enough of either to get in a twist about.
The engines are tremendously refined. The diesels are smooth and quiet while the petrol gives off a pleasing rasp when worked hard.
As far as the environment is concerned the Audi Q5 is close to being as good as it gets for off-roaders.
Security and Safety
The Audi Q5 provides all the obvious safety defences and airbags that you could wish for. But additions such as hill-descent control to help it crawl down off-road slopes. Furthermore novelties, such as the clever stability control, which has a special off-road programme, take it to higher level. All the defences against the criminal element are in place.
Audi Q5 – The Finishing Touches
The standard stereo on the Audi Q5 is already a decent bit of kit and sounds great! But upgrade to the ‘technology pack’ and you get the excellent HDD navigation and MMI system with CD/DVD player, two FM tuners, a high resolution 7-inch colour display and 40GB hard drive. It adds to the cost but actually represents great value for money.