Audi Q5 4x4 review
- Attractive looks
- Punchy 3.0-litre diesel
- Plenty of passenger space
- No so great off-road
- Pricy higher trim levels
- Not very efficient
Audi’s Q5 is one of the best 4x4s on sale in the UK. It wins hearts and minds by having a combination of stand-out points including impressive driving dynamics, an efficient engine line-up and plenty of practicality to boot.
The Q5 will attract those who want to merge the go-anywhere practicality of an SUV with the luxurious attitude of a saloon. This means the Q5 spans everything from the family to executive market.
Rivals for the Audi Q5 include the BMW X3, the Land Rover Freelander and Volvo’s XC60. Is the Audi the best all-rounder? Read on to find out.
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On paper, the Q5’s performance credentials look exciting, and thankfully, it retains its levels of exhilaration when on the asphalt.
Under the bonnet of our test car was a 242bhp 3.0-litre diesel Quattro with an enormous amount of pulling power. This meant our test car could complete the benchmark sprint in a lightning quick time of 6.5 seconds - that’s fast for a big car weighing in at over two tonnes. The Q5 certainly feels pacier than the equivalent Land Rover Freelander, while it is on a par with the BMW X3.
If you are looking to have a bit of fun with your Q5, then we recommend the 3.0-litre. There are an array of other engines available, including multiple 2.0-litre TDI units, with power ranging from 148bhp to 168bhp. Petrol engines include 2.0-litre TFSI units with power ranging from 178bhp to 222bhp.
On the driving front, the Q5 is impressive. It has tons of grip thanks to that Quattro technology, but could do with some refining. This means the Q5 is still a smidgen off the BMW X3 when it comes to driving dynamics, although steering is still very precise. And, when its Quattro comes to tackling off-road terrain, the Land Rover Defender is a better tool.
In comparison to other 4x4s in this sector, the level of bodyroll is about average. Yes there is some when driving enthusiastically but not as much as a Land Rover Freelander. The ride on the Q5 is more compliant than what you get on the BMW X5 and this makes long journeys a boon for driver and passengers.
The Q5 is kitted out with some cool technology to help you on your way, including hill descent control and traction control. The Q5 comes with the optional Audi Drive Select, which alters the characteristics of the car, including the suspension settings, steering, throttle response and gear change points (on the automatic) via a button on the centre console.
The Q5 is still a smidgen off the BMW X3 when it comes to driving dynamics, although steering is still very precise
The Audi Q5 is a plush cabin. The materials are of the highest quality while the brushed aluminium highlights dotted around add to the luxurious surroundings. The lofty driving position means that all-round visibility is first class while front and rear parking sensors are great when it comes to squeezing into cramped parking spaces.
Even entry level models come loaded with kit as electrically adjustable heated mirrors, all-round electric windows, climate control, Bluetooth and leather upholstery all thrown in. The S Line trim will be a popular choice for many and this adds some exterior perks such as side skirts, LED lights, 19-inch alloys and Xenon headlights – not to mention an S Line sports suspension.
If you want an extra boost in kit over the S Line then go for the S Line Plus model. This adds sat nav, parking sensors, privacy glass and electric tailgate.
There is a generous amount space for four adults in the Q5, with plenty of head and leg room both in the front and back. Its 540 litre boot means everything from shopping to suitcases is child’s play. Boot space can be extended to 1,560 litres by folding the rear seats down. Although the Q5 is practical, its storage space is still a little behind rivals.
Audi originally planned to launch the Q5 as a hybrid model, but suspended these plans due to being displeased with crash tests
For such a punchy powertrain, the 3.0-litre diesel delivers decent fuel economy, returning a claimed average of around 44mpg, although it does emit 169g/km of CO2.
If frugality is your prerogative go for the 148bhp 2.0-litre TDI. It is hardly going win an award for efficiency, but it claims to return an average of around 48mpg and emits 154g/km of CO2.
Price is always going to be the topic of discussion with such a prestige brand as Audi. However, the starting price of the Audi Q5 undercuts both the BMW X3 and Volvo XC60.
If frugality is your prerogative go for the 148bhp 2.0-litre TDI. It is hardly going win an award for efficiency, but it claims to return an average of around 48mpg and emits 154g/km of CO2
The Audi Q5 is a quality bit of kit offering loads of composure when tackling tricky roads in adverse weather thanks to the world-famous Quattro technology. Unfortunately, the car is still not quite as engaging as the BMW X3 when it comes to driving dynamics.
As with every Audi model, the Q5 is one of the best when it comes to interior luxury and build quality, and it will keep long distance business drivers in particular very happy. Add its practicality into the mix and you also get a car that can double up as a weekend away family car.
But, as an all-round package, the Q5 should be on your final list, at the very least.