One of the most practical cars in the Audi range, the mid-sized Q5 SUV is also a stylish one. It brings with it one of the finest interiors on offer coupled with an abundance of space. The Q5 is also available as an SQ5 and an SQ5+ - these sportier options cost more money, but give much more in terms of power and performance.
Unlike the Q3 sibling, there are no petrol engines on offer with the larger Q5. Diesel is the name of the game with two variants of the excellent 2.0 TDI and one 3.0 TDI option. Diesel: 2.0 TDI with 150 or 190bhp complete with a choice between a 6-speed manual or 7-speed S-tronic automatic transmission. Or a top of the range 3.0 TDI with a hefty 258bhp. All engines are four cylinder configurations and offer impressive levels of grunt across the whole range. Being a larger SUV than the Q3, the Q5 benefits greater from the low end torque generated by the diesel option with the 2.0 TDI being the choice of many. The SQ5 offers a whopping 336 bhp and will cost you a little more than €75,000. The 6-cylinder SQ5+ offers a very attractive 340bhp.
From the A1 right up the range, Audi do have a bit of a reputation for producing stiffer sprung cars than its closest competitors such as BMW or Land Rover. The Q5 doesn’t stray too far from that formula and if you are looking for maximum comfort from your Q5, we would recommend the SE trim on the smallest 18 inch wheels. That stiffness however makes for a more enjoyable drive, keeping body roll in check and helping with a faster turn of pace in the corners. The BMW X3 makes for a more engaging drive however. If you’re looking for a more thoroughbred off-roader, look no further than the Land Rover Discovery Sport.
Like most of the Audi range, trim levels start at SE and move up into sportier S-line territory. It feels quite agile for a high rise machine of its size. If you fancy the stiffer S-line and still want some additional comfort, you can opt for the adaptive dampers for an additional cost. The familiar diesel engines from across the Volkswagen Group feature once again with an excellent choice of powerful but ultimately refined units. The mid-range 2.0 TDI with 190bhp is the pick of the bunch delivering a more effortless drive, particularly when mated to the 7-speed S-tronic auto option.
It’s an Audi interior and realistically there’s not much more you can say. The Q5 may very well be an expensive option and when you begin ticking boxes on the options list, you don’t end up too far off the price of the larger Q7. That said, there is no question that you get what you pay for. It’s a familiar sleek and detailed design finished to a very high quality with gloss dash inserts and aluminium inlays across the dash and centre console. Probably in line for an upgrade sometime in the near future, the Q5’s infotainment could do with some updating.
Like most of its Audi siblings the Q5 scored a 5 star rating in Euro NCAP crash testing. It comes with electronic stability control and six airbags as standard, driver fatigue monitor and automatic lights and wipers. As usual with Audi, if want to improve that safety, be prepared to dip deep into your wallet for the additional safety tech available as options. These include adaptive cruise control, lane assist and advanced park assist to name but a few.
It may not have the biggest boot in its class but it is certainly a large with 540 litres of luggage space as standard. The rear sets can be folded to create a further 1020 litres making 1560 of space in the rear cabin. The BMW X3 does have slightly more space but the Audi beats the Volvo XC60 which overall does not feel as spacious as the Audi. There is loads of cubby’s and storage spaces throughout the cabin from door pockets, under the centre armrest to a large glovebox. If you like to keep your drinks hot or cold, you can specify cup holder that will do both, for a price of course.