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Audi Q5 Review

8 / 10
14 May 2024
Audi Q5 driving

The Audi Q5 has a lot going for it – including a quality interior and the feeling that nothing’ll faze it.

However, the BMW X3 is better to drive and more spacious, while the Range Rover Velar feels posher.

What we like:
  • Confidence-inspiring driving experience
  • Lots of tech
  • Strong build quality
What we don't like:
  • X3 has more rear-seat space
  • Premium car running costs
  • Not very memorable

Should I buy an Audi Q5?

Without wanting to state the obvious, the Audi Q5 feels like a large SUV with lots of Audi-ness. What we mean by that is the Q5 has a pleasingly solid and tactile interior, powerful engines and grippy four-wheel drive. Little about the Q5 will surprise you if you’re used to modern Audis but, by the same token, nothing will disappoint you either.


The Q5 wades into battle against a host of rivals, including the BMW X3, Mercedes GLC, Jaguar F-Pace, Range Rover Velar, Lexus NX and Volvo XC60. Each arguably has their own strengths, while the Audi cleverly splits the pack and excels in nearly every area. A true jack-of-all-trades SUV – one that won’t look out of place outside a posh hotel but is also a good tool for the dreaded tip run.

Interior and technology

In terms of design, the Q5’s interior doesn’t feel quite as modern as newer Audi cabins – but the same is true of the BMW X3 and of the Volvo XC60. All the features you’d expect are present and correct – there’s a big touchscreen with sat nav, fantastic digital dials and multi-zone climate control, as well as a reversing camera and heated front seats.


The design is classically ‘Audi’ and so are the materials. Everything you touch feels premium and you have to look around for cheaper, harder materials. From the leather upholstery to the cool metal switchgear, the Q5 is a lovely place to sit.

Practicality

The Q5 is a little bit shorter than the likes of the X3, GLC and Velar so, as a result, it’s marginally less practical. Compare the Q5 with most of its rivals back-to-back and you’ll notice that the Audi offers a little less rear-seat space – although the vast majority of passengers should still have enough room.


Behind the seats is a 550-litre boot, which exactly matches the X3 and the recently replaced GLC. It’s a really good size and is more than big enough for family stuff or a few large suitcases. The rear seats fold individually, freeing up an extra 1,000 litres of space if you aren’t carrying passengers.

Engines and performance

Choosing an engine for the Q5 is pretty simple – do you want petrol, diesel or hybrid? All are powerful enough to launch up to autobahn speeds in no time at all, and every Q5 comes with four-wheel drive for all-weather confidence. The diesel, capable of returning 44mpg, is the best choice for long-distance drivers – the petrol is a little thirsty for high-milers but should be fine for around-town drivers and those with a lower annual mileage.


The Q5 50 TFSI e plug-in hybrid adds an electric motor and battery pack to the petrol engine. As with most PHEVs, it offers the lowest potential running costs in the range, but its efficiency depends on how much you use the electric power rather than petrol power. Its 36-mile quoted electric range is plenty for most suburban journeys, but newer rivals like the Mercedes GLC 300e and Volkswagen Tiguan eHybrid now offer around double that.

Driving and comfort

Driving the Audi Q5 is like being wrapped up in a cosy security blanket. There’s the underlying feeling that, whatever the situation, the Q5 has it covered. You’re isolated from poor roads and poor weather, and every type of road is taken in its stride – be it narrow country lanes or never-ending motorways.


The Q5 is comfier than its main rivals, with excellent ride quality and cushioning. It all adds up to the Q5 feeling like it’ll eat cross-continental journeys for breakfast.

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