The Audi Q5 is a practical family SUV that’ll eat up the miles quietly and comfortably – just don’t expect it to be all that exciting to drive
The Audi Q5 is a stylish, comfortable family SUV that’s impressively quiet on the move and comes with a choice of 190 and 286hp diesel and 252hp petrol engines. It’s also available as the rapid SQ5, which is reviewed separately.
Step inside and you’re treated to a classy, well-built cabin that’s a country mile ahead of the Jaguar F-Pace in terms of build quality. It looks smarter than the rather dull BMW X3, too, and its design is less divisive than the in-your-face Mercedes GLC.
Audi’s superb Virtual Cockpit digital driver’s display doesn’t come as standard but it’s well worth the £800 asking price. Its gorgeous 12.3-inch screen is easy to read, and the customisable high-resolution graphics are also very functional.
There’s shedloads of head and leg room for you to get comfortable in the front seats and all but entry-level SE models come with four-way electric lumbar support too, to help reduce back ache on long drives. Space in the Q5’s back seats is just as generous and there’s enough room for your tallest friends to tag along, even with the £1,400 panoramic glass roof fitted. Elbow and foot room is a little tight with three adults sitting abreast, however.
Stump up an extra £350 and you can get rear seats that recline and slide individually, helping your passengers get even more comfortable. They can be folded in a handy 40:20:40 split instead of the standard 60:40 layout, meaning you can carry long items and two rear passengers at the same time.
The Q5’s 550-litre boot is more than big enough to carry a baby buggy and a few large soft bags with the rear seats in place. Fold them down using the handy levers in the boot and it grows to 1,550 litres – slightly behind the 1,600-litre Mercedes GLC and BMW X3 but easily big enough to carry a bike without removing its wheels.
The Q5’s one of the best SUV all-rounders available – it’ll do everything you ask of it, albeit in a slightly characterless way
The standard Q5 irons out bumps and small potholes impressively well, but for next-level comfort pick the £2,000 adaptive air suspension – your wallet might not thank you but your back certainly will. The Q5 does an absolutely fantastic job of cutting out annoying wind noise at speed, too – the downside to this is that you’ll notice the slight tyre roar a little more.
The engine choice isn’t huge – pick a 252hp petrol model if you’re looking for something a little sporty but can’t stomach the cost of an SQ5. The 252hp engine will get the Q5 to 62mph from rest in a little over six seconds and return around 30mpg. The 190hp diesel is a better bet if you spend more time on the motorway, though – it’s strong, quiet and returns around 40mpg in the real world. The 3.0-litre diesel, meanwhile, costs more to buy and run but is even better on the motorway and is also smoother than the basic diesel.
Speaking of smooth, all Q5s come with a quick-shifting seven-speed automatic gearbox and Audi’s quattro four-wheel-drive system as standard. The latter offers boatloads of grip to help you deal with slippery conditions, even though the Q5 is nowhere near as good off-road as a Land Rover Discovery Sport.
The Q5’s not only comfortable, practical and well-built – it’s impressively safe too. Euro NCAP awarded it a five-star safety score in 2017, making it one of the safest cars on sale and well worth considering.