Should I specify 18-inch wheels on my new Audi Q5?

I recently took a test drive in a new Audi Q5. The S Line version seems to have the equipment and extras that I would prefer but only comes with 19-inch wheels and 235/55 R19 tyres, whereas the lesser equipped SE version is fitted with 18-inch wheels. The dealer informed me when asked that Audi will not supply the S Line with 18-inch wheels. The model I tested had the 19-inch wheels fitted and appeared to ride very well, but a short test drive is not the same as a long motorway journey and I would value your thoughts on the matter.

Asked on 17 August 2013 by NM, via email

Answered by Honest John
The key here is that the 19-inch wheels on the Audi Q5 S Line still have 55-profile tyres, not 45 profile or 35 profile. This means there is still a reasonable amount of tyre between the rims and the road, so they should be okay. The Mazda CX-5 Sport, that also comes on 225/55 R19s, is fine on them. It handles brilliantly for an SUV and the ride quality is still okay. The 8-speed Tiptronic of the Q5 will be traditional ZF torque converter automatic which is likely to be far more robust, reliable and predictable than a DSG or 's-Tronic'.
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