Audi Q5 (2008 – 2017) Review

Audi Q5 (2008 – 2017) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
An eminently practical family SUV with loads of passenger and load space. The firm ride is less welcome, but all engines received fuel-saving stop-start tech after 2012 facelift.

+Refined and practical. Impressive rear passenger space and decent boot. Good economy from 2.0 TDI. Long-distance comfort.

-Firm ride on all models. Audi SQ5 is quick but trades this against fuel economy.

Insurance Groups are between 21–42
On average it achieves 80% of the official MPG figure

Audi came up with the perfect return serve to the BMW X3 when it launched the Audi Q5 in 2008. It quickly went on to become the company's best-selling model and it’s easy to see why when you look inside its roomy, classy cabin. There’s a good spread of engines to pick from, as well as the option of all-wheel drive, although the firm ride in most Audi Q5s might not appeal to Land Rover Freelander drivers or Volvo XC60 owners. Read on for our full Audi Q5 review.

The Audi Q5 SUV is bigger than the Audi Q3 and a smaller alternative to the full blown Audi Q7, but just because it’s not as large, it doesn’t mean the Audi Q5 isn’t as practical.

True, it does without the seven seats of the Audi Q7, but it does have a large and useful boot, plus plenty of cabin space.

Audi’s Q5 is in competition with the likes of the BMW X3, Land Rover Freelander and Volvo XC60, but surprisingly there was little else of this size from premium manufacturers at the time of the Audi 5’s 2008 launch.

The BMW X3 is certainly its closest rival, as the Land Rover Freelander can’t match the Audi Q5 when it comes to handling, giving the Audi a real edge.

As you’d expect of any Audi, it’s refined and very well put together which has helped it age very well as a used buy. You only have to sit behind the wheel and play with all the switches and buttons to get an appreciation of the quality.

This same feeling continues on the move. The Audi Q5 is quiet and smooth on the road, even with the smaller diesel and petrol engines, making it a good long-distance car.

What impresses most about the Audi Q5 is its saloon-like handling. In corners it feels like an Audi A4 with great body control, sharp steering and responsive brakes. It’s certainly no ponderous 4x4.

Of course, if you want something that’s serious when it comes to rugged terrain, the Audi Q5 probably isn’t it. But as a family car, the Audi Q5 is ideal.

Ask Honest John

Can you recommend a reliable used SUV?

"I currently have a 2017 Ford Kuga 1.5 petrol with 44,000 miles and a full service history. I’m looking at changing it for something with the same higher up seating position and like the look of the Audi Q5. Are they worth the money and reliable? It would be a used car and I’ve got a budget of around £16,000. Is this worth it and what sort of age would I be looking at? If not, what other brands should I look at? "
Audi Q5s are generally considered reliable if well maintained, but when things do go wrong the parts and complexity of premium cars like this can add to the cost quite a bit. For your budget, depending on engine and spec, you'd be getting a 2012-2015 car. We'd also be checking out the BMW X3, while the Volvo XC60 is also a good buy.
Answered by Lawrence Allan

Can you recommend a reliable, premium used car?

"I'm looking at a 2009 Audi Q5 3-litre, a 2010 Volkswagen Golf GTI or a 2013 BMW 330d xDrive, which is more reliable and a better overall car to drive? "
None of these cars has particularly good reliability records, I'm afraid. And the maintenance and repair costs will always be reflective of the vehicle's price when new (£30,000+). It's also worth noting that the average car in the UK is scrapped at 13 or 14 years of age (which is the point at vehicles start to become uneconomical to repair). You can see all of the reported problems with these vehicles in the good/bad section of our reviews below: If you are looking for a reliable and premium used car, my recommendation would probably be the Lexus IS. Lexus always performs strongly in our annual Satisfaction Index for reliability and comfort:
Answered by Dan Powell

I need to replace my car as I live within the expanded ULEZ. Are there any new regulations coming up that should inform my decision?

"I commute around 40 miles each day from South London to Surrey on a mixture of roads. I have a 2009 Audi Q5 2.0-litre diesel auto. It has served me well and now has 120,000 miles on the odometer. Unfortunately, I live within the expanded ULEZ. So from October this year, I will need to pay the daily charge. I need to change my car to something similar. I don't want to find myself in the same position in a few years where I need to change a perfectly good car due to new regulations. Should I buy a petrol car, a hybrid or a full EV? My budget is similar to what the Audi cost, so around £40k. I don't mind buying a nearly new/used car. Are you aware of any new regulations that may be on the horizon that should inform my decision?"
Beyond the expanded ULEZ zone and the 2030 deadline for the sale of new petrol/diesel cars, we're not aware of any upcoming legislation changes. Any modern petrol, hybrid or even diesel car should be a safe purchase. Your choice comes down to personal preference, really, as any should be able to cope with an 80-mile round trip commute. Do you have off-road parking at home with access to electricity? If so, an electric car could work. £40,000 will get you a Volkswagen ID.3 with a range of up to 336 miles.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What might cause underfoot vibrations while driving?

"I have a 2012 3.0-litre diesel Audi Q5 and have noticed a strong vibration under my feet starting at 60mph. It stays, and arguably gets worse, the faster I go. It’s not really through the steering wheel so I discounted wheel bearings. Do you have you any ideas? Many thanks."
Could be an issue with one of the tyres. Or something more serious (and expensive) caused by a driveshaft problem.
Answered by Dan Powell
More Questions

What does a Audi Q5 (2008 – 2017) cost?