Review: Audi Q5 (2008 – 2017)
Refined and practical. Impressive rear passenger space and decent boot. Good economy from 2.0 TDI. Chain cam 2.0 TFSI. Smooth long distance comfort.
Optional extras can add tens of thousands.
Audi Q5 (2008 – 2017): At A Glance
The Audi Q5 is bigger than the 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 doesn't have the seven seats of the Q7, but it does have a large and useful boot plus plenty of cabin space.
In terms of the competition, the Audi Q5 sits along the likes of the new BMW X3 and the Land Rover Freelander, but surprisingly there's little else of this size from premium manufacturers. The impressive X3 is perhaps its closest rival but the Freelander can't match the Q5 when it comes to handling, giving the Audi Q5 a real edge.
As you'd expect of any Audi, it's superbly refined and very well put together. You only have to sit behind the wheel and play with all the switches and buttons to get a feel for the quality. And this same feeling continues on the move. The Audi Q5 is incredibly quiet and smooth on the road, even with the smaller diesel and petrol engines, making it a good long distance car.
But what most impresses about the Q5 is it's car-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 Q5 probably isn't it, but as a family car, the Q5 is ideal.
What does a Audi Q5 (2008 – 2017) cost?
Audi Q5 (2008 – 2017): What's It Like Inside?
As you'd expect from an Audi, the Q5 has an incredibly upmarket cabin with an impeccable fit and finish. All the materials used, whether it's plastic, leather or aluminium trim, have a high-class feel to them, making this a very inviting and comfortable car to travel in. Features such as the electric parking brake add to the sophisticated feel.
The layout of the dash is simple and easy to get to grips with, although the climate control system isn't the most straightforward we've come across and for the unitiated can be a little confusing. Most of the main functions are controlled through what Audi calls it's MMI system (which stands for Multi Media Interface) - similar to BMWs iDrive control.
It's very simple to use with one main dial and four buttons surrounding it that tally with whatever is displayed in the four corners on the screen. So using the sat nav or stereo are incredibly easy. If you have an MP3 player or an iPod then you can opt for a dedicated connection which means you can play and control your iPod through the car's stereo system.
The driving position is spot on and there's plenty of adjustment in the seat and steering column for taller or shorter drivers. Those in the back get well catered for too with decent leg room and plenty of head space too. The boot is larger than the alternatives and thanks to a wide opening, loading heavy items is a made much easier.
Equipment from launch (late 2008):
Every Q5 comes with 17-inch wheels, CD stereo with an auxiliary socket, MMI, split folding rear seats, front foglights, front and rear Isofix mounting points, hill descent control with off-road ESP, climate control, leather steering wheel, front and rear electric windows, aluminium roof rails, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors and a rear spoiler.
SE adds 18-inch alloys, a higher performance stereo, Milano leather upholstery, rear parking sensors, automatic lights, rain sensitive wipers, a multi-function steering wheel, three-zone climate control and full body-coloured bumpers.
S line is the top of the range version has 19-inch alloy wheels, sports suspension (not lowered though), front sports seats in Milano leather with electric lumbar support, black headlining, a three-spoke leather steering wheel, rear LED lights, S line exterior styling including a rear diffusuer, side skirts, a unique grille with vertical bars and xenon headlights with washers.
Child seats that fit a Audi Q5 (2008 – 2017)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Audi Q5 (2008 – 2017) like to drive?
- Engines range from 2.0 TDI 143 quattro to 3.2 FSI quattro
- Readers report Real MPG to be between 24–46 mpg
There are several engines available in the Audi Q5 line-up but most people go for the 2.0 TDI. This is a common-rail diesel so it's quieter than the older Audi PD (which stands for Pumpe Duse if you're really interested...) TDI diesels and has a much smoother power delivery too.
This engine is used across the Audi range and in Volkswagen, SEAT and Skoda models too. Its actually available in two different power outputs of either 143bhp or 170bhp. The 143bhp version doesn't feel as fast in the Q5 as in certain other models (such as the Volkswagen Golf) due to the extra weight and permanent quattro four-wheel drive, but it still has plenty of pulling power in-gear, so overtaking and motorway driving are stress-free.
This version also offers the best economy with an decent average figure of 43.5mpg while the standard six-speed manual gearbox is enjoyable to use with positive shifts from gear to gear. The 170bhp 2.0 TDI is around 2.0 seconds quicker from 0-62mph and certainly feels quicker on the road, plus it's also available with an excellent seven-speed S tronic (Audi's terminology for what Volkswagen calls DSG) gearbox that has super-fast shifts.
The other diesel engine is the superb 3.0 TDI. This V6 engine with 240bhp is one of the best diesels currently available and offers really punchy yet effortless performance and always feels willing to pull, even at higher revs. It can sprint from 0-62mph in just 6.5 seconds - a time that would put many hot hatches to shame, yet economy is still a very reasonable 37.6mpg.
If you're after a petrol Q5 there's either the 2.0 TFSI which comes with in two versions - one with with 180bhp and one with 211bhp. The latter is the same engine that's used in the Volkswagen Golf GTI. Or at the top of the range is the 3.2-litre V6 with 270bhp. However, it's not as quick as the 3.0 TDI and averages 30.4mpg so there seems little point in choosing it. Like the 3.0 TDI, this comes with the seven-speed S tronic gearbox as standard.
On the road the Audi Q5 feels very much like driving an A4. Thanks to a car-like driving position and impressively settled handling, it's easy to forget you're driving a four-wheel drive. It takes corners superbly with very little body roll, while the steering is nicely weighted and responsive.
On the motorway the Q5 is superb too. It's quiet and smooth even if you go for one of the sportier S line models. As a long distance car it's as good as a larger 4x4 while one of the most useful features is the adaptive cruise control. This is like normal cruise control, but once you've set the speed, if a car is in front of you, the system slows you down and maintains a set distance behind, before accelerating again when the road is clear. It makes motorway journeys far more relaxing but it's not cheap at more than £1,000.
|2.0 TDI 143 quattro||46–50 mpg||10.4–11.4 s||154–162 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 150 quattro||50–50 mpg||10.4–10.8 s||147–154 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 177 quattro||48 mpg||9.0 s||154 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 177 quattro S tronic||47 mpg||9.0 s||159 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 190 quattro||48–50 mpg||8.1–8.4 s||148–153 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 190 quattro S tronic||47–49 mpg||8.1–8.4 s||152–157 g/km|
|2.0 TDI quattro||46 mpg||9.9 s||163 g/km|
|2.0 TDI quattro S tronic||40 mpg||9.9 s||184 g/km|
|2.0 TFSI 180 quattro||35–38 mpg||8.5 s||174–188 g/km|
|2.0 TFSI 225 quattro||36–37 mpg||7.4 s||173–181 g/km|
|2.0 TFSI 225 quattro tiptronic||38–39 mpg||7.1 s||168–174 g/km|
|2.0 TFSI 230 quattro||36–37 mpg||7.0–7.4 s||173–181 g/km|
|2.0 TFSI 230 quattro tiptronic||38–39 mpg||6.7–7.1 s||168–174 g/km|
|2.0 TFSI quattro||35 mpg||7.6 s||188 g/km|
|2.0 TFSI quattro S tronic||33 mpg||7.2 s||199 g/km|
|3.0 TDI 245 quattro||44 mpg||6.5 s||169 g/km|
|3.0 TDI 258 quattro||46–47 mpg||6.2 s||158–163 g/km|
|3.0 TDI 258 quattro S tronic||46–47 mpg||6.0 s||158–163 g/km|
|3.0 TDI quattro||38 mpg||6.5 s||199 g/km|
|3.0 TFSI quattro||33 mpg||6.9 s||199 g/km|
|3.2 FSI quattro||30 mpg||6.9 s||218 g/km|
|SQ5 3.0 BiTDI 326 quattro||43 mpg||4.9 s||174 g/km|
|SQ5 3.0 BiTDI quattro||43 mpg||5.1 s||174 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Audi Q5 (2008 – 2017)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
What have we been asked about the Audi Q5 (2008 – 2017)?
Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.
Will the manufacturer contribute towards as a premature failure of a major part?
What Cars Are Similar To The Audi Q5 (2008 – 2017)?
Key attributes of the this model are: Comfortable seats, Four-wheel drive, Large boot, Modern technology, Raised driving position, Refined ride, Room for a buggy, Petrol engine, Crossover, SUV and Premium crossover.
Unclear on what your next car should be? Use our Car Chooser to pick something that suits your needs.
What do owners think?
Our view gives your our opinion, based on driving hundreds of cars every year, but you can't beat the views of someone who lives with a car day-in, day out.
- 5 star 100%
- 4 star
- 3 star
- 2 star
- 1 star