Review: Audi Q5 (2008 – 2017)

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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.

Audi Q5 2008 Range Road Test and Video

Audi SQ5 2013 Road Test

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

List Price from £41,445
Buy new from £33,752
Contract hire from £372.96 per month

Audi Q5 (2008 – 2017): What's It Like Inside?

Length 4629–4644 mm
Width 1880–2089 mm
Height 1624–1655 mm
Wheelbase 1880–2813 mm

Full specifications

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):

Standard model

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.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Audi Q5 (2008 – 2017) like to drive?

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.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
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.

Average performance


Real MPG

24–46 mpg

MPGs submitted


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.

Ask HJ

Will the manufacturer contribute towards as a premature failure of a major part?

My Audi Q5 TDI Quattro was bought new in December 2014. It has covered 75,000 miles and has been serviced regularly by Audi dealers. At a recent service, the garage said that a new drive shaft is required (I had asked them to investigate a noise from the rear of the vehicle which increased as the speed increased). The garage said they had never come across this before. Is this something which Audi are likely to contribute towards as a premature failure of a major part, or have I just been unlucky? If relevant, the car is not used off road, but is used to tow a general trailer (mostly to take rubbish to the tip). Journeys are mostly in excess of half an hour with several much longer trips. The car is UK bought but currently registered and serviced in France.
I wouldn't expect Audi to contribute towards the repair of a six-year-old car. However, I would expect the dealer to be able to tell you what has caused the driveshaft failure, otherwise you may face more expensive repair costs further down the road. It's possible the driveshaft has failed due to wear and tear, but I'd be concerned that it may be related to fault in the gearbox or the differential. If the dealer cannot diagnose it, try an independent Audi specialist.
Answered by Dan Powell
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