Review: Audi Q5 (2017)

Rating:

Even more refined and upmarket than original Q5. Lovely quality interior. Electric tailgate as standard. Good to drive on 235/55 R19 tyres. 367PS combined 2.0 litre petrol plug-in hybrid from May 2019.

Unadventurous styling in the Audi Russian doll mode. Necessary air suspension is £2,000 extra.

Recently Added To This Review

22 May 2019 Audi Q5 55 TFSI e plug-in hybrid announced

Uses EA888 2.0 litre petrol engine, plus electric motor. Develops 367PS and 500Nm of torque from just 1,250rpm. Capable of driving under electric power at up to 84mph for more than 26 miles. 0-60 in... Read more

29 April 2019

Complaint of disappointing tyre noise from 235/35 R19s on a new Audi Q5 2.0TFSI. Read more

27 February 2019

Report of problems with 'pre-sense' system of ex-demo 2018 Audi Q5 bought in October 2018. In November owner had dash warning that there was an issue with the pre sense system that needed technical... Read more

Audi Q5 (2017): At A Glance

The original Audi Q5 ruled the roost when it came to posh SUVs. They were - and still are - everywhere. It managed to make even the BMW X3 look like a rare breed. Exclusive it may not have been, but there was a reason so many people bought one - it was a very good SUV. Plus of course it had an Audi badge on the bonnet. Which never does any harm.

Things have changed since that first model arrived though and the Q5 now sits in a very crowded room. A room full of posh SUVs. So what has Audi done to make this one stand out?

Well it's not exactly knocked itself out when it comes to styling. This Q5 is best described as a 'gentle evolution' of the original one. It looks - and feels - a lot like an Audi A4, only taller. Which is a good thing in our opinion. 

It is a smidgen bigger than before, which means more head and leg room, plus the boot is larger and all models come with an electric tailgate. We told you it was posh. 

What Audi has done is improved every aspect of the original Q5. The ride quality is better, there's less engine and road noise on the move plus the interior is big step up in terms of design with a more upmarket feel. There are plenty of modern touches too including Audi's impressive virtual cockpit, which replaces the standard dials with a high resolution screen.

The usual Audi engine suspects are available with the 2.0 TDI and 2.0 TFSI available from launch. As you'd expect, the TDI diesel will prove very popular, thanks to claimed economy of more than 55mpg. But for performance - and if you don't cover big mileages - the TFSI makes more sense and is a far smoother and more enjoyable to drive engine.

While the Q5 may not be particularly exciting - to look at or to drive - it nonetheless does everything incredibly well. In fact, it's hard to find any faults with a car that feels so well put together and is so comfortable and relaxing to drive. It's also very practical and an ideal family motor. If you want a comfortable and high quality SUV, look no further.  

The 2017 Audi Q5 is built at Audi's new plant in San Jose Chiapa, in Puebla state, Mexico which opened in September 2016 and where it is planned to build 150,000 a year. The cars have to cross land by train to the Eastern seaboard of Mexico, from whence it should be plain sailing to Europe, though significant delivery delays have been reported.

Audi SQ5 2017 Road Test

Audi Q5 2.0TDI 190 2018 Road Test

What does a Audi Q5 (2017) cost?

List Price from £41,420
Buy new from £32,086
Contract hire from £345.59 per month
Get a finance quote with CarMoney

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

Dimensions
Length 4629–4671 mm
Width 2140 mm
Height 1635–1659 mm
Wheelbase 1880–2824 mm

Full specifications

While it may not look amazingly different from the old Q5 (okay, it's very very similar in fact...) this model has grown a bit. It's a bit longer and has a larger wheelbase which is good news for passenger space.

There's now a bit more for room for legs and for hats - in both the front and back. You'll certainly appreciate this if you're a six-footer who has to sit behind an equally tall driver. You can get three in the back, but the middle seat is firm and not very comfortable, plus there's a bulky transmission tunnel.

On the plus side, those in the back get their own ventilation controls, which means the kids will have something else to quarrel about on long journeys...

If you're familiar with the latest generation Audi A4 then the interior layout of the Q5 will come as no great surprise to you. In fact, it's pretty much a carbon copy. As you'd expect from Audi, the quality is impeccable and everything works with real precision while there's a nice touch to all the leather, plastics and metal finishes.

It's certainly a step up from the previous Q5 in terms of design and the same goes for technology. This Q5 comes with the option of the 'virtual cockpit' which replaces the dials with a high-res 12.3-inch screen.

It's a great party piece and while not eminently configurable, you can switch between a classic view - with large instruments dials - or have the navigation filling the screen, as shown in our picture above. However, at £1400 (as part of the Technology Pack) its not cheap.

The Q5 is practical though. This is, after all, a car that many people choose because they have a family. The boot is 550 litres but this can expand to 610 litres depending on the position of the rear seats - a fraction bigger than the previous model.

Getting a bulky pushchair in is very easy, helped by the small load lip. The fact the boot floor is deep means there's still a reasonable amount of room left for a bit of shopping - and the electrically sliding luggage cover is a helpful touch.

Standard equipment (from launch):

SE models come with 18-inch alloy wheels with 235/60 R18 tyres, tyre repair kit, Comfort Dynamic suspension with lightweight five-link front and rear suspension, Audi Drive Select, quattro on-demand, xenon headlights with LED daytime-running lights, LED rear lights, rear spoiler, electrically adjustable door mirrors heated with integrated LED side indicators, standard seats in Twin leather, heated front seats, deluxe 3-zone electronic climate control, multi-function 3-spoke leather steering wheel, power-operated tailgate, MMI Radio Plus with 7-inch colour MMI screen and MMI controller, Bluetooth, DAB, Navigation preparation (‘Ready 4 Nav’) Driver assistance, cruise control system with speed limiter, keyless go, electromechanical parking brake, ESC including ABS, ASR and EDL, tyre-pressure warning light, light and rain sensor, Isofix child seat mounting and Top Tether and a six airbag system.

Sport adds 18-inch 5-arm star design alloy wheels with 235/60 R18 tyres, radiator grille in Twilight grey with horizontal Matt aluminium struts, front sport seats in Twin leather, four-way electric lumbar support, LED Interior Lighting Pack, ambient lighting in the front and rear door trims and interior door handles, MMI Navigation (SD card-based) and Audi Connect Infotainment Services (3-month trial).

S line gets 19-inch 5-twin-spoke star diamond cut finish alloy wheels with 235/55 R19 tyres, LED headlights with Q signature design, LED rear lights and dynamic rear indicator, S line front and rear bumpers, S line side skirts in body colour, rear diffuser in body colour, S line rear spoiler, privacy glass with dark tinted rear and rear-side windows, front Sport seats with ‘S’ embossed logo in leather/Alcantara inlays, high multi-function three-spoke leather steering wheel, gear-lever in black perforated leather, cloth headlining in black, illuminated door sill trims with ‘S’ logo and pedals in stainless steel.

Child seats that fit a Audi Q5 (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 (2017) like to drive?

Refinement is a word you'll see a lot when referring to the Q5. But it's not without merit. Audi has designed the Q5 with an aerodynamically optimised roof which means very little in the way of wind noise, while the high strength body structure results in minimal vibration through the cabin.

This Q5 is certainly much quieter than before - which is especially noticeable in the 2.0 TDI model. This engine isn't the quietest around, but is nonetheless better than previously, while improvements in sound insulation mean far less noise making its way into the cabin.

While it's bigger, this Q5 is actually lighter - by around 90kg. Which is quite a heft to get rid of. It has benefits for fuel economy and ride comfort.

Indeed, the ride is a real highlight - and not just with the optional adaptive damper control. The standard spring set-up has been redesigned and delivers a very comfortable driving experience that copes very well on poor quality roads or over motorway cat's eyes. It makes the Q5 a lovely thing to both drive and travel in.

This Audi also handles well with a decent weight to the steering and reasonable feel too. It's not what you'd call exhilarating to drive, but then few SUVs are. Instead what you get is a reassuringly safe and competent car that will happily cope with a few twisty roads when needed. Relaxed is how we'd describe it.

The 2.0 TDI engine is familiar across the Audi range - and plenty of other cars in the Volkswagen collective. It's the newer EA288 engine, so not one affected by the emissions scandal. With 190PS it provides more than enough power but it's the 400Nm of torque which makes it so driveable.

It pulls strongly in gear and rarely needs to be revved hard. And even when you do, it's rarely coarse. It's an engine you can let do the work at low revs and that also means better economy. The claimed figure is around 56mpg.

There's no manual gearbox, instead all models come with the DL382 ot DL501 seven-speed S tronic automatic as standard. It provides fast but smooth shifts and while there's still some hesitation at low speeds - for example if you slow down for a roundabout but then ask it to accelerate - it works very well for the most part and usually gets the right gear quickly.

If you don't need diesel, then the TFSI petrol is superb. It has considerably more power with 252PS - and like the TDI it comes with the new quattro four-wheel drive system. It's smooth, responsive and enjoyable to drive. And while claimed economy of 40mpg is nothing to write home about, it's not bad if you're not going to be covering big mileages.

Thanks to the raised driving position, the Q5 gives you a good view out which makes parking and tight manouevres a little easier. The rear windscreen and pillar design isn't the best for a clear view out the back, but all models thankfully come with parking sensors front and back while a rearview camera is available for an extra £450.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
2.0 TDI 150 quattro 49 mpg 10.4 s 152 g/km
2.0 TDI 190 quattro 48 mpg 8.1 s 153 g/km
2.0 TDI 190 quattro S tronic 47–57 mpg 7.9–8.1 s 132–157 g/km
2.0 TFSI 252 quattro S tronic 40–41 mpg 6.3 s 157–159 g/km
3.0 TDI 286 quattro S tronic 49 mpg 5.8 s 152 g/km
40 TDI quattro S tronic 50–51 mpg 7.9 s 144–149 g/km
55 TFSI quattro S tronic - - 49–54 g/km
SQ5 Plus 3.0 BiTDI 340 quattro 34–43 mpg 4.9–5.4 s 174–189 g/km
SQ5 TDI 347 quattro - - 172–177 g/km

Real MPG average for a Audi Q5 (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

83%

Real MPG

25–50 mpg

MPGs submitted

76

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 (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

Is there a known problem with pre-sense systems?

I have an Audi Q5. In November I had a dash warning that there was an issue with the pre-sense system that needed technical attention. I took the car in but no fault was recorded in the memory. Apparently some fault codes are wiped after a period of time. Since then the pre-sense system has twice randomly activated while driving in clear conditions with no vehicle in front at around 30 mph. I get a red warning on the dash momentarily then the brakes slam on by themselves and the seat belts tension. Thankfully on both occasions, there was no vehicle closely following or there might have been dire consequences. The car was very clean on both occasions so I can't think the sensor was obstructed. Due to the potentially serious nature of the fault, I have disabled the system. However on speaking to the dealer, he's advised not to do that but to reset it to its least sensitive setting, otherwise, the system won't record a fault and they won't be able to diagnose what is wrong. So I'm in a catch 22 situation as I'm really worried it will self activate in heavy traffic or while on the motorway. Have you heard of Audi or other makers with a similar system having such potentially dangerous problems? Is this sufficient grounds to reject the vehicle if they cannot trace a fault?
This has been a common fault with a similar system on the Volkswagen Golf. It can be activated by a crisp packet floating across in front of the car, or a low-flying bird that the driver might not necessarily see. When the systems work, they are brilliant. When they don't work, they are a frightening and dangerous nightmare. No serious crashes reported to us as a result, as yet, but some minor ones. My current log-term car is supposed to have one of these systems but the active braking function appears to be disconnected. The dealer's suggestion seems sensible. But it's probably a good idea to express your misgivings in a letter to the dealer principal of the dealership that sold you the car, include his instruction to leave the system switched on, send it by Post Office Special Deliver, keep a copy and staple the certificate of posting to the copy so it becomes a matter of record for the purposes of liability.
Answered by Honest John
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