2018 Audi Q5
Now in its second generation, the Audi Q5 is aimed right at the heart of the luxury SUV segment. Its evolutionary design hides a more spacious cabin, a lighter platform, and a more powerful engine.
Audi also sells a more powerful version named SQ5. Buyers who need three rows of seats can look at the bigger Q7.
The Q5 falls in line with Audi's current design language, as soon on models like the A5 and the aforementioned Q7. It wears a sharp rendition of Audi's singleframe grille, more angular lights, and a swoopy belt line that reduces visual mass. The strong shoulder line gives Audi's mid-range SUV a muscular appearance. Out back, it gets triangular tail lamps integrated into an extra-wide hatch. Loading and unloading bulky items is a breeze.
The dashboard also falls in line with current Audi models. The central part of the dashboard is tilted towards the driver and topped by a wide, high-resolution screen that displays the infotainment system. Audi does interiors well, and the Q5 is no exception. It's a brew of soft-touch plastics, leather upholstery and, in select models, real wood trim that makes it feel like a more expensive model.
Audi's infotainment system is straight-forward to use. We were impressed with the resolution it offers and its quick response time. Note the software is also compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The Q5 offers space for five passengers and 26.8 cubic feet of trunk space. Folding down the rear seats yields 60.4 cubes.
The only engine currently offered is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that uses a turbocharger to make 252 horsepower from 5,000 to 6,000 rpm and 273 pound-feet of torque between 1,600 and 4,500 rpm. It shifts through a seven-speed automatic transmission and Audi's time-tested quattro all-wheel drive system.
The Q5 hits 60 mph from a stop in a respectable 5.9 seconds, and it goes on to 130 mph if you give it enough tarmac. Fuel economy checks in at 23 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg in a combined cycle. Note the 2.0-liter requires premium fuel, according to Audi.
Standard and Optional Features
Buyers can choose from three trim levels named Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige, respectively.
Premium models come with 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic Xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, heated exterior mirrors, aluminum roof rails, a power tailgate, heated windshield washer nozzles, tinted rear windows, three-zone automatic A/C, a three-spoke multi-function steering wheel, shift paddles, walnut inlays, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror with an integrated compass, leather upholstery, eight-way power-adjustable front seats, a 10-speaker sound system, a seven-inch screen on top of the dashboard, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, a Homelink transceiver, Audi's pre-sense basic and pre-sense city technologies, a keyless ignition, and automatic windshield wipers.
Stepping up to the Premium Plus model brings Audi's side assist and pre-sense rear technologies, rear cross traffic alert, Audi connect, full LED headlights, heated front seats, and a hands-free tailgate.
Finally, the Prestige model gains Audi's virtual cockpit, navigation, a head-up display, a Bang & Olufsen sound system with 19 speakers, handwriting-recognition technology, and a top-view camera.
The list of optional equipment includes navigation (on models that don't come with it), 19-inch alloy wheels and rear side airbags. Buyers also have several option packages to choose from, though their content largely depends on the trim level. Some of the features that come standard on the top-spec variants can be bundled together on the base model.
Every Q5 comes with front, side, and curtain airbags in addition to a tire pressure monitoring system, electronic stability control, traction control, and hill descent control.
The numerous electronic driving aids the Q5 is available with are listed in the previous section.
Audi jettisoned the Q5 into one of the most crowded segments of the market. Its main rivals include the Mercedes-Benz GLC, the BMW X3, the Volvo XC60, the Acura RDX, and the Infiniti QX50, among others.