From £29,260
An accomplished driver’s car and practical SUV, but poor ride and high price let it down

Our Verdict

Audi Q5
The Q5 is Audi's response to the Land Rover Freelander 2, BMW X3 and Volvo SC60

The Audi Q5 – the Ingolstadt-based manufacturer's rival to the Land Rover Freelander – may not be perfect, but it is a well rounded road-biased off-roader

What is it?

This is the Audi Q5 2.0 TFSI S tronic. It’s likely to be a rare site on the road compared with the diesel models.

The 208bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged model tested here is the only petrol-powered Audi Q5. Our test car had the optional seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and Drive Select system, which allows the steering and gearbox to be altered for responsiveness.

What’s it like?

Fast, refined and unexpectedly nimble. The Audi Q5 is no lightweight, with a substantial 1740kg to heft around, but Audi has successfully disguised the weight, almost managing to make the Q5 feel like a large hot hatch.

The Q5 gets the reworked turbocharged, direct-injection TFSI already seen in the A5 and A4. The 258lb ft of torque and impressive refinement both work to give the petrol Q5 very respectable, usable performance.

Outright acceleration is better than you expect but, in truth, it’s the in-gear overtaking ability and handling that marks the Q5 out as a highly accomplished sports SUV.

The optional Drive Select does make a difference at speed, but it still seems like an unnecessary and slightly complicated gimmick. Most people will choose to leave it in ‘auto’ and forget about it. In this default setting, the 2.0-litre Q5 offers responsive steering, seamless up-changes, decent body control and sharp handling

The only downsides are an occasionally violent kickdown and an oddly schizophrenic ride quality. Town roads and motorways rarely unsettle the Q5, though it’s never a truly relaxing ride.

Drive hard down a B-road at speed, however, and offset cambers or significant depressions in the road result in the car lurching uncomfortably and the firm suspension thumping noisily.

This is unfortunate in a car that otherwise proves itself to be a polished compact SUV and, with this engine in particular, the most engaging car to drive in its class.

It even excels in all those practical areas, like ample rear passenger space, a comfortable driving position and a big, well-shaped boot.

Should I buy one?

It will cost you if you do. As ever the Audi options list is expensive and difficult to avoid. You can also get a Land Rover Freelander TD4 dripping with kit for the basic price of a Q5 2.0 TFSi.

But if you really must have a premium SUV that handles well and can seat four adults in comfort this is a good option, and with a combined economy of 33.2mpg the Q5 TFSi has more than just niche appeal.

Join the debate

Comments
19

5 December 2008

I like it. It looks great, sounds like it handles well and is low on fuel uptake. The only thing i don't like about it is it's price. It seems a ridiculously high price for a 2 litre petrol and then needing the extras on top. If price was no concern, i would have it over the freelander, but price is always a concern and it seems way over the top to me.

5 December 2008

If you don't want a diesel, this looks like a genuine alternative, with its reasonable fuel consumption and lusty power out put. That said, in some ways its at odds with the rest of the nature of the vehicle.

I still think the majority of people would be better off with an A4 Avant.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

5 December 2008

So it handles better than an X3? This is a landmark car then as it must be the first time a mainstream Audi model has beaten the eqiuvalent BMW for handling ability. Could be the start of something big...

5 December 2008

[quote Autocar]Our test car had the optional seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox [/quote]

You're wrong, it's not optional. According to Audi, they should know(audi.co.uk), the sole UK market Q5 petrol comes as standard with S tronic 7 speed box. There is no option for the 6 speed manual box at a lower price.

In its home market there is the choice of the manual or the S tronic box, for €2,150 extra. There's also the 3.2FSI petrol option.

And if you think the UK prices are high the German prices are even higher, given the current £1=€1.18 or so exchange rate. The 2.0 TFSI S tronic retails for €42,350, which implies an exchange rate of about £1=€1.27. Buy before prices go up further!

Nice car by the way.

5 December 2008

Perhaps a little off topic...

but surely this car has to have the longest name in history "Q5 2.0 TFSI S tronic"...

If someone asked what car you had, would you be brave enough to tell them what it was, of just say a "Q5".


5 December 2008

[quote mjbull@hotmail.com]

Perhaps a little off topic...

but surely this car has to have the longest name in history "Q5 2.0 TFSI S tronic"...

If someone asked what car you had, would you be brave enough to tell them what it was, of just say a "Q5".

[/quote]

I take your Audi and raise it with a BMW.

BMW X6 series xDrive30d ...... to give it it's full name!

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

5 December 2008

[quote TegTypeR]

but surely this car has to have the longest name in history "Q5 2.0 TFSI S tronic"...

[/quote]

You're wrong. The Parrott lady reviewed the 'Q5 2.0TFSI quattro S tronic S line' as opposed to the slumming it 'SE' and non-quattro fwd model, that will almost certainly appear in the near future.

Almost justifies the price alone.

5 December 2008

[quote horseandcart]

You're wrong. The Parrott lady reviewed the 'Q5 2.0TFSI quattro S tronic S line' as opposed to the slumming it 'SE' and non-quattro fwd model, that will almost certainly appear in the near future.

Almost justifies the price alone.

[/quote]

I bow to your greater knowledge of badging! What a name though. I wonder if Audi will introduce a delete badge option which saves both cost and weight, and comes in at 25g/km of CO2 more efficient!!!

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

5 December 2008

Seriously nice car though Teg. Knocks spots off the X3. Will be a big hit with well-heeled ladies. The Merc GLK, similarly pricey, with its square styling will find less favour with the women.

Did you know by the way that male employment in the US - the main target market for this kind of motor surely - is now below Great Depression levels in the US, following today's announcement of 550,000 extra unemployed in November? It's a woman's world now and only they have got the dough for these kinds of rides.

5 December 2008

site Show phonetics
noun [C]
1 a place where something is, was, or will be built, or where something happened, is happening, or will happen:
a building site
The council haven't yet chosen the site for the new hospital.
This is the site of the accident.

sight (VIEW) Show phonetics
noun [C or S or U]
something that is in someone's view:
The flowers at the annual flower show were a beautiful sight.
You should always keep sight of your bags (= have them where you can see them) while you're at the airport.
INFORMAL You can't go out in those clothes - you look a real sight (= look untidy or silly)!
The child laughed at the sight of (= when she saw) the clockwork toy.

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