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- Highs Class-leading interior, excellent handling, loads of standard features.
- Lows Sedate acceleration, ride may be too firm for some drivers, no USB port.
- Verdict The Q5 delivers refined driving dynamics, SUV practicality, and a well-designed, upscale interior.
Audi initially did not intend to bring the Q5 into the U.S. market, but after its North American arm pressed for importation by the 2009 model year, it soon became the premium brand’s bestseller here. Little surprise, as the Q5 competes successfully in the red-hot premium/luxury compact sport-utility segment alongside the Mercedes-Benz CLA-class and BMW X3. Like its rivals, the Q5 offers plush, comfortable two-row seating for five, as well as sufficient cargo space for a variety of sports equipment—which is usually what puts the “sport” in “sport-utility” these days. The first-generation Q5 was treated to a minor refresh for 2013 and is slated to be replaced next year with an all-new second-generation model.
What's New for 2017?
Additional standard equipment has been added to the top-spec Prestige trim model, including a three-spoke multifunction steering wheel, Audi Drive Select (with Comfort, Automatic, Dynamic, and Individual modes) and adaptive cruise control. The Premium Plus model gets standard 19-inch five-arm star-design wheels shod with all-season tires.
- Premium: $41,850
- Premium Plus: $44,100
- Prestige: $54,150
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Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Audi's Q5 2.0T models are powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine making 211 horsepower and a healthy 258 pound-feet of torque, while the available Q5 3.0T comes with a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6, rated at 272 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Both engines have standard all-wheel-drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Q5 2.0T we tested recently scored a relatively sedate 6.9-second 0-60 mph time, though the engine’s ample torque made it sufficiently quick around town. The Q5's ride is on the firm side without being overly harsh, and handling is near the top of its class.
EPA fuel-economy testing and reporting procedures have changed over time. For the latest numbers on current and older vehicles, visit the EPA’s website and select Find & Compare Cars.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Q5's cabin sets the benchmark for premium interior design and fit and finish, though competitors are catching up quickly. Still, the Q5 offers top-quality leather seating surfaces and an array of lavish wood and metal trim choices. The Prestige models come with specially designed heated and cooled cupholders. Passenger space is generous among compact SUVs, and with the rear seat folded, cargo capacity is a usable 57.3 cubic feet.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Standard technology for the Q5 includes Audi's MMI Plus system with a 6.5-inch color display, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, an auxiliary port, and a 10-speaker stereo with satellite radio. Higher trims and options include such features as a 7.0-inch screen, navigation, Wi-Fi, and a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system. One surprise at this price is the lack of a USB port for smartphone connection.
Safety Features and Crash Test Ratings
Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA)
Some older vehicles are still eligible for coverage under a manufacturer's Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program. For more information visit our guide to every manufacturer's CPO program.