2018 Audi Q5 Review
The fully-redesigned 2018 Audi Q5 has more driver assistance features, an improved base engine, an enhanced infotainment system, and updated styling over the outgoing model. Factor in a long features list and a quality cabin, and the Q5 is one of the best luxury compact SUVs out there.
Is the Audi Q5 a Good SUV?
The 2018 Q5 is a fantastic luxury compact SUV. Its updated infotainment system and additional driver assistance features come in response to some criticism of the 2017 model. The interior is full of upscale materials, with a good balance of comfort and sportiness. Also, the Q5’s fuel economy estimates are slightly better than in the past. There's plenty of space throughout the cabin, for both people and cargo. Pair that with lots of family-friendly tech and great crash-test scores, and you can see why we named the Q5 our 2018 Best Luxury Compact SUV for Families.
Should I Buy the Audi Q5?
The Q5 comes at a premium price, but you get a lot of bang for your buck. It has a comfortable ride and athletic handling, with minimal body lean during sharp turns. Additionally, it has a generous list of standard safety features, a lavish interior, and a potent standard engine. If you’re looking for a thrilling and safe luxury SUV that can carry a lot of cargo, the 2018 Audi Q5 is right up your alley.
Should I Buy a New or Used Audi Q5?
The Audi Q5 is completely redesigned for 2018. As with most vehicles, you can save money (potentially a lot) by shopping for an older Q5, but you'll miss out on the benefits of the vehicle's updates. The redesigned Q5 has a base engine with 32 more horsepower and better fuel economy (by a couple mpg) than the outgoing model. It also has more cargo space and many more features, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking. The redesigned Q5 brings much to the table that makes it worth the extra money for many shoppers.
We Did the Research for You: 18 Reviews Analyzed
We researched and analyzed 18 professional reviews and combined that analysis with information like EPA estimates, performance specs, available safety features, and much more to create one comprehensive 2018 Audi Q5 review.
How Much Does the Audi Q5 Cost?
The 2018 Audi Q5 starts at $41,500, which is slightly higher than many of its luxury compact SUV rivals. However, you get a long list of standard features, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, leather upholstery, and a suite of advanced safety systems. You also get a powerful turbocharged engine and standard all-wheel drive. The Q5 is available in five trims, with the top-of-the-line SQ5 Prestige starting at $58,500. Several packages are available, as well. They range from $500 to $3,000 and add features like a heated steering wheel with shift paddles, Audi's 12.3-inch virtual cockpit system, and navigation with handwriting recognition. For a closer look at each trim and its standard and optional features, check out the “Which Audi Q5 Model Is Right for Me?” section below.
Audi Q5 Versus the Competition
- Which Is Better: Audi Q5 or Mercedes-Benz GLC? Both the Audi Q5 and the Mercedes-Benz GLC have a good amount of standard features and luxurious interiors. However, like the Q5 it also has an above-average starting price ($40,050). Still, the GLC comes with standard leatherette upholstery, while the Q5 comes standard with genuine leather. Both SUVs are comfortable to drive, but the Q5 is more athletic. Spend the extra money and go for the Q5, especially if performance is a top priority.
- Which Is Better: Audi Q5 or BMW X3? Compared to the Q5, the BMW X3 has a lower price by $1,450. However, the Q5 is a better luxury compact SUV overall. It has more available safety features and offers tech goodies that you can’t get in the X3, like a 12.3-inch virtual cockpit. Both SUVs have a potent engine lineup and sporty handling, but the Q5’s features give it the edge.
- Which Is Better: Audi Q5 or Porsche Macan? At $47,800, the Porsche Macan’s starting price is much higher than the Q5’s. Still, the Macan has superior performance with responsive steering, athletic handling, and a robust lineup of turbocharged engines (including a brute V6 that makes 440 horsepower). While the Q5 is a strong performer, it doesn’t have the Macan’s sports-car roots. In terms of technology, however, the Audi has a slight advantage. The Macan has fewer standard features, and it lacks Android Auto (standard in the Q5). If you want stellar performance – and you can afford to splash the cash – go with the Macan. If technology tops your list instead, you’ll be happier with the Q5.
- Q5 Engine: No Power Shortage; The 2018 Audi Q5 comes standard with a 252-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. A 354-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 mated to an eight-speed automatic is available. Both engines are powerful. The Q5 has brisk acceleration from a standstill, and you'll have no problem getting it up to highway and passing speeds. Both transmissions are smooth, but the seven-speed dual-clutch has particularly fast shifts that make for a more engaging drive.
- Q5 Gas Mileage: Improved, but Average; The 2018 Q5 gets better fuel economy than its predecessor, with 23 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway with the base engine. These numbers are about average for the class. With the upgraded engine, it gets 19 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. The BMW X3 gets 21/28 mpg city/highway with its base four-cylinder engine and 19/26 mpg with its V6.
- Q5 Ride and Handling: Take Your Pick; Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system comes standard in the Q5, as does Audi Drive Select, which allows you to choose between four drive modes: Dynamic, Comfort, Sport, and Individual. Each mode fine-tunes the SUV's engine, transmission, steering, and suspension settings to get you the best drive. The Q5 provides a comfortable ride, soaking up bumps and dips in the road with little disturbance. It takes twists and turns with confidence and has minimal body lean around corners. Steering is OK, but it could offer more road feedback.
- How Many People Does the Q5 Seat? Though the Audi Q5 seats five on standard leather upholstery, it's a better fit for four. Other standard features include eight-way power-adjustable front seats, and split-folding 40/20/40 rear seats. Available features include heated front seats, a heated steering wheel with shift paddles, ventilated front seats, four-way lumbar support, Alcantara upholstery, 12-way power-adjustable front sport seats, and driver's seat memory settings. The seats are supportive and comfortable in both rows, with plenty of headroom and legroom. The rear seats slide forward and backward, increasing legroom even further. You could squish a third person in the middle seat, but because of a large hump in the floor and a stiff seat cushion, they won't be very comfortable.
- Q5 and Car Seats; The Q5 has two complete sets of LATCH systems in the rear seats for securing child seats. They have not yet been evaluated for their ease of use by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
- Q5 Interior Quality; There's a decidedly decadent interior in the Audi Q5, with soft-touch materials used throughout the cabin. The upholstery is high-quality, and Audi paid attention to detail, right down to the stitching, which has stylish patterns.
- Q5 Cargo Space; The Audi Q5 has slightly above-average cargo space for the class, with 26.8 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 60.4 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. That's better than the Mercedes-Benz GLC's 19.4 cubic feet behind its rear seats and 56.5 cubic feet with them folded. Standard split-folding 40/20/40 rear seats increase the Q5's cargo-carrying versatility. Loading the Q5 is easy thanks to a power liftgate and an available hands-free power liftgate that opens with a wave of your foot under the rear bumper.
- Q5 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation; Audi upgraded the infotainment offerings with the 2018 Q5. It now comes standard with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 7-inch display, a 5-inch driver information display, voice command, a 10-speaker sound system, HD Radio, two USB ports, Bluetooth, and a push-button ignition. Available features include a 7-inch driver information display, a panoramic sunroof, satellite radio, navigation, the MMI All-In-Touch touchpad with handwriting recognition, a 19-speaker sound system, a 12.3-inch virtual cockpit, an 8.3-inch infotainment display, a head-up display, Audi Connect Plus – which includes a Wi-Fi hot spot – and Audi Connect Prime, which includes Google Earth, voice recognition, myAudi Destinations, predictive traffic and weather, internet radio, and applications like Twitter. The Q5 is filled with technology to keep you connected while you're on the road. Physical knobs and buttons control most functions. In upper trims with the MMI All-In-Touch system, you can write out commands and destinations for the navigation system. It also responds to smartphonelike gestures such as pinch-to-zoom and swipe. For music lovers, the optional 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen surround-sound system is worth the upgrade.
- Is the Audi Q5 Reliable? Predicted reliability ratings are not yet available for the 2018 Audi Q5. The BMW X3 gets an above-average 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power and Associates, while the Mercedes-Benz GLC beats that with a four out of five score.
- Audi Q5 Warranty; Audi covers the 2018 Q5 with a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty. The BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC have the same warranty length.
- Q5 Crash Test Results; The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the 2018 Audi Q5 five out of five stars in the frontal and side crash tests, four stars in rollover test, and a five-star overall rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awards it the highest rating of Good in five crash safety tests and names it a 2017 Top Safety Pick.
- Q5 Safety Features; Standard advanced safety features include a rearview camera, Audi Pre Sense Basic, and Audi Pre Sense City. When it detects that a crash is imminent, Audi Pre Sense Basic prepares the brake system, tightens the seat belts, and closes the windows and available panoramic sunroof. Audi Pre Sense City includes forward collision warning, pedestrian warning, and pre-collision braking at up to 52 mph. Available safety features include rear cross traffic alert, front and rear park assist, a 360-degree camera, and blind spot monitoring. Vehicle Exit Assist is also available and alerts you when there are vehicles or cyclists approaching from behind when you open the doors.
Which Audi Q5 Model Is Right for Me?
The 2018 Audi Q5 comes in five trims: Premium, Premium Plus, Prestige, SQ5 Premium Plus, and SQ5 Prestige. The three lower trims come with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The SQ5 models come with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 and an eight-speed automatic transmission. If you're OK with the less powerful engine, then the Premium Plus model is a good choice. It comes with a good combination of tech, safety, convenience, and comfort features, including smartphone integration capabilities, blind spot monitoring, a hands-free power liftgate, and heated front seats. The available packages and a la carte items allow you to add features such as heated rear seats and navigation without upgrading entire trim levels.
- Audi Q5 Premium; The base Premium trim starts at $41,500 and comes standard with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a rearview camera, a 7-inch display, a 5-inch driver information display, voice command, a 10-speaker sound system, HD Radio, two USB ports, Bluetooth, push-button ignition, a power liftgate, leather upholstery, Audi Pre Sense Basic, and Audi Pre Sense City. There are two packages available for the Premium trim. The Convenience package ($900) adds features like satellite radio and driver's seat memory settings, and the Navigation and Telematics package ($3,000) adds features like Audi's 12.3-inch virtual cockpit and navigation with handwriting recognition.
- Audi Q5 Premium Plus; The Premium Plus model starts at $45,500 and adds a panoramic sunroof, heated front seats, rear cross traffic alert, a hands-free power liftgate, satellite radio, front and rear park assist, blind spot monitoring, Vehicle Exit Assist, and Audi Connect Care. There are three packages available with this trim. The Warm Weather package costs $1,450 and adds things like ventilated front seats, four-way lumbar support, and front sport seats. The Cold Weather package costs $500 and adds heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel with shift paddles. The Navigation package costs $2,600 and adds features like Audi's virtual cockpit, navigation, and Audi Connect.
- Audi Q5 Prestige; The Q5 Prestige starts at $50,800 and adds navigation and the MMI All-In-Touch with handwriting recognition system, a 19-speaker sound system, a 12.3-inch virtual cockpit, an 8.3-inch infotainment display, a head-up display, a top-view camera system, and Audi Connect Prime, which includes Google Earth, voice recognition, myAudi Destinations, predictive traffic and weather, internet radio, and applications like Twitter. Audi Connect Plus, which includes a Wi-Fi hot spot, is also standard. The Warm Weather and Cold Weather packages are available for the Prestige trim as well.
- Audi SQ5 Premium Plus; The SQ5 starts at $54,300 and adds the twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine. It comes standard with a panoramic sunroof, a power liftgate, leather and Alcantara upholstery, 12-way power-adjustable front sport seats, heated front seats, driver's seat memory settings, a 10-speaker sound system, Audi Connect Care with voice recognition, a 7-inch driver information display, a 7-inch infotainment display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, HD Radio, satellite radio, two USB ports, Bluetooth, push-button start, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, Audi Pre Sense Basic, rear cross traffic alert, Vehicle Exit Assist, and Audi Pre Sense City. Four packages are available. The S Sport package costs $3,000 and adds features like a sport adaptive air suspension and red brake calipers. The Warm Weather, Cold Weather, and Navigation packages are also available.
- Audi SQ5 Prestige; The SQ5 Prestige starts at $58,500. It comes with SQ5 Premium Plus features and adds navigation and the MMI All-In-Touch with handwriting recognition system, Audi Connect Plus, the 19-speaker sound system, a 12.3-inch virtual cockpit, an 8.3-inch infotainment display, a head-up display, a 360-degree camera system, Audi Connect Prime, and myAudi Destinations. The S Sport, Warm Weather, and Cold Weather Packages are also available in this trim.