The Audi Q5 is a compact luxury CUV or crossover SUV placed in between the Q3 and Q7, set to compete with BMW X3, Volvo XC60, and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class. A distinctive feature of the Q5 is Audi's MLB platform on which it is based, together with the Audi A4 and Audi A5. It makes the driving experience of Q5 feel much more like a car, with excellent on-road handling without the rolling expected from an SUV. Audi achieved this at the cost of the off-road capabilities, which was never the aim of the Q5 in the first place.
The First Generation (2008-2017)
First revealed at the Beijing Auto Show in 2008 and the Los Angeles Auto Show in the same year, production of the first generation Q5 commenced at Ingolstadt, Germany, as well as Russia, China, India, and Malaysia. It is available in the front-engine, permanent four-wheel drive quattro system layout.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tested the 2016 model year, giving it an overall 4-star rating, with Frontal-Driver, and Rollover receiving a 4-star rating, while Frontal-Passenger, Side-Passenger, Side-Driver, Side Pole - Driver all received a 5-star rating.
The IIHS rated the Q5 with the highest score of 'Good' across all categories.
Euro NCAP rated the 2009 model year with front and side airbags, seat pretensioners and load limiters with an Overall 5-star rating, with 92% and 33 points in Adult occupant safety, 84%, and 41 points in Child occupant safety, 32% and 12 points in Pedestrian safety, and 71% and 5 points in Driver-assist systems.
The roof rack can carry up to 100kg, with a sensor that detects the weight of the present load and informs the car’s systems. The vehicle will automatically adjust the centre of gravity and calibrate the electronic stability program (ESP) to engage earlier. Towing capacity is up to 2000kg, with standard hill descent control (HDC) feature to help safely traverse down steep inclines. Trailer Stability Program assists in mitigating snaking or loss of control of the trailer.
Worldwide, Q5 was available in Standard Trim, SE, S Line, S Line Special Ed, and S Line Plus. Australia did not receive these conventional trims, instead offering a mid-range standard package, with high-end optional features.
Basic equipment includes: Airbags Package (dual front/side front), ABS, Automatic Air Con / Climate Control, 17-Inch Alloy Wheels, BA, Cruise Control, CD with 6 CD Stacker, Central Locking Remote Control, EBD, Electronic Differential Lock, ESP, Front Fog Lights, Head Airbags, HDC, Engine Immobiliser, Leather Steering Wheel, Leather Trim, Parking Distance Control Rear, Power Mirrors With Indicators, Power Steering, Power Windows, Radio Compact Disc Player, Rear Spoiler, Rain Sensing Wipers, Front Seats, Sound System with 10 Speakers, Trip Computer, Traction Control System
The Q5 is also equipped with Multi-Media Interface, Audi's proprietary infotainment system, with wide-screen entertainment, SatNav, and communication system.
Optional equipment includes power mirrors with indicators, rain-sensing wipers, automatic Stop/Start, 19-inch alloy wheels, hill holder, keyless entry and drive, multi-function control screen, power tailgate, split-fold rear seat, and front parking distance control.
The facelift of 2012 brought redesigned front and rear lights, as well as power and efficiency upgrades to the engines together with the new ones. Large fabric-upholstered door surfaces could now be fitted with wooden or aluminium inlays, while chrome accents have been applied to interior controls.
SQ5 represents the high-performance alternative, powered by a 3.0L TDI twin-turbo, V6 diesel engine paired with an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. Power output has been rated at 230kW and 650Nm of torque. It does a quick 0-100km/h acceleration in 5.1 seconds and an electronically-limited top speed of 250km/h. Visually it has been changed to be subtly recognizable as an S-Line model and comes in unique body colors and themes.
Powertrain options available in Australia:
- 2.0 TDI Quattro, 2.0L diesel engine producing 125kW and 350Nm of torque, paired with a 7-speed automatic transmission
- 2.0 TFSI Quattro, 2.0L petrol engine producing 155kW and 350Nm of torque, paired with a 7-speed automatic transmission
- 3.0 TDI Quattro, 3.0L diesel engine producing 176kW and 500Nm of torque, paired with a 7-speed automatic transmission
- 3.2 TFSI Quattro, 3.2L petrol engine producing 199kW and 330Nm of torque, paired with a 7-speed automatic transmission
- 2.0 TDI Quattro, 2.0L diesel engine producing 130kW and 380Nm of torque, paired with a 7-speed automatic transmission
- 2.0 TFSI Quattro, 2.0L petrol engine producing 165kW and 350Nm of torque, paired with a 7-speed automatic transmission
- 3.0 TDI Quattro, 3.0L diesel engine producing 180kW and 580Nm of torque, paired with a 7-speed automatic transmission
- 3.0 TFSI Quattro, 3.0L petrol engine producing 200kW and 400Nm of torque, paired with a 7-speed automatic transmission
The Second Generation (2017-present)
At the Paris Motor Show in 2016, Audi revealed the second-generation Q5, featuring subtly redesigned exterior and a continued focus on on-road handling and smoothness of the ride, together with the use of the MLB Evo platform designed for the compact sedan class vehicles. Most notable strengths of Q5 include the improved Multi-Media Interface, spacious and comfortable interior, and build quality, while the S Tronic automatic gearbox has been criticised for a slow reaction at low speeds.
Audi Q5 is available in the following trim levels: SE, Black Edition, S Line, Sport, S Line Plus Special Edition, Vorspung, Competition Vorspung, S Line Competition, and SQ5.
Australian market received somewhat modified packages, with the base equipment including some of the luxury options, followed by Sport, Design, and S Line Black. Potential buyers should be cautious when choosing optional and packaged equipment, as Audi is notorious for overpricing them.
Base equipment includes: Dual Front Airbags Package, Anti-lock Braking, Air Con + Climate Control Multi-Zone, Automatic Stop/Start, Adjustable Steering Wheel - Tilt & Telescopic, 18-Inch Alloy Wheels, Brake Assist, Cruise Control, Central Locking Remote Control, Daytime Running Lights - LED, Dusk Sensing Headlights, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Electronic Differential Lock, Electric Parking Brake, Electronic Stability Program, Fog Lights - Front, Head Airbags, Hill Descent Control, Hill Holder, Engine Immobiliser, Keyless Entry and Drive, Leather Steering Wheel, Leather Trim, Multi-Function Control Screen, Multi-Function Steering Wheel, Parking Distance Control Rear and Front, Power front seats, Power Exterior Mirrors - Heated, Power Mirrors With Indicators, Power Steering, Power Tailgate, Power Windows, Roof Rails, Rear Lights - LED, Rear Spoiler, Side Airbags, Sound System with 10 Speakers, Traction Control System, Tyre Pressure Monitoring Display, Xenon Headlights
Design trim level adds to the base package: Active Bonnet, Anti-Slip Regulation, Anti-theft Wheel Bolts, Curtain Airbags, Driver Fatigue Detection, Exterior Mirrors - Auto-Dimming and Heated, First-Aid Kit, Heated Windscreen & Washer Jets, Kerb View Function, Leather Accented Upholstery, Park Assist, Paddle Shifters on Steering Wheel, Pedestrian Recognition, Reversing Camera, Satellite Navigation, Surround Camera System, Side Front AirBags, Sport Differential, Start/Stop Button, Sports Steering Wheel - Flat-bottomed, Torque Transfer Control
Sport trim level includes the base package as well as the majority of Design trim level's features and adds 20-inch alloy wheels and sport seats.
The S Line Black trim level adds on top of Design and active high beam control, 20-inch alloy wheels, intelligent/active cruise control, cross-traffic recognition, LED headlights, sports seats, and traction control system.
These packages were paired with the following engine options:
- 2.0 TDI Quattro, 2.0L diesel engine producing 140kW and 380Nm of torque, paired with a 7-speed automatic transmission
- 2.0 TDI Quattro Design, Sport, and S Line Black, 2.0L diesel engine producing 140kW and 400Nm of torque, paired with a 7-speed automatic transmission
- 2.0 TDI Quattro S Line Black, 2.0L diesel engine producing 140kW and 400Nm of torque, paired with a 7-speed automatic transmission
- 2.0 TFSI Quattro Sport, 2.0L petrol engine producing 185kW and 370Nm of torque, paired with a 7-speed automatic transmission
- 3.0 TDI Quattro Sport, 3.0L diesel engine producing 210kW and 620Nm of torque, paired with 8-speed automatic transmission
Euro NCAP tested the 2017 Q5 and gave it a 5-star rating in Overall safety, with 93% and 35.7 points in Adult Occupant safety, 86% and 42.3 points in Child Occupant safety, 73% and 31 points in Pedestrian safety, and 58% and 7 points in Safety Assist Systems.
Excluding the headlights, IIHS gave it the highest score across all categories, together NHTSA’s 5-star rating in Overall safety.
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Author: Luka Kusic