2012 Audi Q5 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Top-notch interior craftsmanship
  • class-leading fuel economy
  • top crash scores
  • roomy backseat
  • sporty handling.
  • Below-average cargo capacity
  • unintuitive control layout without navigation
  • artificial steering feel.
List Price Range
$12,495 - $21,990

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Edmunds' Expert Review

You can really have it all with the 2012 Audi Q5. From exciting performance to excellent comfort and convenience, this crossover has broad appeal.

Notably, we picked the Audi Q5 as one of Edmunds' Best Used Luxury SUVs for 2012.

Vehicle overview

In most cases, compromise means settling on a middle-of-the-road choice that neither side considers attractive. In the automotive world, this usually means performance is traded away to gain economy and practicality, and vice versa. But there are exceptions to the rule, and one of them is the 2012 Audi Q5.

Based on Audi's A4 sedan, the Q5 inherits much of its smaller stablemate's entertaining driving dynamics. With confident handling and a choice of two responsive engines, the Q5 represents one of the most engaging SUVs on the market. But performance does not come at the expense of fuel economy, as the turbocharged four-cylinder engine returns an EPA-estimated 22 mpg in combined driving, while the V6 offers up a still commendable 20 mpg. Given that the four-cylinder is just as quick as the V6, we see little need to pay extra money for extra cylinders, though.

On top of performance and economy, the 2012 Audi Q5's larger proportions also deliver a decent amount of comfort and utility. With plenty of passenger space and an accommodating cargo hold, this compact crossover broadens its family-friendly appeal. On top of it all, the Q5 comes with one of the nicest interiors in its class, with all of the available features typical of the luxury segment.

Naturally, there are other choices for a small luxury crossover SUV. Among the competition, the Volvo XC60 provides a roomier interior and a few more family-friendly features. If performance is high on your wish list, the BMW X3 tops the Q5 with its available 300-horsepower engine. And if style is your thing, Land Rover's new Range Rover Evoque is the most dynamic looking of the bunch. But for an all-around small luxury crossover that does everything well, you'd be hard-pressed to do better than the 2012 Q5.

2012 Audi Q5 models

The 2012 Audi Q5 is a compact luxury crossover available in four trim levels: 2.0T Premium, 2.0T Premium Plus, 3.2 Premium Plus and 3.2 Prestige. The numbers refer to engine displacement.

Standard equipment on the 2.0T Premium includes 18-inch wheels, automatic headlights, automatic wipers, roof rails, eight-way power front seats (with four-way lumbar adjustment), a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leather upholstery, tri-zone climate control, a sliding and reclining 40/20/40 rear seat, a dash-mounted Multi Media Interface (MMI) and a 10-speaker sound system with CD/MP3 player, auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio. Options on the Premium include a panoramic sunroof, heated front seats, Bluetooth and an iPod interface. These items are included on the 2.0T Premium Plus, which also gets xenon headlights, LED running lights, a power tailgate, auto-dimming and power-folding exterior mirrors and an auto-dimming interior mirror. Nineteen-inch wheels are optional.

The 3.2 Premium Plus adds a V6 engine, 19-inch wheels, headlight washers, keyless ignition/entry and S line exterior trim. The top-shelf 3.2 Prestige adds adaptive headlights, a blind-spot warning system, a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, a heated/cooled cupholder, rear door sunshades and the Audi MMI Navigation Plus package (navigation system, digital music storage, voice controls, rearview camera, HD radio, CD/DVD player and center-console-mounted MMI system).

The 3.2 Prestige can also be equipped with Audi Drive Select (four settings alter throttle response, transmission shift points and steering assist), adaptive cruise control and the Luxury package (ventilated front seats and upgraded leather). Both 3.2 models can be equipped with 20-inch wheels and the S line package, which adds different 20-inch wheels, performance tires, a sport steering wheel, shift paddles and brushed aluminum trim.

All but the 2.0T Premium can be equipped with the MMI Navigation Plus package and the Bang & Olufsen stereo.

2012 Highlights

The 2012 Audi Q5 returns essentially unchanged from last year.

Performance & mpg

The 2012 Audi Q5 2.0T comes standard with all-wheel drive and a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 engine good for 211 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined. In recent Edmunds testing, a Q5 2.0T accelerated to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds, a performance on par with the Audi's peers.

The Audi Q5 3.2 gets a 3.2-liter V6 that produces 270 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic is standard. Surprisingly, the Q5 3.2 took just a little longer to reach 60 mph than the 2.0T, registering a 7.0-second run. Estimated fuel economy stands at 18 mpg city/23 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined, which is tops among similarly powered all-wheel-drive crossovers. Towing capacity with the 3.2 is above average, with a 4,400-pound rating when properly equipped.


Standard safety equipment for the 2012 Audi Q5 includes stability and traction control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. Rear side airbags are optional on all models, while a blind-spot warning system is standard on the 3.2 Prestige.

In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the Q5 was awarded the highest rating of "Good" in frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests. In Edmunds braking testing, the Q5 3.2 came to a stop in 112 feet, while the 2.0T turned in a 119-foot distance. Both are strong, competitive results.


Whether you opt for the 2.0T or 3.2 engines, the 2012 Audi Q5 delivers smooth, powerful acceleration, and the six-speed automatic is also refined and responsive. Given that the 2.0T is more fuel efficient and was actually quicker in our testing, it's hard to make a case for the V6. Outside the Q5 line, the 2.0T engine also matches European rivals like the GLK350 and XC60 T6 in terms of acceleration, though the BMW X3 xDrive35i and Infiniti EX35 have more punch.

The Q5's ride quality is firmer than the norm for this class of vehicle, but we've never found it to be harsh. In terms of handling, the 2012 Q5 is one of the sportiest crossovers on the market. One downside, though, is that the electric power steering has both a consistently artificial feel and an odd tendency to weight up suddenly at low speeds. We would skip the optional Audi Drive Select system, as it's pricey and complicated; the car's standard setup is just fine.


As we've come to expect from all Audi models, the Q5 benefits from classy interior design and top-notch construction.

The center stack controls are canted toward the driver, although the layout depends on whether or not you opt for the navigation system. Without navigation, the knob and buttons for the MMI system reside somewhat inconveniently on the center stack. With navigation, the controls are placed between the armrest and shift lever, where they fall more readily to hand. Navigation-equipped models also get the latest, third-generation MMI system with revised menus and an additional joystick button for enhanced control.

Despite its compact size, the Q5 manages to feel roomy whether you're seated in the front or rear. The rear seats slide fore and aft, which is a rarity in this segment of luxury crossovers, and the seats also recline for greater comfort. Folding the rear seats down creates 57 cubic feet of maximum cargo space, which is a little below average for this segment.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2012 Audi Q5.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

New Q5 Owner
2.0T Premium quattro 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
We've had our new Q5 for a month. We've driven an Acura MDX for awhile and love it. In terms of comfort and driving experience though, the Q5 is several steps beyond the Acura! Extremely quiet, firm comfortable ride, nimble handling, plenty of power from the 2.0T - even up the step grade of I-70 west of Denver. And, so far good gas mileage, about as advertised, but much better than our Acura. The tech'y stuff takes a little getting used to, Nav, Bluetooth, media, and personal/car settings. The car is a perfect size for a couple of empty nesters who will use this car on trips ... might be tad small for a family trip!
2.0T Premium quattro 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
Drives great, rides great - this is the best driving crossover/SUV I've even driven. Better overall quality/finish than the BMW X3, and nothing else comes close. The 2.0T engine has plenty of power, and the acceleration is much better than you would suspect - passing power on the highway is excellent. Options on the 'Premium Plus' are nice - Zenon Lights, LED daytime running lights, LED taillights, sunroof, dual setting memory seats. I don't know how much you get from a dual-zone climate control when you are sitting right next to the passenger - it's just one more thing to adjust. The bluetooth hands-free connection to a mobile phone, and speaker/mic is excellent. Highly recommended!!!
2.0T Premium quattro 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
Love this car - I'm still breaking it in, but having had 3 new A4's in the last 12 years, this one felt like coming home (albeit with larger rooms). Have kiddies on the way so the extra room will help - cargo space is not huge but is adequate. The 2.0 litre had more balls than I expected - nowhere near as clunky as the Q7 I test drove - this one handles like the 2009 A4 with the same motor - pulls nicely and sits down while cornering. The moonlight blue is stunning - I wished I could've seen one with the cinammon interior but only the light tan was available. You'll notice the screen displays are sharper - kind of like going from an iPhone 3G to the sharper 4.
2012 Q5 2.0T Premium
2.0T Premium quattro 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
Recently purchased the Q5 Premium with what appears to be the standard Option list in my area of Heated Seats, Sunroof, and Convenience Package. Only other option was the Monsoon Grey paint (I hate the extra charge for Paint). Car drives like an A4 with better utility. Gas mileage has been on the higher side (I drive mainly on a Parkway - with Stop & Go Traffic). Deceptively fast as you almost always feel you are going slower then the Speedo indicates, and quite smooth for an CUV. I should have ordered a Premium Plus stripped for the same base price, but did not want to wait 6 extra weeks. Best description, a Sports sedan in CUV body!


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover15.1%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2012 Audi Q5

Used 2012 Audi Q5 Overview

The Used 2012 Audi Q5 is offered in the following submodels: Q5 SUV. Available styles include 2.0T Premium quattro 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), and 3.2 Premium Plus quattro 4dr SUV AWD (3.2L 6cyl 6A). The Used 2012 Audi Q5 comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 8-speed shiftable automatic, 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2012 Audi Q5 comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2012 Audi Q5?

Price comparisons for Used 2012 Audi Q5 trim styles:

  • The Used 2012 Audi Q5 3.2 Premium Plus quattro is priced between $12,789 and$20,590 with odometer readings between 82370 and122511 miles.
  • The Used 2012 Audi Q5 2.0T Premium quattro is priced between $12,495 and$21,990 with odometer readings between 37897 and119121 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2012 Audi Q5s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2012 Audi Q5 for sale near. There are currently 8 used and CPO 2012 Q5s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $12,495 and mileage as low as 37897 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2012 Audi Q5.

Can't find a used 2012 Audi Q5s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Audi Q5 for sale - 5 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $18,339.

Find a used Audi for sale - 9 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $16,666.

Find a used certified pre-owned Audi Q5 for sale - 8 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $20,671.

Find a used certified pre-owned Audi for sale - 4 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $7,875.

Should I lease or buy a 2012 Audi Q5?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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