Compact crossovers are larger and higher than a hatchback but more fuel-efficient and easier to park than midsize sport-utilities. It's a combination that clearly appeals to many car shoppers, including those who want a more premium automotive experience. Think of the Q5 as an A4 sedan with more cargo space, a higher center of gravity and a measure of off-road capability and you won't be far off the mark. It also boasts some of the sleekest sheet metal in a stylishly competitive class.
Audi is known for high-quality interiors, and the Q5 doesn't disappoint; we're especially fond of the massive Virtual Cockpit display in higher trim levels. The Q5 comes with a much longer list of standard equipment than most of its German rivals, including genuine leather interior, a power liftgate and all-wheel drive — features for which you'll have to pay extra in many other luxury SUVs.
Current Audi Q5
The five-seat Audi Q5 is available in three trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige. All are powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 that makes 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, and all feature a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.
The Premium model is the entry-level Q5, but you wouldn't know it from the list of standard equipment: leather upholstery, automatic lights and wipers, a power liftgate, tri-zone climate control, automatic emergency braking, and a user interface with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Bluetooth just to name a few. The Premium Plus adds a panoramic sunroof (which can be deleted if the buyer wishes), heated front seats and parking sensors, among other equipment, while the Prestige gets a Bang & Olufsen stereo system, 360-degree parking camera, navigation, and a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel. The list of options is not as long as other German SUVs', but then again, most have nowhere near as much standard equipment.
Inside, the Audi Q5 is quite similar to the A4, which is to say it features high-quality materials and an attractive dashboard layout. The backseat is generously sized and there's plenty of cargo space with the backseats folded down, though with the seats in place it's a bit tight at 28.7 cubic feet.
The Q5 has always been immensely satisfying to drive; the latest version matches its predecessor for agility and improves upon it with a much more comfortable and quiet ride. The Audi Q5 shed some serious weight in its last redesign, so the modestly sized 2.0T engine provides brisk acceleration and good passing power.
Used Audi Q5 Models
The first-generation Audi Q5 debuted for the 2010 model year and lasted until 2017. The initial Q5 was powered by a 3.2-liter 270-hp V6 engine matched to a six-speed automatic with Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system as standard. The following year brought the efficient turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 paired up to the eight-speed automatic, which also replaced the V6's six-speed auto. The Q5 was offered in Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige models, and as we expect from Audi, the list of standard equipment was lengthy. Premium models came with alloy wheels, leather upholstery, tri-zone climate control, eight-way power front seats, and a 10-speaker stereo. Premium Plus models added a power liftgate, panoramic sunroof and Bluetooth. The Prestige model gained a Bang & Olufsen surround-sound stereo, keyless entry and ignition, and a blind-spot warning system. With so much equipment as standard, the options list seemed comparatively modest, including upgraded interior trim, navigation and, in later models, mobile Wi-Fi.
For the 2013 model year, the original 3.2-liter engine was replaced by a 272-hp supercharged 3.0-liter V6. A 245-hp hybrid drivetrain — the brand's first — was added as an option. Exterior styling was refreshed, with a more angular theme for the lights and grille, and the climate and MMI controls were simplified. For the 2014 model year, the 2.0T engine upgraded to 220 hp and a powerful 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 was added to the lineup. The diesel was discontinued midway through the 2016 model year, a casualty of the VW/Audi emissions scandal. Audi continued to make updates to standard and optional equipment levels, but for the most part the first-generation Q5 remained relatively unchanged throughout its model run.