Advertisement
BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
Subscribe to Top Gear magazine
Sign up to our Top Gear Magazine
Subscribe
Car Review

Audi Q5 review

£42,590 - £63,305
710
Published: 18 Oct 2023
Advertisement

Driving

What is it like to drive?

Most Q5s come with a 2.0-litre engine of some description, fuelled by either petrol or diesel. Prepare to be baffled by Audi's maddening number-badge structure: it's a mess. The '40 TDI’ makes 201bhp, and thanks to its hybrid boost (allowing more coasting and longer periods with the engine switched off) official economy stands at 42.8mpg and 1763g/km.

It'll do 0-62mph in 7.6 seconds, although the Q5 doesn’t feel that quick because of its seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, which is reluctant to kick-down even if you’ve got a load of throttle on. But it’s got all the performance you need in a car like this. It's very refined too, though you can’t totally escape the agricultural rattle inherent in four-cylinder diesel engines.

Advertisement - Page continues below

And the petrol?

Ah, you mean the ‘45 TFSI’ (nope, us neither). That’s got a bit more punch: 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds courtesy of 262bhp, while economy and emissions stand at 33.6mpg (a figure we matched when we tested the car) and 191g/km apiece. It’s got less torque on tap - though there’s not much in it - delivering 273lb ft against the diesel’s 295.

Go for the big-bucks SQ5 if you're unduly bothered about performance: it remains annoyingly capable for those enthusiasts among us who'd rather not fall for diesel SUVs and it’s hot hatch quick. 3.0-litre V6 diesel, you see.

What about if I go hybrid?

A 2.0-litre petrol engine works in tandem with the 17.9kWh battery and electric motor to deliver 262bhp and 0-62mph in 6.1s, though more relevant is the 38-mile range and (wildly irrelevant) 166mpg that you’ll only achieve with religious levels of dedication to charging. CO2 of 39g/km at most (it’s trim dependent) is good news when it comes to company car tax.

Happily it’s also quite good, with a smooth, incredibly clever powertrain and impressive turn of speed: it’ll top out at 84mph in EV mode. But the usual PHEV caveats apply: make sure it suits your commute/lifestyle and have a think about where/when you can charge. If you can’t plug a PHEV in, there’s really no point. Boot space also takes a kicking (more on that on the Interior tab) because the battery has to live somewhere.

Advertisement - Page continues below

Does it handle okay?

Far from being the humble runt of the litter, the 2.0-litre petrol has a pleasant balance of economy and performance. It's also more hushed than the diesel, and makes a better companion for the S-tronic gearbox. It suits the Q5's easy-going nature, and being the lightest powertrain, offers the most engaging handling of any Q5 this side of the SQ5. If you like that sort of thing.

The PHEV is 290kg heavier than the petrol Q5, and while it remains a comfortable car, you can feel the suspension working hard to contain that extra mass. In general the Q5 drives well, but like the A4 on which it’s based, it doesn’t really involve you in the process. On that front, the Porsche Macan and Alfa Romeo Stelvio are in a different league.

Instead, the Q5 majors on rolling refinement and safe, predictable handling. The ride is a bit on the firm side, so look towards the smaller alloy wheel options to stop it from becoming a problem.

Highlights from the range

the fastest

45 TFSI Quattro Black Ed 5dr S Tronic [Tech Pro]
  • 0-626.1s
  • CO2
  • BHP261.5
  • MPG
  • Price£55,965

the cheapest

45 TFSI Quattro Sport 5dr S Tronic
  • 0-626.1s
  • CO2
  • BHP261.5
  • MPG
  • Price£42,590

Subscribe to the Top Gear Newsletter

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, you agree to receive news, promotions and offers by email from Top Gear and BBC Studios. Your information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

BBC TopGear

Try BBC Top Gear Magazine

subscribe