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Audi Q5

Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review: Audi Q5



What is it like on the road?

More on those engines – most Q5s come with a 2.0-litre engine of some description, fuelled by either petrol or diesel. We’ve had a go in the diesel – badged ’40 TDI’, it makes 187bhp and 295lb ft, and is good for up to 39.2mpg and 144g/km of CO2. 0-62mph takes under eight seconds – 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. Very refined too, though you can’t totally escape the agricultural rattle inherent in four-cylinder diesel engines.

We’ve only tried the petrol in tandem with the 14.1kWh battery and electric motor of the Q5 plug-in hybrid, which Audi calls the Q5 TFSI e. Available in two power outputs, the 295bhp ‘50’ or 362bhp ‘55’, low CO2 emissions of just 49g/km mean it’s the Q5 you’ll want if you run a company car because it’ll save you a bundle in tax.

Happily it’s also quite good, with a smooth, incredibly clever powertrain and impressive turn of speed (the 55 only takes 5.3 seconds to hit 62mph). Audi claims 26 miles of electric range, with a top speed in EV mode of a handy 84mph. But the usual PHEV caveats apply – make sure it suits your commute/lifestyle (through or into a town? Can you do it all on electricity?) and have a think about where/when you can charge. If you can’t plug a PHEV in there’s really no point.

The PHEV is 290kg heavier than the equivalent 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 enough – like the A4 on which it’s based it doesn’t really involve you in the process (look at the Macan or F-Pace if that’s your thing), but majors instead 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.


How about something completely different?



BMW 3 Series Touring

Do you really need an SUV? Think smaller, think BMW 3 Series Touring. You can even get it with four-wheel drive