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Car Review

Audi Q5 review

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

What is it like on the inside?

Audi does interiors better than most. The Q5’s is well laid-out and solidly constructed, with an appealing design, lots of light and some good tech.

For the 2020 facelift, Audi mildly spoiled its broadly excellent work in here. There's a 10.1-inch touchscreen which responds snappily to your inputs, but we lament the passing of the tactile metal clickwheel; scrolling through lists or zooming into the map is considerably more fiddly now, and your reward for this 'convenience' is loads of smeary fingerprints. Doesn’t exactly scream ‘premium’ does it?

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In place of the clickwheel, Audi has done... nothing. There's a small cubby hole that looks like an ashtray (which can't be removed for cleaning), but nothing big enough to hold a phone securely. So why stick a USB port up there? Frankly, we prefer the old Q5's cabin. If you're thinking of upgrading from a pre-facelift model, try before you buy.

To Audi’s credit though, it avoids some interior faux pas that other manufacturers make habitually these days. There’s a panel of physical controls for the climate functions (tick) and not a haptic surface in sight (double tick). The touchscreen can be a bit of a faff, but Audi’s system is better than most. And once you’ve plugged your phone in, you’ll be dealing with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto anyway, so you won’t notice any shortcomings.

As for space, it’s pretty good. The Q5 will seat four adults with ease, although the middle rear seat is only really for kids or those with hooves instead of feet, owing to the transmission tunnel.

The 550-litre boot is exactly the same size as the Merc GLC’s and BMW X3’s. It's worth bearing in mind that the PHEV’s battery lives under the Q5’s boot floor, so TFSI e models make do with just 465 litres with the seats up (fold ‘em down and you’re looking at 1,405 for the PHEV). Not ideal, especially if you need to load everything up for a family getaway. And it’s a double whammy because there’s no underfloor storage, so the bulky charging cables have nowhere to live. Hashtag annoying.

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Quick word also on the Q5’s automatic tailgate: it’s one of those that opens automatically if you waggle your foot under the bumper, but more than once it tried to shut itself while we were loading up the boot. So pay attention to what your legs are doing when you’re back there with the shopping, or you’ll end up with a lump on your head.

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