Audi Q5 2008-2016 review

Open gallery Close by Matt Burt 20 March 2012 Follow @@Matt_Burt_ Share

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When it comes to economics, Ingolstadt has its own law of supply and demand: if a market niche exists, sooner or later a new Audi model will arrive to fill it. And so it is with the Audi Q5.

The Audi Q5, arriving after the Audi Q7 and before the Audi Q3, shows Audi’s continuing determination to cover all the SUV bases.

The Q5 is no rock-crawler but full-time 4wd traction still impresses in very slippery goingMatt BurtExecutive Editor, Autocar

As with its larger sibling, the Q5 is not a serious off-road tool, but rather the Audi for those who want a mid-sized estate but prefer an elevated driving position and enhanced ability in slippery conditions like snow or sand. The model is Ingolstadt’s response to the Land Rover Freelander 2, BMW X3 and Volvo XC60, and is the benchmark for the Land Rover Discovery Sport, Porsche Macan, Mercedes-Benz GLC and Jaguar F-Pace. In 2012, the Q5 got a minor facelift which was dominated by a more distinctive face through new LED day-running lights and little else.

The petrol option comes in the flavour of a 2.0 TFSI which, gets a seven-speed incarnation of S-tronic dual-clutch gearbox, along with the larger of the two diesels, the 3.0-litre V6. Want to change gears yourself? Then you need either one of the two 2.0 TDIs.

At this moment in time the Q5 is extremely long-in-the-tooth, and has stood the test of time as it is still sold by the bucketload and revered by motorists. However, at the 2016 Paris Motorshow, Audi revealed the new look Q5, which is 90kg lighter than this generation, a rugged exterior look and the addition of LED or Matix LED headlights as standard.

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From the outset the new Q5 looks akinned to the bigger Q7 and the smaller Audi Q2, which is no bad thing. The interior has been revamped too, and means the Q5 will get the latest MMI infotainment system and the ability to house Audi’s impressive Virtual Cockpit display. There is expected to be a range of four-cylinder and V6 petrol and diesel engines available for the Q5, with five already confirmed for its launch in early 2017.

Related Audi Q5 2008-2016 reviews

Audi Q5 2.0 TFSI Quattro S-line Tiptronic first driveAudi Q5 faceliftFacelifted Audi Q5Audi Q5 HybridAudi Q5 2.0 TFSI S tronic first drive

As much as the new Q5 is sure to be a headturner for those looking to buy a mid-sized SUV, it is important to remember that the first generation remains the initial blueprint that has blossomed into the 2017 model.

Verdict Model tested: Rating: 8

Audi Q5 2008-2016

GoodInterior spaceEngine refinementSaloon-like handlingBadRestless rideShort gearingBland styling

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