First Drive: Audi Q5

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The Audi Q5 has been a popular family car since it was first launched in 2008. Now a new version is here and boasts just as much practicality with updated styling.

We take a detailed look to see what it was like to live with for a week and if it still boasts the family values of the first generation.


What is it?

The Q5 has been one of Audi's best selling vehicles since it was introduced in 2008. Not keen to mess with a favoured recipe, it's a case of adding some extra ingredients rather than starting again.

Importantly for a premium car there has been additional kit added. For starters there is a smartphone interface, powered bootlid and automatic city braking technology - all as standard.

What's under the bonnet?

Our car came with the 2.0-litre Quattro TDI diesel engine. It produces 187bhp and more than 400Nm of torque – ideal for overtaking safely. This can propel the Q5 from 0-60mph in 7.7 seconds and onto a top speed of 135mph, not bad for a chunky SUV.

It's economical as well, averaging 55.4mpg and emitting 133g/km of CO2.

What's the spec like?

Our top-spec S line model starts at a little under £40,000, which puts it on a par with rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz GLC, Jaguar F-Pace and BMW X3.

Standard equipment is excellent, with cruise control, park assist, semi-autonomous city braking and the Audi Connect safety and service system all included, among many. The main bonus of S line models is the sporty body kit, but with sport suspension automatically included you're better off going for the Sport trim for more comfort.

One option box that's definitely worth paying extra for is Audi's Virtual Cockpit, which replaces the traditional instrument binnacle with a beautifully designed digital layout. At £250 it is well worth the extra.

First Drive: Audi Q5

First Drive: Audi Q5


Any rivals?

The Audi Q5 is up against some stiff competition. The Mercedes-Benz GLC for example, is just as well equipped and offers the same practicality but is better looking.

The Jaguar F-Pace is another, which offers the same practicality but looks stunning and is more exciting to drive. A third rival is the BMW X3, very close in terms of badge appeal and price range.

What's it like to drive?

Following on from the agile Q7, the Q5 feels a tad disappointing to drive. It's great for moseying around the city streets and wafts down the motorway quietly, but there's little in the way of excitement.

The all-wheel-drive system and over-eager traction control combine to stop any notion of fun through the corners whatsoever, but as a daily car to travel to work in or take the kids to school, it's a comfortable and practical SUV.

A major issue however is the seven-speed S tronic gearbox. Attempt to accelerate quickly from lower speeds and it fails to accelerate quickly enough. This is especially evident at junctions and roundabouts where the clutch hesitates to engage. Once on the move it's a slick shifter, though.

AOL Cars Verdict

The Audi Q5 will appeal to families looking for loads of space, practicality and tons of badge appeal. Design-wise it's fairly understated, so will appeal to those who don't like to be flashy.