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2012 Audi Q5

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2012 Audi Q5 Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.9

The 2009 Audi Q5 was the German automaker's first compact SUV. Coming so late to the party, the Q5 hit the ground running, offering state-of-the-art multimedia and upscale amenities one would expect from a premium SUV. The 2012 Audi Q5 is an eye-catching 5-passenger SUV that takes its styling cues from its older sibling, the Q7. While it's not the ideal SUV for large families, the Q5's sophisticated design and nimble driving characteristics ensure its place as a top contender in the highly contested luxury SUV segment.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you seek a compact luxury SUV and striking exterior styling is your primary demand, look no further than the 2012 Audi Q5. The interior layout is simple, yet elegant. Navigating tight spots is an effortless task thanks to the Q5's compact dimensions and relatively tight turning radius.

You May Not Like This Car If...

While the 2012 Audi Q5 offers the best balance in the segment, you can easily find something sportier (BMW X3), softer (Lexus RX) or more affordable (Acura RDX) in the category.

What's New for 2012

For 2012, the V6 models add a sleek S line package with titanium-finished 20-inch 5-spoke wheels, matte black roof rails, and window frames. The top-of-the-line Q5 Prestige model offers new rear-window sunshades, perfect for keeping your rear-seat passengers comfortable in the summertime.

Driving the Q5
Driving Impressions

A satisfying balance of ride comfort and dynamic handling has traditionally required compromises on both sides of the equation, but technology continues to rewrite the rules. While the BMW X3...

... and Lexus RX 350 hold down the segment's extreme positions on the sport-comfort spectrum, respectively, the 2012 Audi Q5 offers a range of proficiency that approaches both ends. And that range is delivered by more than just the powertrain and suspension, but also by the outward visibility and ergonomics, and the "driving sensation" we consistently highlight when talking about European cars. The Q5 also adds a dose of customization to the driving experience when outfitted with its category-exclusive "Audi drive select" feature - highlighted in the Favorite Features section of this review.

Audi Drive Select
At the push of a button, Q5 drivers can adjust the engine, transmission and steering characteristics to satisfy their personal preferences. Modes include Comfort, Automatic, Dynamic and Individual, which allows a custom-tailored setting on navigation-equipped models.

Audi Dynamic Steering
In a tight parking lot, you want a lot of steering assist and response. When bombing down the autobahn, you want subtle directional changes and a calm steering response. With Audi dynamic steering, the 2012 Q5 has variable assist and variable ratio, delivering the best of both worlds. The system can even provide minor steering corrections in extreme situations, reducing the need for electronic stability program intervention.

2012 Audi Q5 Details
Interior

The 2012 Audi Q5's visually striking exterior is nearly eclipsed by its brilliant interior architecture. The layout is polished and classy, with precise construction and excellent fit and finish. The 12-way power front seats offer a host of configurations to accommodate an array of body types. The rear seats feature a versatile 40/20/40 split design and provide ample legroom and headroom. Audi is leading the way when it comes to innovative in-vehicle multimedia. The available feature-packed navigation system is controlled by Audi's intuitive MMI terminal and includes 3D building graphics, DVD player and two SD card slots.

Exterior

Although the compact luxury SUV segment offers a variety of stylish choices, the 2012 Audi Q5 is the clear winner when it comes to innovative design. In line with Audi's current design language, the Q5 features the distinctive Singleframe grille design, clean lines and of course, Audi's infamous LED daytime running lights. The Audi Q5's perfect height and large alloy wheels create a muscular stance once reserved for sports cars. We also like the Q5's sedan-like LED taillights and unique "clamshell" power liftgate.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Every 2012 Audi Q5 features plush leather seating, power front seats with 4-way lumbar support for those extended road trips, 3-zone climate control, multi-function steering wheel to help keep your eyes on the road, and a 10-speaker audio system with SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Standard safety equipment includes six airbags along with electronic stability control that adjusts for a higher center of gravity when it detects the roof-rack crossbars are in place.

Optional Equipment

From the base price of $36,475, the 2012 Audi Q5 offers around $17,000 worth of upgrades, highlights of which include xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, a handy power liftgate with memory, panorama sunroof, Audi's third-generation MMI interface and navigation system, front and rear proximity sensors, backup camera, blind spot warning, 505-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system and a heated and cooled single cup holder. It seems odd to us that despite the Q5's mid-$30K base price, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, heated seats, auto-dimming mirrors and iPod integration are not offered as standard equipment.

Under the Hood

The base Q5 is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine shared with partner Volkswagen. Paired with a new 8-speed manually selectable Tiptronic automatic transmission, the 2.0T offers 6-cylinder performance with 4-cylinder fuel economy. Thanks to its turbocharged application, the 2.0T pumps out an additional fifteen lb-ft of torque compared to the available V6. The Q5 3.2 features a 3.2-liter V6 engine, all-wheel drive and a manually-selectable Tiptronic 6-speed. Despite the 4-cylinder's superior torque figures, the 3.2-liter V6's additional 59 horsepower helps rocket the Q5 to 60 miles per hour in 6.7 seconds (about a half second faster than the 2.0T) and to an electronically-limited top speed of 130 mph. Like most of Audi's recent iterations of their quattro all-wheel-drive system, the Q5's features a 40/60 rear-biased torque split, which improves performance driving feel versus a 50/50 distribution. In case your interests are more specialized, the 2012 Audi Q5 3.2 boasts a segment-leading 4,400-pound towing capacity combined with a 440-pound tongue weight rating.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
211 horsepower @ 4,300 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/27 mpg

3.2-liter V6
270 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
243 lb-ft of torque @ 3,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/23 mpg

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2012 Audi Q5 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 101 Ratings for the 2009 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Q5 2.0T Continues to Amaze Me

By on Friday, April 15, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Outstanding in Every Regard"

Cons: "Still hunting for something significant."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have now owned my 2015 Audi Q5 2.0T Premium Plus for about 20 months, and I continue to be amazed by this automobile. It is incredibly comfortable--which tilted my purchase from a BMW to Audi, it handles superbly, and it has been without flaws and incredibly reliable. It is all I could ask for in a vehicle intended for everyday use. It is an exceptionally well handling vehicle, particularly given its size and relatively tall height. Recently, my wife had to make an emergency lane switch because of an object in our lane. The vehicle responded superbly without any undue "drama," in spite of our relatively high rate of speed. The Q5 simply "goes where you point it" without any resistance or sluggishness. Additionally, in addition to being very comfortable--we have the Sport Package which includes absolutely the most comfortable seat I have ever experienced in an automobile, it is exceptionally quiet; it is easy to carry on a normal volume conversation, even when driving down the road at 65 to 70 mph. Next, fuel economy has been quite good, with most tanks involving mixed driving yielding about 23 to 25 mpg. Very slow in-town driving yields only about 19-20 mpg, but in sustained highway driving at 65-70 mph on relatively level ground and using the cruise control, the Q5 can turn in 29-31 mpg. (One note: I switched from various regional brands to a well-known national brand prominent in racing, and my mileage jumped 2 mpg overall.) I had originally considered the 3.0 TDI or the 3.0T, but the payback for the diesel worked out to about 11+ years, and after driving both the 2.0T and the 3.0T, I felt the 2.0T was somewhat more agile and did not suffer significantly from the 52 hp and 37 lb/ft torque difference. I am extremely happy with my choice of the 2.0T. That might not be the case if we were talking about the 354 hp/346 ft/bl SQ5, however! One really minor annoyance that may stem from my ignorance more than from the characteristics of the vehicle. When starting the car the radio comes on automatically even when it was off previously--a minor annoyance I may be able to resolve by reading the manual more thoroughly. This hardly detracts from our overall satisfaction with the vehicle, however. In summary, this is absolutely the best automobile I have ever owned, hands down. The ride is sublime, the handling is superb, fit and finish are impeccable--best build quality I have ever seen, and economy--if that is not a contradiction in concept for this car--is excellent. In every regard, this is an impeccable automobile. You cannot go wrong with the Audi Q5."

16 people out of 28 found this review helpful

Made a mistake with the 2.0T Q5

By on Tuesday, March 29, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "stylish, comfortable"

Cons: "2.0T is weak, engine noise, poor cornering"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I traded in my 2008 Audi A6 3.2 for this 2016 Q5 with the 2.0T engine. The fit & finish of the vehicle is great, but here's the problem... they never should've offered it with the 2.0T option! This engine is just too small to do this suv any justice. Hitting the gas to jump into traffic is so pathetic; the engine spools up for 3 seconds then you go- I have zero confidence passing anyone without a mile of visibility ahead and cornering is clumsy. The car really spends most of the time in a higher rpm range trying to navigate highway traffic. Very slow. Get the 3.2 if looking to buy the Q5."

9 people out of 14 found this review helpful

WORST CAR EVER!

By on Tuesday, March 29, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Cute car. Loved it when it was new."

Cons: "All issues are mechanical"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"The car was great when first purchased. Started burning oil (about 1 quart per 1000 miles), dealer said it was normal. Had several severe engine problems with coils and turbo. Now they say its a catastrophic engine failure after it was just in there a month ago. They will not warranty their product. Will never consider another one and will be changing brands. Customer service at the corporate level are all scripted and unwilling to help."

13 people out of 22 found this review helpful

Sorry I bought it

By on Wednesday, March 2, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Looks great, smooth ride, fun to drive"

Cons: "Pretty much everything else"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I've disliked this car from the second week I owned it. First, it's like an oven inside. I spent and extra $1000 having the windows tinted & you can still feel the heat radiating through. Even the underside of the visors get warm to the touch. I've had to replace all 4 tires at 22k miles due to wear. And the brakes have been squeaking since 15k miles & I'm told I need new brake pads these are worn. Audi Service tries to lay the fault for the tires & brakes on my driving, but I never had issues with my BMW330i, Toyota Highlander, Acura Legend or Infiniti Q37. Also, I have the 3.0 Premium & if you give it too much gas getting on the highway you get a shrill warning about the engine RPM - which the indicator light doesn't go off until you turn the car off. What's the point of the power if you can't use it"

8 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Transmission failure at 250 miles

By on Monday, February 1, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 260

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"In under a month with just about 250 miles on it, the car's transmission system broke down requiring it to be replaced in it's entirety. What a piece of useless stuff this is!"

4 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Best vehicle I have ever owned.

By on Sunday, January 24, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "too many to list"

Cons: "large side mirrors...turning visibility problem"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"FIRST problem in six years just occurred...rear hatch not latching properly...$325.00 repair for new module/mechanism. Otherwise six years of trouble free ownership. Only anticipated cost will be brake service although brake warning has not yet displayed at 53,000 miles...consider as maintenance."

26 people out of 28 found this review helpful

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