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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
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 97 Ratings for the 2009 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    9.1/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Transmission failure at 250 miles

By on Monday, February 01, 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!"

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."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

I own the Q5 premium plus 3.0t

By on Monday, December 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

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

"This vehicle rides like a luxury car and performs like a sports car. It's the best car in its class."

8 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Great Vehicle

By on Monday, November 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 800

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "quiet, fun to drive"

Cons: "havent found any cons yet"

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

"While ive only owned this Q5 a short period of time, im very impressed with the overall quality of it. Very quiet interior, responsive acceleration and sporty steering, make this a great vehicle to drive. Size is perfect, not too big and not too small."

15 people out of 25 found this review helpful

I like it more and more every day I drive it...

By on Wednesday, November 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 700

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Most if not all of the features."

Cons: "Main cabin light too strong with cheap white cover"

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

"I purchased the Q5 Premium Plus 3.0 three weeks ago.The driving is very smooth but dynamic and holds the turns very well. The car is also very quiet. I own an X5 as well and this car is no comparison. I test drive the 2.0, the 3.0 TDI and the 3.0 DSI. I would say that the 2.0 and the 3.0 TDI have the same pickup. If you want a nice acceleration you want the 3.0 DSI. The car is a first quality product. A lot of the technology features are very well though and the controls are very accessible. I hope that my review does not prove me wrong as the time goes by. A couple of things that I noticed is the switch for controlling car lights could have been placed a couple of inches to the right. Your knee sometimes hits the switch and can move it from Auto to manual. The main cabin light is too strong and the white plastic cover does not compliment at all the overall interior of the car. I also wished their was a better solution for the curtain that covers the full sunroof. I had to order the Sports Package that comes with full black interior so I can get the black curtain which is stops more the light from coming in. The thin curtain clothe material can be very easily damaged as well. In the beginning I was mad that the clock display was too small for us 50 and above to read, until I found out that by pushing a button under the whippers control it gives you the time and the remaining millage on the main display instead of the MPH. Audi should start supporting at least the new iPod / iPhone Lightning adapter if not the full Apple carplay. With all the smart phones around and the internet connections the Audi connect is a NO SALE. As NO SALE is a CD player in the car."

16 people out of 23 found this review helpful

Audi Q5 2016 Fabulous SUV!

By on Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great in every category!"

Cons: "None"

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

"I have nothing to say but great comments about our 2016 Q5 and give it a 9.5! Granted we have only had it 2 months but it is comfortable for both my husband and I and we are opposite body types...It handles extremely well in the city, but highway driving the Audi Q5 excels! We have to flip who gets to drive it :+)"

9 people out of 17 found this review helpful

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