By Keith Buglewicz
KBB Expert Rating: 7.6
The 2015 Audi Q5 compact luxury SUV offers up comfort, style and performance, with standard all-wheel drive and five different models suited to individual buyers. The Q5 with either the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder or 3.0-liter V6 offer up a roomy and luxurious interior, good cargo space, and a comfortable ride. Fuel economy fans choose between a diesel with its instant torque and long-distance cruising, or the city-friendly hybrid model. Then there's the Audi SQ5, which adds a high-performance suspension and 354-horsepower V6 to the mix. In fact, the entire Audi Q5 lineup is oriented toward sport, with even the diesel and hybrid offering impressive acceleration. Next to competitors like the Mercedes-Benz GLK, Lexus RX and Cadillac SRX, the Q5 is a commendable jack-of-all-trades.
If you want a 5-passenger do-anything SUV, but crave luxurious surroundings, there's a good chance the 2015 Audi Q5 lineup has just the right vehicle for you. Excellent resale values help offset the high cost of purchase.
The 2015 Audi Q5 lineup's option packages change a bit. For example, a power tailgate and xenon headlights are now standard on the SUV's Premium package, and blind-spot assist and navigation combine for a new Technology package on Premium Plus models. The SQ5 gets a new high-gloss black package.
Driving Impressions The 2015 Audi Q5 lineup walks a fine line among its compact luxury SUV competitors. On one hand, it's not quite as hard-driving as the BMW X3 – with the...... exception of the sporty SQ5 – but it doesn't feel as disconnected as the Lexus RX either. Instead, Audi lets you choose softer or sportier suspension and engine performance, thanks to the available drive-select feature. No matter what setting you choose, we still find the Q5's steering feel to be a bit over-weighted at low speeds, but have no complaints once up and running. The Audi Q5 hybrid offers a smooth transition between its electric motor and gasoline engine, but with mileage estimates of 24 mpg city/30 highway, it's actually a bit less miserly than the torque-happy TDI, and not hugely better than the 2.0T, the latter with a starting price about $15,000 less than the admittedly loaded hybrid.
Nobody even comes close to Audi's sophisticated in-cabin tech system. Audi Connect offers everything from Google maps with real-time news and traffic info, to a Wi-Fi hot spot for up to eight devices, all with a simple-to-use interface.
4 CYLINDERS, 8 SPEEDS
While there are a variety of powertrains to choose from, Audi's 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder may be the best all-around choice. It's fuel efficient, powerful, and with the 8-speed automatic transmission, makes even the base Q5 a fun-to-drive SUV.
Nobody does interiors like Audi, but you could argue that the 2015 Audi Q5 family isn't quite up to the standard as cars like the A4, for example. That said, it's still elegant and comfortable. With an emphasis on technology and, by default, a bevy of buttons, the Q5 comes standard with leather even on base models, and the 3-zone climate control will keep everyone comfortable. The knobs and dials surrounding the shift lever would look at home in a private jet, and the optional wood grain feels classy. The Q5's roomy rear seats fold in a flexible 40/20/40 arrangement.Exterior
The 2015 Audi Q5 is unmistakably Audi, from its massive, trapezoidal grille to its well-proportioned rear with twin tailpipes. It captures the Audi aesthetic perfectly. Standard LEDs in the taillights and mirrors, and optional LED running lights in the headlights lend a modern touch. The Audi Q5 rides SUV-high, too, with 7.9 inches of ground clearance – enough to tackle snow and dirt, but low enough that day-to-day driving isn't accompanied by a long climb into the driver's seat.
The base "Premium" model gets a power tailgate and xenon lighting package standard this year. That adds to the leather seats, 18-inch 5-spoke wheels, 3-zone automatic climate control, 10-speaker audio system, and hill-descent control. You'll note that Bluetooth isn't on that list, a surprising omission for a luxury brand. Q5 models with the 3.0-liter V6, diesel, and SQ5 models all start at the Premium Plus level, while the hybrid comes only in fully loaded Prestige trim. Regardless, the upper levels add things like heated front seats, keyless entry and push-button start, iPod integration, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a panoramic sunroof.
The Audi Q5's price starts high, and goes up from there, and it's easy to push the price nearly $50,000, even with the standard 2.0-liter 4-cylinder. A Technology package bundles blind spot detection and a navigation system, there's a Nappa leather-clad instrument panel, 14-speaker/505-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system, and an available rear-seat entertainment package as well. Other options include adaptive cruise control, and high-tech systems with navigation, rearview camera and a 3G network that turns the Q5 into a rolling Wi-Fi hot spot. One particularly ingenuous feature is an available cup holder that can keep drinks warm or cool.
The Audi Q5 comes with five possible engines, if you include the SQ5 in the mix. The base engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder with a respectable 220-horsepower. Stepping up from that is a supercharged V6. The TDI offers a smooth-running clean diesel, while hybrid fans can choose the Q5's combination of a turbo 4-cylinder with a battery pack that's good for 30 mpg. Then there's the SQ5, with 354 horsepower. All Q5 SUVs come with a slick-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode, and all come with Quattro all-wheel drive and the ability to tow up to 4,400 pounds. Note that gasoline-powered models require premium fuel.
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (2.0T)
220 horsepower @ 4,450-6,000 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/28 mpg
3.0-liter supercharged V6 (3.0T)
272 horsepower @ 4,780 rpm
295 lb-ft of torque @ 2,150 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/26 mpg
3.0-liter supercharged V6 (SQ5)
354 horsepower @ 6,000-6,500 rpm
346 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 mpg
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 plus electric motor/generator (Hybrid)
245 horsepower (combined)
350 lb-ft of torque (combined)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/30 mpg
3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 (TDI)
240 horsepower @ 3,750-4,000 rpm
428 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-2,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/31 mpg
The base-level 2015 Audi Q5 2.0T Premium starts with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) right at $40,000. Prices rise quickly though – if you want any color besides black or white, you'll pay an extra $550, for example. The Q5 3.0T starts at about $46,000, while the diesel-powered Q5 TDI starts at nearly $48,000. The hybrid and SQ5 are both well above the $50,000 mark at $53,000 and $53,700, respectively. Start adding options and you'll quickly find yourself pushing $60,000. SUV competitors range from the less expensive Acura RDX, to the similarly priced Infiniti QX60, to the more expensive Lexus RX, Mercedes-Benz GLK and BMW X3. Be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price on KBB.com to see what buyers in your area are actually paying for the 2015 Audi Q5. Resale value is a strong point for the Q5, with the Audi being among the best in its class.
By Remlerman on Friday, October 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great handling and screaming fast"
Cons: "Behind the curve in connectivity and electronics"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"This car is beautiful inside and out and handles as well or better than any BMW or Lexus I've owned. It is TERRIFIC at going fast: I have the TDI's Turbo-Diesel and it has an incredible amount of low end torque. The ride is very comfortable, the wheel transmits just the right amount of road feel and the sound system's speakers are great. All that being said, I'd give it back to the dealer tomorrow if I could. The electronics are way behind the curve; you have to take your eyes off the road and one hand off the wheel to do way too many things (change stations on radio, change audio sources, change screens so that some climate or other adjustment can be made). The Navigation system is archaic and clunky to operate and the voice recognition is terrible. The bluetooth system has a hard time distinguishing when multiple phones are in the car and the answer button frequently stops (and starts!) working. We got this car almost about the same time as a new Ford Escape which has electronics that are vastly more modern, useful and safety-conscious (the car literally will park itself) but are in a car that cost half as much as this. Powertrain: this car is really bad at slow speeds: approach an intersection slowly while waiting for pedestrians or cross-traffic and then try to speed up; the car lags like it's been flooded. You're sometimes left in mid intersection waiting for acceleration. Really too bad that this car is such a mixed bag of both excellent and really terrible design choices. 3G connectivity practically useless. Can't disable door auto-locks; can't close rear hatch from inside the car(!!)or with key fob. You have to look down at console to control too many functions."
10 people out of 15 found this review helpful
By TOM on Monday, September 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Very utilitarian, great driving , great styling"
Cons: "A few missing features as noted."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This vehicle is now 4 years old and it looks like new, have had any mechanical issues or any other issues. It has been serviced by Audi under the Audi Care Plan 3 times (once per year) with no issues noted. Mileage is a bit less than advertised with High Octane gas. This, I do not think unusual at about 1 MPG less than advertised. The engine uses about 1 Qt. of oil in 10 months with normal driving. The vehicle is a smooth rider on highway driving and quite firm on bumpy roads using the oversize wheels that were purchased originally. At this point I see two improvements that could be made to this vehicle and that is: Find a way to create a well in the trunk/storage area so that items placed there do not move all over while driving. Rear leg room is minimal and a 5th passenger in the rear passenger seat is a bit unrealistic with the AC outlet in the middle over the hump. Also, the top side of the rear bumper is painted leaving it vulnerable to scratching while placing or removing items from the rear storage area. A protective pad should be placed there. Rear seats do not lie flat when released for more storage. Overall, however, this is a great reliable and beautifully styled crossover SUV that we love to drive."
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Jeff on Saturday, September 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,100overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive, well built"
Cons: "confusing controls, rough ride, road noise"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I have put over 50K miles on this car, and have not had a single issue with it. Very high quality built car. Handling is exceptional, and has good power. The radio/navigation controls are a bit confusing at first, but you get used to them. I'm also not sure why Audi does not put USB ports in their cars. Hopefully that will change soon. The ride is also a bit rough and the road noise is noticeable at higher speeds. This car is built for aggressive driving. It is not as comfortable or smooth as some of the other luxury brands, but overall quality is great."
3 people out of 6 found this review helpful