By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor
KBB Expert Rating: 9.0
Audi’s 2016 Q5 compact SUV delivers a healthy dose of luxury appointments, timeless style and exhilarating performance. With five different models on hand, the all-wheel-drive Q5 luxury crossover runs the gamut, from the efficient and affordable 2.0-liter turbocharged Premium, to the 354-horsepower supercharged V6 in the enthusiast-oriented SQ5. Those seeking cutting-edge technology or maximum fuel economy can opt for either a hybrid or diesel powertrain. No matter which Q5 is selected, the lucky owner will find a spacious and versatile interior, a ride that is comfortable, yet still sporty, and styling that is classic without being bland. Next to such competitors as the Lexus RX, Mercedes-Benz GLK and Lincoln MKC, the 2016 Audi Q5 is a commendable jack-of-all-trades.
The 2016 Audi Q5 luxury-crossover SUV offers all the high-end amenities for which Audi is known in a vehicle that can do more than just travel on paved roads. Comfortable, safe and efficient, the Q5’s steep price is somewhat offset by its good resale values.
KBB Expert Ratings
For 2016 Audi’s Q5 luxury crossover adds a 3-spoke multifunction steering wheel and a panoramic sunroof as standard equipment. The Technology package on Premium Plus models gains a Bang & Olufsen sound system, while Audi’s adaptive dampening suspension becomes a stand-alone option on the SQ5 Premium Plus.
The 2016 Q5 luxury-crossover SUV from Audi takes the middle ground compared to its nearest rivals. A drive-select feature permits a choice between a firm or soft ride, the first...
... not quite as abrasive as the BMW X3, the latter not as soft as the Lexus RX. The Q5’s steering feels a bit over-weighted to us at low speeds, but once up and running there’s better response without tendency to drift. Each of the 2016 Q5’s engines has its own charm, from the plucky performance of the 2.0T, to the torque-happy acceleration provided by the TDI diesel model. The SQ5 is the most aggressive of the Q5s, with a stiff ride, but excellent performance credentials. The hybrid model is the one trim we think is hard to justify. You’ll get more torque and better fuel economy from the TDI, and nearly as good fuel economy from the less expensive 2.0T.
Audi Connect leads the pack in the infotainment field, with a sophisticated in-cabin tech system all others should copy. Among the system’s highlights is a Wi-Fi hotspot to service up to eight devices and Google maps with real-time traffic and news. Best of all, the interface couldn’t be simpler.
4 CYLINDERS, 8 SPEEDS
If you’re not a speed demon or mileage miser, the standard 2.0-liter turbo-4 in the 2016 Q5 from Audi is all the engine most drivers will ever need. Smooth, powerful and efficient, the 2.0T is made even more enjoyable by partner in crime, the 8-speed Tiptronic automatic.
Nobody does interiors like Audi, but you could argue that the 2016 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.
The 2016 Q5 luxury SUV 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. Audi’s 2016 Q5 crossover SUV 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.
Premium ("base”) models include a power tailgate and xenon lighting package, 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 amenities like heated front seats, keyless entry and push-button start, iPod integration, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a panoramic sunroof.
The 2016 Audi Q5's price starts high, and goes up from there, and it's easy to push the price to 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, and other offerings include a 14-speaker/505-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system and rear-seat entertainment package. 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 hotspot. One particularly ingenuous feature is an available cup holder that can keep drinks warm or cool.
Audi Q5 crossover SUV for 2016 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
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
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
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 turbocharged diesel V6
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 2016 Audi Q5 2.0T Premium starts with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) right at $42,000. 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 $47,000, while the diesel-powered Q5 TDI starts at nearly $49,000. The hybrid and SQ5 are both well above the $50,000 mark at $53,500 and $54,300, 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 2016 Audi Q5. Resale value is a strong point for the Q5, with the Audi being among the best in its class.