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2018 Audi Q5

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2018 Audi Q5 Expert Review


All-new for 2018, the Audi Q5 enters its second generation with added power, higher efficiency, a tailored new suit and even more brains. It's all an improvement on a recipe that has worked so well for Audi's compact-luxury SUV that within a few years of its introduction in 2009, the model went on to become the German brand's best seller. Nearly a decade later, the new Q5 is just one choice in what has become a booming segment. Yet even among notable competitors such as the Mercedes-Benz GLC, BMW X3 and Acura RDX, the 2018 Audi Q5 stands out with its stellar blend of performance, comfort and capability. Throw in an impressive roster of standard safety features, and the Q5's star shines even brighter.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want a smaller luxury SUV with excellent overall driving manners, standard all-wheel drive, gee-whiz technology and active safety features like automatic emergency braking, the 2018 Audi Q5 checks every box. Its European badge appeal and good looks don't hurt, either.

You May Not Like This Car If...

With the sole powertrain being a turbocharged 4-cylinder, rivals like the Mercedes-Benz GLC and BMW X3 offer more choices, while the Acura RDX and Lexus NX have lower starting prices. If you want a V6 in this Audi, you'll have to step up to the performance-oriented SQ5 model.

How It Ranks


out of 12

Fuel Economy


out of 13

View all rankings
2018 Audi Q5 Low/wide front photo What's New for 2018

The 2-row/5-passenger Audi Q5 luxury SUV is all-new for 2018. It enters its second generation with a bump in power and fuel efficiency, a new 7-speed twin-clutch transmission, slightly roomier interior and a roster of standard features that include Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility and Audi pre sense safety systems.

Driving the Q5
2018 Audi Q5 Front angle view photo
Driving Impressions

Audis have a knack for splitting the difference of performance-minded BMWs and the oft-celebrated comfort of Mercedes-Benzes. This is a good thing, and the new Q5 strikes a lovely balance...

... between an X3 and GLC. That's not to say the Audi doesn't have its own personality. If we could pick its best trait, we'd peg it as "confident." The Q5 feels thus in just about any situation. When we pushed the new Q5 hard on mountain roads, its manners felt more sports sedan than crossover SUV. In both around-town driving and highway stretches, the Q5 is quiet and comfortable. And though most owners aren't likely to get their Q5 very dirty, it's surprisingly competent on dirt trails. The Q5's 252-horsepower 4-cylinder engine and 7-speed transmission make a good pairing. With a 0-60-mph time of 5.9 seconds, the new Q5 is faster than the prior version with the optional V6.

The 2018 Q5 comes standard with both "basic" and "city" versions of this system. The first prepares the vehicle for an impact by closing windows and pre-tensioning safety belts. The second can detect other cars and pedestrians, and apply the brakes at up to 52 mph to mitigate or lessen an impact.

We're suckers for a sweet audio system, and the latest Q5 SUV offers an ear-popping one with its optional Bang & Olufsen setup. With 16 speakers pumping out 755 watts from a variety of sources -- including "old-school" compact discs -- it's bound to enhance any drive.

2018 Audi Q5 Details
2018 Audi Q5 Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

As with other Audis, the new Q5's 2-row/5-passenger interior finds the spot where contemporary design, cutting-edge technology and premium amenities intersect. It's sleek yet handsome, and thankfully not overwhelmed with buttons. One of the highlights is the optional Virtual Cockpit, which turns the instrument cluster into a customizable 12.3-inch digital display that can show everything from the expected -- speed and mpg -- to the gee-whiz, such as realistic Google Maps. At 37.8 inches, rear legroom is good, as is cargo volume of over 60 cubic feet with the 40/20/40-split seats folded. The front seats are supportive, a benefit for longer commutes.

2018 Audi Q5 photo

This latest Q5's squat and dignified exterior has changed just enough to keep it interesting while still remaining familiar. Up front is that gaping grille, surrounded by a new fascia, standard xenon headlights and LED running lights. Around back are a pair of elongated tailpipe housings and the all-important power tailgate. Standard roof rails help remind that this is an SUV. The Q5 rolls on 18-inch wheels as standard, with 19- and 20-inch variants optional. While other crossover SUVs have traded ground clearance for a more sedan-like ride, the 2018 Q5's stance has actually increased slightly, from 7.9 inches to 8.2 inches.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2nd-gen Audi Q5 is available in three trims: Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige. The base Premium model is nicely equipped, even for a luxury-crossover SUV, with standard features like leather interior, tri-zone climate control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone compatibility, power-operated front seats, HomeLink garage-door opener and power tailgate. As mentioned in Favorite Things, the Q5 also includes impressive safety systems. The standard 10-speaker/180-watt audio system has an AM/FM and HD Radio, CD player and USB and SD card inputs, along with Bluetooth connectivity. A 7-inch center infotainment display and rearview camera are also included.

Optional Equipment

If you can swing it, we recommend the mid-trim Q5 Premium Plus with blind-spot monitoring, hands-free tailgate, heated front seats with driver's seat memory, full LED lights and panoramic sunroof. This trim opens the door to further options. The top-line Q5 Prestige adds the Virtual Cockpit, navigation system, Bang & Olufsen premium audio system, top-view camera system with parking sensors, head-up display, 8.3-inch center screen, and 20-inch wheels. The Q5 can be upgraded with heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, adaptive damping suspension and a driver-assistance package that bundles adaptive cruise control, active lane-keeping assist, traffic-sign recognition, and automatic high-beam control.

Under the Hood
2018 Audi Q5 Engine photo

This all-new Q5 version is a one-size-fits-all strategy. Thankfully it's a good one: a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch S tronic transmission. Unlike its competitors, all Q5 models come with the Quattro all-wheel drive (AWD) as standard. This latest Q5 uses Audi's "ultra-technology" system to enhance fuel efficiency by powering the front wheels when possible, and can instantly shift up to 100 percent of the power to the rear wheels as needed. It's a lightning-fast system, and you'll likely never perceive it working. The Q5 is rated to tow up to 4,400 pounds. The Q5 is quick, but if you hunger for more power in your Audi, the new SQ5 packs it with a new turbo V6 good for 354 horsepower.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
252 horsepower @ 5,000-6,000 rpm
273 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/27 mpg

The 2018 Audi Q5 has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $42,475 including the $975 destination charge. The Premium Plus model begins at $46,475, while the top-line Prestige edition starts at $51,775. Fully loaded, a 2018 Q5 luxury-crossover SUV can kiss the $57,000 mark. The Q5 starts slightly higher than the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC, but the gap is minimal if you opt for all-wheel drive on those models. The starting price of the new AWD Jaguar F-Pace nearly mirrors that of the Q5. Rivals such as the Acura RDX, Infiniti QX50, Cadillac XT5, and Lincoln MKC and MKX start lower. A new, sophisticated Volvo XC60 is around the corner, but pricing hasn't been announced. Before buying, check the Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying. If the past is any indicator, the Q5's resale value will remain strong.

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Get Your Fair Purchase Price See actual transaction prices, explore total cost to own, projected resale value and more.
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