The Audi Q5 supplies style and verve in the luxury realm.
Midsize, two-row luxury utility vehicles are the go-to models for consumers who want something besides a sedan or mainstream model. The Audi Q5 is one such vehicle, a five-passenger SUV with a plug-in hybrid variant.
2022 Audi Q5 Review
The 2022 Q5 mostly carries over this year with three trims offered and two body styles – standard and Sportback. The S Line body kit is now standard and the hybrid gains a larger battery.
Audi divides the three grades, 40 TFSI, 45 TFSI, and 55 TFSI e Plug-in Hybrid further, with Premium, Premium Plus, Prestige trims available. Moreover, the standard and Sportback styles cover most models except where noted.
Pricing starts at $43,500 and climbs to $65,300. Add $1,195 for the destination charge. All models come with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with a dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The Audi Q5 is a handsome SUV and comes in two body styles. But it takes some scrutiny to see the differences between standard and Sportback models, the latter with a cascading roofline that offers a sporty demeanor.
New this year is the S Line body kit that was optional previously. The kit offers attractive striping and special badging.
The Q5’s front end is dominated by a shapely grille and offset by slender, but bright LED headlamps. Bowl-shaped recesses house the fog lamps and a lower air intake complete the expression.
Audis are not minimalist models, but they are not overwrought with exaggerated body sculpting and weird trim pieces. Pleasant signature lines, a high beltline, and attractive wheel designs sweep the profile. Move to the rear of this SUV and attractive LED lighting beautifies the taillamps. Rear fog lights and a pair of exhaust ports round out the appearance.
How much room is inside the Q5? Five can fit just fine, although four is the ideal. And we’re talking about adults here with each one enjoying sufficient head, shoulder, hip, and leg room. Otherwise, the Q5 makes for a decent family vehicle with adults up front and three children in the back.
Cargo space, though, may not be enough for a family, especially with the amount of gear people bring these days. Behind the rear seat is 25.8 cubic feet and that is somewhat smaller than most competitors. Even with the rear seat folded, the 54 cubic feet offered trails the market leaders. We think the Audi Q7 would be the better choice here.
All grades come with leather-wrapped seats. Wood pieces offer further embellishment to the cabin. Audi elevates the look in some models by bringing in Nappa leather seats. Carbon fiber and aluminum trim dress some models.
Speaking of the seats, the front thrones are comfortable and offer even more support in the middle trim where sports seats are included. Other standard or available features of note include tri-zone climate control, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, and rear sunshades.
We applaud Audi for finally catching up to the industry in all matters of in-cabin technology. Although the company has long been at the cutting edge of audio and infotainment practices, for a while in the 2010s, the company trailed. Blame its insistence on requiring customers to connect to their USB ports with proprietary cables.
Fast forward to recent years and the USB ports are the same as found in every other modern vehicle – they offer a direct connection. In the Q5, Audi supplies two.
Another area where Audi changed has made changes is with the center console display. Previously, the company offered a display that was controlled by a dial and without touchscreen access. Although we praised that earlier offering for its crisp design with white and orange lettering on a solid black background,
Again, move forward to today and a 10.1-inch touchscreen display comes standard. It is a familiar design or at least a welcome departure from what was offered earlier. Other features included with the Q5 range from wireless device charging to a Wi-Fi hotspot. Bluetooth is standard and a 10-speaker audio system with HD Radio is integrated. On the smartphone connectivity front, Android Auto connects through the USB port while Apple CarPlay is wireless.
But there are more features and options available if you are willing to pay for them, typically through a trim upgrade. These include a deliciously beautiful 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system that brings Carnegie Hall quality to the interior. Some models also swap out the 7-inch digital instrument cluster for a 12.3-inch digital panel. The latter has become increasingly popular these days and is found in many mainstream models as well.
We believe the Audi Q5 would perform well in an accident. Our assessment is supported by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety as it awarded the Q5 with its highest rating. We’re still waiting to hear back from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on their testing but believe a 5-star rating will follow.
Helping Audi achieve its lofty and hard-earned rating are standard LED headlamps that meet the Institute’s exacting requirements. But Audi didn’t stop there as on its top-trim models, premium lights offer enhanced nighttime brightness. Another factor in the Q5’s success is automatic emergency braking. It comes standard and will soon become mandatory across the industry.
There are some differences in driver-assist equipment offered. On the standard model, blind-spot monitoring is included. Front and rear parking sensors are also found in every grade. Choose the Premium Plus model and this one gains adaptive cruise control with active lane control. Here, Audi trails even some mainstream manufacturers who offer these features on all trims for certain models.
Gas and Plug-In Options
Outside of the hybrid, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine makes 261 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque. This engine is universally used in Audi and Volkswagen products, but the power output varies tremendously, depending on the application. For the Q5, its maximized power befits a model that is larger and heavier than the Q3 with the same-sized engine. Power routes to all four wheels utilizing a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Choose the plug-in hybrid model and this same engine works with an electric motor. The combination is powerful and efficient. On the power side, this model makes 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. On the efficiency side, the hybrid delivers a combined 26 mpg to 25 mpg for the gas model. But the advantage of the PHEV is clear as it also delivers 23 miles of electric-only range. When driven as such locally, trips to the gas stations are less frequent.
With utility vehicles largely replacing sedans and coupes, the driving experience certainly is different. There is no escaping the high-profile nature of SUVs, but that doesn’t mean the fun is omitted. With the Q5, you simply need to upgrade to the SQ5 for a vehicle that’s better tuned for thrills.
As for the Q5, we like that the power delivered is more than sufficient. From step-off to passing, the turbo four delivers. And for the most part, the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission serves up cogs as needed. One caveat: when downshifting, the transmission sometimes hesitates before reaching the intended gear. We believe much of that is overcome by operating the Q5 in sport mode and selecting gears yourself.
We salute the Q5 for outstanding grip, especially on twisty roads where it maintains its composure. The expected body roll is there, yet minimal. It becomes more apparent while cornering, but firm braking manages that. Direct steering, responsive handling, and an enjoyable ride are other hallmarks of this model.
All Q5s come with Audi’s vaunted Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Thus, power shifts from front to back and from side to side with ease, imbuing driver confidence, especially on slick roads or uneven terrain.
Audi Q5 Competitors
The luxury market is well represented by brands from Asia, Europe, and America. In the midsize segment, the Audi Q5 finds several key competitors, including the Genesis GV70, Acura RDX, Infiniti Q50, and the Lexus RX.
From Europe, the Mercedes-Benz GLC Class, BMW X3, Volvo XC60, Porsche Macan, and the Land Rover Range Rover Velar are worth comparing. Among the American makes, the Lincoln Aviator and Cadillac XT5 should be considered.
Audi Q5 Considerations
The Audi Q5 is a strong entry in a highly competitive segment. Its base price is a solid starting point, although there is little chance you’ll find models so equipped on dealer lots.
You’re much more likely to pay well over $50,000 to acquire one. The available plug-in adds at least another $10,000 and that’s a cost we find difficult to justify.
Exterior photos copyright Stumpwater Media Group, LLC. Interior shots supplied by Audi USA. All rights reserved.