The compact SUV is the top-selling passenger car in the USA, with the sales charts dominated by mainstream players such as the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V that start at prices below $30k. Premium brands also field their offerings, and with its $45k starting price, the 2024 Audi Q5 competes against rivals such as the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class, Volvo XC60 which are also clamoring for buyers' attention. The Audi isn't exciting to look at or to drive, but it puts in a strong showing, offering buyers three powertrains - two gas-powered 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engines with either 201 or 261 horsepower and a high-performance 362-hp plug-in hybrid - all with standard all-wheel drive. With a roomy cabin, premium finishes, and refined ride, can the Audi still compete in this class compared to the superbly accomplished X3 and all-new GLC?
The 2024 Q5 and Q5 Hybrid get more standard driver assists across the board in the form of active lane-keep assist that comes with a new heated steering wheel with capacitive hands-on detection for every trim in the range. Remote engine start via the myAudi app is added to all gas trims. The 45 trims get new sports seats and gray-brown birchwood interior trim. The Navigation package (standard on the Prestige trims) is now available to Premium Plus trims while gaining a six-month trial subscription to Audi Connect PLUS with the Audi app store. In terms of the Q5's exterior specifications, the Ibis White paint is replaced with Arkona White, and the Black Optic package becomes optionally available on the 40 trims - but only on the Premium Plus and Prestige. The existing Black Optic package available on the 45 and 55 trims is extended to more exterior and interior parts and trim pieces.
For its sixth model year, the starting price of a new Audi Q5 increases by only $400. The entry-level trim costs $44,600 with the base engine. In Premium Plus guise, it costs $49,400 and the Prestige version goes for $54,900. The slightly more powerful 45 trims start off with the 45 Premium at $47,500, followed by the 45 Premium Plus at $52,300 and the 45 Prestige at $57,400. Upgrading the powertrain to the 55 e plug-in hybrid will cost you around $10k, with the 55 e Premium coming in at $57,800, the 55 e Premium Plus at $61,700, and the 55 e Prestige being the most expensive at $67,000. These prices are all MSRP and exclude Audi's $1,195 destination fee.
With the federal tax credit no longer applicable to the PHEV, it's difficult to justify its $10k price premium unless you are going to use the all-electric range daily on your commute and you can charge it at home. We think the 261-hp powertrain of the 45 trims is the nicest of the rest, providing ample performance, while the Premium Plus trim level is the sweet spot, adding enough niceties over and above the Premium trim to justify it, notably the sunroof, 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, the surround-view camera, the B&O audio system, and the sportier S line exterior treatment.
More elegant and plush than cutting-edge and exciting, the cabin is nonetheless a comfortable, restful haven - and hushed on the move.
The Q5's cabin design is starting to look a little dated next to the high-tech interiors of some other current Audis, and not everybody will like the freestanding infotainment touchscreen that sits on top of the dashboard. That said, the solidity of the construction and the premium quality of the materials cannot be faulted. It feels properly upmarket, and the in-car tech is right up to date, with all the expected infotainment functionality and a big digital gauge cluster on all but the base trims. The front pews in the 45 trims are upgraded to more heavily bolstered sports seats this year, and seating comfort and interior space, especially in the second row, are excellent. The padding is rather firm, but it doesn't compromise comfort, thanks to the design of the seats.
Cabin space is a strong suit, and even after six years on the market, there's hardly a roomier premium compact SUV around, especially in the second row, where the class-leading legroom offered in the Q5 handily beats the X3 and GLC and is only just equaled by the XC60. Unlike the Q5 Sportback, the regular Q5 SUV's doors are big and tall, making getting inside easy. You have a commanding view of the road, with good all-round visibility. Parking is eased by the backup camera and standard front and rear parking sensors.
Cabin space doesn't come at the expense of trunk space, but the Q5 doesn't lead the class on this metric. The 25.8 cu-ft behind the second row is enough to beat the XC60 and GLC, but not the X3. The Q5's figure decreases ever so slightly to 25.6 cu-ft with the sunroof fitted. Fold down the 40/20/40-split second row, and a total trunk volume of 54 cu-ft becomes available - or 53.5 cubes with the sunroof. It's a decent figure but noticeably worse than its mentioned rivals. The rear seats don't fold completely flat, but there are netted compartments in the sides of the cargo hold for smaller items.
In-cabin storage areas are par for the course and include an average-sized glovebox, four roomy door pockets, front seatback pockets, and a lidded center-console storage bin, with a phone rest just ahead of it - which is also the wireless charging pad on trims so equipped. The front cupholders hide under a sliding cover, and they're heated and cooled on the Prestige trims. A narrow slot alongside the shifter lever is ideal for items such as pens, and a bigger one ahead of the shifter can accept slightly bigger items. The rear passengers get two cupholders as well.
|Audi Q5||BMW X3||Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class SUV|
|5 Seater||5 Seater||5 Seater|
|38.1-39.6 in. front|
37.7-39.3 in. rear
|41.1 in. front|
39.1 in. rear
|41.3 in. front |
39.7 in. rear
|40.9 in. front|
38 in. rear
|40.3 in. front|
36.4 in. rear
|40.7 in. front |
37.4 in. rear
|25.8-54 ft³ (Premium)|
25.6-53.3 ft³ (Premium Plus, Prestige)
|28.7-62.7 ft³||21.9-56.3 ft³|
All Q5 trims come with standard leather upholstery and a decent selection of available interior colors. On all Q5 trims, you get the seat leather in Atlas Beige with Granite Gray stitching, a Black/Atlas Beige dashboard, and a Beige headliner, but additional choices include Black leather with Rock Gray stitching, a Black dashboard, and a Gray headliner; Okapi Brown leather with Granite Gray stitching, and a Black dashboard and headliner, or Rock Gray leather with Granite Gray stitching, a Black/Rock Gray dashboard, and a Gray headliner.
Even at the base level, the Audi Q5 comes with a few standard features you might not expect, such as a power liftgate, leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel and front seats, and tri-zone climate control. Other standard features include roof rails, an eight-way power driver's seat, remote start, and wood trim. As you move up the ranks, standard features such as a panoramic sunroof, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, a power-adjustable steering column, ventilated sports front seats, and heated rear seats are added.
A free-standing 10.1-inch MMI infotainment touchscreen is mounted on top of the dashboard like a tablet, and the system comes with wireless Apple CarPlay, wired Android Auto, connected services such as emergency calling, and a ten-speaker audio system in the 40 trims. SiriusXM costs extra via the Convenience package. The Premium Plus gets a Harman Kardon 3D audio system with 19 speakers. The Prestige gets standard navigation, but this is optional on the Premium Plus via the Navigation package. The Prestige is the only trim to get a head-up display, Amazon Alexa, and a full-speed Wi-Fi hotspot.
|Premium 40 TFSI quattro||S line Premium Plus 45 TFSI quattro||S line Prestige 45 TFSI quattro|
|Heated front seats & steering wheel|
|Tri-zone climate control|
|19-speaker B&O audio system|
Handling is competent rather than exciting, but the Audi strikes an excellent balance between composure, comfort, and sure-footedness.
The only engine in the Audi Q5 is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, but it's offered in three configurations. In the base gas configuration fitted to 40 trims, it develops 201 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque, giving the Audi Q5 a 0-60 time of 6.8 seconds- decent if not truly quick. In the 45 trims, this engine is upgraded to 261 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque, dropping the 0-60 sprint to a swift 5.7 seconds. The 55 e trims have a PHEV powertrain, combining the gas engine with an electric motor for a total output of 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Despite the added weight, this setup can get the Q5 to 60 mph in just five seconds, which is performance close to that of the SQ5. Top speed is limited to 130 mph in all cases, and the PHEV can reach a maximum of 84 mph on electric power. The same drivetrain is used for all models, which is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive. The gas Q5s have a towing capacity of 4,400 pounds, and the PHEVs can tow a maximum of 2,000 pounds.
The Q5 doesn't exhibit flair and a sense of fun when cornering, but it's stable and composed with plenty of grip. The quattro system is quick to shuttle power rearward when required, giving the car a measure of agility that would otherwise have been absent. The accurate steering doesn't provide much feel, but the brakes are powerful and responsive. Not so much the powertrain, which suffers from the laggy responses often associated with dual-clutch transmission coupled to turbocharged engines. There is discernable pull-away lag, and the transmission is sometimes slow to respond, but once wound up and accelerating, the seamless surge of torque and rapid gear changes make for swift, uninterrupted progress. The ride is compliant, even on the larger wheels, and an additional dimension of roll resistance and comfort can be added via the optional air suspension on the top trims.
The Audi Q5's mpg figures are good in its class, with EPA estimates of 23/29/26 mpg for the city/highway/combined cycles in 40 TFSI quattro format. With more power and bigger wheels, the 45 trims return 22/28/24 mpg - good, but no better than the X3 xDrive30i's 24 mpg combined gas mileage - and that's not even hybridized. The PHEV 55 e trims are the most frugal, returning 60 MPGe and 26 mpg combined while offering an all-electric range of 22 miles.
With a fuel capacity of 18.5 gallons, the gas Q5s can achieve a range of 444 to 481 miles on a tank, but the PHEV is restricted to around 400 miles on account of its smaller 14.3-gallon tank.
|2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas|
AWD (40 trims)
|2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas|
AWD ||(45 trims)
|2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas |
AWD (55 e trims)
|201 hp||261 hp||362 hp|
|130 mph||130 mph||130 mph (hybrid) |
84 mph (electric mode)
|23 / 29 / 25 mpg||22 / 28 / 24 mpg||60 MPGe |
26 mpg combined
|6.8 sec.||5.7 sec.||5 sec.|
Safety levels are of a high standard, even after six years, with all the safety features and driver assists you’d expect.
The NHTSA safety review of the 2024 Audi Q5 shows that passive safety is still right up there, despite the car's age. The agency gave it full five-star scores for all tests except the rollover test, which received four stars - a typical result for an SUV. The IIHS had not yet tested the 2024 model, but it was very complimentary of the 2023 Q5, with the agency's top Good score applicable to most main crash-test criteria, with no worse than Acceptable for any of them, bagging it a 2023 Top Safety Pick award. The Matrix-LED headlights on the Prestige were rated Good, and the other trims' regular LEDs Acceptable.
Audi fits an entire suite of driver assists to each Q5, including front-collision alert with automatic emergency braking and front and rear parking sensors. You also get lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, and blind-spot monitoring with haptic feedback through the steering wheel. Additional features include traffic jam assist and adaptive cruise control. The Premium Plus additionally gains a surround-view camera, with navigation and traffic sign recognition becoming optionally available via the Navigation package, which is standard on the Prestige, in addition to a head-up display and automated parking. Six airbags are standard, but side airbags for the rear-seat passengers will cost you $350 extra on all trims.
|Premium 40 TFSI quattro||S line Premium Plus 45 TFSI quattro||S line Prestige 45 TFSI quattro|
|Front-collision alert with braking|
|Lane-departure alert & lane-keep assist|
|Adaptive cruise control|
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
In terms of reliability, the Audi Q5's score of 75 out of 100 fom JD Power for reliability isn't great, trailing the X3's 82. The car's recall history isn't too bad, though; so far, the 2024 Q5 hasn't been recalled. The 2023 Q5 was recalled once for connecting-rod bearings that may become damaged and cause engine failure. This recall also applied to 2022 Q5s, in addition to recalls for a short-circuiting ECU, a faulty control module that can cause the engine to shut down, and an absent rear-camera display.
The limited warranty of the 2024 Audi Q5 runs for four years/50,000 miles - the same period as the powertrain warranty.
It doesn't have the excitement and emotion of a Stelvio, nor the squat sense of sporty purpose of a Macan, but the Q5 is still a handsome thing, with classy proportions and premium detailing. It looks a little meek on the Premium's 18-inch alloys, but all the other trims run on 19s. The Premium can be upspecced to 19s and the other trims to 20s. The 40 trims get the standard exterior with the vertical chrome bars in the grille, while the 45s and PHEVs gain the S line package with sportier bumpers and a black mesh grille. From the Premium Plus and up, a panoramic sunroof is standard. All trims get a power liftgate and LED headlights, but only the Prestige's headlights are of the upgraded Matrix-LED type with washers. The Black Optic package available on Premium Plus and Prestige trims blacks out the wheels and all the exterior trim, also adding 20-inch wheels to the 45s and PHEVs. The PHEVs' optional Sport Plus package includes 20-inch alloys, adaptive air suspension, and (on the Prestige only) OLED taillights.
Six years after its launch, the Audi Q5 still does a great job, with its roomy and upscale cabin, high feature count, and civilized road manners being particular highlights. But time does not stand still, and it no longer comes across as the most advanced or resolved in this class. This is more a comment on the quality of the competition than any shortcoming in particular of the Q5, but this is a tough class to conquer, with far newer rivals such as the GLC and GV70 being better all-round packages. That being said, we have no hesitation in recommending the Audi for all its traditional Audi virtues and premium feel.
The most popular competitors of 2024 Audi Q5: