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2019 Audi Q5

$42,950
Price (MSRP)
Audi Q5

2019 Audi Q5 Test Drive Review: Taking Competence To The Next Level

by Ian Wright

Audi adapted to the eager crossover market quickly and with little fuss, and it wasn't long before the Q5 compact crossover outsold Audi's bread and butter A5 sedan. While the Q5 is a premium product, Audi has snuck in value for money in the form of its standard Quattro all-wheel-drive system along with standard features that would be options on competitors' vehicles. Audi doesn't like to cut corners to get there though and has a reputation to uphold for quality, style, and driving experience. The question is whether the Q5 pulls it all together in one neat package still.

2019 Audi Q5 Changes: What’s the difference vs 2018 Q5?

Audi has made minor updates to their midsize luxury crossover SUV for 2019, mostly focusing on interior comfort and tech upgrades. The infotainment system sees the addition of an improved 7-inch display while Premium models now get navigation, USB charging points for rear passengers and wireless phone charging as standard. Other new standard features across the range include heated front seats, Audi Connect Care and back seat child locks. The range-topping Prestige now comes with parking assistance.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros:
  • Good forward visibility
  • Ample cargo space
  • Balanced ride
  • Cons:
  • Tricky infotainment system
  • Limited back seat space
  • Intrusive traction control

Q5 Exterior

Exterior styling on the 2019 Q5 is typically german; it's cool, calculated and not too shouty. Audi, in their own words, describes it as contemporary and timeless. Compared to its fellow German rivals the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC 300, the Q5 doesn't look as constrained, in fact, it looks rather handsome and unfussy.

Exterior features for 2019 include 18-inch double-spoke alloy wheels as standard, with 19- or 20-inch available on upper trims wrapped in 255/45 summer tires, full LED headlights and taillights, an S-model appearance package, power adjustable and heated side mirrors and a power liftgate. The Premium Plus model adds a panoramic sunroof while the Prestige features dual-plane glass for reduced road and wind noise as well as parking assistance and a top-view camera.

2019 Audi Q5 Front Angle View CarBuzz
2019 Audi Q5 Side View CarBuzz
2019 Audi Q5 Rear Angle View CarBuzz
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Dimensions

The Q5 slots in at the smaller end of the midsize crossover SUV class when compared to its main rivals the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLE 300. Measuring in at a height of 65.3 inches, the Q5 sits lower than its other German counterparts and is narrower too, measuring 74.5 inches in width, excluding the mirrors. The Q5 rides on a 111-inch wheelbase, 2.1 inches shorter than the GLC 300 and 1.8 inches shorter than the X3. All three cars weight in around 4,000 pounds, with the Q5 weighing in at 4,057 pounds to be exact.

Exterior Colors

A palette of 11 colors is available on the 2019 Q5, and Audi has expertly curated the color choice for 2019 to compliment the sophisticated design of the exterior. A basic black, titled Brilliant Black, and Ibis White or Glacier White is available for those who like to play safe, while a wide range of silver and gray shades make up the bulk of the color options: Florett Silver Metallic, Manhattan Gray Metallic, and Monsoon Gray Metallic are available on the Q5, but colors such as Quantum Gray is reserved for the SQ5. Other colors worth mentioning is the exotic Azores Green Metallic, Navarra Blue and Matador Red Metallic.

  • Azores Green Metallic
  • Florett Silver Metallic
  • Glacier White Metallic
  • Matador Red Metallic
  • Moonlight Blue Metallic
  • Mythos Black Metallic
  • Monsoon Gray Metallic
  • Manhattan Gray Metallic
  • Navarra Blue Metallic
  • Brilliant Black
  • Ibis White

Q5 Performance

As is the trend with most modern family cars, Audi has opted for a turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivering modest power outputs. The key benefits of going down this route, instead of opting for a more traditional naturally aspirated, high capacity engine is lower fuel cost, and better power delivery for city and urban driving. The 2.0-liter turbocharged engine doing duty in the Q5 allows the big German SUV to accelerate to sixty in an impressive 5.9 seconds.

2019 Audi Q5 Front View CarBuzz
2019 Audi Q5 Rear Angle View CarBuzz
2019 Audi Q5 Engine Bay CarBuzz

Engine and Transmission

There's only one engine choice available for the 2019 Q5, but it does a fine job of hauling the 4,000 pound SUV around town. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder features Audi's valve lift technology and produces 248 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque between 1,600 and 4,500 rpm. Power is sent to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, although in everyday driving situations the Q5 operates as a front-wheel-drive car, with power only being sent to the back wheels when slip is detected.

  • Engine
    2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmission
    7-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain
    AWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Power delivery from the Q5's turbocharged 4-cylinder is as refined as the ride, and there's some in reserve when the spirit of driving takes over. Part of that is how the dual-clutch transmission shows itself off by being both seamlessly smooth and fast at the same time. A tendency for the turbocharged engine to surge may bother those that are used to a naturally aspirated 6-cylinder engine but it took us little time to get used to it and then forget about it until reviewing our notes.

Audi is trying to balance the Q5 on the knife-edge of being smooth and pleasant to drive day to day and quick and sporty when the mood takes over. Around town, the Q5 feels like power is being biased towards the front wheels. That's because it is, but get stuck into it and the bias changes and causes handling to become lively and forward traction on slippery surfaces is not a problem.

The suspension is well damped and we couldn't find a road that upset it. The steering is light and accurate but with little feedback as to what the front wheels are doing. In dynamic mode, the steering requiers a little more heft to guide the Q5 around, but that extra heft feels as artificial as it is.

Q5 Gas Mileage

Audi gives an EPA- estimated fuel consumption figure of 22/27/24 mpg city/highway/combined, which matches the Mercedes-Benz GLC, but fails to surpass the BMX X3's figure of 23/30/26 mpg. With an 18.5-gallon fuel tank, the Q5 has an estimated combined range of 444-miles.

While we found the EPA's estimations to be accurate as we varied up the driving, the numbers are still disappointing considering that part of the reason for downsizing to a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is to be kinder to the wallet as well as the environment.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    18.5 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 22/27 mpg
* 2019 Audi Q5 2.0T Premium quattro AWD

Q5 Interior

Audi prides itself on its ability to craft premium interiors, and they have managed to expertly execute the Q5's cabin with an unfussy design that impresses with its user-friendly layout and luxurious feel. Standard equipment on the base model is impressive: heated and eight-way power-adjustable seats, a three-zone climate control system and ambient LED interior lighting are some of the highlights, while higher trim models get wireless phone charging, a power sunroof and more.

2019 Audi Q5 Steering Wheel CarBuzz
2019 Audi Q5 Central Console CarBuzz
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Seating and Interior Space

There's no debating Audi's ability to have the driver and passengers sitting in absolute comfort, whether for the short or long haul. The Q5 is no exception, although it feels like it could do with being just a few inches wider for the passenger and driver to be confident they won't be knocking elbows together. While it is a niggle, the cupholders up front manage to be awkwardly placed in an interior that otherwise offers consistently thoughtful ergonomics.

In the rear quarters, passengers are not going to complain about comfort either, unless they like to recline a little. The center passenger draws a very short straw though with nowhere to put their feet due to the tall center tunnel.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater

Interior Colors and Materials

Like other Audi models, the Q5 offers top quality materials throughout along with a modern style and palette of colors that won't date quickly. Start tapping at surfaces and it becomes apparent you're going to have to hunt for something that isn't soft in the right place or hard in the wrong place. Switches are also satisfyingly definitely when moved or pushed and add to the overall feeling of quality as well as the expectation that rattles won't start to develop as soon as the warranty expires.

Q5 Trunk and Cargo Space

The Q5 offers a class-average amount of space in the rear, but helpful features such a power liftgate and extra hooks and storage nets makes loading stuff in the back a simple task. Behind the back seats, the Q5 offers 25.1 cubic feet of space, which isn't remarkable, considering the fact that the BMW X3 offers 28.7 cubic feet. The Mercedes GLC can only muster 19.4 cubic feet of cargo space. The rear seats are foldable, but can't fold completely flat, which can get in the way of loading more substantial items. Still, the power liftgate makes loading and unloading that much easier. With the back seats in the upright position, the Q5 should be able to fit enough to keep the spawn fed for a week.

Small-item storage is up to scratch thanks to generously sized door pockets and a variety of small nooks. The cup holders may get in the way of the infotainment controls, so it would be wise to downsize that raspberry cheesecake frappuccino.

2019 Audi Q5 Rear View CarBuzz
2019 Audi Q5 Trunk Space CarBuzz
2019 Audi Q5 Trunk Space CarBuzz

Q5 Infotainment and Features

Features

2019 boasts upgrades to infotainment, added comfort features, and technology. The Premium, the base model of the range, sees a new seven-inch infotainment system makes its debut; the front seats are heated and power-adjustable, and three-zone automatic climate control keeps the occupants cozy. Premium and Prestige models enjoy standard LED head and tail lights, wireless phone charging, and a 12.3-inch virtual cockpit display. Practical features such as rear USB charging ports, driver's seat memory, and navigation turn the Q5 into a seriously accomplished premium family vehicle.

Infotainment

We love Audi's reconfigurable 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit instrument panel as fitted in our test model, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are always welcome as standard features in any vehicle. The optional Audi connect features add another layer over the comprehensive and slick looking feature set to keep the driver up to date.

We also had Audi's MMI controller in our test vehicle that, with the prestige option added, allows you to "write" numbers and letters on the pad for use with things like navigation. It's a fun feature but a little on the gimmicky side when it worked and irritating when it failed to recognize clear lettering. Overall, the infotainment user experience is smooth and snappy, but we found it could be tricky when it comes to some basic tasks like finding a particular music track to listen to.

Q5 Problems and Reliability

Recalls affecting the Q5 range from minor to mild: 2019 has seen three recalls issued for the Audi Q5, the first one being published in April for an electrical short that could cause the hydraulic brake system to fail. The second recall was issued in June: the inner plastic wheel arch cover could detach, causing dirt to penetrate suspension parts, while the third recall was issued for a faulty welding job that could cause the instrument panel to dislodge and cause injury during a collision. There were no drivetrain related recalls for 2019. Audi offers a basic four year or 50,000 miles warranty which includes a 12-year/unlimited-mile corrosion warranty, one year's worth of maintenance and a four-year roadside assistance plan.

Q5 Safety

The 2019 Q5 missed out on an IIHS Top Safety Pick award due to its underperforming headlights: the Xenon units scored poorly, while the full LED system only managed a marginal score, but it managed to ace the rest of the test, including front overlap and rollover tests. The NHTSA gave the 2019 Q5 a perfect score of five out of five stars with only the rollover rating scoring a four. Compared to the competition, the Q5 doesn't impress; the BMW X3 and Mercedes GLC both managed to obtain a Top Safety Pick Plus award from the IIHS, but despite its minor safety shortcomings, the Q5 should prove to be safer than the average car.

Key Safety Features

Despite missing out on a Top Safety Pick award, the Q5 still manages to offer more active and passive safety tech than the average car. Standard issue safety tech across the range includes automatic headlights and window wipers, dynamic cruise control, hill descent control, and a rear-view camera. Audi pre-sense basic and city provide active driver assistance in the form of automatic braking, blind-spot warning, and more. Advanced driver assistance tech on the Premium Plus and Prestige make the Audi Q5 an even safer place to be and include rear cross-traffic alert, vehicle exit warning, and parking assistance. The base model misses out on full LED lighting; a misstep by Audi, considering the Q5's starting price.

Verdict: Is the 2019 Audi Q5 a good SUV?

With the Q5, Audi has pulled off something that is wonderfully competent. That sounds like a backhanded compliment, but the crossover, and particularly the subcompact crossover, is largely about compromise and how well it the intended balance is executed.

The Q5 manages to be an engaging drive no matter what pace it's driven at. At the same time, the comfort level is high up in the premium category while also offering all the practicality you could expect from its size, and nothing more or less. The bottom line is that the Q5 continues to look good, drive great, and be a nice place to be while doing so.

What's the Price of the 2019 Audi Q5?

Premium German SUVs tend to go for premium prices, and the Audi Q5 is no different. The base model starts at an MSRP of $42,950, which is $1950 more than X3, and $2,250 more than the GLC. Stepping up to the Premium Plus will cost you $5,500 more than the base model, while the top-of-the-line Prestige goes for $52,350. At the top of the price list, the Audi manages to undercut the BMW by over $2,000, but the Mercedes GLC 300 4Matic is even cheaper at $47,300. Audi prices exclude a destination fee of $995. The Q5 was declared the best compact SUV buy for 2019 by Kelly Blue Book.

2019 Audi Q5 Models

There are three trim levels to choose from when purchasing an Audi Q5 in 2019. The entry level model, called the Premium, sets a solid base for the rest of the range to build upon and comes across every bit as luxurious as its better-equipped siblings, but some features such as the 21.3-inch virtual cockpit display are missed. Standard features on the Premium include three-zone climate control, LED daytime running lights, heated and powered front seats and a seven-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. The Premium Plus adds 19-inch alloy wheels, full LED lighting and a panoramic sunroof to the exterior of the car, and gets wireless phone charging, extra USB ports and Audi's brilliant 12.3-inch virtual cockpit display on the inside. The Prestige builds on an already impressive base by adding ambient LED interior lighting, dual-plane glass, a Bang & Olufsen sound system, and a head-up display. Active driver assistance tech such as adaptive cruise control with parking assistance, traffic sign recognition, and a top-view camera system come as standard.

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.0T Premium
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$42,950
2.0T Premium Plus
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$42,950
2.0T Prestige
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$42,950
See All 2019 Audi Q5 Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

The 2019 base model includes the convenience package previously available only as an optional package; this includes keyless entry and start, power seats and SiriusXM. Other options include an $800 set of 19-inch alloy wheels or a $1,450 panoramic sunroof. The Premium Plus can be upgraded with a $750 cold weather package that adds a heated steering wheel and rear seats. Also available on the Premium Plus is the Black Optic appearance package which costs $1,300 and adds 20-inch alloy wheels, matte black roof rails, and other black exterior trim pieces. The Prestige shares most optional extras with the Premium Plus such as the cold weather and Black Optics package.

What Audi Q5 Model Should I Buy?

For the Q5, recommending a model isn't a straightforward affair. Going into the base model represents great premium level value for money and won't leave anyone disappointed. The trim levels are well put together so people willing to spend more to get more are leveling up well. Saying that, we would absolutely spring for the Premium Plus in order to get the Virtual Cockpit display and a panoramic sunroof if we were going to be putting on serious miles on the clock.

One thing we do wish Audi would do is to offer the Bang & Olufsen sound system as an option rather than forcing people to go up to the Prestige trim to get it, although at that point on the price scale moving into the Prestige model from the Premium Plus isn't a huge leap.

Check out other Audi Q5 Styles?

2019 Audi Q5 Comparisons

2019 Audi Q5
2019 Audi Q5

2019 Audi Q5 vs BMW X3

The BMW X3 is a direct competitor to the Q5 and shares plenty of similarities with the Audi SUV. Both make use of a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, in the case of the BMW pushing out 248 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque at 1,450 rpm. The BMW drives the rear-wheels in base form, but an AWD option is available. The BMW manages to sip on fuel and bests the Q5 with a figure of 23/30/26 mpg. As for interior and cargo space, the BMW X3 offers more headroom, front and back as well as more legroom for backseat passengers. Cargo space in the X3 is significantly more than the Q5. The BMW offers superior levels of safety at a lower asking price, but can't match the Audi's well-balanced ride. Choose the BMW for a more engaging experience, or go with the Audi if you're more laid back.

See BMW X3 Review

2019 Audi Q5 vs Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class SUV

Mercedes-Benz has joined the midsize crossover SUV battle with its GLC, a C-Class wagon on stilts. The GLC might not have an overtly muscular SUV design, but it can go toe to toe with the rest of the competition in terms of ability, comfort, and performance. Powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four, this Merc SUV manages to push out 241 hp and a Q5-equalling 273 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to all four wheels, resulting in an EPA-rated gas mileage figure of 22/27/24 mpg. Both cars share similar interior dimensions, but the Q5 does offer more cargo space behind the rear seats. The Mercedes GLC feels like the more expensive car in terms of interior build quality and material choice and rides beautifully. It also manages to outclass the Q5 in terms of safety levels and starting price.

See Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class SUV Review

Audi Q5 Popular Comparisons

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