2018 Audi Q5 review with video

The basics:

Starting price: $44,950 + taxes
As tested: $50,840 + taxes
Our average fuel economy over a week: 9.2 L/100 kms (25.5 US MPG)
Competition: BMW X3, Jaguar F-Pace, Mercedes GLC, Volvo XC60, etc

It’s been a long time coming but, at last, a second generation Q5 has hit the market. The original Q5 has been around since the 2009 model year and has built a solid fan club with Glenmore Audi saying that 40 per cent of their business was Q5s in 2017. But it’s now slightly bigger, better equipped, more efficient and offers a more modern cabin. It’s also the first vehicle to be assembled in Audi’s new production facility in Mexico. Every single Q5, even those bound for Germany, are to be made there. So can the Mexican Q5 live up to its popular predecessor? Yes! The new Q5 feels very similar but just improved at every possible turn. It’s the natural progression for this car. For our full take on this really excellent luxury SUV, watch the video above and then scroll through our list of pros and cons below.

Pros:
– Don’t let the German VIN fool you
– Far better standard equipment for 2018 with features like a 7 inch infotainment system, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, push button start, three zone climate control, heated front seats, heated side mirrors, and a power tailgate now on all trims (different packaging in Canada vs the States, here we have the Komfort, Progessiv and Technik trims. In the US, it’s the Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige but very similar)
– Build quality is really excellent (with the exception of a cheap feeling plastic in the door handles) with a clean, paired down interior, good attention to detail and Audi’s 12 inch virtual cockpit now available on the highest Technik trim
– Still an ultra quiet cabin with excellent ride comfort
– A seven speed dual clutch transmission, which was previously reserved for Audi’s performance-oriented vehicles, has now made its way into the Q5 (and the A4), making the transmission lighter, smoother and more efficient for 2018
– The new 2-litre 4-cylinder turbo is now the only engine option in the Q5 (if you want a more powerful V6, you’ll need to bump up to the SQ5) but this little engine has been given a significant bump (the old model had 220 hp and 252 ft lbs of torque vs 252 hp and 273 ft lbs in the new Q5)
– But we’ve also seen an improvement in fuel economy for city driving (12 L/100 vs 10 L/100)
– Despite the introduction of a more sport-focussed transmission, the towing capacity remains unchanged at an impressive 4,400 lbs
– The Q5 now joins the Allroad and A4 in using the Quattro Ultra all wheel drive system. Unlike the previous system, it will switch completely to front wheel drive in ideal driving conditions but it can also predict upcoming road conditions based on driver inputs and outside temperature and adapt before all wheel drive is even needed. Then, if you want permanent all wheel drive, you can also put it into off road mode
– The second row offers a tiny bit more space but it was already deceptively roomy. It handles car seats better than many SUVs in the larger mid-size class
– One big complaint in the previous generation were the side mirrors. They were too big and created a blind spot for many shorter drivers. They’re smaller and more streamlined now which also helps give the Q5 the smallest drag coefficient in its class
– Audi kept the very logical clam shell design for the liftgate
– It also now has a standard height adjustable liftgate that can be adjusted to give really tall people lots of clearance

Cons:
– While fuel economy has improved for the urban environment, the loss of the 8 speed automatic transmission means it revs higher on the highway so fuel economy at high speeds has actually gone down (was 8 L/100 kms and now it’s 9 L/100 kms)
– Audi has squeezed a lot of performance out of this 4 cylinder engine but, as we see in most turbocharged cars, off-the-line performance is a little sluggish
– While much of the competition now has this on all trims, a rear back-up camera is not standard
– The trace pad for the infotainment system is tough to use and gimmicky. Just used the MMI dial and voice recognition software. Audi has improved upon its interface a lot
– Seat comfort is decent but not exceptional and some might find the leather a bit coarse compared to the more buttery feeling leathers used in the competitors. But it also means the leather will be very durable
– Ventilated seats aren’t included in the higher trims but, rather, part of the $1650 comfort seating package
– The 2018 Q5 adds 10 litres of capacity but at 550 litres, the trunk is by no means vacuous. The Subaru Forester has 971 litres of capacity, for example. You can, however, slide the second row seats forward to give an extra 60 litres of capacity
– Fold the second row down for extra space and it also doesn’t offer a flat load floor

Family Wheels report card:

Family Wheels driver comfort score: 4/5
Family Wheels interior layout score: 4/5
Family Wheels infotainment system score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels interior noise score: 4.5/5 (59 dB at 100 kms/h)
Family Wheels performance score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels rear passenger score: 4/5
Family Wheels trunk test score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels fuel economy score: 4/5
Family Wheels build quality score: 4/5
Family Wheels value score: 4/5

Family Wheels overall score: 39/50= 78%

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