Used Car Review

2012 Audi Q5: Used Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Ron Sessions July 2016

The 2012 Audi Q5 aims at the sweet spot between the sporty A3 hatchback, the stylish A4 Avant wagon and the larger 7-passenger Q7 SUV. Think of the Q5 as a taller version of the A4, with which it shares a 110.5-inch wheelbase, powertrains (a 270-horsepower 3.2-liter V6 engine or a 211-hp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo) and quattro all-wheel drive (AWD). It carries five passengers and boasts 29.1 cu ft. of cargo, increasing to 57.3 cu ft. when you fold down the split folding bench rear seat, which also reclines and slides fore and aft.

This premium compact crossover SUV offers a tastefully designed cabin with comfortable seats, tactile controls and exceptional fit, finish and materials quality. Its ride and handling are among the best in the segment, and standard AWD provides secure traction in all road and weather conditions. The optional Audi drive select system allows the driver to tailor throttle response, transmission shifts, steering response and shock-absorber damping to Dynamic, Comfort or Winter modes or adjust each individually. New for 2012 is an S Line Premium package for V6 models with titanium-finish 20-in alloy wheels and matte-black window moldings and roof rails.

The Audi Q5 is a good used-car choice for buyers looking for some style and driving enjoyment in a 5-passenger, all-weather, active-lifestyle machine.

What We Like

Audi fit and finish; luxurious cabin; 4-cylinder turbo's responsiveness; quattro AWD; sliding rear seat; sporty ride and handling; good Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash-test scores; solid feel; comfortable front seats

What We Don't

Below-par cargo space; somewhat touchy Audi Multi Media Interface (MMI) infotainment system; needs premium fuel to run optimally

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The 2012 Q5 offers a choice of a 3.2-liter V6 or a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo.

The 2.0-liter 16-valve 4-cylinder turbo is standard on the Premium and Premium Plus trims. It utilizes dual-overhead camshaft (DOHC) and direct injection, producing 211 hp and a generous 258 lb-ft of torque starting at just 1,500 rpm for good all-around response. It's hooked to a new Audi tiptronic 8-speed automatic transmission and also features quattro all-wheel drive. Environmental Protection Agency ratings are 20 miles per gallon in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. Premium unleaded is recommended.

The V6 is standard on Prestige and optional on Premium Plus trims. It is a direct-injected 3.2-liter 24-valve DOHC design, producing 270 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque. Premium unleaded fuel is also recommended. A tiptronic 6-speed automatic transmission and legendary quattro AWD are standard. The Q5 returns fuel economy numbers of 18 miles per gallon in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. The maximum tow rating is a generous 4,400 pounds.

Standard Features & Options

The 2012 Audi Q5 is available in Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige trims.

The Premium's standard equipment includes 18-in alloy wheels, leather seat trim, power front seats, driver's-seat adjustable lumbar, walnut wood interior trim, fog lamps, 3-zone automatic climate control, auto headlamps, cruise control, a leather-wrapped shift lever, a tilt-telescopic leather-wrapped steering wheel, remote keyless entry, a split fold-flat rear bench seat with sliding functionality, rain-sensing wipers, a 10-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with steering-wheel audio controls, an SD slot, SiriusXM radio, Audi MMI with a dash-mounted control knob, a trip computer, an aluminum roof rack, stability and traction control, an anti-lock braking system, dual front- and side-impact airbags, overhead airbags and power locks, windows and heated side mirrors.

The Premium Plus trim upgrades to 19-in alloy wheels, a Bluetooth phone and audio interface, iPod integration, the HomeLink system, xenon self-leveling headlamps, heated front seats, a panoramic sunroof, driver's-seat memory, a power lift gate, a compass, auto-dimming mirrors and headlamp washers.

Moving up to the Prestige gets you the 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium audio system, parking assist, a rear camera, an upgraded MMI system with navigation and a console-mounted control knob, rear-door sunshades, Audi's thermo cupholder, S Line exterior trim and Audi connect emergency notification.

Key options include the Audi drive select system, up-level leather interior trim, ventilated front seats, sport seats, rear-side airbags, adaptive damping and 20-in alloy wheels.

Pricing

The 5-passenger Audi Q5 has become the best-selling Audi model, car or SUV. Therefore, availability and selection of used examples should be good. Because the cost of maintenance and repair for European vehicles tends to run higher than most, expect to pay a significant premium for lower-mileage used Q5s.

For a good idea of the 2012 Q5's price range, investigate the Kelley Blue Book used-car values at KBB.com. Also, search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are for sale in your area.

Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had issued the following safety recalls for the 2012 Q5:

In a forward collision triggering the airbags, the driver's front airbag inflator can rupture and send metal fragments into the vehicle occupants, resulting in injury or death.

The front sunroof glass may fracture in extreme cold weather. Falling glass may injure occupants or distract the driver, increasing the risk of a crash.

Recall repairs are required by law, even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed, and if not, they'll fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

NHTSA did not rate the 2012 Q5 for forward or side collisions but gave it four stars for rollover performance.

IIHS named the 2012 Q5 a Top Safety Pick, with Good ratings for moderate-overlap front and side impacts, roof strength, head restraints and seats.

Audi of America sold the 2012 Q5 with 4-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranties and a 12-year/unlimited-distance corrosion-perforation warranty.

In order for a Q5 to qualify for Audi's certified pre-owned program, it must be less than 5 years old and have no more than 60,000 miles on the odometer. Every certified pre-owned Audi Q5 undergoes a 300-point inspection. Those that pass receive a 2-year/50,000-mile limited warranty (it doesn't cover audio or navigation systems), which takes effect when the original new-car warranty expires. Also included is a Carfax vehicle-history report and 24-hour roadside assistance.

Other Cars to Consider

2012 BMW X3 -- The X3 sports mini-X5 styling and reigns as the 3 Series of small SUVs, with good handling but a bumpy ride over less-than-smooth roads. You can opt for the standard, buttery-smooth 255-hp 3.0-liter 6-cylinder or an optional 306-hp 6-cylinder turbo. Both powertrains feature an 8-speed automatic and standard AWD.

2012 Lexus RX 350 -- The strong-selling Lexus RX was the first of the car-based luxury crossover SUVs. With a 275-hp 3.5-liter V6, the RX 350 has peppy performance, but a smooth ride comes at the expense of handling precision. It's available with front- or all-wheel drive. The RX is also available as a hybrid, dubbed the RX 450h, which gets 32 mpg city/28 mpg hwy with front-wheel drive and 30 mpg city/28 mpg hwy with AWD. Both offer generous cabin and cargo space. Fit, finish and materials continue to be top-notch.

Autotrader's Advice

If you enjoy driving but still need the passenger- and cargo-carrying abilities of an SUV, the Audi Q5 deserves a test drive. From the base Premium to the top-of-the-line Prestige model, every Q5 comes well equipped with high style, comfort and convenience features and exciting technology.

Condition and mileage are important considerations when buying any car, but they tend to be more so with European brands that can be more costly to maintain and repair. Look for a certified pre-owned example when possible or a lower-mileage model that's seen obvious care. If possible, have a trusted mechanic go over the Q5 from nose to tail, and always have a car-history report to root out vehicles with serious accident repairs or salvage titles. And make sure that the 2015 Audi Q5 you're considering for purchase has had the appropriate safety recalls performed by a factory-authorized dealer.

Find an Audi Q5 for sale

RELATED INVENTORY
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Used 2012 Audi Q5 2.0T Premium Plus
Used 2012 Audi Q5
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Used 2012 Audi Q5 3.2 Premium Plus
Used 2012 Audi Q5
$16,850
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Used 2012 Audi Q5 2.0T Premium Plus
Used 2012 Audi Q5
$12,631
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
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Used 2012 Audi Q5 3.2 Prestige
Used 2012 Audi Q5
$18,997
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2012 Audi Q5: Used Car Review - Autotrader