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2017 Audi Q5: New Car Review

If you’re looking for information on a newer Audi Q5, we’ve published an updated review: 2019 Audi Q5 Review

The 2017 Audi Q5 premium compact crossover is about to be replaced by an all-new generation starting for the 2018 model year. Even though this first generation has been around since 2009, its looks have held up remarkably well. Both the exterior and the cabin demonstrate that cool Audi style and quality.

In terms of equipment, though, the competition has moved on. Things like surround-view parking cameras and forward-collision mitigation with automatic braking are not on the options list. And it’s still not possible to get a simple USB port for the infotainment system.

The sportier SQ5 is reviewed separately.

What’s New for 2017?

The 2.0T Premium Plus version receives 19-inch alloy wheels as standard. The 3.0T Prestige model is fitted with adaptive cruise control and selectable driving modes as standard. The hybrid version has been discontinued. See the 2017 Audi Q5 models for sale near you

What We Like

Fun drive; quality interior

What We Don’t

Small cargo area; unremarkable 4-cylinder performance; ride quality can be firm; no USB connectivity; some current safety technologies lacking

How Much?

$41,850-$54,150

Fuel Economy

The 2.0T is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine making 220 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates fuel economy at 20 miles per gallon in the city, 27 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg in combined driving.

The 3.0T generates 272 hp and 295 lb-ft from a supercharged 3.0-liter V6. It achieves 18 mpg city/26 mpg hwy/21 mpg combined.

Both models employ an 8-speed automatic transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive.

Standard Features & Options

The 2017 Audi Q5 comes as a 2.0T or 3.0T. The 2.0T is available in Premium and Premium Plus trim levels. The 3.0T comes in Premium Plus and Prestige trims.

The 2.0T Premium ($41,850) has 18-in alloy wheels, aluminum roof rails, panoramic sunroof, fog lights, xenon headlights, LED running lights and taillights, rain-sensing wipers, heated side mirrors, power tailgate, leather upholstery, 8-way power-adjustable front seats, tilt/telescope steering wheel, wood grain interior trim, leather upholstery, 3-zone automatic climate control (including a separate temperature control for the back seat), slide/recline rear seats, Bluetooth, iPod connectivity, and Audi’s MMI infotainment system with dash-mounted controls, 10-speaker audio with auxiliary input, SD card reader and satellite radio.

The 2.0T Premium Plus ($44,100) brings 19-in alloy wheels, self-dimming mirrors, power-folding side mirrors, keyless entry with push-button ignition and driver’s-side seat memory functions.

The 3.0T Premium Plus ($47,350) adds S-line styling enhancements and headlight washers.

The 3.0T Prestige ($54,150) comes with adaptive xenon headlamps, adaptive cruise control, selectable driving modes (adjusting steering, transmission and throttle responses), manual rear sunshades, heated/cooled cup holders, blind-spot monitoring, rearview camera, parking sensors front and rear, color trip computer, Wi-Fi connectivity for up to eight devices, 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system, and an MMI navigation system that includes an upgraded display, voice control, console-mounted control knob with a joystick-like top, Google Maps/Google search and an extra SD slot.

Some features in the higher trims are available in lower trims as options, including the upgraded MMI system. The 3.0T Prestige is also eligible for a Luxury package (nicer leather upholstery plus a leather-covered dashboard, ventilated front seats with powered lumbar adjustment) and a Black Optic package (black trim pieces inside and out, black roof rails, flat-bottomed steering wheel, 20-in alloy wheels). Adaptive suspension and variable-ratio steering are also available.

Maximum cargo space is on the small side at 57.3 cu ft. While the 29.1 cu ft of space behind the rear seats sounds ample, it’s challenging to fit a couple of golf bags into this relatively shallow area.

Safety

The Audi Q5 features standard stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes and 6 airbags (front, front side, full-length side curtain). Rear-side airbags are optional. A blind-spot monitoring system is available, but the Q5 is generally short on high-tech safety features compared with newer competitors.

In government crash tests, the Q5 scored four out of five stars, including four stars for front-impact protection and five stars in side impacts. The independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded the Q5 its highest rating of Good in every major category and named it a Top Safety Pick+.

Behind the Wheel

The front seats are comfortable enough, but lacking the range of adjustment some competitors provide. Thanks to the standard seat height adjustment and tilt/telescope steering wheel, everyone should find a comfortable driving position. The quality of materials is excellent, but ergonomics are hit-or-miss. For example, adjusting the climate control’s fan speed is a two-step process.

While the bottom cushions of the rear seats are lower than some might prefer, passenger space back there is satisfactory. The Q5 makes the most of its compact rear compartment by providing slide and recline functions for the back seat, plus the rare luxury of separate rear temperature controls.

The 2.0T engine feels underpowered for luxury crossover duty, although many owners think it’s fine in the real world. The snappy acceleration of the 3.0T is more tempting.

At reasonable cornering speeds, the Q5 feels more like a sport sedan than a compact crossover. Push harder and understeer is inevitable but forgivable. No one buys a Q5 to chase motorcycles in the hills. The vehicle’s true calling is to negotiate highways and patchy urban pavement with composure. For the most part, that’s exactly what it does. The ride gets firm with those 20-in wheels, though.

Other Cars to Consider

2017 Acura RDX There’s no shortage of great contenders in this class, and the RDX is a perfect example. It offers a lot of equipment for the price.

2017 BMW X3The athletic X3 sports a choice of wonderful engines. Its interior is also level with the Audi in terms of quality.

2017 Jaguar F-PACEA totally new model with aluminum-intensive construction. Superb suspension, plenty of space and offers a 340-hp supercharged 3.0-liter V6.

2017 Lexus NXAs usual with Lexus, the NX has great build quality, decent equipment levels, strong resale values, and tepid driving dynamics.

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300Spacious, well-stocked, luxurious and far more modern than the 2017 Q5.

2017 Porsche MacanThe Macan is an even sportier version of the Q5. They share the same platform. Not quite as roomy (the roof slopes more), but great to drive (it’s a Porsche) and the interior is beautiful.

Used BMW X5For something a little bigger, a certified pre-owned (CPO) X5 could work. The X5 handles superbly and depreciation makes it accessible to a buyer considering a new Q5.

Autotrader’s Advice

Choosing the 2.0T leaves some leeway for more options. But remember, the 2018 Q5 is imminent. Find an Audi Q5 for sale

 

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