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2020 Audi Q5 Review

The 2020 Audi Q5 is a popular choice in a wildly popular class. The class is premium compact crossovers, where the Q5 frequently finds more buyers than the Mercedes-Benz GLC, BMW X3, Acura RDX and the Lexus NX. It’s also, to no one’s surprise, Audi‘s best-selling model.

A smart combination of various factors backs the Q5’s success. There’s the immediately recognizable Audi style, making a virtue of restraint and honing it to perfection. It shares a family resemblance with the other Audi Q vehicles, which is not a bad thing.

Beneath the surface is the same platform as the current A4 sedan. The foundation is as refined as it is stable, while also providing plenty of space for rear passengers and cargo.

Among the tech features on offer are Apple CarPlay (standard even at the lowest level), pedestrian detection and traffic jam assistance (which helps with accelerating, braking and steering).

The sportier 2020 Audi SQ5 is reviewed separately.

What’s New for 2020?

Audi has updated the alloy wheel designs for all three trims. The optional Convenience Plus package now includes wireless charging, phone signal boosting and front/rear parking sensors. Automatic high beams are added to the Premium model. Additionally, the Driver Assistance package now becomes available at the Premium Plus level. This trim also gains 19-in alloy wheels. See the Audi Q5 models for sale near you

What We Like

  • High-quality interior
  • Cool Audi styling
  • Great engine
  • Great chassis
  • Availability of tech

What We Don’t

  • No hybrid version
  • Options are pricey

How Much?

$44,295 to $54,695

Fuel Economy

A turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine propels the Q5 with 252 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. A 7-speed automatic transmission (with steering wheel-mounted shift paddles, which the driver can choose to use or not) sends that drive to all four wheels. The intelligent all-wheel-drive system (known as Quattro) can decouple the rear axle to be more fuel efficient or send torque to both ends within milliseconds when necessary.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates fuel consumption at 22 miles per gallon in the city, 28 mpg on the highway and 24 mpg combined.

Standard Features & Options

The 2020 Audi Q5 luxury compact 5-seater crossover is available in Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige trim levels.

Premium ($44,295) has 18-in alloy wheels, aluminum roof rails with crossbars, fog lights, xenon headlights with automatic high beams, LED daytime running lights and taillights, heated side mirrors, heated windshield washer nozzles, rain-sensing wipers, powered lift gate, leather upholstery, wood inlays, heated/8-way power-adjustable front seats, tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, self-dimming rearview mirror with compass, push-button start, selectable driving modes (adjusting steering, transmission and throttle responses), leather seating surfaces, tri-zone automatic climate control, ambient LED cabin lighting, slide/recline rear seats with 40/20/40 split and fold, rearview camera, garage door opener, forward-collision mitigation, Bluetooth, Audi’s MMI infotainment system with a 7-in display, voice control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, 10 speakers, CD player, four USB ports (two up front, two in the back), two SD card slots, HD radio and Audi Connect Care (including emergency calls, roadside assistance, stolen vehicle location and Audi Service Request).

A Convenience package for the Premium trim brings blind spot monitoring (Audi Side Assist), keyless entry, self-dimming/power-folding side mirrors, driver’s-side memory settings, satellite radio and rearward-collision mitigation (Audi Pre Sense Rear). The Convenience Plus package adds wireless charging, phone signal boosting and front and rear parking sensors.

Premium Plus ($50,945) brings the Virtual Cockpit (a 12.3-in configurable driver information display replacing the usual instrument cluster), full LED headlights, panoramic sunroof, keyless entry, driver’s-side memory settings, hands-free lift gate release, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, Audi Side Assist, rearward-collision mitigation, front and rear parking sensors, navigation with a touch pad that recognizes handwritten inputs, 8.3-in infotainment screen, Wi-Fi and satellite radio.

A Driver Assistance package brings adaptive cruise control with stop/go and traffic jam assist (partial autonomy), active lane assistance, automatic high beams and road sign recognition.

Prestige ($54,695) adds a head-up display, adaptive cruise control with stop/go and traffic jam assist, active lane keeping, dual-pane acoustic glass for the front side windows, 20-in alloy wheels, simulated leather on the center console and door armrests, power-adjustable steering column, top view camera system, self-parking system and a 19-speaker/755-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system.

Several features in the higher trims are available as options lower in the order, including the upgraded MMI system. Other extras include ventilated front seats, rear-side window sunshades and a heated steering wheel.

Maximum cargo space is 53.1 cu ft. With the rear seats up, luggage area is 25.1 cu ft. Towing capacity maxes out at 4,400 pounds.

Safety

The 2020 Q5 features standard stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes and six airbags (front, front sides and full-length side curtain). Rear-side airbags are optional.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Q5 a maximum overall score of five stars, including five stars for front impact protection and five stars in side impacts. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also awarded the Q5 its highest rating of Good in every major category and named it a Top Safety Pick.

Behind the Wheel

The cabin is elegantly simple. It’s pared down without being bland and uses high-quality materials. The controls feel simultaneously classy and substantial, and it takes no time at all to become accustomed to the positions of the switches.

At reasonable cornering speeds, the Q5’s handling abilities seem more like those of a sport sedan than of a compact crossover with a raised driving position. Push harder, and understeer is inevitable but forgivable. After all, 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 20-in wheels will have a negative effect on ride quality, though. If you’re considering them, test-drive them first.

Other Cars to Consider

2020 Acura RDX — There’s no shortage of strong contenders in this class, and the RDX is a perfect example. This vehicle offers a lot of equipment for the price.

2020 BMW X3 — The BMW X3 is athletic, offers a choice of great engines and has interior quality that’s level with the Audi Q5.

2020 Jaguar F-Pace — Aluminum-intensive construction, superb suspension, plenty of space and an excellent engine make the Jaguar F-Pace another good option.

2020 Lexus NX — As usual with Lexus, the NX has exemplary build quality, decent equipment levels, strong resale values and less-than-thrilling driving dynamics.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 — Updated for 2020, the Mercedes Benz GLC 300 is spacious, well equipped and luxurious.

2020 Volvo XC60 — The Volvo XC60 has its own special style and a lot of standard-issue safety equipment.

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

Autotrader’s Advice

With every passing year, the Q5 Premium Plus model seems to gain more equipment — or at least become eligible for it, as in the case of the Driver Assistance package. That’s why the Premium Plus trim level with the extra driver aids remains our top choice. Find an Audi Q5 for sale

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