Audi Q5 SUV (2016 -) Comfort

Review by Parkers on
Last Updated: 12 Apr 2017
4.2
Despite its same-again looks suggesting otherwise, the second-generation Audi Q5 SUV is based on different underpinnings, with A5 Coupe-aping voluptuousness along the flanks, and a chunkier Q7-esque grille lending an aggressive air to the front end. Depending on the model, it’s also shed up to 90kg of heft.

4.6 out of 5

Comfort

  • Air suspension improves Q5’s comfort
  • Leather seats and three-zone climate control
  • Rear seat would be a squeeze for three adults

One aspect that the first-generation Audi Q5 majored on was comfort, and it features even more prominently second time around.

It’s worth reiterating that so far we have only driven the Q5 fitted with the optional air suspension system, which serves-up one of the most cossetting experiences in this corner of the SUV market.

Even in the appropriately-titled Comfort setting, the Q5 remains composed, rarely suffering from the kind of nausea-inducing floatiness that blights the Mercedes GLC when equipped with a similar kind of suspension.

Most Q5 buyers are expected to choose the S Line trim, complete with 19-inch wheels. Even with those, in Dynamic mode, passengers are extremely unlikely to complain about being jolted about.

As per the class norms, there are five seatbelts within the Q5, although seating a quintet of adults comfortably will be a challenge, especially with the narrower, firmer centre rear seat. Four-up there’ll be no grumbles, with decent head- and legroom and a fine view out from the elevated seating positions.

The seats themselves feel very supportive – all front chairs have an electrically-adjustable lumbar support, while standard leather trim makes the cabin feel that bit more special.

Only S Line versions have rear privacy glass and acoustic side windows (to limit exterior noise entering the cabin) as part of the standard package. Three-zone climate control features across the line-up, enhancing comfort that bit further.

Wind noise is low, but certain types of road surface do amplify the tyre roar, although it’s effectively drowned out when you turn on the audio system.

4.1 out of 5

Practicality

  • Not the most spacious but on par with rivals
  • Electric tailgate adds further convenience
  • Would you risk ruining the lovely interior?

Despite the premium finish and price of the Q5, buyers of a family-sized SUV still expect a sensible degree of practicality.

Sensible is exactly what they get, too, for the Audi doesn’t set new standards in capaciousness.

Rear seats up, the 550-litre cargo volume is on par with the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC, but with them folded over it’s 50 litres shy of their 1,600-litre capacity. Land Rover’s Discovery Sport rules the roost here with up to 1,698 litres.

Still, it’s not bad, and you do have the added bonuses of both an electrically-operated tailgate and a rear seat that split-folds in a 40:20:40 arrangement, allowing long, slender loads to be accommodated as well as carrying four passengers comfortably.

If you order your Q5 with the optional air suspension, a bonus of the system is that the rear of the car can be lowered by 55mm to aid the loading of heavier items.

Poke around the passenger compartment and you’ll find the usual mix of lidded cubbies, door bins, cupholders and a usefully sized glovebox, all nestled into those high-grade interior plastics.

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How does the boot space compare?

575 litres
550 litres
395 litres
Audi Q5 SUV (16 on)
395 litres
4.8 out of 5

Behind the wheel

  • Beautifully made cabin
  • Feels special if not innovative
  • Few blind-spots; excellent visibility

With the marque’s wholly justified reputation for the supreme quality of its interiors, there’s no surprise that the Audi Q5’s cabin is an exquisite place in which to spend time.

Like the Q5’s exterior, its passenger compartment doesn’t stray away from Audi conventions in terms of how it looks – here it feels like there’s a fusion of A4 and Q7 going on, and that’s no bad thing.

Plastics in the upper reaches of the dashboard have a satisfyingly deep degree of squidginess, while everything is assembled with such accuracy and working to incredibly tight tolerances, that it feels like it will last for years and still be as good as it was on day one.

Expensive-feeling switchgear feels delightful to use and is beautifully weighted, reinforcing the Q5’s premium positioning, although we remain unconvinced about the multimedia display screen that now stands proud of the dashboard on a permanent basis, rather than be ensconced within its own domain or glide effortlessly out of sight when not in use.

Audi’s not the first to employ this tactic and it cites a customer preference for having these tablet-aping screens on show all of the time.

Should you wish to make your Q5’s cabin feel even more special you can push the boat out financially and opt for the 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit – a configurable screen that replaces the conventional instrument cluster – or the excellent head-up display (HUD) that projects data onto the windscreen. Best to choose one or the other – both feels like overkill.

Finding a suitable driving position is easily achieved, regardless of whether or not the front seats are electrically adjustable, and the steering adjusts for distance and angle. All-round visibility’s decent, too, helped by the Q5’s third side windows and slender windscreen pillars.