Car review: Audi Q5

Despite looking like a facelift of the old car, Audi’s compact 4x4 sequel is all new.

Damien Reid June 4, 2017

The Q5 is Audi’s most important new model of 2017 and while it looks similar to the outgoing model, it’s all new, using a shortened version of the latest, modular chassis it shares with the Q7, A4, A8, VW Touareg and Bentley Bentayga.

It’s this new architecture which is largely responsible for the Q5’s weight loss of up to 90kg depending on spec, despite it growing marginally in width and height. It now weighs in at 1,720kg.

For a car that looks incredibly similar to the outgoing model, there’s not a single nut or bolt carried over as it promises not only a new range of colours but also engine options, the next level of driver assistance packages and for the first time in this class, adaptive air suspension as an alternative to the regularly coil sprung version. 

Several engine options are on the table but the one for our region is the 252bhp two- litre TFSi four-cylinder turbo with 370Nm of torque. It settled into a nice highway cruise mode for long distance touring and reaches 100kmh in 6.2 seconds, going on to 237kmh.

Its optional air suspension with adaptive dampers are lifted off the Q7 and the new quattro ‘with ultra technology’ all-wheel drive system that’s effectively a revised unit which disconnects drive to the rear wheels and diff when not needed.

Flicking drive to the axles 40 to 50 times over a drive depending on slip levels right down to ‘cats eyes’ and speed humps, it felt completely seamless in its operation.

The air suspension adjusts damper stiffness as well as five ride height settings through a 60mm range that includes a feature which drops the tail to make loading and unloading easier. Using the rotary controller, the driver can select one of seven driving modes including two new lift/offroad and all road modes.

While the outside looks similar, the interior lets you know this is a new canvas with Audi’s Virtual Cockpit. This 12.3-inch wide-screen digital display features navigation maps, infotainment that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and driving assistance in addition to a selection of scrolling gauges. Audi Middle East expect the car to hit showrooms just after summer.


  • Engine: 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo
  • Power: 252bhp
  • Torque: 370Nm
  • Transmission: Seven-speed dual clutch auto AWD
  • 0-100kmh: 6.2 seconds
  • Top speed: 237kmh
  • Price: AED 212,000