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2016 Audi Q5 Review

The 2016 Audi Q5 has athletic handling, a wide range of potent engines, and a roomy and upscale interior. Unfortunately, it's pulled toward the bottom of our rankings by a low reliability rating, mixed crash test scores, and a ride that can be rough over broken roads.

Pros & Cons

  • Roomy, upscale interior
  • Nimble handling
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Potent optional engines


  • Poor reliability rating for the class
  • Rough ride over broken roads
  • Fewer safety features than rivals





Critics' Rating: 9.0
Performance: 8.5
Interior: 8.3
Total Cost of Ownership: 7.8
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Audi Q5 Overview

Is the 2016 Audi Q5 a Good Used SUV?

The Q5 isn't the best luxury compact SUV money can buy, but it’s a decent option for many people. The Q5 balances sharp performance with a high-end, feature-filled cabin that has ample space for adults in both rows. All-wheel drive is standard in every Q5; it’s a costly extra with most rivals.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our goal is to make shopping for your next car as easy as possible. You'll find everything you need to know about the Audi Q5 in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data (like fuel economy estimates, horsepower specs, and cargo space dimensions) with 64 professional Audi Q5 reviews.

The Best Cars team – a division of U.S. News & World Report – has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007. With more than 75 years of combined automotive experience, our editors, writers, and analysts rank a wide variety of new and used cars and issue three annual awards: Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands. To keep our recommendations unbiased, we decline expensive gifts from carmakers, and a third party handles our advertising.

How Much Is the 2016 Audi Q5?

The Q5 tends to be more expensive than most of its rivals. On average, you can expect to pay around $34,900 for a 2016 Q5 and $44,000 for a 2016 SQ5. Prices vary based on the number of miles on the vehicle, its condition, and its options. Overall, Q5 prices range from $28,000 to $50,000, based on 400 listings for the 2016 Q5 on our site. 

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How Much Does the 2016 Audi Q5 Cost to Own?

You'll typically spend a little more than $30,000 over five years to fuel, insure, maintain, and repair a 2016 Q5. That's on the high side when it comes to these expenses. In comparison, the 2016 Volvo XC60’s costs are around $25,300.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Q5?

The 2018 Audi Q5, which marks the first year of a new generation, is a much better SUV than the 2016 model. The new generation earns higher scores in almost every category. The Q5’s new turbo engine has not only a higher horsepower rating, but a better fuel economy rating as well. This will save you around $250 in fuel costs every year. Higher crash test ratings elevate the 2018's safety score, and far more features now come standard. These include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a suite of advanced safety features. Altogether, these improvements vault the Q5 from the bottom third of our rankings to the top third. Despite all of these gains, there is one significant caveat that comes with the newer model: price. With the 2018 model’s base MSRP of $41,500, shoppers will need to decide if a new Q5 is worth the extra $6,600 over the 2016 model.   

Read about the new Audi Q5 »

If the idea of buying new appeals to you, but a $40K-plus price tag does not, there are other options. A few new-SUV alternatives with good scores and starting prices close to the average price of a 2016 Q5 (based on our used car listings) include the Infiniti QX50 and the Lincoln MKC. If you don't mind stepping down to the smaller subcompact SUV class, you may want to consider a BMW X1 (which is very spacious for its class) or a Mercedes-Benz GLA.

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Audi Q5?

The Audi Q5 isn't expected to be very reliable. Its reliability score of two out of five is one of the lowest in our rankings of the best luxury 2-row SUVs. On the opposite end of the spectrum are the Lexus RX, Lexus NX, and BMW X3.

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2016 Audi Q5 Recalls

There are four recalls on the 2016 Q5 as of this writing. Select models powered by the 2.0-liter engine may encounter an overheating coolant pump, which increases the risk of a fire. Additional issues addressed by recalls include a fuel leak (due to a crack in the fuel pump flange), corroding wires for the auxiliary heater that may melt, and corrosion that affects components of the air bag system. Before you buy a used Q5, check to see that any applicable recalls have been appropriately repaired.

See more information on Audi Q5 safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Audi Q5 Is Best? 

The Q5’s first generation began in 2009 and includes all model years through 2017. There are few differences in features between the 2014 and 2016 models (though the 2016 Q5 comes standard with a panoramic sunroof), and all have similar scores in our ranking. By picking a 2015 or older model year, you can save around $4,500 or more.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Q5 »

Which Used Audi Q5 Is Right for Me?

The base Q5 2.0T trim is well-equipped and provides excellent bang for your buck. It comes with leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, a panoramic sunroof, a power liftgate, a 6.5-inch infotainment system, Bluetooth, a 10-speaker audio system, and satellite radio. Step up to the 2.0T Premium Plus trim to get heated front seats, push-button start, and driver's seat memory settings. Higher trims add more luxury features, like ventilated seats, a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system, and a more powerful V6 engine. Some models come with packages that include features such as a navigation system.

See 2016 Audi Q5 trims and specs »

What Does Audi's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Audi offers a certified pre-owned program for cars five years old or less and with fewer than 60,000 miles. Qualifying vehicles bought under the new-car warranty period have coverage until five years from the vehicle’s original in-service date, with no mileage limitation. Certified pre-owned Audis purchased after the four-year new-car warranty has ended receive an additional one-year/unlimited-mileage comprehensive warranty. This is not an extension of the new-car warranty. The two warranties differ in important ways, so read Audi’s warranty page carefully. Audi CPO models must pass a 300-plus-point inspection.

Among luxury car manufacturers, Audi’s CPO program is one of the best, according to our research. It's rivaled only by Lexus and Infiniti.

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How Safe Is the Q5?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Q5 a 2016 Top Safety Pick+, with a top Good score in every crash test category. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests, the Q5 earned an overall four-star rating (out of five). It received four stars in front and rollover tests and five stars in the side crash test. The Q5 has high safety scores, but other luxury compact SUV models do better.

The Q5 has no advanced safety features as standard. Available features include blind spot monitoring, a rearview camera, and front and rear parking sensors. Many other luxury crossovers have more safety systems, like forward collision warning, a 360-degree camera, or lane keep assist.

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2016 Audi Q5 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Audi Q5 or 2016 BMW X3?

The BMW X3 is a great alternative to the Q5, as it is one of the top-ranking vehicles in the 2016 luxury compact SUV class. It delivers agile handling and a ride quality that is taut yet compliant over major road imperfections. The average price of a 2016 X3 is about $2,600 less than that of the Q5, and the BMW also has one of the best reliability ratings in the class. Finally, the X3 has about 6 cubic feet of additional cargo space with the rear seats folded. Add all that up, and for most buyers, the X3 is the smarter choice.

Which Is Better: 2016 Audi Q5 or 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC?

If you prefer comfortable luxury over sporty handling, the Mercedes-Benz GLC is the better luxury compact SUV for you. It has a cloudlike ride even over bumpy roads, and the cabin is one of the most luxurious in the class. The seats in both rows offer plenty of room. The GLC has more standard features than the Q5, too, including safety systems like a rearview camera and driver drowsiness monitoring. There are many more advanced safety features available. While the GLC may not be as nimble as the Q5, its cushioned, composed handling is well-suited to the daily commute, and its sufficiently powerful base engine is more fuel-efficient than the Q5's four-cylinder engine.

Which Is Better: 2016 Audi Q5 or 2016 Audi Q3?

If you don't need as much space as the Q5 offers, consider the smaller Audi Q3. It has less cargo and back-seat room, and its lower price makes it an appealing alternative. The Q3 has sporty handling and many of the same features as the Q5, as well as decent engine power and a handsome interior. The Q3 gets better fuel economy and higher safety scores than the Q5.

Compare the Q5, X3, and GLC »

2016 Q5 Performance

How Does the 2016 Audi Q5 Drive?

A 220-horsepower four-cylinder engine comes standard in the Q5 2.0T model, and it provides satisfying power. A supercharged V6 engine is available, as are a hybrid powertrain and a diesel engine. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. It makes smooth, quick shifts.

The Q5 is among the most agile SUVs in the class, with poised handling around corners and precise steering. However, the ride can be rough over road imperfections, especially in models with the available 20-inch wheels. The Q5 comes standard with all-wheel drive, which is unusual for the class.

Does the 2016 Audi Q5 Get Good Gas Mileage?

With the four-cylinder engine, the Q5 gets 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. This is close to the average fuel economy rating for this vehicle size.

2016 Audi Q5 Towing Capacity

A 2016 Q5 can tow up to 4,400 pounds when properly equipped.

Read more about Q5 performance »

2016 Q5 Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 Q5 Seat?

The Q5 has room for five people and comes standard with leather seats. Its cabin boasts an understated yet elegant design that's fitted with top-notch materials. The seats in both rows are roomy and comfortable, and the rear seats recline, as well as slide forward or backward.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Audi Q5?

Each outboard rear seat has a full set of LATCH child-seat connectors, and the middle rear seat has an upper tether. It's easy to find the tether anchors on the outboard seats, but the lower anchors are buried too deep in the cushions.

2016 Audi Q5 Features

There are lots of comfort and tech features in the Q5, even in the base model. The buttons and knobs that control the infotainment system are difficult to reach, and adjusting some climate and audio settings require multiple steps. Still, after you become familiar with it, the infotainment system is reasonably intuitive to use.

See 2016 Audi Q5 specs »

Read more about Q5 interior »

2016 Audi Q5 Dimensions

Audi Q5 Cargo Space

The Q5 presents a roomy cargo hold for an SUV this size, with 29.1 cubic feet behind the rear seats and a total cargo capacity of 57.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.

Audi Q5 Length and Weight

The base Q5 has a 4,090-pound curb weight, while the Q5 TDI (the heaviest in the lineup) tips the scales at 4,475 pounds. The Q5 is 15.2 feet long.

Where Was the 2016 Audi Q5 Built?

Most 2016 Q5s were built at Audi's main factory in Ingolstadt, Germany. Additionally, some Q5 models were built in China and India for those respective markets.

Is the Audi Q5 Affected by the VW Diesel Scandal?

Q5 TDI models, which are powered by a turbodiesel V6 engine, are caught up in the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. These vehicles require modifications to meet EPA standards, and shoppers should know that these alterations may affect driving performance and fuel economy.

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