$31,758 - $41,014

2017 Audi Q5 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Audi Q5 was new.


Performance: 8.6

Whether you want an all-around solid engine or the strength of a performance-oriented V6, the 2017 Audi Q5 has an engine for you. Every engine in the lineup feels powerful and delivers strong acceleration, and the Q5's automatic transmission enhances the driving experience.

You may find the Q5's ride a bit firm, but it isn't harsh, and the stiffer ride is one of the reasons the Q5 has such nimble handling. Whether you're running errands around town or cutting up a winding road, the Q5 is up to the challenge. It's also available with the Audi Drive Select System, which lets you adjust the car's performance dynamics to suit your preferred driving style.

  • "The Q5 continues to share a basic platform with the A4 sedan and A5 coupe/convertible. Like those models, it features relatively sporty handling along with a comfortable ride, though the platform's driving dynamics are dulled somewhat by the Q5's higher height and larger size." -- Left Lane News
  • "Handling is excellent, and we consider the 2015 Q5 to be one of the sportiest crossovers on the market. The steering is quick and responsive, though it has a rather artificial feel. Firm ride aside, the Q5 is hard to fault from the driver seat." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "People often buy these vehicles so they can sit up high and feel safe, even if it means sacrificing some handling capability. In the Q5, the sacrifice is so small that most drivers won't even notice." -- Autotrader (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The Q5 comes standard with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 220 horsepower. It has enough power for most driving situations, and you'll probably be impressed with its potent acceleration. The turbo-four probably has the best combination of power and fuel economy in the Q5's engine lineup. It earns an estimated 20 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway, which is about average for the class.

If you're looking for more power, you can step up to the supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine, which produces 272 horsepower. It delivers a more robust sound, and you'll notice the added power. The V6 provides quick acceleration, too, but it doesn't have quite the same fuel efficiency as the four-cylinder. The V6 earns an estimated 18 mpg in the city and 26 on the highway, which is better than what some V6-powered rivals like the Jaguar F-Pace deliver.

Finally, there's a performance-oriented option for drivers who want to go fast. The Audi SQ5 features a supercharged V6 engine that puts out 354 horsepower. According to Audi, the SQ5 has a top speed of 155 mph and will go zero-60 mph in just over five seconds.

No matter which engine you select, it'll be mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission that delivers smooth shifts and adds to the enjoyment of driving a Q5.

  • "Regardless of which engine you choose, the Q5 delivers refined and rapid acceleration. This is especially true of the base 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, which is gutsier than you might expect -- especially if you're used to six cylinders under the hood. However, if you are both used to and can't live without six cylinders, the supercharged 3.0-liter V6 should provide the sound and feel you've come to expect from such an engine." -- Edmunds
  • "While there are a variety of powertrains to choose from, Audi's 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder may be the best all-around choice. It's fuel efficient, powerful, and with the 8-speed automatic transmission, makes even the base Q5 a fun-to-drive SUV." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "Under the hood, the base 2.0T engine seems somewhat underpowered for luxury-crossover duty, though many owners seem to think it's just fine in the real world. Still, we much prefer the snappy acceleration of the 3.0T. … Better yet, grab an SQ5 and enjoy sports-car-like performance, including the benchmark 0-to-60 sprint in around 5 seconds." -- Autotrader (2015)

Handling and Braking

Every luxury compact SUV is available with all-wheel drive, but the Q5 is one of the few vehicles in the class to come standard with it. The Audi Drive Select system, which lets drivers adjust the throttle response, transmission, steering, and suspension settings, is available.

If you like to have a bit of fun while driving, the Q5 won't hold you back. It's agile enough that you can confidently tackle corners and winding roads, and the generally sharp steering will leave you feeling in control of the car. The ride quality may not be quite what you expect, though. The Q5's ride isn't rough by any means, but it is somewhat firm.

  • "Its ride quality is firmer than some might expect, but we'd describe it as taut, not harsh. Still, the optional adaptive dampers make a real difference, as they provide user control over ride quality -- including a relatively cushy 'Comfort' setting. In any event, handling is excellent by crossover standards, thanks to quick steering and controlled body motions. It'll make you feel in command when behind the wheel." -- Edmunds
  • "At reasonable cornering speeds, the Q5 feels like the sport sedan of compact luxury crossovers. It's an A4 on stilts, yes, but it's an A4 nonetheless. If you push harder, you'll be battling understeer, but that's forgivable. No one buys a Q5 to chase motorcycles in the hills. The true calling of the Q5 is to traverse both highways and patchy urban pavement with composure, and for the most part, that's exactly what it does. The ride gets rather firm with the 20-in wheels, though." -- Autotrader (2015)
  • "On one hand, it's not quite as hard-driving as the BMW X3 - with the exception of the sporty SQ5 - but it doesn't feel as disconnected as the Lexus RX either. Instead, Audi lets you choose softer or sportier suspension and engine performance, thanks to the available drive-select feature. No matter what setting you choose, we still find the Q5's steering feel to be a bit over-weighted at low speeds, but have no complaints once up and running." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)

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