2018 Audi Q5: Boutique-Yet-Capable SUV

Looking at the new 2018 Audi Q5, it’s hard to believe the compact luxury SUV has almost a decade under its belt. Scroll below to learn about the Q5’s defining characteristics:

Most vehicles 10 years ago were blocky, with squared edges and sharp corners, and Audis were no exception. However, like most brands, modern Audis sport a sleeker, more aerodynamic look. Clean lines, deep rich colors, and an eye for sparse-but-stunning details set an Audi apart, both at speed and in the stable.

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Audi certainly sets the industry standard for best interior quality for all that financial quantity, and the new 2018 Audi Q5 is no exception. Exterior styling has not changed drastically from last year’s model, but why improve on near-perfection?

Nestled squarely between the sporty and super-fast range of sedans and the Audi Q7, the Q5 is a capable, modern SUV perfect for stylish, AWD-seeking SUV enthusiasts.

Performance Specifications

All models of the second generation 2018 Audi Q5 come standard with a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine quattro engine, capable of AWD. With 252 horsepower, 273 lb-ft of torque, and a seven-speed automatic, the Q5 can tow up to 4,400 pounds. Chances are most buyers don’t intend to haul anything beyond groceries or pets, but the capability is certainly there if you need it.

Driving the 2018 Audi Q5 gives you near the same experience as you get in Audi sedans, albeit with a bit more weight attached. Responsive steering puts the control back in the driver’s seat, but don’t be fooled; the Q5’s suspension softens the ride and keeps the cabin quiet. Visibility is high in both front and back, with windows large enough to see out of without making you feel like you’re in a fishbowl. The Audi Q5’s turbo four-cylinder is no slouch either. Whether you’ve got kids or a boat in tow, the Q5 has you covered.

For those looking for a bit more power, the Audi SQ5 is your go-to speed-mobile. With a twin-scroll turbo 3.0-liter V6 mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, this tiny little SUV is capable of 354 horsepower. However, like all S and RS Audi models, you’ll pay a hefty price for those extra horses.

You can select from the following colors for your 2018 Audi Q5:

  • Brilliant Black
  • Azores Green
  • Florett Silver
  • Manhattan Gray
  • Monsoon Gray
  • Ibis White
  • Matador Red
  • Moonlight Blue
  • Mythos Black
  • Navarra Blue
  • Utopia Blue

Every marque has their signature colors, and Audi’s black, silver, red, and blue paints all stand out while still staying classy. Most Audis, if they are taken care of properly, retain their shine well beyond their warranty.

Fuel Efficiency

Audi boasts an EPA estimated 25 mpg combined fuel efficiency for the 2018 Audi Q5. Kelley Blue Book ranks the Q5 second in fuel economy, but what it makes up for in economy, it decidedly lacks in horsepower — unless you go with the SQ5 variant, of course. An EPA estimated 23 mpg city and 27 mpg highway is reported by Edmunds, putting this compact luxury SUV near the range of most sedans.

The 2018 Audi Q5 comes standard with Audi’s stop/start technology. Vehicles stopped at a red light will not idle; rather, the engine’s computer will temporarily turn the engine off to conserve fuel and improve emissions. Once drivers remove their foot from the brake to go, the engine will start again. This is a feature that can be disabled if drivers so choose, but it is a great money-saver for those constantly stuck in traffic.

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Entertainment and Safety Features

The 2017 Audi Q5 was named a 2017 IIHS Top Safety Pick, and it’s easy to see why. From the slew of standard safety equipment to the various driver assist features, the Audi Q5 excels as much in safety as it does in interior quality and technology. Each Q5 comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so you can be hands-free but still stay connected.

Edmunds notes that every model of the Q5 comes with dual front side-mounted airbags, pre- and post-collision safety systems, traction control, emergency brake assist, and ABS. The driver assistance package includes adaptive cruise control, active lane-keeping assist, traffic sign recognition, and automatic high-beam control. With eight-inches of clearance, you won’t be scraping the ground like most sedans, but you won’t have to use a ladder to climb in either.

The 2018 Audi Q5 comes in three trim packages: Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. The Premium package starts at $41,500 and offers a rear-view camera, leather seats, five driver-selectable suspension modes, a power liftgate, 18-inch wheels, and a seven-inch infotainment center screen. Electric power steering and a telescopic steering wheel are standard on all models.

The Premium Plus package includes heated front and rear seats, a panoramic sunroof, rear cross traffic assist, vehicle exit assist, and LED headlights. With keyless start, stop, and entry, this model starts at $45,500.

Step it up to $50,800 and you’ve got yourself the Prestige model, with heads-up display (HUD), a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, MMI navigation, and a parking system with a top view camera. Audi’s virtual cockpit offers a 12.3-inch display that allows you to customize your gauge cluster for a unique driving experience.

How the Audi Q5 Compares to the Competition

The entire SUV segment, whether you’re talking compact, mid-size, or luxury, is on fire right now, making it harder for good SUVs to stand out. In the natural order of things, you’ve got models like the Volkswagen Tiguan, Touareg, and brand-new Atlas, the Toyota Rav4 and Highlander, Mazda’s CX-5, the Honda Pilot and CR-V, and Hyundai’s Santa Fe.

Making up the middle group are the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Kia Sorento, Lexus NX, Acura RDX, Infiniti QX50, Lincoln MKC and MKX twins, and the Volvo XC60. The Range Rover Sport and the Land Rover Discover are also in this category. There’s a lot to choose from here in terms of style, sophistication, capabilities, and features; it’s all about the best mix of price, luxury, and branding here.

Speaking of price, the cream of this crop includes the Audi Q5 and Q7, along with the Porsche Macan and Jaguar F-Pace, and the BMW X4, X5, and X6 variants. The Cadillac XT5, formerly known as the SRX falls into this category, as well as, of course, the Mercedes-Benz GLC-class.

Pros

  • Ranked “Good” in all IIHS safety tests
  • New chassis that rides better than ever
  • Quiet, modern cabin
  • AWD standard
  • Abundant technological capabilities for the price range
  • Good resale value

Cons

  • Unless you go for the SQ5, the 2.0L turbo four-cylinder is the only engine available
  • Cargo capacity is decidedly lacking
  • Same price as the AWD Jaguar F-Pace

The Audi marque is synonymous with interior quality and confident styling, and while you may not turn to your 2018 Audi Q5 the next time you’re hauling a heavy load, it might just be your most favorite company vehicle. Invest in a high-quality Audi SUV and treat yourself to this compact luxury SUV.

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