For all trims, the 2018 model has a powertrain comprising a 2.0 liter turbocharged inline-4 engine with an output of 252 horsepower and 273 lb. ft. of torque. That is mated with a seven-speed automatic transmission and it delivers power to all four wheels. In everyday driving, the powerplant puts out enough oomph that the Q5 never felt sluggish. While its 0-60 mph time of 6 seconds isn’t the quickest, to get going from a halt is immediate. Audi has tuned the engine to minimize turbo lag and the dual clutch transmission never missed a beat. On roads with challenging corners, the Q5 handles in a controlled manner and body roll isn’t pervasive. The steering is accurate and it hits a sweet spot in terms of the effort needed to turn. For driving around busier streets, it is almost too easy to maneuver around at the cost of less feedback from the road. Braking performance did not disappoint in any scenario the brakes were needed. With a firm pedal, the bite from the brakes is easy to control especially for tighter spaces or stop-and-go driving. Under intense braking, the stopping force is composed and the braking distance of 114 feet from 60 mph is above average in the compact SUV category.
The base Premium trim comes standard with automatic xenon headlights, LED running lights, rain-activated wipers, heated side mirrors, power liftgate, push-to-start button, keyless ignition, cruise control, automatic climate control, power-adjustable front seats with power lumbar adjustment, auto-dimming rearview mirror, paddle shifters, Bluetooth, HD radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and an infotainment system with 7-inch display and ten-speaker sound system. The Convenience package available which includes power-adjustable seats, keyless entry, heated side mirrors and satellite radio. The Navigation and Telematics package adds a digital instrument cluster, Wi-Fi and navigation with touchscreen display. Heated seats come as a standalone option. The Premium Plus builds on the base trim and adds a sunroof, LED headlights, auto-dimming side mirrors, keyless entry, heated front seats, driver seat memory settings and satellite radio. Options that are available include navigation with touchscreen display, ventilated front sport seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, Wi-Fi and a Bang & Olufsen surround sound system. The Prestige trim is the highest end trim and adds a heads-up display, ambient interior lighting, navigation, Wi-Fi, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a Bang & Olufsen surround sound system. Options for the Prestige trim include ventilated sport seats, heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel.
The 2018 model has been tested by the NHTSA and it earned a 5-star rating for the frontal crash test, a 5-star rating for the side crash test, and a 4-star rating for the rollover test. Overall, it attained a 5-star safety rating from the NHTSA. The IIHS also tested the 2018 model and it achieved “Good” scores for crashworthiness tests and “Superior” for the front crash prevention. Overall, it attained a Top Safety Pick recommendation from the IIHS. Standard safety features that come with the base trim include a rearview camera and automatic emergency braking. Advanced safety and driver assist technologies are add-ons for the succeeding trims and they are front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, 360-degree camera, forward collision warning and pedestrian warning.
The 2018 model has a 183.6-inch length, a 74.5-inch width, 65.3-inch height and a 111-inch wheelbase. The 2018 model is all-new and now enters its second generation. The overall silhouette remains but is slightly larger. The body lines are more refined and tighter and resembles its bigger SUV brother, the Q7. The front fascia has been redesigned and now looks modern and up-to-date. The Premium trim comes standard with 18-inch wheels and has the option for 19-inch wheels. The Premium Plus also comes with 18-inch wheels but has the option for both 19-inch and 20-inch wheels. The Prestige trim comes standard with 20-inch wheels.
Despite not coming with running boards, the Q5’s stance is low enough to not induce strain even to the shorter passenger. With doors that aren’t as long but still open wide, entering the cabin is effortless especially in cramped parking spaces. Legroom and headroom are maximized and didn’t feel boxed in at all, despite being a smaller SUV. Up to five people can be accommodated on board, and the seats they sit on is firm yet still plush that remained supportive even when on the longer trips. However, the rear seats were a little flat and could be more ergonomic. Leather quality is also good and isn’t as stuffy on hotter days. Ventilation would be greatly appreciated but it is only available for the top-end trim. Even with handling traits that lean towards sporty, the ride quality remained compliant enough for everyday use. Irregularities on the pavement weren’t dampened fully, yet they weren’t overly unsettling. Road and wind noise didn’t affect the ambience inside at any speed, and engine noise is kept at bay as well.
Behind the second row of seats is 26.8 cu. ft. of space available for cargo, and once the seats are folded down the space expands to 60.4 cu. ft.