The Q5 has long been one of Audi’s best-selling models in the US. And what’s not to like? It’s a respectable-looking and functional mid-size crossover, slotting in between the bite-size Q3 and the three-row Audi Q7. With a base MSRP of $ 42,475, the Q5 competes with stalwarts like the BMW X3, Lexus RX450, and Acura RDX, as well as upstarts like the Alfa Romeo Stelvio (look for our review soon). But the Q5 was getting a bit stale, as it hadn’t seen any substantive changes since its introduction in 2008. With the 2018 model, Audi has updated the Q5, making this a good time to check in with its workhorse.
What’s new in 2018
Gone is the old 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine, replaced by a… 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine. This year’s model offers 252hp and 273lb-ft of torque, an improvement on 2017’s 220hp and 258lb-ft of torque. That should get you from zero to 60mph in a smooth 5.8 seconds, a touch faster than last year. The all-wheel drive Q5 comes with a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission. If you want more in the way of raw performance, there’s an SQ5 version with a turbocharged, 354hp V-6 and an eight-speed transmission for about $ 12,000 more.
On the outside, the 2018 Q5 is an inch longer, two inches wider, and has a slightly longer wheelbase. The tweaks to the hood, grille, and sideview mirrors make for a more aerodynamic design. In terms of exterior design, the 2018 Q5 is evolutionary rather than revolutionary.