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The Audi Q5 2018 Buyer's Guide

By Tony Franklin on October 4, 2018

Looking for a luxury model CUV? One of the best-selling examples of what a CUV can be is the Audi Q5. If you are in the market for one, here are a few things you should know.

First of all, you need to understand what a CUV really is. It is not an SUV, and it is not nearly as capable off-road as some would be led to believe. They are essentially a tall car. Just because you can see more of the land in front of you, does not mean you can conquer it. A CUV is a compromise between a car and an SUV.

In some circles, “compromise” is a dirty word. Not with the Audi Q5 though. Audi got it right by offering strong driving dynamics, good interior volume, a host of powertrain options, and a healthy number of standard equipment perks… all while keeping it at a reasonable price. Not to mention, it looks great too, in a humbler way - showing class without coming across as brash.

What’s new in the 2018 model

This year (2018) Audi thoroughly redesigned its best-selling vehicle, the Q5. They have updated the MLB architecture (from the VW Group) and reduced its weight by almost 200 pounds while adding to its dimensions. The Q5, as well as the SQ5 received engine revisions that give them more power and better fuel economy.

The 2018 Q5 has a revised turbocharged 2.0-liter TSFI I-4. This gives it 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque (an improvement of 32hp and 15lb-ft over the previous model). The engine is mated to the seven-speed dual clutch transmission as well as its Quattro all-wheel-drive system.

The update includes modern styling for the exterior, including the vibrant, single-flame grille with HID headlights. LED headlights are optional in the front but standard for daytime lights and taillights.

This mid-size CUV has three climate control zones inside and an MMI infotainment system, as well as Audi’s signature digital “virtual cockpit.” It also comes with the latest safety features like driver assistance, adaptive cruise control, traffic-jam assist, and a pre-sense city system.

First Impressions

The Q5 moves with power, even when you fill the mid-size cabin with 4 adults and gear. It appears that Audi has found the “sweet spot” in their standard suspension because it remains stable across most bumps in the road. It leans slightly through tight corners, but the chassis stays secure to the ground. There is not a lot of feedback from the steering, but it feels good when centered up and the CUV responds well to steering input.

The Q5 is simply a stronger, taller, CUV, loaded up with the best new tech, and it is expected to continue to excel in the über-popular segment.

The Downsides

There are really only two downsides to the 2018 Audi Q5.

The revised engine only comes in one option

There is less space behind the back seat for luggage

What you see here is a compromise for body space over luggage carrying capacity in the car, making your ride smoother and more enjoyable. It is a tradeoff for the reduced weight of the CUV.

As for the engine: 0 to 60 in just under 6 seconds is nothing to complain about too much, especially when it continues to have a carrying capacity of 5 people.


The Q5 gets an average of 25mpg, which puts it 2mph under the top 10 2018 Crossovers for fuel efficiency. (The winner is the Nissan Kicks)

The starting price for the 2018 Q5 is$41,500 and goes up to about $58,000, which is not bad for a CUV that ranks #6 among 2018 Crossovers from US News & World Report.

If you are looking for a compromise between the comfort of the sedan and the visibility and capability of an SUV, you won’t find much better than the new 2018 Audi Q5.

Tags: Buying Guide