2020 Audi Q5
Starting at $44,295
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- Highs Suave styling inside and out, peppy and thrifty powertrain, high-tech options.
- Lows Limited cargo capacity, some ergonomic foibles, indifferent driving character.
- Verdict The Q5's limited driver engagement doesn't diminish the rest of its charms.
The 2020 Audi Q5 applies the brand's luxury pedigree to the compact-crossover template with lukewarm results. Its cabin boasts impeccable build quality and upscale features, but its passenger space and cargo capacity are unremarkable for this class. Every Q5 is motivated by a potent and efficient turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with a dutiful automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. Despite a responsive powertrain, the Q5 isn't quite as exciting to drive as rivals such as the Alfa Romeo Stelvio and the Porsche Macan. Still, the Audi provides a refined ride and tranquil interior. While the best technology is reserved for the most expensive models, the 2020 Q5 promotes a stately image and delivers a posh driving experience.
What's New for 2020?
The 2020 Audi Q5 gets rejiggered standard equipment and updated option packages. The entry-level Premium adds revised 18-inch wheels and standard automatic high-beam headlights. The new Convenience Plus package includes wireless charging, front and rear parking sensors, and newly designed 19-inch wheels. Likewise, the next-level Q5 Premium Plus receives redesigned 19-inch wheels and now adds the Driver Assistance package. It includes adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go technology as well as lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist. A newly available plug-in hybrid model brings better fuel economy, more power, and quicker acceleration.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The 2020 Audi Q5 starts at just over $44,000, but prices significantly jump between the different models and the plug-in-hybrid powertrain. We think the mid-level Premium Plus model is the best value, with an added dose of standard luxury features versus the base Premium. The upgrades include a slick digital gauge cluster, enhanced infotainment system, larger 19-inch wheels, panoramic sunroof, and more. While there are multiple interior colors and cabin accents to choose, there are only a handful of options. We'd skip the $1450 Warm Weather package's ventilated front sport seats and the $1300 Black Optic pack's 20-inch wheels and dark exterior trim. Instead, we'd select the $750 Cold Weather kit that brings all-weather floor mats, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The 2020 Q5 features a standard 252-hp turbocharged four-cylinder, a seven-speed automatic transmission, and Quattro all-wheel drive. The turbo four provides plenty of punch to scoot the Q5 around town or blast down a highway on-ramp, and it is smooth, quiet, and mellifluous. The plug-in-hybrid variant adds an electric motor that increases output to a combined 349 horses and 369 lb-ft of torque, which Audi claims will improve acceleration. The luxury compact crossover's suspension is well damped and imparts a stable feeling no matter the road or driving condition. The ride is smooth and controlled—with or without the optional adaptive suspension—even over pockmarked asphalt. The steering is accurate and lightly weighted but provides no discernible feedback from the front wheels. In the Dynamic drive mode, the steering feels heftier but still artificial. Pitch the Q5 down a twisty two-lane and it'll handle it with aplomb, but a Porsche Macan will still show you a better time.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA estimates the regular 2020 Q5 will earn 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. The plug-in hybrid is rated at 25 mpg city and 29 highway, with a combined gas-electric rating of 65 MPGe. Its 14.1-kWh battery pack also allows an EPA-rated 20 miles of pure-electric driving range. In our real-world fuel-economy testing, the gas-only Q5 missed its government highway estimate by 1 mpg with a 26-mpg result but still did better than the Cadillac XT5.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The 2020 Q5 provides enough room for four adults to get comfy and offers plenty of upscale features, even on the base Premium model. The cabin is both quiet at speed and easy to get in and out of. Moving up through the three trim levels—Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige—nets even more luxury features, including Audi's slick Virtual Cockpit digital gauge cluster. When it came to seeing how many of our carry-on cargo boxes fit, the Q5 didn't impress. It beat the smaller Macan, but only just and held 18 cases with the rear seats folded. The Q5's rear seatbacks easily fold in a 40/20/40 fashion, however, providing flexibility that the Lexus RX doesn't have.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Buyers of even the least expensive Q5 will enjoy an intuitive infotainment system displayed in a dashtop 7.0-inch screen; an 8.3-inch unit is optional. Most of the expected infotainment features are present and accounted for in the base Q5, including a Wi-Fi hotspot and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. Things get much more interesting if you add the optional navigation system, as it comes with a reconfigurable digital gauge cluster that Audi calls Virtual Cockpit. It provides a wide, 12.3-inch view of the nav map plus selected media, phone controls, trip computer, speed, and tachometer, or a combination of these.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA)
The 2019 Audi Q5 earned a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), but it wasn't named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The 2020 Q5 also offers standard driver-assistance technology such as automated emergency braking and forward-collision warning, and other assists are available on the pricier models. Key safety features include:
- Available blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
- Available lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Audi's warranty coverage for the 2020 Q5 is average, and many rivals offer longer coverage periods.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance