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2014 Audi Q5

$16,223 — $31,911 USED
Sport Utility
5 Seats
21-27 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 3 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Acceleration
  • Cabin materials
  • Towing capacity
  • Diesel's EPA-estimated fuel economy
  • Low cargo floor

The Bad

  • Inconsistent steering feel
  • Smallish multimedia screen
  • Top-heavy feel during sharp turns
  • Passable backseat room
2014 Audi Q5 exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2014 Audi Q5
  • New turbo-diesel V-6 engine
  • New performance-oriented SQ5 model
  • Turbocharged or supercharged gas engines
  • Hybrid version offered
  • Available Audi Connect information system
  • Standard AWD

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Audi adds a diesel version to the Q5's lineup for 2014, and the new TDI model has plenty of pep and is thrifty at the pump, says Cars.com reviewer David Thomas. Sport mode makes driving fun, Thomas says, & a pleasant cabin should keep everyone happy.

by David Thomas -

The Audi Q5 moves into 2014 with a few upgrades to what was already a good all-around compact luxury SUV.

A luxury car can overcome shortcomings by offering a high level of comfort, amenities, materials and performance, but the Q5 is on the higher side of the price equation for what you get. You can compare the 2013 and 2014 versions here.

What you can get in 2014 is an all-new diesel variant called the Q5 TDI. It joins a pair of available gasoline engines, including a turbocharged four-cylinder and a 3.0-liter six-cylinder. I tested both the TDI and the 3.0 for this review.

Exterior & Styling
The Q5 perfectly embodies Audi's current design theme in SUV form. The large grille looks more subtle on a higher-riding vehicle than it does on its sedan siblings. The headlights have also been updated, and most trim levels house standard LED running lights and xenon headlamps.

Relatively little else has changed for 2014, but the Q5 looks perfectly modern and seems even less generic when you line it up next to the Acura RDX, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLK or Volvo XC60.

How It Drives
Audi continues to release impressive engine after impressive engine. The latest is a new turbo-diesel offering. While not an S-Line powerhouse, the 3.0-liter, turbocharged V-6 produces 240 horsepower and an amazing 428 pounds-feet of torque. That's more torque than the 5.0-liter V-8 in a Ford Mustang GT, with the added bonus of standard quattro all-wheel-drive (AWD).

Getting all that power to ...

by David Thomas -

The Audi Q5 moves into 2014 with a few upgrades to what was already a good all-around compact luxury SUV.

A luxury car can overcome shortcomings by offering a high level of comfort, amenities, materials and performance, but the Q5 is on the higher side of the price equation for what you get. You can compare the 2013 and 2014 versions here.

What you can get in 2014 is an all-new diesel variant called the Q5 TDI. It joins a pair of available gasoline engines, including a turbocharged four-cylinder and a 3.0-liter six-cylinder. I tested both the TDI and the 3.0 for this review.

Exterior & Styling
The Q5 perfectly embodies Audi's current design theme in SUV form. The large grille looks more subtle on a higher-riding vehicle than it does on its sedan siblings. The headlights have also been updated, and most trim levels house standard LED running lights and xenon headlamps.

Relatively little else has changed for 2014, but the Q5 looks perfectly modern and seems even less generic when you line it up next to the Acura RDX, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLK or Volvo XC60.

How It Drives
Audi continues to release impressive engine after impressive engine. The latest is a new turbo-diesel offering. While not an S-Line powerhouse, the 3.0-liter, turbocharged V-6 produces 240 horsepower and an amazing 428 pounds-feet of torque. That's more torque than the 5.0-liter V-8 in a Ford Mustang GT, with the added bonus of standard quattro all-wheel-drive (AWD).

Getting all that power to hit the wheels requires a bit of finesse. There's a delay in accelerator response from a standing start that I found slightly annoying, but I assume it helps prevent wheelspin and spares everyday drivers from whiplash. The Sport mode is activated with a simple shift downward from Drive via the eight-speed automatic transmission's shifter. That gives you more immediate acceleration and will certainly satisfy the speed demon in the family … who needs to drive a somewhat family-friendly vehicle.

The gas-powered V-6 didn't slack in the acceleration department, either. With 272 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, it's more than powerful enough for most drivers. The standard V-6 in the RDX is similarly powerful, and the turbocharged sixes in the X3 and XC60 are a step above both Acura and Audi.

The TDI quattro boosts mileage to 27 mpg combined, up from 23 mpg in the 2.0 and 21 mpg combined in the 3.0. Since you'll be pumping premium unleaded into the latter two, the price of diesel fuel will generally not be a penalty for TDI buyers.

Past experience with the 2.0T quattro Audi Q5 always left me a bit flat in terms of exhilaration, but it proved to be competent versus other base engines in the class.

The Audi Q5's power may be a standout — and braking response is above average, as well — but other vehicle details, like steering and handling, are much more of a mixed bag.

Audi's speed-sensing steering has been a benefit and a bane for some time. In some vehicles, especially high-performance Audis, it's nice to have the lighter response in the steering wheel during slow maneuvers, like in parking lots, with a firming up when you increase speed. But the variations in more pedestrian vehicles like the Q5 often seem too lax to me in all situations.

The Q5 also exhibits more body lean than I've noticed in other SUVs of this size in this class. Taking curvy highway off-ramps, tight U-turns and one unexpected emergency reaction were tumultuous affairs in which I dramatically felt the SUV's body tilt to the outside of the turn.

Interior
I'm regularly reminded how well Audi executes its interiors — not when I get into the latest redesign, but into a model that's a few years into its shelf life, like the 
Q5. The materials are top-quality and the cabin layout sophisticated. Getting this mix right isn't easy, and Audi has figured it out.

The sporty nature of traditional Audi sedan and sports car cabins is here, too. It feels like a "cockpit," a descriptor thrown about too easily these days. And visibility all around is quite good.

The driver and front passenger have plenty of room, and the comfortable leather seats in both of my test models offered plenty of support. In back, where the seats slide back and recline, there's "enough" room that an average-sized adult male won't be cramped, even with the optional sunroof. The middle seat, however, is too tiny even for a teenager squeezed between two others.

Ergonomics & Electronics
The word "cockpit" is good not just for the design and feel of the cabin but also for the complicated nature of some of its controls. Newcomers to Audi will take several days to get used to the placement of certain buttons and how to use common features like climate control and the stereo.

Audi's multimedia system is on par with those from BMW, Mercedes, Lexus and other luxury automakers. None provide a perfect interface, and Audi's is no exception. The knob controller on the center console clicks as you turn its outer ring to select various functions, displayed on a 7-inch screen in the center of the dashboard. It's a nice feel. However, with a new directional button in the center of the knob, it's become a little harder to simply enter the command you've selected. Competitors like BMW also have significantly larger screens in their latest models.

The knob itself is for moving the cursor on the navigation screen. That's an expected function for many GPS users, especially those accustomed to smartphone and Bluetooth applications.

Audi continues to offer optional Bang & Olufsen stereos with 14 speakers, some of which bear good-looking metallic casings, but I didn't find the sound quality stellar enough in the Q5 to justify the cost, even though it's a relatively affordable $850 option.

Cargo & Storage
In the past I've always thought the Q5's cargo area was a bit small compared with the competition. I was surprised to discover while researching that it exceeds most of the class at 29.1 cubic feet with the rear seats in place. The cargo area with them folded is 57.3 cubic feet.

I found that the low load floor was a benefit in real-world testing, hauling the family's gear for a week. It might also be an aid to the family dog that has to jump in the back.

Safety
The 
Audi Q5 was rated four stars overall in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests. It also scored the top rating of good in four tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It has not been through the organization's new frontal small-overlap test at this time, which would determine if it is a Top Safety Pick.

In addition to a standard array of airbags, there are optional seat-mounted airbags for the rear seats at a cost of $350.

Blind spot monitoring, called Audi Side Assist, is available, but frontal collision warning systems aren't offered.

The Q5 performed exceptionally well in our child-safety seat testing. You can view the full Car Seat Check here.

Value in Its Class
The 
Audi Q5, in gasoline and diesel forms, impressed me in terms of acceleration, luxury feel and practicality, but besides my handling qualms there are also issues of price.

At $38,195 (all prices cited include destination charges) for the base 2.0 model, the Audi Q5 base price is significantly more than the RDX, which has a standard V-6 and optional all-wheel drive for $36,815. Quattro All-wheel drive is standard on the Audi. The BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLK-class 350 both start higher than the Q5 with similar engines and AWD, but you'd likely have to move to a more expensive Q5 trim to get similar equipment. You can compare all four here.

If you're purchasing outright, the Acura or Volvo will be better values, but if you're leasing, the playing field may be evened more in the Audi Q5's favor. The TDI version, however, pushes prices much higher, starting at $47,395.

In the end, the styling and excellent powertrains give the Q5 enough weapons for a very competitive fight.

Send David an email  

 

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.7
54 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.7)
Performance
(4.7)
Interior Design
(4.7)
Comfort
(4.7)
Reliability
(4.7)
Value For The Money
(4.3)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Most reliable car I've ever drove. Looks great.

by Mrs.shah from Alexander City on October 30, 2018

Love everything about it.. sound system is great. Does great on mileage. Runs smooth. Seat warmers...mp3 player or I pod set up. I especially love how my GPS will reroute me if there's too much ... Read full review

(4.0)

Most functional car I?ve owned.

by Wallygt10 from Atlanta, GA on October 17, 2018

Excellent for what I need it for. Good gas mileage and enough room to take friends on a road trip. Also, all wheel drive for bad weather. Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2014 Audi Q5 currently has 5 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2014 Audi Q5 2.0T Premium

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
acceptable
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Audi

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    48 months / unlimited distance

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits

  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    5 model years or newer/less than 60,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    1 year/unlimited miles after expiration of new vehicle limited warranty or from date of sale if the new vehicle limited warranty has expired

  • Powertrain

    N/A

  • Dealer Certification Required

    300-plus-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All CPO Program Details

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Q5 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*

Third-row access

N/A

Infant seat

B

Booster

(second row)

A

Booster

(third row)

N/A

Latch or Latch system

A

Forward-facing convertible

(third row)

N/A

Forward-facing convertible

(second row)

A

Rear-facing convertible

A
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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