Audi Q5 - Used Car Review

THE Audi Q5 is much less intimidating than the huge Q7, but despite all models having four wheel drive, it's not really an off-roader.

However, it is a superb all rounder for road use that will keep you going when others flounder in winter snow and ice.

The high driving position gives an excellent view all round and there's plenty of room for a family inside, plus a very good size boot.

The styling ticks all the right boxes for me and I've enjoyed driving a number of them over the years - both petrol and diesel.

The majority sold in this country have been diesels of course, but that seems to be changing with governments around the world trying to improve air pollution by banning diesels from city centres.

I'll concentrate here on the model built between 2008 and 2016, which has very car-like handling and excellent road holding.

Diesel engines range up from a 143bhp 2.0-litre to a 3.0-litre V6 with no less than 254bhp and petrols available go from a 2.0-litre with 180bhp to a 3.0-litre with 268bhp.

All of the larger engine models come with a tiptronic automatic gearbox, while the smaller engines have either a six-speed manual or a continuously variable (CVT) automatic.

The lowest powered 143bhp diesel doesn't offer particularly good performance but all the others reach the 62 miles an hour benchmark in under ten seconds - or considerably quicker.

Top performing 3.0-litre diesel models dispatch the sprint in a shade over six seconds and yet will return over 40mpg driven carefully.

The Q5 shares its chassis with the A4, so it has excellent road manners and is very, very safe. There's very little roll in the corners and the VW group steering has long been one of the best on the market.

Comfort too is very good, despite the tuned suspension.

Standard equipment in mid-range SE form brings traction control, heated mirrors, alarm, parking sensors, leather trim, audio remote control and alloys.

Most secondhand will have been fitted with additions from the very expensive Audi extras list, like cruise control and heated sports seats.

Bear in mind that larger alloy wheels and lower profile tyres might look better, but they don't improve the handling and comfort is badly affected.

Although the 2.0 TFSI petrol makes the Q5 great fun to drive, the 2.0-litre turbodiesel is much more sensible, with lower running costs and a healthy residual value.

Pay about £13,800 for an '11 11-reg 2.0 TDI SE manual, or £19,100 for a '13 13-reg S-Line.

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