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The Q5 is a luxury crossover among the best in its category. It has been around since 2008 and is known for its comfort. Is there a best year Audi Q5?

The crossover has earned the reputation of a luxury vehicle that is fun to drive and offers a lot of utility. It features a spacious interior and keeps the occupants comfortable even when running on washboard surfaces.

Audi Q5 was redesigned in 2018, receiving a more respectable look and multiple modern technologies. It is the best year Audi Q5 as it comes with excellent safety ratings and is equipped with contemporary accessories and features.  Newer models do not add significant features but are pricier.

The Q5 is equipped with several advanced luxury features and accessories to make your trips more enjoyable and comfortable. Sitting in the middle of Audi’s vehicle lineup, it is compact, balanced, relatively less pricey, and it still gives a sense of luxury.

Our car experts believe that the 2018 Audi Q5 is an excellent car for crossover shoppers searching for a combination of reliability, comfort, and safety. The vehicle performs flawlessly in the city, on the highway, and twisty mountain roads. You can even take it for light off-roading, and it will not disappoint.

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2018 Audi Q5

The 2018 Audi Q5 is a compact crossover that has given tough competition to several luxury crossovers from top brands like BMW, Lincoln, Mercedes Benz. It is not easy to make room amongst top luxury players in the market, which the 2018 Q5 does brilliantly.

The 2018 Q5 is available in three trims, Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. All variants are powered by the same engine and offer endless customization with optional accessories.

Design Features

The Q5 was redesigned inside out for 2018. The generation before this model lasted for almost eight years with few refreshes. The 2018 model is sleeker, modern-looking, and is also better equipped.

The exterior exhibits the same trendy design language found on most new Audis with a longer nose and an improved beltline. Upfront, the signature Audi grille grasps attention due to its size. The stylish headlights sit outboard from the grille.  We genuinely believe that when you purchase an Audi, one factor influencing your decision is the headlights.

The hood features more creasing and makes the 2018 model look more upright than its predecessor. The fenders are flared with extra curving above the wheel wells. An elegant crease runs from the front fender to the doors, over to the rear end, and ends matching the tapering tail lights.

The tailgate looks as if carried over from the previous years, but the stylish tail lights make the 2018 model look much different from previous models. The reversing lights and the rear fog lamps are located on the bumper.

Inside, the cabin is well laid out and pretty soothing. We are concerned with the infotainment screen that does not retract into the dashboard like other Audis, but overall, we think the interior is neat and comfortable.

Below the screen are the vents, which sit above the climate control buttons. A few more switches and buttons lie below the climate control. The infotainment screen looks a little fragile and delicate, but you will not be touching it since a laptop-style touchpad operates it.

On higher trim levels, the gauges in the instrument cluster are replaced with Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, a widescreen LCD that can display virtual gauges, navigation, and other vital information.

Performance Features

All trims of the 2018 Audi Q5 are powered by the same engine, a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four. The engine produces 252 hp and 273 lb-ft torque. The power delivered by the engine is more than enough as a similar engine is mounted on the larger Q7.

The engine is coupled with a seven-speed automatic transmission with dual-clutch and comes standard with all-wheel-drive across all variants. The AWD system occasionally powers the rear wheels when required, and power is delivered to the front wheels most of the time. This feature helps save fuel by directing the power to where it is needed. The advanced system does not take more than a fraction of a second to turn the rear wheels when it senses extra traction is required.

The Q5 shares its platform with the A4 sedan, which gives it a substantial advantage in terms of structural strength. The 2018 Q5 weighs similar to previous generations, even though it is equipped with a lighter all-wheel-drive system, and there is more aluminum in the body.

The 2018 model comes with variable driving mode featuring five options, Auto, Individual, Sport, Comfort, and Off-Road. Each mode tweaks the throttle response, suspension, and steering feel. However, the off-road mode does not magically turn the Q5 into a four-wheel-drive, rugged SUV. It is primarily for running on uneven roads and hard-packed surfaces without tarmac.

The suspension and handling of the vehicle are also exemplary. It easily handles twisting and turning roads and remains planted on the road during cornering.  We will not recommend pushing it too much on the corners like a performance car, but the vehicle feels safe and confident for everyday driving and weekend mountainside adventures. The steering delivers limited feedback and feels a little light.

Switch on the Off-Road mode and take the Q5 onto dirt or washboard roads, and you will notice that the cabin remains calm. The intelligent all-wheel-drive system powers the rear wheels as required and ensures traction on slippery surfaces like loose gravel or deep sand.

Comfort and Space Features

The 2018 Audi Q5 is known for luxury. Even the base variant feels well-equipped in the cabin, and things only go upward from there. It delivers a luxury experience with premium features like leather trim, comfortable seats on the front and rear, and a spacious cargo hold.

The front seats are well-bolstered and supportive. Most rivals use synthetic leather on base variants, but the Q5’s seats wear natural leather hides in all trims. You can find some models equipped with optional wood trims on the dashboard.

The 2018 model redesigned the rear seat to get additional space than its predecessors. The backseat is as comfortable as you would find on any rival. Two six-footers can easily sit behind two six-footers in the front seats with the added space. The third seat in the second row is best suited for children or adults when running short distances. Audi makes this quite evident with deep scalloping on the two outboard seats.

Behind the second seat is space for carrying luggage. It is spacious and can hold up to 26.8 cubic feet of cargo. You can flip down the rear seat to more than double the cargo space to 60.4 cubes if you need to transport larger loads. The backseat is split 60/40 and folds down by tugging a lever. However, the seats do not disappear into the floor and sort of just stay there, making the Q5 miss the “flat-bed” cargo space.

Safety Features

It is no surprise that the best year Audi Q5 earns high rankings with several safety rating agencies thanks to the advanced safety equipment found on the vehicle.

The Q5 gives the driver excellent outside vision thanks to the seat positioning and large side mirrors. With narrow pillars and rear seats that do not block the view, the crossover is relatively easy to maneuver in all directions. The slightly high window line gives a more bathtub-ish feel, especially in the front seats.

All Q5s come with the following standard safety features:

  • Six airbags including:
  • Frontal airbags for the driver and passenger are located in the steering wheel and dashboard. These prevent severe head injuries during a front crash.
  • SIde impact airbags for front and rear passengers to keep the occupants safe if the vehicle encounters an impact from the side.
  • Overhead airbags to protect the heads of the occupants in a severe crash or during a rollover
  • Antilock braking with brake assist ensures that the wheels get maximum stopping power without locking up. The system can change the braking pressure on the wheel if it senses it is locked-up. Locked-up wheels lose traction and lead to skidding.
  • Electronic Stability Control with variable driving modes ensures that the vehicle is operated within its safety limits. If the driver tries to push the vehicle beyond its handling and performance limits, this system can curtail the engine power while overriding the driver’s input.
  • Traction Control ensures that the wheels maintain traction with the ground at all times. If the system detects loss of traction, it makes necessary changes to recover traction.
  • Daytime running lights make the vehicle visible from a distance. This is especially useful when running on long stretches of highways.
  • The intelligent collision detecting system can trigger emergency braking at speeds under 52 mph to avert the collision or at least reduce its severity. This system also rolls up the windows and closes the optional moonroof when it detects a crash.

Many other safety features are standard on higher trims and optional on lower trims. These include:

  • Blind-spot monitors alert the driver of any vehicles that the driver cannot see when changing lanes.
  • Rear traffic cross alert with automatic rear braking keeps the vehicle from coming into oncoming traffic when backing up.
  • A neat feature alerts the driver of an approaching vehicle or bicycle when opening the door after parallel parking.
  • Adaptive cruise control can follow the car ahead. This system can slow down the vehicle when it detects slow traffic ahead and even stops the Q5 in a traffic jam. Once the road clears up, the system takes the vehicle back to the speed set by the driver.

The 2018 Audi Q5 receives impressive safety scores from testing agencies. The NHTSA awards the vehicle with a five-star rating for overall safety. The crossover also gets five stars for frontal and side crash tests and four for rollover.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety agrees with the NHTSA on the Q5. The IIHS gives the 2018 Q5 “Good” score, the top rating, for all crashworthiness tests. The testing agency believes that the Q5 is equipped with a “Superior” collision prevention system. The vehicle wins the Top Safety Pick award for 2018.

Trim Features

The 2018 Audi Q5 is available in three trims, Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. It comes with many luxury features as standard and can be enhanced by a sea of options. This is not to say that the base variant is bland or underequipped.

The Premium trim comes with great features and accessories, including:

  • Standard leather seating and upholstery
  • Power-adjustable front seats
  • Proximity sensor key and keyless ignition
  • Xenon HID headlights
  • Frontal collision prevention and automatic braking at speeds below 52 mph
  • A 10-speaker infotainment system that supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay with Bluetooth connectivity, HD radio, and USB support
  • Rearview camera
  • Trizone automatic climate control

The Premium Plus adds more features to the Premium, which include:

  • Panoramic moonroof
  • Blind-spot monitors
  • Rear traffic cross alert with automatic braking
  • LED headlights
  • Heated front seats
  • Power-operated hands free liftgate
  • Parking sensors
  • Vehicle Exit Assist alerts the driver of approaching traffic when opening the door

The Prestige goes full-on and adds the following:

  • Navigation system with handwriting recognition
  • Virtual Cockpit, a 12.3-inch widescreen display in the gauge cluster to replace the traditional gauges
  • Head Up display
  • A bigger screen of 8.3 inches for the infotainment system
  • Top-view camera system
  • A built-in wifi hotspot
  • 19-speaker sound system

Fuel Economy Features

The 2018 Audi Q5 is powered with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine and comes standard with an intelligent all-wheel-drive. With a small engine and other technologies, the Q5 earns EPA ratings of 23 mpg during city driving, 27 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg for combined driving.

Price Range of 2018 Audi Q5

The average price of the 2018 Q5 is approximately $40,000. The crossover can be found for as low as $30,000 and can go up to $50,000. The prices depend on vehicle condition, mileage, location, trim level, and the optional features installed.

Best Year Audi Q5

About The Author

Matt Meurer

Matt Meurer

Matt is a VW Master Technician since 2009 after proceeding through the ranks as a Team Leader and Shop Foreman. He has developed software to increase car dealership efficiency, managed 10+ techs, and instructed students at multiple high-performance driving events since 2011. He is also the lead mechanic, engineer, and driver for Blue Goose Racing.

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