Audi Q5 review - Can it take on the rest of the crowded compact SUV sector? - Design

Lighter Q5 shrugs off dowdy driving experience of big selling compact SUV

Evo rating
from £38,035
  • Lighter, more responsive chassis, strong petrol engine
  • It's an SUV and we'd rather have an A4 Avant


It’s important to understand the true reasoning behind the intention to buy premium SUV’s like the Q5, and despite the insinuation that owners have some sort of adventurous lifestyle, the reality is that cars like this sell on desirability.

So thanks to the huge success of the original Q5, Audi chose not to mess with the formula, keeping a similar boxy silhouette and wavy character line. Most will bemoan the lack of originality, but like the interior, the design does just enough to look fresh without a risk of dating.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

Like the previous Q5, the overall surfacing character is shared with the A5 coupe, here pinching between the wheel faces to create more of a muscular hip line in contrast to the boxier Q7. Also like the A5, Audi has given the Q5 a full clamshell bonnet to clean up the shut lines, and although most buyers won’t notice this little detail, it acts as an example of the sort of fine detailing that Audi is starting to master, even if it lacks any real impact for most buyers.

Audi’s blocky grill treatment from the Q7 also makes an appearance, although the smaller, sharper lighting graphics look better resolved than in its larger sibling. Bumper details and bright work all vary between models, but lighter, full body coloured cars do require large wheels to balance out the proportions. This is a detail accentuated by the Q5’s massive wheel arches, a notable detail carried over from the original car.

Advertisement - Article continues below

 The SQ5 usefully adds some aggression the whole appearance with larger wheels and a more ornate grill treatment, but suffers from some pretty gaudy fake tail pipe extensions on the rear bumper. Overall the Q5 will be unlikely to attract that many glances at the school pick up, but in the context of its rivals sits somewhere between the boring new BMW X3 and still sharp Jaguar F-Pace in the style stakes.


Most Popular

Honda Civic Type-R

Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition revealed amongst range-wide updates

Our hopes have been addressed and more, as Honda launches two more Civic Type R versions at the top and tail of the range
20 Feb 2020
BMW 3 Series

New BMW M340d xDrive Saloon and Touring revealed

BMW has released its range-topping black pump 3-series models, with a predictably impressive torque figure
20 Feb 2020
SEAT Leon Cupra

New 2020 Cupra Leon revealed

Cupra’s launched not just one, but a whole range of hot Leons to rival the rapidly expanding hot hatch class in 2020
21 Feb 2020
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019