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

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

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

Interior and tech

Being a current generation Audi, the Q5’s interior design and tech is typically excellent. The new dash design takes a combination of cues from both the larger Q7 and the latest A4, but loses the full-width air vent, which is becoming an increasingly overused motif. Atop the dash floats the same screen as in other Audis, although like the A4, it cannot be retracted into the dash. Audi’s optional virtual cockpit adds a useful bit of technological flash, but fails to lift the interior to look anything other than solid.

Ergonomically, the interior is arguably best in class, with all the controls being concise and perfectly placed. If there is something lacking, it is any form of charisma, especially when in Audi’s typically sombre standard colour palette. The interior can be lifted with some intelligent option box ticking, but that will quickly raise the Q5’s price into Range Rover Velar territory, a car which leaves the Q5 for dead in terms of premium SUV desirability. Despite the gloomy palette, the sheer build quality still shines through, and looks and feels like it should outlast even the most destructive children.

Thanks to the blocky silhouette, the Q5 is usefully spacious inside too, with a wide, child-seat friendly rear bench and vast boot, but overall capacity is still too close for comfort to better handling options like the A4 Avant and BMW 3 series Touring.

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