In-depth reviews

Audi Q5 review – ride and handling

Lacks the crispness of the Porsche Macan and Alfa Romeo Stelvio, but no worse than an X3 or GLC; rides well on sensible wheels, too

Evo rating
Price
from £38,035

Another beneficiary of Audi’s drive to shed the pounds, the Q5 is more agile, quicker to respond and less flat-footed than its predecessor. You can push it along at a decent lick (think Golf GTI but with a mate or two on board) and with the air suspension fitted to our test car it remains calm and reassuring when the straights end and the apex hones into view.

Get the nose turned in and the body settled, and as you wind the turbo up the Q5 takes on an attitude not dissimilar to that of Porsche’s Macan as its rear takes the load and pushes you out of the corner. It’s all very un-SUV-like, very un-Audi-like, and very welcome. Stronger brakes wouldn’t go amiss to match the performance available, however, and a more natural feel early in the pedal travel would help moderate retardation better, too.

It’s not a driver’s dream by a long shot, but it makes the Mercedes GLC-class feel a little sensible, runs BMW’s X3 close for body control and has far superior steering response, weighting up naturally and organically as the front axle’s load increases.

It also feels smaller and more agile than Jaguar’s F-Pace, but perhaps lacks the final layer of sophistication in the Jag’s damping (unless it’s fitted with wheels upwards of 21 inches) and has a more benign balance. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio is similarly superior in terms of outright balance and engagement, facilitated with its own lithe body weight and rear-biased all-wheel-drive system. Class honours for driving feel remain firmly with Porsche’s Macan, however, which in any form drives with a sophistication and playfulness unusual in the SUV class.

Most Popular

Aston Martin V12 Vantage officially coming in 2022
V12 Vantage teaser
Aston Martin Vantage

Aston Martin V12 Vantage officially coming in 2022

Aston Martin’s dreamy small body/big engine combo is back, a new V12 Vantage is coming next year
1 Dec 2021
Car pictures of the week
Tolman Peugeot 205 GTI
Peugeot 205 GTi hatchback

Car pictures of the week

In this week’s car pictures from issue 292, we look at the highlights from Adam Towler’s drive in the Tolman Peugeot 205 GTI
3 Dec 2021
Morgan shows off new 3 Wheeler in designer sketches
Morgan 3 Wheeler prototype 1
Morgan 3 Wheeler

Morgan shows off new 3 Wheeler in designer sketches

Morgan's given us a look ahead at its new 3 Wheeler
2 Dec 2021