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

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

Ride and handling

Another beneficiary of Audi’s drive to shed the pounds, the new 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 all that dissimilar to 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 a miss to match the performance available, however, and a more natural feel early in the pedal travel would help moderate retardation better, too.

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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 responses and gets closer to Jaguar’s F-Pace and Porsche’s lower level Macan than either manufacturer would like it do.

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