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2018 Audi Q5 and SQ5 a Solid One-Two Punch
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By: On: 12-05-2017 Model(s): In the modern automotive world, a decade is just about an eternity. 2018 Audi Q5
Author Experience: Expert review

In the modern automotive world, a decade is just about an eternity. And yet, the venerable Audi Q5 remains its category’s top-selling model and one of the automaker’s most popular cars in most of the world’s markets. And so changes were few to the model in recent years; but rather than tempt fate through inaction, Audi decided that time had come to transform its best-seller, at the same time that production of the model migrated to an all-new assembly plant in Mexico. Tough luck for those “Made in Germany” purists…

The second-generation Q5 inherits the platform of the new Audi A4, which will elicit no complaints at all given the excellence of the latter model. One change, that of increasing the vehicle’s overall length by 3 cm, was made with the goal of optimizing rear-seat legroom.

Wise and winsome design improvements
Tradition among German automakers has it that radical esthetic overhauls are few and far between, especially when dealing with a still-top-selling car. It takes a sharp eye then to notice the new design elements of the 2018 Audi Q5. The chassis is now more chiseled, while the front end has been reworked, particularly as regards the extremities of the bumper. There’s also now a rather thin air intake under the grille, itself the beneficiary of a few minor tweaks. Personally I find that this succession of subtle changes makes the vehicle a modern and elegant creature, without in the process making owners of older Q5s feel like they’re driving a mobile anachronism. 

Inside, the dashboard has been more substantially reworked. Immediately noticeable is the display screen, now placed in relief. This display is not, however, a touchscreen; users need to go old school and turn the knob on the central console to operate the navigation system - no big whoop, but still. The quality of finishing and refinement level of the commands are as solid as ever, while the navigation system is notably more sophisticated. The front and rear leather seats, meanwhile, stand out in a number of ways, for example via rectangular panels on seats of certain models that add an extra layer of class to the Q5.

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