2012 Audi Q5 Review
Auto reviewers say the 2012 Audi Q5 is worth every penny because this Best Luxury Compact SUV for the Money offers a lot for the price: standard all-wheel drive, great fuel economy, outstanding performance and a lush cabin.
Parents interested in the Audi Q5 can be confident that it will transport their family in style, but they may wonder if the Q5 can be both stylish and utilitarian. According to test drivers, the Q5 should do a decent job. The rear seats fit three children comfortably, but three teenagers or college students may be squished. Automotive journalists' main gripe with the Q5 is its cargo space. Offering about 29 cubic feet, the space is average for the class, but the Q5’s sliding rear seat can help families pack more efficiently or let teenagers stretch their legs.
For the most part, test drivers aren’t concerned about whether the 2012 Q5 can tackle family duty. They’re mainly impressed with the amount of power that’s available in the base 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged engine, the 3.2-liter, six-cylinder upgrade and how fuel efficient these engines are. Basically, they’re in love with the Q5, and only suggest the BMX X3 if you want a standard V6 engine at a comparable price.
However, the 2012 Audi Q5 is pricey when options are added. The base model is well-equipped, but it’s easy to surpass the $40,000 mark when options like navigation, a sunroof, heated front seats or a more powerful engine are added. If the 2012 Audi Q5 is at the top of your budget, Consumer Guide suggests sticking with the Q5’s base trim. Or, you can spring for the Cadillac SRX or Acura RDX, which cost about $3,000 less.
Other SUVs to Consider
Test drivers consider the 2012 Audi Q5 one of the best models in the class, but if your budget comes first, there are a number of other options. One is the Volvo XC60, which starts at about $33,000 and offers up to 19/25 mpg city/highway, a comparable 3.2-liter six-cylinder engine and available all-wheel drive. With a price tag about $3,000 less than the Q5, you’ll also be able to tack on some optional features.
One of the Q5’s top competitors is the BMW X3. Whether you’ll prefer the X3 or Q5 is a matter of taste, so test drive both. Two of the most obvious differences are price and engine size. The X3 starts at about $37,000, but unlike the Q5, it comes with a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine. But, most reviewers still fancy the base Q5 despite its four cylinders and less horsepower. Both models come standard with all-wheel drive, but the main difference between these systems are fuel economy ratings. Generally, the Q5 has the highest fuel economy ratings of the two, at 20/27 mpg city/highway, but if you’re after a fuel-efficient six-cylinder, the base X3’s 19/25 mpg city/highway beats the 3.2-liter Q5’s 18/23 mpg rating.
Details: Audi Q5
For the 2012 model year, Audi hasn’t changed many aspects of the Q5. The most notable change is an optional S Line Plus Package on the six-cylinder Premium Plus and Prestige trims, according to Cars.com. This package includes 20-inch wheels, black exterior trim, a black grille and black roof rails, as well as aluminum inlays and embossed leather S Line seats.
There are four trim options on the Audi Q5, all of which have standard all-wheel drive. The base Premium trim has a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and has standard features like leather seats, wood inlays and three-zone automatic climate control. The Premium Plus trim adds upscale features like heated front seats, sunroof and Bluetooth. The upper trims, the 3.2 Premium Plus and 3.2 Prestige, have a 3.2-liter V6 engine. The Premium Plus trims are very similar in terms of features, but the Prestige distinguishes itself with a standard rearview camera, thermo cup holder, blind spot monitoring system and 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system.
Because the 2012 Audi Q5 is similar to the 2011 model, this review takes reviewer opinion of the 2011 model into account.
- "Q5 offers a level of refinement and cargo/passenger versatility unmatched by most compact SUVs of any price. Those strengths, coupled with first-rate cabin appointments, make it a top choice in this class." -- Consumer Guide
- "Although nearly every automaker has talked big about downsizing, in essence, replacing larger engines with smaller-displacement, forced-induction powerplants to deliver similar performance and allegedly better fuel economy, Audi is among the few really going all-in with the strategy." -- Car and Driver
- "Near the head of the pack." -- Motor Trend
- "The biggest drawback is the price." -- AutoWeek