Audi Q5: Best Car to Buy 2018 Nominee

October 19, 2017

With its high-tech options and cossetting ride quality, the Audi Q5 is a thoughtful, conservative reinvention of the automaker's compact luxury crossover.

The latest Q5 is essentially a tall wagon version of the automaker's Audi A4 sedan, which was a strong contender for last year's Best Car to Buy award. With its extra utility, high seating position, and dirt road chops, the Q5 brings even more to the table.

MORE: Read our 2018 Audi Q5 review

It's actually a pretty decent value, too, with the 2018 Q5's price tag undercutting its German rivals despite bringing more standard equipment to the table. Every 2018 Q5 comes with all-wheel drive, leather upholstery, power front seats, xenon headlights, and low-speed automatic emergency braking. You'll pay extra for most of those features on the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class and the BMW X3, among others.

The Q5 didn't qualify for our Best Car to Buy 2018 competition just because it's a good value.

The standard 2.0-liter turbo-4 engine provides good thrust and pairs well to the 8-speed automatic. For enthusiasts, the SQ5 dials things up considerably with more than 350 horsepower from its V-6. The standard coil suspension provides a smooth, luxurious ride and almost makes the optional air setup an unnecessary extra.

The Q5's interior follows Audi convention with switches and knobs laid out in a logical fashion. The brand's MMI infotainment system is easier to use here than in the last Q5, but it's a placeholder for a full touchscreen setup likely to trickle down from the brand's recently unveiled A8 flagship. Up front, there's good room and the standard, leather-wrapped seats are all-day comfortable. The second row provides above average space for outboard passengers and the cargo area is reasonably voluminous.

It might boast a premium badge, but the Q5 comes in under our $50,000 cutoff. A well-equipped model runs around $46,000, and it's even possible to pile on some extravagant luxuries while staying under $50,000.

We'll find out soon if it has what it takes to be our latest Best Car to Buy.

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