- Loaded with intuitive tech
- Strong turbo engines
- Adaptable ride
- Optional plug-in hybrid
- Potent SQ5
- Familiar design
- Can get expensive
- Nothing flashy
features & specs
The 2020 Audi Q5 has become the default luxury crossover SUV for many drivers for a reason: it’s very good.
The 2020 Audi Q5 is a luxury crossover so popular that some drivers may have a hard time finding theirs in a parking lot.
That popularity is no accident. Audi's bestseller is an excellent choice in a field of highly competitive compact crossovers from Germany, Asia, and the U.S.
We score the latest version of the Q5 at 6.5 out of 10 for its subtle good looks, its terrific technology, and a classy overall feel. It may not be as evocative as its Jaguar or Mercedes-Benz competition, but the Q5 wants for little in either Premium, Premium Plus, or Prestige trim levels. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
This year, a plug-in hybrid with about 20 miles of electric range joins the lineup, and additional tweaks include new wheel designs and wider availability of adaptive cruise control.
The base Q5 puts 248 horsepower to all four wheels to good effect, so it was hard to imagine needing the 349-hp SQ5 until we drove one. With its buttoned-down suspension and 8-speed automatic transmission, the SQ5 delivers scorching, but refined, performance.
This year’s new hybrid is a smooth, efficient operator, at least until its gas engine fires up.
The Q5’s derivative looks mask a luxurious, tech-heavy interior. The large dash and instrument cluster screens relay tons of information, but they do so in a way more effective than most rivals. There’s a learning curve here, but it’s not one that will have you pounding the dash wondering why some engineer chose to bury the heated seat controls in the interface. The Q5 works intuitively, especially with the available Google Maps satellite overlay. Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are great for those who prefer to plug in and let someone else do the thinking.
The Q5 comes well equipped at every level, which would have us scratching our heads at why someone would spend more for higher trim levels. Then we heard the Bang & Olufsen audio system. Where’s our checkbook?
Fuel economy is good, but not great, though this year’s new hybrid should up the ante. Safety ratings, on the other hand, are tops.
2020 Audi Q5
The 2020 Audi Q5 doesn’t look much different than Audi crossovers that have come before.
The Audi Q5 may look more ubiquitous than it actually is because the current model’s shape, although redesigned for 2018, shares a lot in common with the original. That means that Audi crossovers with the Q5 badge have been on the road for over a decade now.
The styling is clean, if not particularly imaginative, and we give the 2020 Audi Q5 a 6 out of 10 score.
The Q5 has conservative lines that are light on emotion, something we’ve come to expect from Audi. Clean detailing is evident throughout, especially in the complex headlight clusters.
Inside, it’s much the same. The digital instrument cluster on higher-trim versions adds a tech-heavy look that at least stands out against its competition, but the designs here are more clinical than artistic.
On the bright side—literally, in some cases—Audi offers a broad palette of colors for both the Q5’s interior and exterior. Resist the urge to blend in with one of many shades of silver and you may find yourself in an attractive green Q5 with a brown leather interior. We approve.
2020 Audi Q5
The 2020 Audi Q5 is a comfortable crossover SUV with a sporty side.
Most versions of the 2020 Audi Q5 deliver decent grunt paired with a composed ride, which earns it a 7 out of 10 on our scale. Turn things up to 11 with the SQ5 and the Audi crossover can challenge some sports sedans on a twisty road. This year’s new plug-in hybrid has a lot of appeal.
The base version sends 248 hp to all four corners thanks to a strong 2.0-liter turbo-4. The 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission delivers quick, crisp shifts, and traction is never in question even on a slippery road. Don’t consider the Q5 as a serious off-roader, though.
The SQ5 addresses any concerns we may have had with the base crossover’s performance (truthfully, we were plenty happy) thanks to its 349-hp V-6 that shuttles power to all wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission. The SQ5 is potent, with rapid acceleration available from any tap of the throttle. SQ5s also ride about an inch lower than their Q5 counterparts, which gives them a center of gravity closer to the pavement. Tick all the options and the SQ5 is available with a special rear differential that shuttles more power to the outside rear wheel for even grippier performance.
The new plug-in hybrid makes use of a 141-hp electric motor and a liquid-cooled 14.1-kwh battery pack for more power and up to 20 miles of electric-only driving. With 362 total system horsepower, the plug-in hybrid is a rocket—and that’s before we talk about its 2.5-hour charging time on a Level 2 charger.
A display on the instrument cluster lets drivers know when the gas engine may kick on, though you’ll certainly know it. The 2.0-liter turbo-4 growls to life and makes its presence known inside the cabin.
Regardless of what’s under the hood, Q5s ride best with the smallest wheel option. The 19-inch wheels that are newly standard on the Premium Plus and higher trims can ride stiffly, so we’d stick with the base 18-inchers.
2020 Audi Q5
Comfort & Quality
The 2020 Audi Q5 lavishes with good materials and excellent comfort.
Every version of the 2020 Audi Q5 found in U.S. showrooms has an interior swathed in leather, with heated and power-adjustable seats found up front. Paired with good materials and a spacious cargo bay, the Q5 scores 8 out of 10 points on our scale.
Dressier Premium Plus and Prestige trim levels have sport bucket front seats that are even more comfortable and have better bolstering, though we recommend trying before buying.
Rear-seat riders are treated to almost 38 inches of leg room, and three passengers can ride abreast in a pinch.
Cargo space stands at around 27 cubic feet with the rear seats upright—a figure that’s just OK. Fold the seats and that space more than doubles to 60 cubes, though the backrests don’t create the perfectly flat load bay we like to see.
All trim levels of the Q5 are dressed with nice interior materials, including plenty of soft-touch surfaces and attractive wood and metal finishes.
2020 Audi Q5
The latest Audi Q5 does a good job avoiding crashes.
The 2020 Audi Q5 is a strong performer when it comes to safety. We rate the crossover SUV at 7 out of 10 thanks to good federal and independent crash test scores as well as a wide array of collision-avoidance features that come standard. Audi’s most advanced driver-assistance tech hasn’t trickled down to the Q5 yet, however.
Every version comes with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, but upper-trim versions offer a system that can apply the brakes at higher speeds. Those models also come with features that keep the Q5 centered within its lane and allow it to follow stop-and-go traffic with limited driver intervention.
Should the Q5 make impact with another car, its structure holds up well. The IIHS says it earned top "Good" crash-test scores in its battery and it earned five stars overall from the NHTSA.
2020 Audi Q5
The 2020 Audi Q5 is a good value, as long as you’re judicious with options.
Three powertrains and three trim levels means there is a 2020 Audi Q5 for just about everyone, so long as standard all-wheel drive is right up your alley.
We rate the Q5 at 7 out of 10 for solid standard features and good options. The lineup starts at around $45,000 and can skyrocket toward $62,000 for a loaded SQ5 Prestige. At most steps along the way, those prices seem in line with our expectations.
Even base Q5 Premiums are fitted with leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster screen, and a similarly sized infotainment screen with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. What more could you want?
The Premium Plus trim is more popular, and it seems worthwhile mainly for the 8.3-inch touchscreen, blind-spot monitors, adaptive cruise control, and a few other features. But it pushes the price above $50,000, and we aren’t big fans of the 19-inch wheels.
Go all in with the Prestige and Audi adds a 12.3-inch fully digital instrument cluster, Bang & OIufsen audio, and adaptive dampers. SQ5s run around $8,000 more than comparable Q5s, and the new plug-in hybrid costs about $54,000 to start.
2020 Audi Q5
The 2020 Audi Q5 is reasonably efficient in base form, especially considering it comes with all-wheel drive.
Versions of the 2020 Audi Q5 powered by a 2.0-liter turbo-4 are fairly eco-friendly at 22 mpg city, 28 highway, 24 combined. That’s not bad for a small luxury crossover with standard all-wheel drive, and it’s good enough for 4 out of 10 on our scale.
Those figures best rivals from BMW and Mercedes-Benz, though those automakers offer two-wheel-drive crossovers that are marginally more frugal.
The plug-in hybrid Q5 can travel up to 20 miles on electricity alone, according to the EPA. When the gas engine and electric motors work together, it manages 27 mpg combined.
The performance-oriented SQ5 is something of a guzzler at 18/23/20 mpg per the EPA.
All versions of the Q5 are rated to run on premium fuel.