The Q5 hits the gym and plastic surgeon

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The 2016 Paris Auto Show brought a slew of impressive new and revised models, not the least of which is the 2017 Audi Q5. It features an all-new look, a welcomed interior update that continues Audi’s current design theme, and upgraded mechanicals, including powertrains, suspension, and structural components. The Q5 is also larger in every dimension, giving it more interior space and better handling.

The Q5 was launched in 2008 to compete against the BMW X3, which the Bavarian company introduced as early as 2003. It received a facelift in 2012, but has largely gone unchanged. Rumors of the Q5’s second-generation began hitting the Internet in 2014 and early prototypes began showing up on public roads midway through 2015.

The Q5 is now based on the MLB platform shared with the A4 and Q7. This means it uses high-strength steel and large amounts of aluminum to add strength while cutting weight. In fact, Audi says the 2017 Q5 is 198 pounds lighter than the last generation, despite its larger size.

Making the most of that weight reduction are five upgraded powertrains that include four TDI engines and a single TFSI gasoline mill. Here in the States, we’ll only get the TFSI, which is an upgraded 2.0-liter turbo four with 27 additional horsepower for a total of 252. A new quattro AWD system helps further efficacy with Audi’s “ultra technology.” Basically, it cuts power to the rear axle when traction isn’t an issue.

There’s a ton more information on the 2017 Audi Q5, so keep reading for the full run-down.

Continue reading for the full review.

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Audi has freshened the Q5’s look tremendously thanks to a more minimalistic design styling. Still, there are plenty of details and intricate nuances flowing over this crossovers body. Audi is offering the Q5 in 14 different exterior colors. There’s also five new trim packages, each adding distinct styling cues to the exterior. They include the Sport and Design package, the S Line Sport package, Design Selection package, and the S Line Exterior package.

Aesthetically, the Q5 now wears Audi’s updated corporate look, with sharpened lines and crisper detailing.

The Q5 comes standard with 17-inch wheels. 18-inch wheels come with the Design and Sport trim, while 19-inch wheels come with the S Line Sport and Audi Design packages. Additionally, customers can opt for other wheels ranging in size up to 21 inches.

The Q5 is now larger than its first-generation predecessor. It is now 15.3 feet long, 6.2 feet wide, 5.4 feet tall, and has a lengthened wheelbase of 9.3 feet. Despite this, Audi’s extensive use of high-strength steels and aluminum has cut nearly 200 pounds off the last-generation’s weight.

Aesthetically, the Q5 now wears Audi’s updated corporate look, with sharpened lines and crisper detailing. The previous Q5’s slightly bubbly look is completely gone, replaced by a crossover that looks muscular and toned. The new design is also more aerodynamic. It has a reduced drag coefficient of 0.30, which helps its revised powertrain get the most out of its fuel.

Up front, the headlights feature an angular design that’s rather smart looking. Its LED daytime running lights give the Q5 an angry look. That’s accentuated by the hard-edged grille and lower air intakes. Overall, the front clip is far more aggressive and bold. The rounded wheel wells create bulges in the bodywork above the beltline, making the Q5 feel muscular. A sharp character line runs rearward from the headlight, ending at the LED taillights. A second character line along the rocker panels helps the Q5 suck in its gut, giving it a lighter appearance.

Around back, the new taillights feature LED lighting and sequential turn signals. Reverse lights and rear fog lights reside in the bumper lights, much like on the previous Q5. A new lower fascia has faux exhaust outlets with chrome trim. The “outlets” don’t even pretend to be real exhaust tips with openings, so they should be tolerable to folks who hate this current trend.

All told, the 2017 Q5 is a big improvement over the outgoing model. It has a sculpted look with modern Audi design language that pushes crossover design forward.


Perhaps even more vast a change than the exterior, the 2017 Q5’s interior gets huge update. It takes after Audi’s current design styling and features a low-hung, thin dashboard with its Virtual Cockpit gauge cluster, minimalist HVAC controls, and (oddly) tacked on infotainment screen. The center console also sports a new design that includes a new electronic gear shifter and track pad. The steering wheel takes after other Audi models, as well, and features a thin yet sculpted design. The hexagonal grille design is mirrored on the airbag cover, too.

Perhaps even more vast a change than the exterior, the 2017 Q5’s interior gets huge update.

In-dash technology includes Audi’s Virtual Cockpit with its 12.3-inch TFT screen and configurable digital gauges. The MMI infotainment screen perched above the center console offers 8.3-inches of viewing screen and is controlled by both touch and the large track pad just ahead of the shifter. The pad offers smartphone-like controls, with pinch-to-zoom and finger-writing to text capability. The system also features Audi’s Personal Route Assist, which learns your driving habits and can suggest alternate routs should traffic have your usual route blocked. Onboard LTE Wi-Fi allows the Q5 to be an online hotspot and there’s even a Qi wireless phone charger and integrated phone antenna to keep smartphone powered and connected. Audiophiles will appreciate the Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 3D sound.

Rear seats offer a good amount of legroom matched with lightly bolstered outboard seats and decent headroom. HVAC vents keep rear passengers happy on hot or cold days, and an optional rear seat entertainment package features two huge screens.

The seats also fold flat, offering an impressive amount of cargo room. Audi says there’s 54.7 cubic feet of space with the seats stowed. With the second row in place, cargo room is cut down to 21.5 cubic feet of space. That’s does represent an improvement of 0.4 cubic feet of the last Q5.


Much like the new A4, the Q5 will receive an array of four-cylinder and V-6 engines displacing 2.0 and 3.0 liters, respectively. The U.S. version should get a 2.0-liter four-banger with around 230 horsepower and a supercharged, 3.0-liter V-6 rated at almost 290 horses. A diesel version, motivated by the trusty 3.0-liter V-6 TDI, is also on the table with around 255 horsepower and nearly 440 pound-feet of torque. A hybrid variant pairing a 2.0-liter four-banger and an electric motor will likely follow later in the crossover’s life cycle. In the transmission department, new generations of the S tronic, Tiptronic and manual gearboxes should be offered in the U.S. and Europe as well.

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The new Q5 will deliver better performance, return better mileage, and emit less carbon-dioxide.

With improved engines at its disposal and rumored to be about 200 pounds lighter than its predecessor, the new Q5 will deliver better performance, return better mileage, and emit less carbon-dioxide.


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The 2017 Audi Q5 has a total of five global engine options. They include four TDI and one TFSI gasser. Here in the U.S., we’ll likely only get the 2.0-liter TFSI four-cylinder gasoline engine. It now makes 252 horsepower and gets an estimated 34.6 mpg. Though a six-speed manual is offered in other markets, we’ll be getting the seven-speed S tronic automatic.

Audi has given the second-gen Q5 a new quattro AWD system for 2017. It is FWD biased and disengages the rear axle whenever its not needed. The quattro system also features torque vectoring for improved handling. This disengagement of the rear axle will help fuel economy while not eliminating the traction advantages AWD brings.

The chassis and suspension are greatly changed, as well. The rear suspension has a revised, independent five-link system with control arms. Electromechanical power steering is now present. An optional Dynamic steering system can be had, which varies its gear ratio to match vehicle speed. Two suspension modes change the ride feel between sporty and comfort, selectable via the Audi Drive Select. The system also adjusts the ride height.

There are seven driving modes, which change different variable within the car. Two new modes are present. They are Lift/Off-Road and allroad. Audi doesn’t distinguish what differs between the two modes, but we suspect the suspension is lifted more in Lift/Off-Road mode than in the seemingly less rugged allroad mode, which would likely be recommended for gravel roads and such.


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Pricing for the 2017 Q5 starts at €45,100, which currently converts to $50,500. That does represent a substantial increase in price from the previous generation’s starting price of $40,900. Perhaps Audi will announce different pricing for the U.S. Let’s hope it does, as a $10,000 jump is rather shocking. The 2017 Q5 is constructed at Audi’s new plant in Mexico. Customers should expect to see the Q5 at the beginning of 2017.



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BMW’s X3 SUV has been a big seller for the Bavarian automaker over the last several years. Its smaller, more nimble size allows folks to navigate tight city streets while still carrying five people and their cargo in relative comfort and relatively high off the ground. Powered by either an inline-four or an inline-six, the X3 makes decent power for moving it around town or down the freeway at a good pace.

The base engine is a 2.0-liter I-4 making 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of toque. It’s available in both rear- and all-wheel-drive. Next up is a 3.0-liter I-6 turbo diesel engine making 180 horses and 280 pound-feet or torque. The top-line engine is the 3.0-liter I-6 gasoline mill kicking out 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque.

Prices for the X3 currently start at $38,600 and rise quickly to over $45,000 with extra options and the larger engine.

Read more about the BMW X3 here.

Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class

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Updated and renamed for the 2016 model year, the GLC is a strong competitor in this segment, offering both a gasoline V-6 and turbo diesel inline-four, both with Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel-drive as an option. At launch, the GLC-Class will only be available with just one engine in the U.S.: the turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-banger with 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. The engine will mate to a nine-speed automatic.

Later on, Mercedes will probably also add the GLC400, using a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter V-6 probably rated at the same 329 horsepower and 354 pound-feet as in the 2015 Mercedes C400 version of the C-Class sedan. U.S. pricing for the GLC starts at $38,950.

Find out more about the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class here.


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The 2017 Audi Q5 has quite the laundry list of improvements. From is larger size, new platform, lighter weight, more powerful engine, new quattro AWD system, and sharp new interior, the second-generation Q5 represents a huge leap forward in design and execution.

Crossovers are only becoming more popular these days, so Audi should be well set up for success. We foresee sales increasing over the previous Q5 – less of course Audi does indeed jack the price up $10,000. We’ll definitely keep you posted on what transpires.

  • Leave it
    • More expensive than before
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    • Afterthough placement of infotainment screen

Spy Shots

2017 Audi Q6 - testing in Spain

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2017 Audi Q5 High Resolution Exterior Spyshots
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2017 Audi Q5 High Resolution Exterior Spyshots
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Mark McNabb
Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from 2013 to 2018. Growing up, Mark always had a mind for tinkering on random items throughout his home and dad’s garage, including a 1953 Ford Mainline and 1971 Corvette Stingray.  Read full bio
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Press Release

Photo Credit: Audi

Audi presents another successful model: Sales for the second generation of the Audi Q5* begin at the start of 2017. The SUV with the four rings combines the sportiness of an Audi saloon with a multifaceted character and a highly flexible interior. Whether in its connectivity, efficiency or driver assistance systems – the new Audi Q5 once again sets standards in its segment.

“The first Audi Q5 was for many years the world’s best-selling SUV in its class. It was no easy task to design its successor, but that is precisely why it is so very exciting,” says Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management at AUDI AG. “With the new Q5 we are setting the bar a notch higher. Among the great innovations are the quattro drive system with ultra technology, highly efficient engines, the air suspension with damper control and a comprehensive line-up of infotainment and assistance systems.”

The new SUV from Audi takes a sporty and taut stance on the street. A sculpturally flared Singleframe grille with a solid frame dominates its aerodynamically flat front end. It is available with headlights that are either in LED or high-resolution Matrix LED technology with dynamic turn lights.

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Typically Audi: Reference to the quattro drive
A distinctively curved and strongly undercut shoulder line gives structure to the side view. The strongly emphasized wheel arches are a reference to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system, and the low greenhouse tapers back down early. Just as at the front, horizontal lines at the rear convey an image of width and presence. The tail lights are also available with optional dynamic turn signals. The tailgate wraps around the C-pillars – a typical feature of the Q models from Audi. A diffuser insert integrates the exhaust tailpipes.

Audi is offering the new Q5 in 14 different exterior colors. Five newly configured equipment lines are available – sport and design, the S line sport package, design selection and the S line exterior package. They influence the overall appearance. In the design line, contrasting gray add-on parts emphasize the rugged character of the new SUV, while the sport equipment line of the Audi Q5 has parts fully painted in the exterior color.

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Weight saved: up to 90 kg (198.4 lb) lighter than the previous model
4.66 meters (15.3 ft) long, 1.89 meters (6.2 ft) wide and 1.66 meters (5.4 ft) tall with a 2.82 meter (9.3 ft) wheelbase – compared to the previous model, the new Q5 has grown in nearly all of its dimensions. Consequently, the unladen weight was reduced – depending on the engine – by up to 90 kg (198.4 lb). Steels with maximum tensile strength and aluminum form an intelligent material mix in the body.

The new Q5 also stands at the top of its class in its aerodynamics. The four-cylinder versions attain a cd figure of 0.30 with the aerodynamically optimized roof. Wind noises are exceptionally low, and vibration comfort is high – the new SUV from Audi indulges the driver and passengers with the best interior acoustics in its class.

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Spacious and wide: the interior
The interior offers a lot of space for five persons, and it surpasses the previous model and its competitors in key dimensions. Its horizontally oriented lines underscore the impression of width and comfort, and a three-dimensional trim strip runs across the entire width of the instrument panel. The new equipment lines concept offers customers a broad selection of colors and materials.

The new, high-efficiency air conditioner is available in two versions. A three-spoke multifunction steering wheel is standard; additional functions such as steering wheel heating are optional. Seat features range all the way to a pneumatic massage function. When it is dark, the optional ambient lighting (standard with design selection) creates an attractive atmosphere in 30 different colors. The workmanship quality in the new Q5 is uncompromising.

The rear seat back of the new Audi Q5 is split into three segments. Longitudinal and seat back angle adjustment are optional. Depending on the rear seat position, the basic volume of the luggage compartment ranges from 550 to 610 liters (19.4 to 21.5 cu ft), 10 liters (0.4 cu ft) more than in the previous model. When the rear bench is folded down, this volume grows to 1,550 liters (54.7 cu ft). Cargo loading is simplified by intelligent solutions like a standard, variably folding mat, optional sensor control of the power tailgate and manual lowering of the body via the optional air suspension.

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Simply coherent: controls and displays
Operation of the new Audi SUV is intuitive and is marked by three great new features. The optional Audi virtual cockpit presents brilliant graphics on its high-resolution 12.3-inch screen. The driver can choose from two views – a classic view with large round instruments and a mode in which the navigation map or lists dominate. The also optional head-up display projects key information onto the windshield.

The MMI terminal in the center console acts as the main control element. In the top infotainment system, the MMI navigation plus with MMI touch and an 8.3-inch display, a touchpad is integrated into the rotary pushbutton. It recognizes handwritten entries as well as gestures familiar from consumer electronics such as zooming gestures. If the new Q5 has an automatic transmission, it also has the larger MMI all-in-touch including haptic feedback.

The MMI operating logic is based on the flat hierarchies used in today’s smartphones, and it offers such features as intelligent free-text search. The new natural-language voice control function also recognizes inputs from everyday speech. Serving as an additional third operating level in the new Audi Q5 is the multifunction steering wheel plus. Audi can deliver a newly developed head-up display as an option. It projects relevant information onto the windshield – including from driver assistance systems – as symbols and numbers that can be perceived quickly.

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Audi navigation: “Personal route assist”
The new Audi Q5, like the Q7 and the A4, has a self-learning “personal route assist” function. After activating this function, the navigation system learns the routes and destinations that the customer regularly selects, and it associates this information to the parked position and time of day.

For as long as it is active, the system therefore learns from the customer’s behavior and uses this information to suggest optimized route planning for the next trip – even while navigation is inactive. The navigation system incorporates the three most likely destinations into the calculation, taking into consideration both the arrival time and current traffic levels. For instance, the system can suggest that the customer activate navigation to find out about potential alternative routes. The driver decides whether or not to activate the function. He also has the option of deleting saved destinations. If the function is deactivated, the system does not store the destinations and does not consider deleted destinations or the routes driven.

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Online via LTE: MMI navigation plus
MMI navigation plus utilizes the Audi connect module to integrate a LTE module and a Wi-Fi hotspot – this lets passengers go online with up to eight mobile devices. Audi connect enables convenient roaming in Europe for many Audi connect services with its permanently installed SIM card – the Audi connect SIM with a flat data rate. If they wish, users can also book data packages for the Wi-Fi hotspot at attractive prices, which also include EU roaming.

The free Audi MMI connect app produces a close interconnection between the car and smartphone or a smartwatch and offers other services. They include remote checking of important vehicle states, online media streaming and transmission of a calendar from a smartphone to the MMI.

High-end option: the infotainment modules
The Audi phone box connects smartphones to the vehicle’s antenna for optimal reception quality; it also charges smartphones inductively according to the Qi standard. The Bang & Olufsen Sound System with innovative 3D sound introduces the spatial dimension of height. The Audi tablet, which is also new, serves as a flexible Rear Seat Entertainment device. The Audi smartphone interface also brings Apple CarPlay and Android Auto into the new Q5.

Driver assistance and safety systems
In its driver assistance systems, the new Audi Q5 also tops its segment with a broad range of high-tech options. In their intelligent interplay, the systems represent a next step towards piloted driving. They are bundled into three packages – Tour, City and Parking.

The predictive efficiency assistant helps the driver save fuel by specific information on the car’s surroundings. Adaptive cruise control (ACC) including traffic jam assist can handle some of the steering work in slow-moving traffic. Audi active lane assist makes it easier to stay in lane. Distance warning alerts the driver when the distance to a vehicle drops below a safe distance.

Cross traffic assist rear, the exit warning system, collision avoidance assist and turn assist are other new features that perform excellently in pursuit of safety. The same applies to the pre sense systems – Audi pre sense city is a standard feature which warns of pedestrians and vehicles and may initiate automatic emergency braking within system limits. Park assist, the camera-based recognition of traffic signs and hill descent assist round out the features.

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Powerful quintet: TDI and TFSI engines
The new Audi Q5 is launching in Europe with five powerful and efficient engines: four TDI engines and one TFSI. They have added up to 20 kW (27 hp) of power, with fuel consumption however being significantly reduced. Particularly the 2.0 TDI engines in the new Q5, with outputs of 110 kW (150 hp), 120 kW (163 hp) and 140 kW (190 hp), are highly efficient. The two-liter diesel is also a highly efficient engine in the version with 140 kW (190 hp).

The two top engines combine ample power with efficiency. The further developed 2.0 TFSI has an output of 185 kW (252 hp), yet it only consumes 6.8 liters of gasoline per 100 km (34.6 US mpg), which equates to 154 grams CO2 per km (247.8 g/mi). The also intensively revised 3.0 TDI increases output to 210 kW (286 hp) with 620 Nm (457.3 lb ft) of torque.

Versatile and efficient: drivetrain
The drivetrain of the mid-size SUV has been redeveloped from the ground up – this also applies to the six-speed manual transmission, seven-speed S tronic and eight-speed tiptronic (only with the 3.0 TDI). The automatic transmissions integrate a fuel-saving freewheel function. The driver controls it by a selection lever or by shift paddles on the steering wheel; in both cases, the control signals are transmitted electronically.

The new quattro drivetrain with ultra technology is standard equipment for the 2.0 TDI with
120 kW (163 hp) and 140 kW (190 hp), and for the 2.0 TFSI with 185 kW (252 hp). Audi can deliver it as an option for the entry-level diesel engine with 110 kW (150 hp). The quattro with ultra technology always disengages the rear-axle drive whenever it is not needed, and if necessary it can proactively re-engage it. The new concept boosts efficiency without reducing traction or driving dynamics.

In both the front-wheel drive and quattro drive versions, torque vectoring gives handling a refined touch. The intelligent software solution always delivers a dynamic, precise and controllable driving experience. For the V6 diesel, Audi can deliver an optional sport differential at the rear axle which distributes torque between the wheels as necessary and thereby provides a maximum of driving dynamics – this is another new feature in this model series and in the competitive field.

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Resolving contradictions: the chassis
The new Audi Q5 enables handling that combines very different strengths – it is sporty while being extremely comfortable. Creating the basis for this are the newly developed five-link suspensions and also the new electromechanical power steering system. Dynamic steering is available as an option; it varies its gear ratio according to the driving speed and steering angle.

Customers can choose from two extension stages of springs and damping. The chassis with damper control offers a very wide spread between comfort and dynamics, which the driver can select via Audi drive select. In addition to adjusting damper control, the new adaptive air suspension can be used to vary the ride height of the car body over five stages. In the Audi Q5
3.0 TDI, these two systems and the sport differential are bundled into a new central chassis control unit.

In the standard system, Audi drive select, which accesses various technical modules, the driver can select one of as many as seven driving modes. The two new modes, lift/offroad and allroad, emphasize the offroad character of the Audi Q5 optimally.

The new Audi SUV comes from the factory with 17-inch alloy wheels. The design and sport equipment lines come with 18-inch wheels, and the S line sport package and Audi design selection come with 19-inch wheels. Wheels up to 21 inches in diameter are available as options.

The new Audi Q5 is manufactured at a newly constructed plant in Mexico. It will arrive at dealers in Germany and other European countries at the beginning of 2017. The base price at the start of sales for the Q5 2.0 TDI 120 kW quattro S tronic will be 45,100 euros.

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