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Audi Q5 2019 review: 50 TDI

EXPERT RATING
7.8
The Q5 is Audi’s medium-sized SUV (and the best-selling model in its Q range), but the range-topping 50 TDI Quattro Sport version is anything but middling.

The Q5 is the most popular SUV in Audi’s line-up and for good reason, or for at least seven good reasons, as you’ll see after reading this review of the 50 TDI Quattro Sport.

Yes, if you’ve been looking at BMW’s X3 or Mercedes-Benz’s GLC you need to stop and read this before you make any final decisions, because I’ve just lived with this Q5 for a week and, having handed it back, I’m missing it already. Which is really saying something, because I’m now test driving a Bentley Bentayga.

Audi Q5 2019: 50 TDI QUATTRO SPORT
Safety rating
Engine Type3.0L turbo
Fuel TypeDiesel
Fuel Efficiency6.3L/100km
Seating5 seats
Price from$84,700

Is there anything interesting about its design?  7/10

The Q5 is arguably the best looking of the all Qs – not too big or too small, it appears to be the most perfectly proportioned of Audi’s SUVs. More of a dimensions type? The Q5 measures 4663mm end to end, 1893mm across and 1659mm tall.

Picking a 50 TDI from lower grades is tricky because the 40 TDI and 45 TFSI come with almost identical exterior features, and also the grey and matt aluminium silver grille.

  • The Q5 is arguably the best looking of the all Qs. The Q5 is arguably the best looking of the all Qs.
  • The Q5 50 TDI isn’t as blingy as the Benz GLC or as sporty-styled as the BMW X3, but it has a solid, confident look. The Q5 50 TDI isn’t as blingy as the Benz GLC or as sporty-styled as the BMW X3, but it has a solid, confident look.

The Q5 50 TDI isn’t as blingy as the Benz GLC or as sporty-styled as the BMW X3, but it has a solid, confident look and I adore the so-called Tornado Line, which twists itself over the wheel arches and traces an edge right around the car, through the tailgate and bonnet.

The cockpit is typically Audi: stylish and modern, but also restrained. While I admire the simplicity and quality of the build, with its outstanding fit and finish, I think Audi needs to make its cabins dazzle more. This isn’t just a Q5 thing, it’s across the board. 

How practical is the space inside?  8/10

The previous Audi I reviewed was an Audi A3 35 TFSI Sedan and while I loved the look of that little four-door saloon, I deemed the car too small for somebody my size, or anyone with the demands of a young family.

Yep, at CarsGuide we test the cars in the real world with our families, which means one week you’re in a small A3 35 TFSI Sedan and the next it’s a Q5 50 TDI. Moving from one to the other immediately highlights what’s been missing.

Up front there’s a decent sized bin under the centre armrest and a deep storage area by the driver’s right leg. Up front there’s a decent sized bin under the centre armrest and a deep storage area by the driver’s right leg.

Just installing a child seat can tell you a lot about practicality. In the A3 Sedan I had to kneel on the side of the road to install the child seat, but I hardly had to bend at all to put it into the 50 TDI. The tall back door openings, the seating height, the top-tether hook, which is accessed from the kick-open tailgate, all made life easy.

And yes, the kick-open tailgate is brilliant, and it can even be opened without having to unlock the rest of the car. The standard proximity key is also a Godsend. Then then there’s the load-height-lowering function, which comes with the optional air suspension and can make the Q5 50 TDI effectively kneel down for you, to make getting bags into the boot easier.

The cargo capacity of our 50 TDI was 550-610 litres – the reason for that range is because of the optional sliding second row.

With the five seat version of the Q5, boot space is rated at 610 litres. With the five seat version of the Q5, boot space is rated at 610 litres.

There are only two rows of seating in a Q5 – this is a five-seater car only. If you need a third row you’ll have to step up to the Q7 to get seven seats.

Second-row room is excellent. Even at 191cm tall I can sit behind my driving position with about 50mm between my knees and the seatback, while headroom is great, too. Back passengers have air vents and climate control, two cupholders and big door pockets, while up front there’s a decent sized bin under the centre armrest and a deep storage area by the driver’s right leg – I could fit my shoe in it. Don’t ask.

Even at 191cm tall, second-row room is excellent. Even at 191cm tall, second-row room is excellent.

Along with Qi wireless phone charger, you’ll find two USB ports and a 12V outlet up front, and two charging USB ports and 12V outlet in the second row.

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?  8/10

The Audi Q5 50 TDI Quattro Sport is the king of the Q5 range and has a list price of $84,700. Coming standard are leather upholstery with heated and power adjustable front seats, three-zone climate control, proximity key, kick-open auto tailgate, that 8.3-inch screen (it’s not a touch screen), there’s also sat nav and a media system with a control pad that can recognise your handwriting.

Inside, there's a 8.3-inch media screen that controls sat nav Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Inside, there's a 8.3-inch media screen that controls sat nav Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The 12.3-inch virtual instrument cluster is stunning, the wireless phone charger is easy to use and you also score the life-changing Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Also standard are a DVD player, a CD player and digital radio. A power-adjustable steering column is standard, too, which seems a small thing, but some brands will make you pay a fortune for that as an option.

As for the exterior, the 20-inch wheels are standard, so are the LED headlights and DRLs, plus the roof rails.

The Q5 50 TDI gets 20-inch alloy wheels standard. The Q5 50 TDI gets 20-inch alloy wheels standard.

Our 50 TDI had a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo and a head-up display – they’re part of the optional Tecknik package, which costs $5600. The standard sound system is good anyway, though – so unless that sort of thing matters a lot to you, you don’t really need to spend the extra.

Our car also had the optional air suspension, which is $4000. Also fitted were the $1300 seats comfort package, which adds a massage function, along with a sliding and reclining rear bench seat. 

The Navarra Blue paint was also an option and costs around $2000. There are two no-cost colours: Brilliant Black and Ibis White.

As a model comparison, the Q5 50 TDI is up against the likes of BMW’s X3 xDrive 30d, which is $84,900, and Mercedes-Benz’s GLC 250d, which just so happens to be $84,700. Sheesh, do these guys all sit down at a table and agree on a price, or what?

The only thing better than a Q5 50 TDI is the SQ5, which is a more hardcore sporty version, and really almost a stand-alone model. Does that make the 50 TDI more the prime minister of the range, then, than the king?

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?  8/10

The 50 TDI may look just like the lower grades in the Q5 range, but its 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel is what really sets it apart. Its 210kW of power from 3750rpm and 620Nm of torque from 1500rpm not only make it the Q5 with the most grunt, but also the quickest accelerating, with a 0-100km/h time of 5.8s.

That low-end torque makes the 50 TDI the natural choice for those who tow, too. The braked towing capacity is 2000kg.

The V6 turbo-diesel makes 210kW/620Nm. The V6 turbo-diesel makes 210kW/620Nm.

Shifting gears almost seamlessly is an eight-speed automatic, rather than the seven-speed dual clutch that does the honours in the lower grades.   

As with all Q5s, the 50 TDI is all-wheel drive.

How much fuel does it consume?  8/10

Audi says that if you’re driving a combination of urban and open roads the 50 TDI will use 6.3L/100km. Our test car wasn’t too far off that claim, with an average of 7.6L/100km, measured from the trip computer.

The day that we shot the video above saw me driving continuously around the same hilly suburb for a couple of hours, and the mileage, according to the trip computer, afterwards was 14.2L/100km.

What's it like to drive?  8/10

The 50 TDI is one of those SUVs that feels like an Iron Man suit, in that it goes, turns and stops like you’re wearing it rather than driving it. Truly, it responds that well to whatever you ask of it.

Our test car had the optional adaptive air suspension and I recommend it if the roads you’ll be driving it on are as bad as the potholed streets of Sydney.

While the 50 TDI isn’t an SQ5, the handling is still excellent, with minimal body roll, and the steering is precise and well-weighted.

That 3.0-litre diesel V6 is a gem, providing great acceleration, and is well suited to towing, but if you’re not in the Dynamic drive mode, you’ll find that turbo lag rears its head occasionally. That issue can be solved almost instantly by shifting down a gear, using the steering-wheel paddles.

The V6 diesel is also quite loud from the outside, but you’ll be happy to know the excellent cabin insulation keeps most of the clatter out.

Warranty & Safety Rating

Basic Warranty

3 years / unlimited km warranty

ANCAP Safety Rating

ANCAP logo

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?  8/10

The Q5 was given the maximum five-star ANCAP rating when it was tested in 2017 and when the 50 TDI grade arrived in 2018 (it was called the 3.0 TDI, back then) it came equipped with an impressive armoury of standard safety tech. There’s forward AEB, which can also detect pedestrians, and reverse AEB with rear cross traffic alert, blind-spot warning, lane-keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control.

The 50 TDI also comes standard with auto parking for both parallel and perpendicular spots, and a 360-degree camera.

Airbags? There are eight of them.

And for child car seats you’ll find two ISOFIX mounts and three top-tether anchor points across the rear row.

The Q5 50 TDI is made in Mexico. Olé.

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?  7/10

The Q5 50 TDI is covered by Audi’s three-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty. Servicing is recommended every 12 months/15,000km.

Audi has two servicing plans for the 50 TDI: three-year coverage for $2040 and five-years for $3070.

Pricing Guides

$78,400
Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)
Lowest Price
$65,900
Highest Price
$90,900

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
2.0 TDI QUATTRO DESIGN 2.0L, Diesel, 7 SP AUTO $65,900 2019 Audi Q5 2019 2.0 TDI QUATTRO DESIGN Pricing and Specs
2.0 TDI QUATTRO SPORT 2.0L, Diesel, 7 SP AUTO $70,700 2019 Audi Q5 2019 2.0 TDI QUATTRO SPORT Pricing and Specs
2.0 TFSI QUATTRO SPORT 2.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $73,500 2019 Audi Q5 2019 2.0 TFSI QUATTRO SPORT Pricing and Specs
3.0 TDI QUATTRO SPORT 3.0L, Diesel, T SP $83,900 2019 Audi Q5 2019 3.0 TDI QUATTRO SPORT Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7.8
Price and features8
Design7
Engine & trans8
Driving8
Fuel consumption8
Practicality8
Safety8
Ownership7

The Q5 50 TDI is good value, it’s practical and the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 makes it the choice for those that need to tow, or who just want a tough, quick-accelerating, medium-sized luxury SUV. Small families will find the Q5 50 TDI a willing and helpful weapon in the suburban warfare that is daily life.”

There are some excellent choices in this segment, but is the Q5 50 TDI the best one? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Richard Berry
Senior Journalist

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