2012 Audi Q5 Review

Updated June 30, 2011
2012 Audi Q5
Bottom Line

The Audi Q5 is, once again, the best-reviewed luxury compact SUV. Offering an unbeatable blend of luxury, beauty, and athleticism, the 2012 Audi Q5 outshines rivals from manufacturers such as Acura, Cadillac, Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz. Following the introduction of a new base turbo four-cylinder engine with an eight-speed transmission for 2011, the 2012 Q5 carries forward largely unchanged. The only notable equipment change is that Audi's "advanced key" keyless entry and start system becomes standard equipment on models outfitted with the available 3.2-liter V6 engine. For a more detailed review of this small premium SUV, see our page on the 2009 Audi Q5. .

Fuel economy rundown

Fuel economy for the Audi Q5, which features all-wheel drive standard, is an EPA-estimated 18 mpg city/23 mpg highway/20 mpg combined for the 270-horsepower, 3.2-liter V6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission. With the base 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo and eight-speed automatic transmission, fuel economy estimates improve to 20 mpg city/27 highway/22 combined. Premium fuel is required.

ProsPunchy engine selections, Fun to drive, Comfortable ride, Beautiful interior, IIHS Top Safety Pick, Towing capacity, Standard AWDConsComplicated controls, Rear visibility, Cargo room lags some rivals, Middle rear seat not comfortable, Premium fuel required, Pricey

Safety still a high point 

In independent tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Audi Q5 earns the highest rating of "Good" in front-, side- and rear-crash tests, as well as the IIHS roof-crush evaluation, earning it a 2011 Top Safety Pick Designation. Standard safety features include antilock brakes, electronic stability control, traction control and front, front-side and curtain airbags. Rear side airbags are also available, but they're not standard equipment. While the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has still not crash-tested the Audi Q5 using its revised 2011 standards, it does give the small SUV a 4-star rating for rollover resistance.

The 2012 Audi Q5's base MSRP starts at $35,600 for the four-cylinder and $43,000 for the V6.

Our Sources

1. AOL Autos

2012 Audi Q5, Editors of AOL Autos

AOL Autos provides an overview of the main features of the 2012 Audi Q5, noting that the only new features buyers can expect is standard keyless entry/start on V6 models and some new paint colors.

2. ConsumerReports.org

Audi Q5, Editors of ConsumerReports.org

ConsumerReports.org ranks the Audi Q5 against other SUVs based on its auto editors' performance, comfort and safety evaluations.

3. SaferCar.gov

2012 Audi Q5 SUV AWD, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

After revising its testing methodology for the 2011 model year, the NHTSA has yet to subject the Audi Q5 to crash testing. The agency does give the Q5 a 4-star rating for rollover resistance, however.

4. IIHS.org

Audi Q5, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

After achieving the maximum score of "Good" in front, side, and rear-impact crash tests, as well as IIHS's roof-crush strength evaluation, it is named a 2011 Top Safety Pick.

5. FuelEconomy.gov

2012 Sport Utility Vehicles, U.S. Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency

With either engine, the 2012 Audi Q5 delivers fuel economy that's on par with most of the other small and midsize SUVs on this list.

6. ConsumerSearch.com

2009 Audi Q5, Editors of ConsumerSearch, June 2010

This comprehensive review contains a full analysis of reviewers' thoughts on the V6-powered 2009 Audi Q5. As that powertrain continues to be available on the 2012 model, and other matters pertaining to comfort, fit, and finish still apply, this review remains a valuable resource.

7. ConsumerSearch.com

2011 Audi Q5, Editors of ConsumerSearch, June 2011

For 2011, the Audi Q5 added a new base powertrain that combines a 2.0-liter four cylinder engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission. It's otherwise unchanged, for the most part, from the 2009 and 2010 models.