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The Expert Consensus On The 2018 Audi Q5: Definitely Middle-Of-The-Road

Some of the first word back on the new Q5 by Audi, due out next year, shows that feelings are definitely middle-of-the-road.
Posted: October 13, 2016 - 11:49PM
Author: Marc Stern

And, the consensus is this: Audi’s redesign of the Q5 is, well, something. Look at the comments taken from a group of automotive writers who took close looks at the 2018 Q5 at last week’s Paris Auto show, and you will see their views are middle-of-the-road.

The Q5 has been redesigned. It does have a new front end. It is lighter than its predecessor – restyled only last year. It is a five-passenger compact crossover. It does have some nice touches. It is aerodynamic and more. But, there are no comments that seem to stand out as real raves. They get close, but, well, you decide.

Says Brandon Turkus, Autoblog:

“…unlike the Q7, the Q5 doesn’t look quite so dowdy … We’ll attribute that to the smaller front and rear overhangs which keep the Q5 looking like a crossover instead of a high-riding wagon." The front fascia is "… mostly a carbon copy of the Q7s … We aren't sure really what Audi was going for with its two-tier rear bumper.”

Not a great review, not bad, it is just middle-of-the-road.

There are more.

Car and Driver’s Greg Fink opined:

“…the all-new 1018 Audi Q5 is a model that looks a lot like its predecessor. In fact, many may confuse the new-generation Q5 as little more than a facelift.” He concluded that, while there are some touches, the “Q7-inspired grille, LED headlights and swollen front fenders” that set it apart as new, you still have to view the Q5 head-on to make sure it isn’t a 2016.

That one was not too positive, although it wasn’t all that negative, either.

The New York Daily News’ Chris Wardlaw, was more positive, saying:

" ... luxury “SUV shoppers, upon visiting and Audi dealership, often find most aspects of the Q5 … right.” The redesigned 2018 is somewhat larger than the vehicle it replaces. It did lose 200 pounds and has better aerodynamics. “The proportions are similar to the outgoing Q5, but the styling essentially reflects a shrunken Q7.”

This is the type of review that the design team wasn't hoping to hear.

Kelley Blue Book’s Karl Brauer, happier with the redesign, believed:

“Audi listened to previous Q5 owner feedback … making the new SUV a little bigger to create more legroom and cargo capacity.” It also hosts lots of new tech from Audi “like a virtual cockpit and an upgraded central touchscreen.” Q5 is in an important position because the model is expected to “maintain Audi’s … volume growth, even as the new-car market plateaus.” A true statement, according to monthly sales figures announced a few days ago.

His review was, at least, more enthusiastic, though not a total rave.

Kelly Pleskot of Motor Trend thought:

“From the side, the new Q5 looks similar to the old model.” It has well-defined hips, a squarer back end and the new taillights “a more menacing look.”

This comment truly says something without saying anything.

SlashGear’s Vincent Nguyen was a lot more positive:

“…it’s a serious upgrade for what’s a very serious vehicle for Audi.” The Q5 is the best-selling vehicle in its class worldwide, so the automaker does have a ton riding on it.

“First impressions” are excellent.

Finally, Motor1’s Steve Ewing was also as enthusiastic.

He believes that the Q5 “doesn’t shake up the current Q5 formula too much” but there are “improvements in all the right areas.” The Q5 has moved “to Audi’s MLB Evo platform, shared with the A4 and A5.” He was quite impressed with the new 2.0-liter turbocharged four that cranks out 252 horsepower. Overall, his view was pretty guarded.

So, what do the experts tell us of the Q5 that goes on sale next year? The answer’s quite easy. Ultimately, you’ll have to make up your mind.

Thanks to Automotive News and its sister Cars and Parts for the information.