2022 Audi Q5 Review Update

Ron Sessions, Independent Expert | May 31, 2022

Introduction - Find the best Audi deals!

As the luxury brand's entry into the fast-growing compact premium SUV segment, the Q5 is the best-selling Audi model—car or SUV—in its lineup. Now in its second generation, the Q5 received a freshening for 2021. While the handsomely chiseled exterior design and well-kitted cabin have remained basically unchanged since 2018, there have been some key updates:

  • New MIB 3-based infotainment system with a larger 10.1-inch touchscreen
  • New Sportback body style
  • New mild-hybrid 45 TFSI 261-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine
  • New plug-in hybrid (PHEV) 55 TFSI e 363-hp 2.0-liter turbo engine
  • New (for 2022) entry-level non-hybrid 40 TFSI 201-hp turbo engine
  • Standard 7-speed S-tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT)

In the United States, there are three powertrain choices for the 2022 Q5: a 201-hp 2.0-liter turbo 40 TFSI, a 261-hp mild-hybrid 2.0-liter turbo 45 TFSI, and a 362-hp 2.0-liter turbo PHEV 55 TFSI. The Sportback body style is only available with the mild-hybrid 45 TFSI powertrain, which is the one I drove for this review. Audi equips all 2022 Q5 crossover SUVs with Quattro all-wheel drive (AWD). For those acronym-deciphering masters out there, TFSI is Audi-speak for Turbocharged Fuel Stratified Injection—direct injection in normal parlance).

There is also a 349-hp V6 turbo-powered SQ5 performance model that's beyond the scope of this review.

For 2022, Q5 trim levels consist of the base Premium, mid-level Premium Plus, and range-topping Prestige. Pricing for the 2022 Audi Q5 lineup (including the $1,195 destination charge) is as follows:

  • Q5 40 Premium: $44,495
  • Q5 40 Premium Plus: $49,495
  • Q5 40 Prestige: $55,195
  • Q5 45 Premium: $46,995
  • Q5 45 Sportback Premium: $51,295
  • Q5 45 Premium Plus: $51,995
  • Q5 45 Sportback Premium Plus: $54,695
  • Q5 45 Prestige: $57,695
  • Q5 45 Sportback Prestige: $59,995
  • Q5 55 plug-in hybrid Premium: $55,695
  • Q5 55 plug-in hybrid Premium Plus: $59,795
  • Q5 55 plug-in hybrid Prestige: $65,145

Previously, J.D. Power reviewed the 2018 Audi Q5 and limited-production, performance-oriented 2018 Audi SQ5. This review focuses on the Q5's updates since the 2018 model year and how they potentially impact its overall appeal to consumers.

What Owners Say About the Audi Q5 - Find the best Audi deals!

2022 Audi Q5 Sportback TFSI 45 Quattro Daytona Gray Front Quarter View

Photo: Ron Sessions

The Audi Q5 competes in the Compact Premium SUV market segment. According to data collected from verified new-vehicle buyers for the J.D. Power 2021 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, 58 percent of new Audi Q5 buyers are male (vs. 53 percent for the segment), and the median age of a new Q5 buyer is 57 years (vs. 60).

As part of the APEAL Study, owners rated the Q5 in 10 primary categories. Listed below in descending order, you'll find their preferences from their most favorite thing about the vehicle to their least favorite:

  • Driving feel
  • Exterior styling
  • Feeling of safety
  • Powertrain
  • Driving comfort
  • Getting in and out
  • Interior design
  • Setting up and starting
  • Infotainment system
  • Fuel economy

In the 2021 APEAL Study, the Q5 ranks 11th out of 12 Compact Premium SUV models.

What Our Independent Expert Says About the Audi Q5 - Find the best Audi deals!

In the sections that follow, our independent expert analyzes a Q5 Sportback TFSI 45 Quattro equipped with the following options:

  • Daytona Gray pearl-effect paint
  • Premium Plus package (Audi virtual cockpit, adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assistlane-keeping assistance, heated steering wheel with hands-on detection, surround-view camera, Audi advanced key, SiriusXM All Access 3-month trial, leatherette-covered center console and door armrests, auto-dimming power-folding mirrors with memory, and Audi wireless charger/phone box)
  • Navigation package (MMI Navigation Plus, Audi Connect Prime and Plus 6-month trial)
  • Sport package (sport suspension, 21-inch wheels with summer tires, aluminum rhombus inlays)
  • Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system

The price of the test vehicle came to $60,240, including the $1,195 destination charge.

Updated MIB 3 Infotainment System Ditches Remote Console Controller

2022 Audi Q5 Sportback TFSI 45 Quattro Interior Dashboard

Photo: Ron Sessions

Since 2021, all Q5 trims get a new, faster-processing high-resolution 10.1-inch MMI infotainment display that replaces the 8.3-inch one. Unlike the previous system in 2020-and-earlier Q5s, this one is based on Volkswagen Group's new MIB 3 architecture, uses a free-standing touchscreen set atop the dash, and is less menu-intensive in operation. It also ditches the previous remote-control dial and buttons on the center console, freeing up space there for some storage of small items. However, it does retain a small analog volume control knob and a pair of hard tuning buttons alongside the shifter. Otherwise, access to the system is via steering-wheel buttons, an updated voice-control system with expanded natural-language recognition, and the touchscreen tiles themselves.

The system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, and with this system moves from a wired connection via USB cable to a wireless one. A Wi-Fi hotspot is also included. One unique feature is a standard integrated toll module (subscription required) in the rearview mirror, which eliminates the need for a clunky aftermarket transponder hanging on the dash or visor.

Standard with the top Prestige trim and optional with Premium Plus is a 705-watt, 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen 3D premium audio system. In the Premium Plus-trimmed Q5 Sportback test vehicle, it provided concert-hall quality sound along with crystal-clear fidelity.

Available Sportback Body Style Adds Flair

Introduced for the 2021 model year, an available Q5 Sportback body style brings a coupe-like sloping roof that adds styling flair without stealing much cargo space. The Q5 Sportback allows Audi to compete with other sport-utility "coupes," such as the BMW X2X4, and the X6Infiniti QX55; and Mercedes-Benz GLC and GLE Coupes.

Standard fare included with the Q5 45 TFSI Sportback includes:

  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Black headliner
  • Sport front bucket seats
  • 19-inch alloy wheels (base "squareback" has 18s)

The Sportback also deletes the Q5 squareback's standard roof rails.

Behind the Sportback's 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats, there are 24.7 cubic feet of cargo space—just 1.2 less than in the square-backed Q5. Fold the rear seats, and the Sportback's cargo area increases to 51.9 cubic feet, a mere 2.2 cubic-foot reduction from that in the regular-issue Q5. The cargo area is accessible via a power-operated liftgate. There are netted cubbies along both sides of the cargo area for toting milk, wine, or other large beverage containers. Also, there are a few small nooks and crannies around the mini-spare tire under the cargo floor for stashing a camera or other small valuables out of sight.

Expanded Standard Safety and Driver-Assistive Tech

2022 Audi Q5 Sportback TFSI 45 Quattro ADAS Menu

Photo: Ron Sessions

Since our prior review of the Audi Q5 in 2018, the carmaker has ramped up its roster of standard advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) to keep up with other carmakers in the luxury SUV space. In addition to a reversing camera and Audi Pre-Safe City, which provides forward-collision warning, vehicle and pedestrian detection, and forward automatic emergency braking, the Q5 now includes several ADAS as standard.

These include standard Audi Side Assist, which provides blind-spot warning. Audi's system incorporates three large LED blind-spot warning lights on the inboard side of each outside mirror housing. The bright amber lights are easy to see even in bright sunlight and get your attention in a hurry. They're the best in the business.

Also, onboard the 2022 Q5 is standard rear cross-traffic warning (part of Audi Side Assist and Parking System Plus), which monitors for approaching vehicles or pedestrians when the Q5 is backing out of a perpendicular parking space. It can pulse the brakes if the driver ignores the audible warning.

Standard lane-departure warning includes corrective steering torque to keep the Q5 in its lane and buzzes the haptic steering wheel should the driver steer outside the lane markings.

Also, front and rear parking ultrasonic sensors are standard, delivering audible beeps that get more intense as the Q5 gets closer to an obstacle.

Premium Plus adds a surround-view camera (replacing the standard reversing camera), a hands-on (the steering wheel) detection system, active lane-keeping assistance, and adaptive cruise control. Traffic jam assist is included. It is a hands-on system, however.

Prestige trim brings traffic sign recognition, automatic park assist, and a head-up display.

The 2022 Audi Q5 and Q5 Sportback both earned good safety scores by recognized testing agencies. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2022 Q5 and Q5 Sportback 5 (out of 5) stars overall in its crash-testing program, with 5 stars for frontal and side impacts and 4 for rollover resistance.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rated the crashworthiness of the 2022 Audi Q5 and Q5 Sportback as Good—the highest rating possible—for small- and moderate-overlap frontal impacts, side impacts, roof strength, head restraints, and seats. It also gave a Good rating to the Q5 with the top Prestige trim equipped with LED projector high-beam headlamps, but only an Acceptable rating to Premium or Premium Plus trims with LED reflector high beams. Nevertheless, the IIHS named the 2022 Audi Q5 a Top Safety Pick+.

Available as a Plug-In Hybrid

There is no shortage of engine choices for the 2022 Q5. All are 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbos mated with a 7-speed DCT and Quattro AWD, with the latest (introduced for the 2022 model year) an entry-level offering with 201 hp and 236 pound-feet of torque good, Audi says, for zero-to-60-mph runs in 6.8 seconds in the 40 TFSI model.

There are two hybrid versions of the 2.0-liter. The one I drove in the Q5 45 TFSI Sportback is a mild hybrid, with a small 12-volt lithium-ion hybrid battery, a starter/alternator, plus the ability to move on electric power alone when coasting and help recharge the battery. This powertrain can motivate the Q5 from rest to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. This 4-cylinder turbo hybrid is torquey, and transmission shifts are crisp, but it's not always easy to be smooth during acceleration. The engine sound is slightly grainy, as if it's channeling the impulse power mode on the Star Trek Enterprise.

According to EPA estimates, the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo-powered 2022 Q5 45 TFSI Sportback averages 25 mpg in combined city/highway driving. But on one 160-mile rural Arizona trip with a passenger aboard who frowns on jackrabbit starts and is a big fan of obeying speed limits, the Q5 displayed an impressive average of 32.9 mpg on the vehicle's trip computer. With the Q5 Sportback's capacious 18.5-gallon fuel tank, that would equate to a cruising range of more than 600 miles. Or, based on the EPA 25-mpg estimate, you can reasonably expect more than 450 miles between required fuel stops with this mild-hybrid drivetrain.

This brings us to the Q5 55 TFSI e plug-in hybrid. It's only available with the regular-issue squareback body style, not the swoopier Q5 Sportback. Additionally, its lithium-ion battery gets upgraded to 17.9 kilowatt hours (+3.8 kWh) for 2022, netting up to 23 miles of all-electric range—provided you plug in and top off the battery first. It's EPA-rated at 50 MPGe or an unimpressive 26 mpg combined when not plugging in. With a larger electric motor than the 45 TFSI mild hybrid has, the plug-in Q5 can tap into 362 hp and 369 pound-feet of torque. That's good for a zero-to-60 time of 5 seconds flat, which demonstrates that it prioritizes performance over fuel economy.

Independent Expert Opinion - Find the best Audi deals!

2022 Audi Q5 Sportback TFSI 45 Quattro Daytona Gray Rear Quarter View

Photo: Ron Sessions

Audi's best-selling sport utility offers handsome styling, a well-appointed cabin, a comfortable ride, and up-to-date infotainment and driver-assistive systems. It's not the roomiest or the most entertaining to drive among premium compact SUVs. Still, it's easy on the eyes, particularly in Sportback guise, and delivers satisfying performance and fuel efficiency.

Ron Sessions is a seasoned vehicle evaluator with more than three decades of experience. He has penned hundreds of road tests for automotive and consumer websites, enthusiast magazines, newsletters, technical journals, and newspapers.

The opinions expressed in this review are the author’s own, not J.D. Power’s.

No portion of these reviews may be reproduced, distributed, publicly displayed, or used for a derivative work without J.D. Power’s written permission. © 2022 J.D. Power

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