2018 Audi Q5 Preview

Christian Wardlaw | Oct 03, 2016
  • Completely redesigned for 2018
  • New Design trim series for a more rugged appearance
  • Larger interior with seating for 5 people
  • Up to 54.7 cu. ft. of cargo space
  • Turbocharged 4-cylinder engine
  • 7-speed dual-clutch transmission
  • Quattro with new fuel-saving Ultra feature
  • Available air suspension, dynamic steering
  • Full slate of standard and optional driver-assistance, safety, and infotainment technologies

2018 Audi Q5 front quarter left photoIntroduction

Already one of Audi’s most popular models, the redesigned 2018 Q5 is poised to ride a wave of crossover SUV popularity to become the company’s hottest model. Unveiled at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, the new Q5 will be built in Mexico and goes on sale in Europe during the first part of 2017. Shortly thereafter, it is expected to arrive in the United States.

Exterior Features

Bearing strong influence from the latest Audi Q7, the company’s 3-row, 7-passenger SUV, the Q5 will be available in two trim series: Sport and Design. The Sport version has a monochromatic exterior appearance, while the Q5 Design gets gray lower-body cladding and other cues to denote extra ruggedness. Buyers can further distinguish the Q5 with S-line, S-line Sport, and Design Selection appearance packages.

Several aluminum wheel designs ranging in size from 18 to 21 inches in diameter help buyers to further customize the new Q5’s look.

Interior Features

Adopting the latest Audi interior design themes, the 2018 Q5 remains a 5-passenger vehicle with a 40/20/40 split-folding rear seat. Audi says the Q5 holds 19.4 cu. ft. of cargo behind its rear seat. Fold it down and the SUV supplies 54.7 cu. ft. of maximum cargo space.

Optional Features

Aside from the technological upgrades discussed below, Audi will offer an ambient lighting system with 30 different available colors, premium quilted leather upholstery, massaging front seats, and a heated steering wheel. A Bang & Olufsen premium sound system is also available, as well as rear-seat tablet computer holders that serve as the vehicle’s passenger entertainment system.

Under the Hood

For the U.S. market, Audi plans to offer the same 252-horsepower, 2.0-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that it uses in the redesigned 2017 A4 sedan. A 7-speed dual-clutch transmission feeds the power to the company’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system, which is now equipped with hill-descent control and something called “Ultra.”

Basically, Ultra describes rear-axle decoupling capability, so that when Quattro is not required the Q5 operates as a front-drive vehicle and returns better fuel economy.

A new suspension design debuts with the new Q5, and Audi plans an optional air suspension. The company’s Audi Drive Select system, which offers different modes that change the character of the vehicle’s driving dynamics, includes new “Lift/Offroad” and “Allroad” settings with the air suspension.

Another new option is Dynamic Steering, which provides a variable steering ratio depending on the steering angle and vehicle speed. This requires the driver to turn the wheel to a lesser degree and makes the Q5 feel more nimble, Audi says.


If the Audi Q7’s crash-test performance in assessments conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is any indication to go by, the new Q5 is engineered to impressive occupant-protection standards.

Of course, it is preferable to avoid a collision in the first place. To that end, Audi provides a standard forward-collision warning system with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking. Available upgrades include a blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert, a lane-departure warning system with lane-keep assist, and an exit warning system that alerts you when you’re about to throw open the driver’s door as traffic approaches. It is useful in parallel parking situations on busy roads.

Turn Assist is also available for the new Q5. It identifies when the driver is going to make an unsafe turn across traffic and automatically applies the brakes. For example, if you’re turning left and the traffic light has changed to yellow, but an oncoming driver is accelerating to beat the light and you don’t realize it, the Q5 can identify that accelerating car and automatically stop the SUV before it makes the left turn.


No modern luxury SUV could find success without a full roster of technological upgrades, and so it is with the 2018 Q5.

Audi’s Multi-Media Interface (MMI) with Navigation and MMI Touch is offered for the Q5, along with Audi Phone Box wireless charging and smartphone projection for Apple and Android devices. An Audi Connect subscription service provides a range of features, including Google Earth navigation imagery, Wi-Fi connection, and remote access applications for phones and watches.

Audi Virtual Cockpit is a 12.3-in. electronic instrumentation screen with two different modes, allowing the driver to minimize traditional gauges in favor of a lush Google Earth-powered navigation display and other elements shown within the center driver information center. An adaptive cruise control system is also available for the new Q5, complete with Traffic Jam Assist, which is a semi-autonomous driving system designed for use in heavy traffic.
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