The Audi Q5 is Audi’s compact family SUV that balances space and luxury better than all the other Audi SUVs on the market. The Q5 is based on the VW Tiguan chassis which means that it shares many of its underpinnings with the significantly cheaper VW Tiguan and the significantly more expensive Porsche Macan.
The Q5 was first introduced back in 2009 and the second generation followed almost a decade later. Sure, the 2012 facelift brought the Q5 into a more modern era, but the overall design did not change too much. However, early Q5 models are not the most reliable cars out there, but the 2014-2016 1st gen Q5s are a lot better.
The 2nd generation of the Q5 has seen many improvements in both the luxury and reliability department. Either way, the most common issues with the Q5 are associated with timing chain issues, start-stop system trouble, excessive oil consumption, electrical issues, and potential fuel system issues.
As mentioned, the second generation of the Q5 is indeed a more reliable car, but if you want the 1st gen, be sure to opt for the later models (2014-2016) as they are a lot better and Audi managed to make them a lot more durable.
Audi Q5 timing chain issues
Older European luxury cars have a tendency of going through engine timing chains like they are oil filters. However, the problem here is that these types such as these are even able to destroy an engine completely. The Audi EA888 engine which is also the most popular engine option for the Q5 is prone to such issues.
More specifically, the timing chain tensioner that makes sure your timing chain is where it is supposed to be is destined to fail, but only after 120k miles or so. This means that you need to be extra careful when it comes to engine maintenance because if you fail to do it in due time, you might lose the engine.
Audi Q5 start-stop issues
We are all aware of why start-stop systems exist, but hardly anyone out there likes them, especially in an Audi Q5. These systems are known to shut off the power steering and the brake assistance which can cause a lot of problems and even cause accidents.
Audi says that this issue is relatively minor and that it happens rarely, but given the fact that it can cause accidents, you need to address this immediately. This is why many people who own the Q5 and many other cars from that era simply turn off the start-stop system entirely. This will also take the strain off your alternator.
Audi Q5 excessive oil consumption issues
It is rather common for high-mileage cars to experience increased levels of oil consumption. It is also rather common for European luxury cars to use excessive amounts of oil even without too many miles on the odometer. This means that cars like the Q5 tend to go through oil a lot faster than most cars.
This is not necessarily an issue if you are aware of it because you are able to fill the oil up every few thousand miles which is not a big deal. However, if you are not, this can lead to many engine-related issues which can increase the engine operating temperature and even retire the engine prematurely.
Audi Q5 electric issues
As mentioned in the begging, the first generation of the Q5 was introduced more than 10 years ago which means that it is now a relatively old car. Given the fact that many Audi’s come with all sorts of technologies and gadgetry, something is bound to break at some point.
Daytime running lights are known to die after a while which means that you will have to replace them. Furthermore, some in-car electrics such as dome lights or switches are also known to cause issues after a while.
Audi Q5 fuel system issues
The Audi Q5 fuel pump flange is prone to leaking which caused lots of trouble for many years because Audi was relatively slow to respond when it comes to fixing this. This also means that there are many older Q5 models out there that never got the proper treatment and thus are still prone to leaking.
Fuel leaks are never a good thing because they can indeed end up catastrophically because fuel is, as we all know, highly flammable and toxic.
Are newer Audi Q5 models reliable?
The majority of issues listed in this article are mostly associated with the 1st gen pre-facelift Q5. This means that the 2014 models and up are a lot more durable. The 2nd generation of the Q5 ranks a lot higher when compared to the 1st generation Q5 because of this.
Indeed, even the newest Q5 models are not class-leading when it comes to reliability, but they are on par with the offerings from both BMW and Mercedes.
How much does it cost to fix the Audi Q5?
The annual repair costs associated with an Audi Q5 are somewhere around the $900 mark which is a tad bit higher when compared to average compact SUVs. However, given the fact that the Q5 offers more when compared to most cars from this segment, it comes as no surprise that it also costs more to fix.
The average annual car repair expenses are around $650 which means that $250 more for a car like the Q5 is actually not all that bad. There are indeed levels to this game and the Q5 certainly bests most compact SUVs out there.
Is the Audi Q5 safe?
German luxury manufacturers tend to prioritize safety as much as they prioritize luxury and innovation. This means that the Q5 is indeed a fairly safe car because all generations of the Q5 have gotten a stellar 5-star safety rating. Of course, the 2nd generation of the Q5 is better because it benefits from many state-of-the-art safety features.
The 1st gen Q5 is safer than most cars out there, but if you want the highest levels of safety, you will have to buy a newer car.