When it comes to possessions, there's need, and then there's want. Usually the "need" can be addressed by something that doesn't cost a lot of money, but when it comes to "want," well, the sky is the limit.
Crossover utility vehicles often address a "want." Sure, you may need the functionality of additional cargo storage, but that can be met with a station wagon, a hatchback, or a minivan. Yes, crossovers often offer the option of all-wheel drive and additional ground clearance, but many SUV shoppers don't necessarily need these features. What they want is SUV styling and a raised ride height for better visibility down the road. Carmakers understand this, and are building plenty of options, with prices that reflect the demand.
Luxury vehicles take the "want" equation even further, sometimes to stratospheric heights. Take the redesigned 2018 Audi Q5, for example. Sure, you can get a compact crossover SUV to solve your needs and wants in a new vehicle for about half the price of the Q5. But what you really want is a vehicle that's beautiful inside and out, and provides genuine zing in terms of performance that makes you crave a long and winding road.
Thankfully, the new Q5 delivers on all counts. Audi has remade its best-selling vehicle from the ground up, stuffed it chock full of safety and infotainment technology, and dressed the cabin in the finery befitting the Audi brand. While pouring on the features can skyrocket the price, the Q5 addresses the "want" calculation quite well.
For this review, we evaluated a mid-grade Q5 Premium Plus with nearly all of the trimmings. The test vehicle included metallic paint, 20-inch aluminum wheels, the Cold Weather package, the Navigation package, and a premium audio system, bringing the price to $52,700, including the $925 destination charge.
What Owners Say
Before we discuss the results of our evaluation of the new 2018 Q5, it is helpful to understand who bought the previous version of this SUV, and what they liked most and least about it.
Compared to the Compact Premium SUV segment as a whole, Audi Q5 owners are younger, wealthier, and more often female. According to J.D. Power, 46% are women (vs. 44%), the median age of a Q5 owner is 54 years (vs. 57 years), and they enjoy a median annual household income of $171,324 (vs. $157,767). Generationally, 46% of Q5 owners are members of Generation X or Y (vs. 37%).
Audi Q5 owners more frequently identify as Performance Buyers (44% vs. 38%) and are significantly less likely to agree that they prefer to buy a vehicle from a domestic company (19% vs. 29%). People who own a Q5 are less likely to agree that a vehicle is just a way of getting from place to place (21% vs. 27%), and are more likely to agree that they're willing to pay extra to ensure that their vehicle has the latest safety features (90% vs. 86%). In other respects, Q5 owner sentiments align with those of owners across the Compact Premium SUV segment.
Owners report that their favorite things about the previous Q5 were (in descending order) the exterior styling, engine/transmission, driving dynamics, seats, and interior styling. Owners indicate that their least favorite things about the previous Q5 were (in descending order) visibility and safety, the climate controls, storage and space, the infotainment system, and fuel economy.
Read more on JD Power.