The 2020 Audi Q5 is a luxury crossover so popular that some drivers may have a hard time finding theirs in a parking lot.
That popularity is no accident. Audi’s best seller is an excellent choice in a field of highly competitive compact crossovers from Germany, Asia, and the U.S.
We score the latest version of the Q5 at 7.2 out of 10 on account of its subtle good looks, its terrific technology, and a classy overall feel. It may not be as evocative as its Jaguar or Mercedes-Benz competition, but the Q5 wants for little in either Premium, Premium Plus, or Prestige trim levels. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
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This year, a plug-in hybrid with about 25 miles of electric range joins the lineup, and additional tweaks include new wheel designs and wider availability of adaptive cruise control.
The base Q5 puts 248 horsepower to all four wheels to good effect, so it was hard to imagine needing the 349-hp SQ5 until we drove one. With its buttoned-down suspension and 8-speed automatic transmission, the SQ5 delivers scorching, but refined, performance.
This year’s new hybrid is a smooth, efficient operator, at least until its gas engine fires up.
The Q5’s derivative looks mask a luxurious, tech-heavy interior. The large dash and instrument cluster screens relay tons of information, but they do so in a way more effective than most rivals. There’s a learning curve here, but it’s not one that will have you pounding the dash wondering why some engineer chose to bury the heated seat controls in the interface. The Q5 works intuitively, especially with the available Google Maps satellite overlay. Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are great for those who prefer to plug in and let someone else do the thinking.
The Q5 comes well equipped at every level, which would have us scratching our heads at why someone would spend more for higher trim levels. Then we heard the Bang & Olufsen audio system. Where’s our checkbook?
Fuel economy is good, but not great, though this year’s new hybrid should up the ante. Safety ratings, on the other hand, are tops.