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jueves, septiembre 28, 2023
HomeSports-Cars2023 Audi Q5 35 TDI review

2023 Audi Q5 35 TDI review

It’s not often that our pick of the range sits at the entry level, but that’s exactly how we’d characterise the most affordable 2023 Audi Q5 35 TDI.


What we love
  • Looks far nicer than a base-variant Q5
  • Engine hits harder than figures suggest
  • Generous standard equipment

What we don’t
  • Misses out on adaptive cruise control
  • Pricey servicing
  • The only free colour is white

These days it’s rare to see a car becoming more affordable, but that’s exactly what we’ve seen with Audi’s entry-level variant of its medium luxury SUV, the 2023 Audi Q5 35 TDI. It was introduced in 2022 as a limited edition, but Audi has seen fit to now cement the model within the full-time line-up.

Despite its eye-catching price tag, there’s actually a lot to the Q5 35 TDI under the skin too – Audi reckons it’ll go 1400km on a tank, its diesel powertrain borders on hybrid levels of fuel economy, and generous standard equipment means it even presents quite well.

There’s no doubt diesel engines are less popular in today’s current climate, especially in passenger cars, but this luxury SUV certainly looks good on paper. How does it stack up in the real world?

How much does the Audi Q5 cost in Australia?

As a brief recap, Audi introduced a Q5 35 TDI Limited Edition midway through 2022 at a $68,350 (before on-road costs) price point. That already beats out medium luxury SUVs like the entry BMW X3 that costs $81,700, or the 2.5-litre Genesis GV70 that costs $68,500.

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But it was then made even more affordable at the end of 2022, dropping the Limited Edition tag in the process and starting below the $67,000 mark. It now begins at $67,900 before on-road costs, or about the mid-$70,000 range if delivered in Melbourne where I am.

Within Audi’s own range, the Q5 sits between the smaller Q3 and the larger Q7.

Often the most affordable versions of luxury SUVs lose out on equipment in an attempt to price them below a certain point, but that’s not the case with the Q5 35 TDI. It still gets leather upholstery, a 10.1-inch infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay, tri-zone climate control, electric seat adjustment, and satellite navigation.

Then comes the way it presents, which appears a step above its price point too. It gets LED headlights and tail-lights (which do the nifty scrolling indicators), 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin rubber, body-coloured lower cladding, and silver accenting trim. It even gets an electric tailgate with a kick sensor.

Power is supplied by a 2.0-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder engine that produces 120kW/370Nm. This is sent through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that powers the front wheels.

It’s one of the few diesel powertrains still left in the segment, with brands like BMW replacing oiler engines with efficient hybrids instead.

Key details 2023 Audi Q5 35 TDI
Price $67,900 plus on-road costs
Colour of test car Ibis White
Options N/A
Price as tested $67,900 plus on-road costs
Drive-away price $76,598.40 (Melbourne)
Rivals BMW X3 | Mercedes-Benz GLC | Lexus NX

How much space does the Audi Q5 have inside?

Inside, it’s the typical austere and minimalist Audi cabin that I’ve come to love. The Q5 is now starting to look decidedly old in today’s age, and goes without the latest in Audi design, but there’s no doubt the Q5’s cabin is still functional and visually appealing.

The seats are comfy enough for longer drives, with good support for your back and sides, while adjustability is easy thanks to electric seat adjustment and a tilt-and-reach adjusting steering wheel.

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Everything is covered in nice materials and it feels built to a similarly high standard. The cabin even features changeable ambient lighting to liven up the space at night. However, it does receive an average-looking light headliner, and I’ve come to prefer the dark headlining seen more regularly on BMWs.

Storage-wise, there’s a centre console bin with an additional little tray underneath, two cupholders and a decent slot in front of the shifter.

Whereas the front seats include a wide-ranging amount of space, taller back seat passengers suffer with constrained leg room. Head room is decent and you’ve also got a comfy space for your feet.

In terms of amenity, there’s a pair of USB ports, a third climate-control panel, and fold-down centre armrests.

Boot space stands at 520L and you get 1000L more if you fold the second row down. There are handy nets to stow away items and a cargo blind is included too. There’s an inflatable space-saver spare under the floor.

2023 Audi Q5 35 TDI
Seats Five
Boot volume 520L seats up
1520L seats folded
Length 4682mm
Width 1893mm
Height 1663mm
Wheelbase 2829mm

Does the Audi Q5 have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

The 10.1-inch infotainment screen sits proud of the dash and has big blocky icons to navigate between functions. These include things like satellite navigation, digital radio, and phone connectivity.

It’s a breeze to swap between different functions and you’ve got a handy shortcut bar on the side of the screen. For those who prefer it, Apple CarPlay is connected wirelessly, though Android fans need to connect their phone with a wire.

Instead of the full-screen digital instrument cluster more expensive variants in the Q5 line-up get, this car makes do with a 7.0-inch unit in between physical dials. However, I’m happy with the amount of functionality and information presented, and the old-school dials still look good.

Is the Audi Q5 a safe car?

The Audi Q5 last scored a five-star ANCAP safety rating in 2017, meaning the six-year lifespan of this achievement will expire at the end of 2023.

Breaking down the score, the Q5 scored 93 per cent for adult occupant protection, 86 per cent for child occupant protection, 73 per cent for pedestrian protection, and 58 per cent for safety assistance features.

What safety technology does the Audi Q5 have?

Safety items included as standard equate to autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist, and front and rear parking sensors. Some systems have been omitted due to semiconductor and component shortages, such as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and reverse AEB.

It makes do with a standard cruise-control system without adaptive qualities, while the reverse camera isn’t a 360-degree unit.

It is possible to option the Q5 35 TDI with an Assistance Package that adds a 360-degree camera, additional collision avoidance assist (steering intervention) on top of the regular AEB system, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, and semi-automated park assistance for $1769.

The Audi Q5 includes eight airbags as standard.

How much does the Audi Q5 cost to maintain?

Audi was one of the first prestige outfits to offer a five-year/unlimited-kilometre offering from standard, which is commendable. Other luxury manufacturers like BMW and Mercedes-Benz have now caught up with rivalling guarantees.

Services should be completed every 12 months or 15,000km, whichever is sooner. There’s a page on Audi’s website detailing what maintenance should be completed at each visit. A five-year servicing package costs $3140 and can be topped up to seven years for an extra $2000.

The 2023 Audi Q5 35 TDI will cost $1764.33 per year to insure based on a comparative quote for a 35-year-old male driver living in Chatswood, NSW. Insurance estimates may vary based on your location, driving history, and personal circumstances.

This compares to $1815 for the equivalent BMW X3 and $2117 for the rival Mercedes-Benz GLC.

At a glance 2023 Audi Q5 35 TDI
Warranty Five years, unlimited km
Service intervals 12 months or 15,000km
Servicing costs $3140 (5 years)

Is the Audi Q5 fuel-efficient?

A headline figure Audi claims for the Q5 35 TDI is its ability to run 1400km on a single tank. That is mirrored by the frugal 4.8L/100km combined consumption claim.

While I wasn’t quite able to achieve such a low figure, I did get a 5.7L/100km rating on a cycle that included suburban streets, stop/start traffic, and freeway use.

My indicated distance-to-empty showed a lofty 1250km, which would easily see you driving between Melbourne and Sydney on a single tank of diesel fuel.

Fuel Useage Fuel Stats
Fuel cons. (claimed) 4.8L/100km
Fuel cons. (on test) 5.7L/100km
Fuel type Diesel
Fuel tank size 70L

What is the Audi Q5 like to drive?

Diesel isn’t nearly as popular in this type of car as it once was. For better or worse, consumers have shied away from diesel power. It’s often because the gruff character of a diesel engine doesn’t gel with a luxury vehicle’s premium nature, but Audi has tweaked this engine to a very high level of refinement bordering on petrol-car levels of cool, calm, and collectedness.

While the outputs of 120kW/370Nm don’t do a whole lot to wow on paper, put into practice, the Q5 feels effortlessly powerful and responds promptly with a surge of acceleration whenever needed. It certainly felt up to the tasks of ferrying a family around suburbia, and even handled motorway commutes with ease.

The characteristic diesel clatter is almost imperceptible from behind the wheel and very little vibration is felt from the powertrain. It uses a 12-volt mild-hybrid start/stop system to impressive effect, as its cocooned interior filters out a significant degree of road and wind noise.

The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission changes ratios quickly at the right time and without a fuss. Gone are the hesitancy frustrations experienced in Volkswagen Group products of old.

Very un-Audi-like is the fact power is supplied to the front wheels only. However, traction from the Michelin Latitude Sport 3 tyres is high, and front-wheel drive is all you’ll need for the everyday commute. The ride on the 20-inch wheels is very composed, ironing out all manner of road imperfections from large speed bumps to minor road pockmarks. Its ability to shield the cabin from these upsets is commendable.

Manageable exterior dimensions and outward visibility make the Q5 a simple thing to manoeuvre into tight parking spots. The steering is a light-enough weight to make driving the Q5 around town easy, but it offers a nice syrupy weight that feels great in hand when you’re further afield. Body balance isn’t undeterred by bumps in the road and the SUV holds its line steadfastly.

The driving experience on the whole is really impressive, especially when it comes from the entry level. The Q5 35 TDI offers quiet refinement, a frugal diesel, and outputs that feel more energetic than the numbers suggest. After experiencing the Q5 35 TDI, it’s hard to go past it and wonder what the more expensive variants offer on top.

Key details 2023 Audi Q5 35 TDI
Engine 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel
Power 120kW @ 3250–4200rpm
Torque 370Nm @ 1500–3000rpm
Drive type Front-wheel drive
Transmission Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic
Power-to-weight ratio 66.1kW/t
Weight (kerb) 1815kg
Spare tyre type Collapsible space-saver
Tow rating 2000kg braked
750kg unbraked
Turning circle 11.8m

Though it’s older than the rest of the medium luxury SUVs on the market today, there’s really not a lot wrong with the Audi Q5.

As we covered, it’s very affordable for what you get, including that smooth driving experience and bloody impressive diesel engine. It’s also packed with just the right amount of equipment and comforts.

Funnily enough, even though it’s a prestige SUV at a higher price point, there’s actually a lot of value to the Q5 35 TDI, and I think it’s well worth buying over its competitors.

Ratings Breakdown

2023 Audi Q5 35 TDI Wagon

7.8/ 10

Infotainment & Connectivity

Interior Comfort & Packaging

Budget Direct

Insurance from


Estimate details

Tom started out in the automotive industry by exploiting his photographic skills but quickly learned that journalists got the better end of the deal. He began with CarAdvice in 2014, left in 2017 to join Bauer Media titles including Wheels and WhichCar and subsequently returned to CarAdvice in early 2021 during its transition to Drive.

As part of the Drive content team, Tom covers automotive news, car reviews, advice, and holds a special interest in long-form feature stories.

He understands that every car buyer is unique and has varying requirements when it comes to buying a new car, but equally, there’s also a loyal subset of Drive audience that loves entertaining enthusiast content.

Tom holds a deep respect for all things automotive no matter the model, priding himself on noticing the subtle things that make each car tick. Not a day goes by that he doesn’t learn something new in an everchanging industry, which is then imparted to the Drive reader base.

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