When it comes to luxury SUVs, consumers have plenty of options from some of the biggest brands in the market. With that said, the Audi Q5 is arguably one of the most popular crossover SUVs money can buy, thanks to its sophisticated approach to styling, technology, and performance. True enough, if you want something beyond the usual best-selling SUVs like the Honda CR-Vs, Toyota RAV4s, and Subaru Forester, the Audi Q5 presents a highly attractive SUV package.
While we can easily recommend a brand-new Audi Q5 to just about anyone, the same can’t be said about buying a used model. Reliability is a primary concern when buying a used luxury SUV, especially when luxury vehicles lose much of their value after a few years. So if you’re looking to buy a used model, you’re probably asking which is the most reliable year of Audi Q5.
Today, we walk you through the previous and current generations of the Audi Q5. Which model is the most reliable year of Audi Q5? Which ones should you avoid? Let’s take a look.
THE AUDI Q5 YEARS TO AVOID
Its first entry into this highly competitive segment, the Q5, quickly has become the brand’s best-selling vehicle. So, it’s natural to consider an Audi Q5 if you’re looking for a used premium SUV. With this in mind, we’ll look at what Audi Q5 years to avoid.
2009-2017 Audi Q5 (1st Generation)
The Q5 has been a successful attempt of Audi for a compact, luxurious, and sporty SUV. The first generation Q5 started quite strong in terms of reliability but developed some issues over time.
Buy: 2009 Audi Q5
While we generally advise people to avoid debut models, the 2009 Audi Q5 had a solid reliability history. While it’s true that the 2009 Q5 sold less than 14,000 units in its first outing, you’ll be hard-pressed to find significant trouble spots with this model. CarComplaints.com logged only 38 complaints, six recalls for the 2009 Q5, and many owner-reported issues about the airbag and seatbelt system.
FEEL SECURE IN THE CAR YOU CHOOSE
You don’t want to buy a car - you want to get the best deal on the car you’re looking for. The CoPilot app will notify you if there’s a similar vehicle in your area at a better price, so you’re always certain you got the best deal available.
Buy: 2010 Audi Q5
The model that followed the debut Q5 didn’t exactly light the sales charts on fire, but it’s still a solid option if you’re buying used. According to CarComplaints.com, the 2010 Audi Q5 received 120 NHTSA complaints and four recalls. One issue to keep an eye on for the 2010 Q5 is excessive oil consumption. In fact, the Audi Q5 is known as an oil-guzzling machine, especially with later models. Other than that, we can’t find any major issue with the 2010 Q5, and we recommend buying if you can find a well-maintained unit at a reasonable price.
Avoid: 2012 Audi Q5
The 2012 Audi Q5 marked the time when the complaints and recalls ramped up for this luxury crossover SUV. As per CarComplaints, the 2012 Q5 received 227 complaints and six recalls. The primary source of headache for this model year is excessive oil consumption. As mentioned, the Q5 struggled with excessive oil consumption, which became more prevalent with the 2012 model year. On top of that, this year also had problems with shattering sunroofs and unusual sounds coming from the brakes.
WHAT TO DO IF A DEALER REFUSES TO CANCEL EXTENDED WARRANTY
Car buying can occasionally be frustrating, especially if you’re purchasing your vehicle through a dealership. We’re here to tell you how to navigate a situation in which a dealer refuses to cancel your extended warranty.
Buy: 2013 Audi Q5
The 2013 Audi Q5 was proven to be quite a hit among consumers and was the best-selling Audi model at the time. That said, the first generation’s most reliable year of Audi Q5 is the 2013 model. There were fewer complaints, and the recalls surrounding the model were mainly minor. Unfortunately, this year had also fallen victim to the dreaded excessive oil consumption (which led to a class-action lawsuit). Regardless, CarComplaints awarded the 2013 Q5 a “Pretty Good” seal of approval for its stellar reliability over time.
Avoid: 2014 Audi Q5
Unfortunately, the following year of the Audi Q5 was one of the worst model years for this luxury SUV. Although it only had 140+ complaints and five recalls, this model year was the most affected by the excessive oil consumption issue, with over 20 written complaints from frustrated owners. All the complaints detailed how the Q5 consumed abnormal amounts of oil despite no leaks after inspection. Some people spent thousands of dollars fixing the issue, but it was mostly temporary. Avoid this model year and save yourself from headaches.
Buy: 2017 Audi Q5
The 2017 model year is a strong contender for the most reliable year of Audi Q5. After many rough years, Audi has finally ironed out many of the kinks of the Q5 throughout the years, including the terrible excessive oil consumption problem that plagued many model years. For starters, the 2017 Q5 has the fewest complaints from consumers. Perhaps its most pressing issue was the recall of a blocked pump or a short-circuited pump which may cause a fire.
2018-Present Audi Q5 (2nd Generation)
Audi hit its stride with the Q5 SUV in the second generation, not just with styling and performance but also reliability. It also offered a new Audi Virtual Cockpit feature, which lets you play around with the gauge cluster and expand it into a more prominent color screen.
Buy: 2018 Audi Q5
Frankly, there’s not much to complain about the 2018 Q5. It offers balanced handling, potent engines, and excellent safety scores. Over at CarComplaints.com, this SUV received only 122 complaints and six recalls, and its top three issues each had one complaint, so they’re hardly a big deal. Consumer Reports also rated the 2018 Audi Q5 a decent reliability verdict and customer satisfaction scores of 3.0 out of 5.0. We say go for it if you can get a good deal for this model year.
THE BEST SEDANS WITH HIGH GROUND CLEARANCE
There are plenty of vehicles on the market that let you tower over obstacles without losing the convenience of a compact car. Therefore, we’ve put together a list of our favorite new sedans with high ground clearance.
Buy: 2019 Audi Q5
If we had to pick the most reliable year of Audi Q5, we’d have to select the 2019 model year. The 2019 Audi Q5 offers excellent performance and a luxurious interior, making it one of the top luxury crossover SUVs during that year. Reliability-wise, the 2019 Audi Q5 only has 30+ complaints and five recalls, with no significant issues to make a note of. Consumer Reports rated this model year a strong 4.0 out of 5.0 score for reliability and numerous five-star ratings in safety and security. If you don’t mind investing in a newer Audi Q5, we highly recommend the 2019 model year for its strong value proposition and overall excellence as a luxury SUV.
Get a Curated List of the Best Used Cars Near You
The CoPilot car shopping app is the easiest way to buy a car. Tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll search the inventories of every dealership in your area to make you a personalized list of the best car listings in your area.
Only looking for newer models? CoPilot Compare is the search engine for nearly-new cars. Only see cars five years or newer with low mileage — CoPilot Compare is the best way to find off-lease, early trade-in, and CPO cars.
The best part? CoPilot is built using the same technology that dealerships use to buy and sell their inventories, so we have more info on each vehicle than competitors. CoPilot doesn’t work with dealerships, so there are no sponsored posts or other shady practices — just the most info on the best cars. Check out our About Us page to see how CoPilot works.