Consumer Reports: Audi Q5 Next to Last Regarding Reliability

Audi Q5 40 TDI

Luxury marques like Audi deliver in many ways, but as this thread contends, reliability isn’t always one of them.

When enthusiasts talk about cars, the discussion generally centers on things like styling, performance, and technology. Because things like, say, fuel economy and reliability just aren’t as fun. This is exactly why you don’t see folks bench racing about which new vehicles are cheaper to insure. It’s just not sexy.

That said, AudiWorld member Strictly was quite surprised to see that Consumer Reports ranked the Audi Q5 near the very bottom for reliability in the compact luxury SUV class. So they started this thread to see what folks here thought. Overall, it’s a pretty fun read — and I think Bxr1200 hit the nail right on the head with this comment:

Don’t get me wrong. Not bashing the brand. I love my wife’s SQ5. Really enjoyed the Q5 as well before the engine ate itself. It’s the best driving, most comfortable, best performing SUV I’ve owned. But, it’s going to break. It’s too complex not to. For people who enjoy driving for driving’s sake they’re great vehicles.

From a practical, money conscious standpoint the Q5/SQ5 is not the best choice. Muted exterior (which I like), smallish interior within class, costly to maintain, terrible resale value…but a pleasure to drive. The report isn’t wrong, depending on perspective. People purchasing these just have to know what they’re getting into.

This is exactly the right perspective, and Consumer Reports isn’t alone here. For example, in the 2022 J.D. Power vehicle dependability survey, Audi also ranked toward the bottom, just one place above Jaguar. After reading that list, I was actually shocked to see that Acura was just one slot above Alfa Romeo, which has historically been synonymous with unreliable vehicles. I was not shocked to see that Land Rover was dead last, because that’s been the case for as long as I can remember — though it hasn’t stopped the company from making money hand over fist.

One of my favorite comments on the thread came from member Harplayr. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I was unable to track down the review they reference here. But I’m going to call this “too good to fact-check,” as it genuinely made me laugh:

I gave up on CR years ago when they blasted my 1989 Mazda Miata for having a small trunk. Personally, I don’t expect a performance luxury or enthusiast car to be as problem-free as a Honda, KIA, etc. That’s why I opted for the extended warranty as a form of insurance. To-date though initial quality has been good on my 22 Q5, so only time will tell.  

Seriously, anyone who would bash something as perfect as the Miata for having a tiny trunk deserves our sympathy. That kind of brain problem can’t be easy to live with, and I pity them. But as Wires points out, one of the factors which really gets people is not just that things will break, but the eye-searing cost of repairs:

Part of the pain is the Audi parts list for some of these “parts that shouldn’t be failing” is ridiculously high. The rear spring cushion mounts are $110 CAD but I’ve seen them for $19 USD from other Audi dealers. It’s a bit involved repair and then requires an alignment. If you fail to do it, your spring breaks. 

Now, as  Bxr1200 said, I don’t think any of this discussion should be taken as bashing the brand. There are loads of factors that make luxury marques more appealing, and it’s always going to cost more to fix an expensive car than a cheap one. But what has your experience been like? Has your Audi been flakey? Or solid as a rock? Head over to the thread to chime in — just try not to complain about the size of a sports car’s trunk…

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