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…

Image Source: Audi

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Audi RS 3: Born for the Track, Fun in the Snow

Audi RS 3 Snow

YouTubers set out to get the Audi RS 3 stuck in the snow… But it turns out Audi’s compact track weapon still has a lot of rally car capability in its DNA!

 TFL Studios recently snagged the Audi RS 3 for review, which is pretty standard for YouTubers and other Auto Journalists. But unlike our track day and drifting adventures in the new RS 3 last year, mother nature had a different plan for Tommy Mica and the TFL team. Nine inches of Rocky Mountain snow. So how does one then properly test and review a 401-horsepower sports sedan with only 4.9-inches of ground clearance?

You try to get it stuck in the snow, of course.

But the RS 3 isn’t just any sports sedan. It descends from a long line of quattro Audis built for Rallycross Championships. And what happens next (which you can watch below) looks like a LOT of fun. Shoed with a fresh set of Pirelli snow tires, the RS3 powers through the snow without issue. Even starting from a stop, the combination of the new all-wheel-drive system and proper rubber made for an unstoppable WRX-in-the-snow rival.

“Dare I say it, [Colorado] feels like the natural home of the Audi brand,” says Roman Mica from behind the camera. “For a few years now, the marketing has been all about the Quattro system, and for a long time, all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive was only for unique vehicles like Jeeps and pickup trucks, but it really became a thing of luxury.”

Behind the wheel, Tommy talks about the different drive modes. For him, what worked for the snow was putting it in Dynamic mode and enabling the traction control to a lower threshold to allow a little bit of wheel spin. He notes that the previous Haldex system did promote a lot more understeer from the front, making it not very confidence-inspiring in low traction conditions. But, the new system makes the RS3 feel like it’s now a “rally beast.”

Cars were always a central part of Kristen’s life. It all started with passing tools to her colorfully cursing sailor of a father while he was underneath Chevy Novas from the 1970s. Eventually she was promoted from Tool Monkey to Apprentice – auto mechanics were her first love. Having graduated from California State University, Monterey Bay in 2020 and married a successful mechanic, she spend most of her days reading, writing and talking about what she loves most: cars.

All-Electric Audi eQ5 Coming by End of Decade, Along With Changes for ICE Q5

2021 Audi Q5

As Audi moves toward a total electric transformation, we have new details on the Audi eQ5, as well as when the existing ICE models may disappear.

Change is inevitable, as they say, and that applies to not only our personal lives, but the automotive world as well. Even as new models are introduced, their replacements are being planned in what is a perpetual product cycle of sorts. On the Audi side of the equation, there’s a lot of change coming over the next few years in terms of its lineup as the luxury brand prepares to go all-electric by the early 2030s, and will stop developing new ICE models by the end of 2026 as it launches EVs such as the new Audi eQ5.

There are still a lot of unknowns in terms of when specific Audi models will be discontinued and when new ones will be introduced, but AutoForecast Solutions recently released a future product roadmap that gives us a glimpse at a couple of them, at least. That list starts with the Q5, which has been around since 2009 and entered its second generation back in 2018. Production of the current model is slated to end on 4/30/2024 at the San Jose Chiapa, Mexico plant, while next-gen production will reportedly follow and run through 9/28/2029.

Audi Q5 Sportback TFSI e in Navarra BlueQ5 Sportback, it’s a fairly new product after having debuted in 2021, capitalizing on the surging “coupe” SUV/crossover trend with its sloping rear roofline. Production of the current-gen Q5 Sportback is slated to run through 6/28/2024, while the next-gen model enters production on 7/1/2024 and is scheduled to run through 6/28/2030, giving ICE fans a few more years to purchase this particular combination.

Finally, we have the Audi eQ5, which seems as if it’s a version of the new Q5 e-tron being sold in China – an all-electric variant of the popular crossover. Given the fact that it’s slated to enter production on 10/1/2029 and continue through 9/28/2035, this makes a lot of sense, as it fits perfectly within Audi’s all-electric transition timeline. It’s unclear if the brand will be ditching its e-tron nameplate for the simpler “e” nomenclature, but that’s what it’s being called for now.

Audi Q5 PHEV

As for the rest of the Audi lineup, well, that remains a bit of a mystery. The brand’s parent company, Volkswagen, is one of the more aggressive at the moment when it comes to transitioning to electrification, but it also seems as if it’s leaving itself bit of an out over the next few years in the event that technology doesn’t progress the way most expect it to.

Photos: Audi

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Lightweight AWE Exhaust Suite for Audi RS 3 Unlocks Plenty of Power and Sound

Audi RS 3 8Y AWE Exhaust Suite

AWE now offers 8Y Audi RS 3 owners two compelling exhaust options that provide a big upgrade over OEM in more ways than one.

Exhaust systems have long been one of the more popular upgrades among automotive enthusiasts, and for good reason – they typically provide a huge upgrade over stock pipes in terms of sound, and often unlock a bit of extra power, too. In certain cases, aftermarket exhaust systems are also lighter than OEM units, which is very appealing for those actually concerned with making their cars faster, whether that be in a straight line of around the bends. Luckily for 8Y Audi RS 3 owners, AWE now offers a full suite of exhaust system upgrades that accomplish all three.

Audi RS 3 owners have a couple of compelling choices when it comes to brand new AWE exhaust upgrades – its standard SwitchPath system, as well as the Track Edition exhaust. Both are constructed from T304L stainless steel 3-inch piping, with the former offering a 3-inch valved passenger-side tip outlet and a 2.5-inch driver-side outlet with a tailored resonator. Better yet, the system also responds according to the car’s factory valve behavior and ECU commands based on throttle input, engine speed, and Drive Select.

Audi RS 3 8Y AWE Exhaust Suite

This means that owners can still get all the benefits of the RS 3’s active exhaust, and the SwitchPath setup comes with a plug and play valve assembling to enable easy installation with no valve actuator transfer necessary. As for the Track Edition Exhaust, it’s essentially identical in every way, though it doesn’t have a valve on the passenger side. This means that it’s in a constant “valve open” mode, constantly churning out amazing five-cylinder sounds at all times. Either way you go, these setups sound simply amazing, as we can clearly hear in this clip.

Both of these exhaust systems are 50-state emissions legal, easy to bolt-on, and guaranteed not to trigger a check engine light. Even better, both offer up gains of 9 horsepower and 11 pound-feet of torque, as well as weight savings of 30.5 pounds for the SwitchPath exhaust and 39 pounds for the Track Edition setup. Pricing comes in at $1,645 for the Track Edition, and $2,595 for the SwitchPath, and both can be purchased by heading over here.

Photos: AWE

Found for Sale: Clean 1987 Audi GT Coupe

1987 Audi GT Coupe

This Audi GT Coupe is FWD, and doesn’t have a turbo. But it looks to be exceptionally well-kept. So what do you think it’s worth?

The Audi Sport Quattro is an icon in rally world, and was one of the defining cars of the Group B era. So if you want one of those? You’re going to need pockets deeper than Barry White’s baritone — because this one just went for $2.1 million. Even a replica version, like the ones we’ve seen from LCE High Performance, will command six figure prices. But if you’re interested in the more humble GT Coupe, a great example just popped up for sale in Los Angeles. Here’s the full text of the ad:

Audi GT Coupe, 180k miles, 5 speed, 2.2L 5 cylinders, new brakes, calibers, rotors, new wheels & tires (I have the original ones) runs, drives great for 35yr old car. If you know how rare this car is you know its value. If you don’t, then it’s probably not for you. Carfax available. Please only serious inquires, I will only entertain offers in person. Asking $10k 

Now, while this doesn’t have Ingolstadt’s famous all-wheel drive system or a turbocharger, it should still be a hoot to drive. Plus, it looks the business, and seems to be squeaky clean, especially for a car that’s old enough to run for president.

We don’t get any info on the condition of the paint, but it looks great in the photos, and more importantly, there’s no mention of rust. In my opinion, the aftermarket wheels don’t look right, but since the seller still has the originals, there’s probably a deal to be made there. It’s also nice to know that the brakes have been gone through.

That said, I’d like to know more about the engine and gearbox, particularly when they were last were last serviced or rebuilt. Because while everything — save the wheels — looks to be as it should, 180,000 miles is a lot for anything not wearing a Toyota emblem. There’s also the “I know what I have” tone of the advertisement, which feels a little snobby, even if everything being said adds up. Of course, there’s also the $10k price.

After poking around and finding a few similar models, this example seems to be on the very high side. Even on Bring a Trailer, the Whole Foods of the auction world, I was able to find a few with far few miles for well under $10k. If you could live with an automatic, which I wouldn’t even entertain, you could score one for half that. So how much wiggle room there is here will be key. But what do you think would be a fair price for this 1980s survivor? Hit me up and let me know!

Photos: Craigslist

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