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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The Good and the Bad: Road Tripping in the Audi e-tron

2019 Audi e-tron

AudiWorld member A4 Phil took his Audi e-tron on a 5,000-road trip over Christmas and dubbed his e-tron a ‘road trip king.’

The 2019 Audi e-tron was a huge moment in the history of the brand, as it marked the beginning of Ingolstadt’s pivot toward its all-electric future. With 355 horsepower, electronic quattro all-wheel drive, and a 204-mile range, it’s a new breed of EV, and unlike many competitors, the styling doesn’t scream “electric car.” But while most buyers would be content to use the e-tron as a daily driver or commuter, AudiWorld member A4 Phil recently completed a 5,000-mile road trip, and overall, he’s beyond pleased with the performance of his green machine.

In fact, he starts the post with this endorsement: “Our e-trons really are road trip kings. Take yours on a trip. You will love it.” He also praised the e-tron’s charging speed, saying “There is something very satisfying about rolling into charge with your ’19 and being out of there in 20 minutes while the other new Mach-Es, BMWs, etc, are wondering why they are charging at 50 kWs.” That said, while things went smoothly overall, A4 Phil has a separate thread on the Adaptive Cruise Assist, and posted some interesting observations about the e-tron’s route planner.

If you’re curious about what it’s like to travel via electric car, it’s a good read, so I’m including his first two points here:

Why does the map not yet show DC chargers en route? If I have a leg that the map is showing me my next charge, I’d like it to also show me any other EA’s I am passing in case my family is asking for a food stop, I can select an exit because of an available EA that is in the area. It shows me gas stations and all sorts of useless information, but not en route DCQC’s.

Why does the e-tron route planner not give you an SOC charging target? It gives you a charging time. But the time is useless because it does not account for the actual speed of the charger. Just the planned speed. So it tells you that you are going to roll in at 21% SOC and you will need to charge for 26 minutes. To what SOC? Why doesn’t it say that you are rolling in at 21% SOC and you need to charge to 87% SOC. Or better, why doesn’t it push you an alert on your phone so that you are notified while wandering around Walmart or whatever you are doing.

For the uninitiated, “EA” stands for Electrify America, “DCQC” stands for DC Quick Chargers, and “SOC” stands for State of Charge. And just as you’d think, his fellow Audi fans have some thoughts.

For starters, rdgrimes has an easy solution to the quirks of the native system, saying “I think the general consensus is to use anything other than the Audi route planning.” Also, yeamac points out that when it comes to road trip royalty, his Chrysler Pacifica takes the crown. And having driven Ma Mopar’s luxurious people mover? I can see why. Because while it’s as comfortable as an old-school Lincoln Continental, it’s got way more room, and the hybrid system gives it a range of around 500 miles — so your bladder will likely require attention before the fuel tank will.

Of course, that’s comparing apples to oranges, as there’s no gas engine on board with the e-tron. And it’s worth noting that exotic EV manufacturers like Lucid have already cracked the 400-mile mark, meaning we’ll soon see electric vehicles with an even more impressive range. There’s plenty more great info on the thread, so head over and check it out!

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