Best & Worst Audi Q5 Years

We've taken a closer look at every Audi Q5 from 2009 until the latest model and categorized the best & worst years in this guide.

In this guide, I’ll analyze all Audi Q5 generations, unveiling the best Audi Q5 years to buy and the worst Q5 years to avoid.

Our insights draw from a thorough research, including data from NHTSA and Consumer Reports, ensuring a well-rounded perspective.

You’ll gain valuable insights into Audi Q5’s yearly reliability, performance, technological and safety features, recalls, and common owner-reported problems.

Let’s dive right in!

Related:Best & Worst Audi Q3 Years

Table of ContentsShow

Audi Q5 Generations

The Audi Q5, first introduced in 2009, swiftly carved out a reputation as a versatile and luxurious compact SUV. It combined Audi’s signature style and performance with the practicality and space of an SUV, making it an appealing choice for a wide range of drivers.

The first-generation Q5 (R8) was praised for its refined interior, smooth ride, and impressive handling, setting a high standard in the compact SUV segment.

Here, I’ve tabulated different Audi Q5 generations to understand its evolution better.

1st Generation (R8)2009-2017
2nd Generation (A80)2018-Present

Each Audi Q5 generation presents distinct changes, particularly in design, technology, and performance, which can significantly influence a buyer’s decision when choosing the best model year.

Audi Q5 Best, Neutral, and Worst Years

When evaluating the Audi Q5’s best and worst years across its generations, our rankings and categorizations consider various factors, including:

  • Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
  • Annual maintenance costs
  • Safety ratings
  • Consumer Reports reliability scores
  • Consumer Reports owner satisfaction scores
  • NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
  • Edmunds owner ratings
  • JD Power owner ratings
  • Kelley’s Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
  • VehicleHistory owner ratings
  • owner ratings

This upcoming graph consolidates all these ratings from the above sources, providing a comprehensive view of the Audi Q5’s performance over the years.

Audi Q5 Car Smite Score Combined Overall Score

Next, based on our extensive research, I present a table categorizing each model year of the Audi Q5 into best, neutral, and worst years.

GenerationBest YearsNeutral YearsWorst Years
1st Generation (R8)2009
2011 2012
2nd Generation (A80)2019
N/A2018 2021

‘Neutral Years’ typically demonstrate average performance, reliability, and owner satisfaction without significant flaws or exceptional strengths.

Factors such as NHTSA recalls can negatively impact a car’s reliability. A higher number of complaints and recalls usually indicates lower reliability for a vehicle.

Let’s dive into the best, neutral, and worst years of the Audi Q5.

Best & Worst Years for Audi Q5 1st Generation (2009-2017)

Audi Q5 1st generation 2009 model
The 2009 Audi Q5

The Audi Q5’s first generation, spanning from 2009 to 2017, combined Audi’s signature design and performance with the practicality of an SUV. Praised for its refined interior, smooth ride, and impressive handling, the first-generation Q5 set a high standard in its class.

2009, 2016, and 2017 are Audi Q5’s best years in its first generation, while 2011 and 2012 are the Audi Q5 years you should avoid at all costs.

The Best Years: 2009, 2016, 2017

What are the best years of the Audi Q5? Our research shows that the 2009, 2016, and 2017 Audi Q5 models have fewer owner complaints and low maintenance costs (especially the 2009 Audi Q5) and were generally well-received by owners.

These models offered a 2.0L TFSI turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a more potent 3.0L V6, balancing power and efficiency.

The 2.0L engine, for instance, provided an average fuel economy of around 20 city/27 highway mpg.

These years were equipped with advanced features like Audi’s MMI infotainment system, offering enhanced connectivity and navigation.

Safety features included stability control, multiple airbags, and advanced driver assistance systems in later years.

Despite some recalls, including the fuel pump flange issue, the 2009, 2016, and 2017 models exhibited fewer issues, making them Audi Q5’s best years in the first generation.

The Neutral Years: 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015

The 2010, 2013, 2014, and 2015 Audi Q5 models fall into the neutral category. They shared many of the positives of the best years but encountered some additional issues.

Common issues included coolant pump failures and occasional steering problems, with the “Steering Defective” warning being a notable concern.

These models also faced recalls for auxiliary heater electrical connectors and coolant pump overheating issues.

Despite these issues, these years maintained the Q5’s reputation for quality and comfort, with features like leather seating and advanced safety technology.

However, indicates slightly higher average repair costs for the 2010-2015 Audi Q5 models than the best years.

The Worst Years: 2011, 2012

I can confirm that the 2011 and 2012 models were the most problematic of the first-generation Audi Q5, so it is better to avoid these model years like the plague.

The 2011 and 2012 Audi Q5 models were particularly troubled by engine and fuel system issues, such as timing chain failures leading to significant engine damage, oil leaks, and misfires.

The fuel system problems, including coolant pump failures and leaks, were severe enough to necessitate multiple recalls.

The cracked fuel pump flange, which could cause fuel leaks, was a serious safety concern.

These problems and the recalls for corroded airbag inflators significantly impacted reliability and owner satisfaction, making the 2011 and 2012 models the least recommended in the first-generation Q5 lineup.

See NHTSA 2011, 2012 Audi Q5 recalls and complaints.

Best & Worst Years for Audi Q5 2nd Generation (2018-Present)

Audi Q5 2nd generation 2018 model
The 2018 Audi Q5

The second-generation Audi Q5, introduced in 2018, is built upon the success of its predecessor with advanced technology, enhanced performance, and improved luxury features.

The 2018 and 2020 Audi Q5 models may require extra caution, while 2019, 2020, and 2022-2024 represent the best and most reliable Audi Q5 years.

The Best Years: 2019, 2020, 2022, 2023, 2024

What year Audi Q5 is most reliable? Undeniably, the best Audi Q5 years for the second generation are 2019, 2020, 2022, 2023, and 2024.

These models offer various engine options, including the popular 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine, known for its efficient performance and balanced power and fuel economy mix.

The fuel efficiency for these models averages around 22 city/27 highway mpg.

These years also feature advanced transmission options, such as a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, providing smooth and responsive shifts.

The interior quality is exceptional, with various trim levels offering luxurious amenities like premium leather seats, advanced infotainment systems with touchscreen displays, and cutting-edge driver assistance technologies.

Safety features are also robust, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and a comprehensive suite of airbags. The 2022 Audi Q5 even achieved Top Safety Pick+ from IIHS.

The Worst Years: 2018, 2021

What are the latest generation Audi Q5 models to avoid? The answer is the 2018 and 2020 Audi Q5 models, considering recalls and owner-reported complaints on NHTSA.

The 2018 Audi Q5 was particularly affected by electrical system problems, suspension issues, and brake malfunctions.

Owners reported electrical glitches, including infotainment system malfunctions and poor sunroof drain design, leading to water leaking into the control module, causing electrical malfunctions.

The rear suspension coil springs were prone to breaking, leading to a recall in 2021.

The 2018 Audi Q5 also faced recalls of hydraulic brake failures and insufficient coating on brake caliper pistons.

The 2021 Audi Q5 also faced similar challenges, including recalls for misaligned rear axles, broken rear axle lock nuts, and control module shutdowns.

See NHTSA 2018, 2021 Audi Q5 recalls and complaints.

Audi Q5 Resale Values

Explore this graph detailing the Audi Q5’s average resale values across its different model years.

Audi Q5 Average List Price


Having navigated through the Audi Q5’s history, it’s evident that certain years like 2009, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020, and 2022-2024 are Audi Q5’s best years. Conversely, it would be wise to avoid 2011, 2012, 2018, and 2021 due to their noted issues.

In your experience, which generation of the Audi Q5 do you find best, and why?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Jonathan Eckert

Jonathan is an ASE-certified mechanic with over 22 years of hands-on experience in the automotive industry. His expertise spans a wide range of vehicles, but he specializes in diagnosing and repairing Japanese cars. His previous workplace highly commended his meticulous attention to detail, and that's exaclty what he uses at Car Smite to craft the best guides for each purpose.