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Hi there ! I'm currently researching 4x4s for my partner, who requires a good, reliable vehicle that will cope with winter conditions well. We've previously owned Audi A3s and currently have a Passat Estate (which is great). She drives to Buxton in the Peak District daily, and they've already had bad snow (as of early December 2011) - the Passat cannot cope very well in those conditions, and she's fed up of worrying about getting stuck.

After looking around at the various options, I'm very keen on the Q5 as it fits our requirements nicely. I like to have something that's a bit more plush, and the Quattro drivetrain sounds like it should do the job. I'm a little worried about a couple of things though:

1) I've heard the ride is very harsh. I will definitely get a test drive before I purchase, but what's it like to live with on a day-to-day basis ? I've previously had an S-Line A3 and found that rode very hard - to the point of being uncomfortable. The seats in the A3 I also found uncomfortable on a long drive (and on a friends A4 too) - is the Q5 any better ? I do like a sporty drive though, so some firmness is to be expected.

2) What's the Q5 like in the snow ? I'm talking about several inches on the road, and coping with uphill and downhill slopes of some steepness. If I make this expensive purchase and the car turns out to be no good in the winter conditions then I'm going to get it in the neck !! I've seen some comparison videos on YouTube of the Q5 versus the BMW X3 on a sloped rolling road - and TBH the Q5 struggles badly. But these were produced by BMW and one has to question if they were genuine comparisons.

Does the Quattro really work as advertised ? Is turning off traction control the answer ? What other settings does the driver have to play with ?

I'd consider a set of winter tyres on separate wheels - any idea what this would cost me ?

Other cars I'm considering are the Freelander (too agricultural for me, and unreliable, but she likes the idea of it), and the Tiguan (seems v. similar to the Audi). I'd also consider an X3, but I'd want the new shape and delivery times are currently March, so that's no use for this winter.

Any opinions or experience is greatly appreciated !!
 

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Hello rennarda,
I have a 2 litre diesel in se spec with 19 inch wheels that were on from factory order not winter tyres so cannot comment on what it is like in snow as we have not had any in Chesterfield yet but i can tell you that the ride is firm but not uncomfortable as you would notice in a A3 or A4 as i used to have an avant before the Q5 but you do feel the bumps in the road surface.
The seats i have are the sports seats and are good but dont give you the wrap rond feel you would get in a A3 or A4 but they are ok there is nothing that would stop me purchasing a Q5 second time around as it my 7th audi and the best one yet.
I would expect that the Q5 will cope well in all conditions on normal driving roads with quattro 4 wheel drive but we will see as and when the snow falls if it does not then i for one will be dissapointed as this is one of the reasons i chose the car in the first place.
Winter tyres were for me unheard of until the bad snow arrived last year then all of a sudden its a must that you have them but it probably depends on where you live and what driving you are actually doing as to wether you need them or not as i would say that a good percentage of 4 x 4 cars are not fitted with them this winter and will probably never get stuck.
But overall a very good car that i think will not dissapoint you.

Good luck
DCD
 

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Hi,
I know the video you refer to and I have read that something had ben removed/disabled from the Audi! I can report that in two winters of severe weather in Scotland the Q5 has been very impressive in the snow and outstanding with winter tyres fitted.
I bargained for my set of Audi Wheels/tyres at time of ordering and paid @ £800.
Hope this helps.
 

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Hi, I used to have an A5 S-Line and the Q5 is far more comfortable, even on 20" wheels it is fine. As for winter snow performance I have done a lot of research before buying my Q5 and the quattro is excellent in the snow HOWEVER the slick summer tyres they supply with the car as standard are crap. Definately do yourself a favour and order the Audi winter wheel package with your car, these cost around £1300 but include 17s and winter tyres - you'll never get stuck again. I made my own winter set with second hand genuine 18" Q5 SE wheels off ebay and Nokian WR G2 tyres - cost £800 all in and makes the car look like an SE rather than a standard sitting on 17s.

A lot of the Tuguan's are two wheel drive however if you bought a 4x4 version I'd expect it to be the same as the Q5 but without the bells and whilstles.
 

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Interesting reading about driving Q5 in real life, snowy conditions: http://www.driving.ca/2011+Audi+Chronicles/4065011/story.html
Regarding ride; on not the best Polish roads I found it springy, a bit stiff, but not harsh (hmm... hopefully I expressed properly in English what I really wanted to say
). Definitely it is not plush ride. Unlike many people around there I consciously choose 18' rims for summer and 17" for winter. This gives additional level of shock absorbtion, though might not provide the best look
Now, after 9 months of driving my Q, despite some initial fears, I think it is very comfortable, providing good balance between comfort and driving control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the feedback guys. I do suspect that something has been disabled on those Q5 vs X3 videos - or the diff or Quattro was broken on that car. See also the 'Q5 has embarrassing moment' video, but I'm not likely to be putting the car into extreme manoeuvres like that.
 

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@mirekmal excellent review, thanks!
 

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I'd also consider an X3, but I'd want the new shape and delivery times are currently March, so that's no use for this winter.
Hi,
If you are worried about March delivery times for an X3 you certainly shouldn't be looking at a new Q5!!
I had to wait 9 months for mine and if you search though the threads you will get an idea of other peoples delivery times for the Q5.
I haven't any experience of driving in the snow yet so I can't comment on that, but I would certainly check out delivery times first if you were hoping to get one for this winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ah, I should have said that I'm looking at a used Q5 that a dealer has in stock, so it's immediately available. The new shape X3s aren't generally available used, except for silly money.
 

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Hi there ! I'm currently researching 4x4s for my partner, who requires a good, reliable vehicle that will cope with winter conditions well. We've previously owned Audi A3s and currently have a Passat Estate (which is great). She drives to Buxton in the Peak District daily, and they've already had bad snow (as of early December 2011) - the Passat cannot cope very well in those conditions, and she's fed up of worrying about getting stuck.

After looking around at the various options, I'm very keen on the Q5 as it fits our requirements nicely. I like to have something that's a bit more plush, and the Quattro drivetrain sounds like it should do the job. I'm a little worried about a couple of things though:

1) I've heard the ride is very harsh. I will definitely get a test drive before I purchase, but what's it like to live with on a day-to-day basis ? I've previously had an S-Line A3 and found that rode very hard - to the point of being uncomfortable. The seats in the A3 I also found uncomfortable on a long drive (and on a friends A4 too) - is the Q5 any better ? I do like a sporty drive though, so some firmness is to be expected.

2) What's the Q5 like in the snow ? I'm talking about several inches on the road, and coping with uphill and downhill slopes of some steepness. If I make this expensive purchase and the car turns out to be no good in the winter conditions then I'm going to get it in the neck !! I've seen some comparison videos on YouTube of the Q5 versus the BMW X3 on a sloped rolling road - and TBH the Q5 struggles badly. But these were produced by BMW and one has to question if they were genuine comparisons.

Does the Quattro really work as advertised ? Is turning off traction control the answer ? What other settings does the driver have to play with ?

I'd consider a set of winter tyres on separate wheels - any idea what this would cost me ?

Other cars I'm considering are the Freelander (too agricultural for me, and unreliable, but she likes the idea of it), and the Tiguan (seems v. similar to the Audi). I'd also consider an X3, but I'd want the new shape and delivery times are currently March, so that's no use for this winter.

Any opinions or experience is greatly appreciated !!
After the press launch many of the Motoring Press reported that the Q5 had a over-firm ride, but they had been given S-line models to test and at that time all S-lines had sports suspension which many considered to be too firm for a family SUV. In SE spec. (ie standard suspension) and on standard 18" wheels the ride is not harsh. I find it very comfortable both for long distance touring and for B road driving. S-lines can now be specified with standard suspension.
If the car you are looking at is an older S-line it probably has sports suspension.
 

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Hi, I've recently purchased a Q5 2.0tdi se ( was originally looking at an S Line) but this came up and I went for a test drive and was really impressed with the drive and ride. Very comfortable, not a harsh ride and very smooth!! I previously had a Range Rover Sport which didn't offer any more of a comfortable ride than the Q5. Re the snow I even found the Range Rover to struggle in certain places due to the tyres they have so I imagine winter tyres on any car would be a great help.
 

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Would second all the comments here ride is firm but not overly so and certainly handles well in the corners for a large SUV like the others haven't tested in the now but have out a set of Pirelli snow and ice tyres on due to traction concerns with the summer tyre and the wheel profile...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just to follow up - I had a test drive in the Q5 and decided to buy !

I found the ride to be perfectly acceptable (a little jiggly on back roads, but not over harsh at all), and the test car had 20" wheels whereas the one I'm buying is on 18" I think. I've also asked the dealer to price up some winter tyres - any idea what they'll charge for this typically ?

Pick up the car sometime next week !
 

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@Rennarda - a wise choice
winter wheel package would be around £1300 and just the tyres probably £600 for 18", I'd advise serarate wheels though otherwise you are paying to swap them over and for valves and balancing twice a year plus your time waiting around etc. Also winter tyres/wheels are like hens teeth at the moment so you may not have many options and will be paying a premium.

I would recommend Nokian WR G2 which are the only winter-suitable all year round tyres that I've heard of, you could keep these on your car all year round and not have to keep swapping. I have these on my winter set as in the UK I run them 6 months of the year but could just keep them on all year (I have 20" wheels for the summer).
 

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Rennarda, I managed to get a set of 17"Audi alloys and tyres complete for £820. I did this at time of order though which may have made the difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just thought I'd post some follow-up:

We picked up the car on saturday - crazy: 1 week from first looking at them, and we're driving one ! Thanks to Derby Audi for swift turnaround. You honestly could not tell this is a used car, other than looking at the odometer or the number plate

We love it so far ! We had a dusting of slushy/sleety snow this morning. Our estate exits on a slight up-hill, but it's enough to cause problems for 2WD cars. As I drove out this morning there was somebody creeping up the hill at about 2mph with wheels spinning like crazy (FWD too, which are normally better than RWD). Of course we just cruised past them in the Q5 with no problem - trying to keep the grin off our faces. Brilliant
 

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Just thought I'd post some follow-up:

We picked up the car on saturday - crazy: 1 week from first looking at them, and we're driving one ! Thanks to Derby Audi for swift turnaround. You honestly could not tell this is a used car, other than looking at the odometer or the number plate

We love it so far ! We had a dusting of slushy/sleety snow this morning. Our estate exits on a slight up-hill, but it's enough to cause problems for 2WD cars. As I drove out this morning there was somebody creeping up the hill at about 2mph with wheels spinning like crazy (FWD too, which are normally better than RWD). Of course we just cruised past them in the Q5 with no problem - trying to keep the grin off our faces. Brilliant
Hello renarda we got our Q5 from derby audi a 2 litre diesel 170 se in brilliant black and i thought they were excellent and would definitley do buisiness with them again the salesman who we dealt was mark inmann who gave a first class service from order to delivery.
Congratulations on the new arrival and i hope you enjoy it.

DCD
 

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I made my own winter set with second hand genuine 18" Q5 SE wheels off ebay and Nokian WR G2 tyres - cost £800 all in and makes the car look like an SE rather than a standard sitting on 17s.
The dealer quoted me the best part of £1K for 4 winter tyres, fitted, so I might try making up a set like you did. I don't know how you manage to get them for that price though - the tyres alone will cost at least that much at the moment. Where did you source these from ?

Can you tell me what the correct tyre size is for the 18" wheels ? The 19" on mine require 235/55 - is the ratio on the 18" the same ?

(Edit: partially answering my own question, I can see sets of 17" alloys on eBay for <£400, and tyres on those rims are much cheaper - and more available - than the 19" or 18" - £600 for a set)
 

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when you buy a new car the salesmen gets the extras at cost(30%off mrp) it makes no difference to him what they sell at because his bonus is calculated on the amount of goodies you order.

Rich
 
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