Audi Q5 Years to Avoid – Here Are the Worst Models!

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

Are you in the market for a luxury SUV like the Audi Q5? With its impressive features and performance, this SUV can be an excellent choice for your driving needs.

However, not all model years are created equal, and it’s essential to understand which years to avoid. In this article, we’ll guide you through the Audi Q5 years to avoid, helping you make a more informed decision when buying your next car.

From excessive oil consumption to chronic problems with airbags, fuel systems, and sunroofs, we’ll explore the potential issues and help you find the spot between value and reliability.

So, let’s start revealing each vital motorcar nugget to identifying and buying a sweet used Audi Q5. You’ll be proud to show off an enjoyable driving experience. Also, discover what year Audi Q5 is most reliable for owning or investing.

Audi Q5 years to avoid

Which Audi Q5 Years to Avoid and Why?

Worst Years for Audi Q5

There are a few years of the Audi Q5 that have more significant issues than others:

  • 2011 Audi Q5: According to NHTSA, this model year has the most complaints within the first-generation Q5 (2009-2017). These problems primarily impact its safety rating.
  • 2012 Audi Q5: This year stands out as one to avoid due to numerous reported issues. Owners experienced electrical as well as steering problems unique to this model year.
  • 2014 Audi Q5: We suggest staying clear of the 2014 year due to oil consumption issues and steering problems, which can make ownership a headache.
  • 2018 Audi Q5: Although a new generation, this model suffers occasional electrical glitches.

Reported Problems

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common problems with these problematic Audi Q5 models:

  • Oil Consumption: The 2014 Audi Q5 has been reported to have oil consumption issues, requiring you to monitor and refill oil levels more frequently.
  • Steering Problems: 2012 and 2014 Audi Q5 models suffer from steering problems and issues ranging from noisy to unresponsive.
  • Electrical Issues: Both the 2012 and 2018 Audi Q5 models have experienced various electrical problems. It could mean anything from glitches in the infotainment system to more serious concerns, like electrical system failures.

Armed with this information, you can now make a more informed decision when considering an Audi Q5, potentially avoiding years with troublesome histories.

Common Issues

Engine Problems

Audi Q5 has had its share of engine issues, particularly in the 2011-2012 and 2013 models, which experienced defective timing chains and excessive oil consumption.

When the timing chain fails, it can cause severe damage to your engine. Be aware that excessive oil consumption could mean frequently topping off your oil and monitoring the vehicle’s oil levels.

Power Steering Failure

Power steering failure has not been reported as a common issue in the Audi Q5. However, always pay attention to unusual noises when turning the steering wheel and seek professional help.

Transmission Problems

While transmission problems are not explicitly mentioned as a common issue for the Audi Q5, it’s essential to look for any signs of trouble, such as sluggish shifting, grinding noises, or a delayed response when shifting gears.

Fuel System Troubles

The fuel pump flange has been known to crack in some 2013 to 2017 Q5s, causing fuel leakage. A broken fuel pump flange might lead to dangerous situations, so if you notice any fuel odor or see leaks, make sure to have it checked and repaired as soon as possible.

Brake Wear

Though brake wear is not explicitly mentioned for the Audi Q5, it’s vital to be aware of your vehicle’s brake system’s condition. Regularly monitor the brake pad thickness and replace them as necessary to ensure your safety on the road.

Electrical Problems

Electrical problems are not widely reported among Audi Q5s, but watching for warning lights or strange behavior with the vehicle’s electronics is always good. If you experience any issues, consult a mechanic to investigate and address the problem.

Sunroof Leakage

Sunroof leakage has been reported in some Q5s due to a lousy sunroof drainage design. If you notice any water leaks or dampness in your car caused by the sunroof drainage issue, be sure to have it fixed to avoid further complications like damaged electrical components or mold growth.

Recalls and Safety Concerns

NHTSA Recalls

Your Audi Q5 might face some recalls that pertain to its safety features. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) monitors these recalls.

Specific model years could have higher recalls, like the 2010 Audi Q5, which faced airbags, seatbelts, and fuel systems issues. The 2022 Audi Q5 also had 5 NHTSA recalls.

It’s essential to be aware of NHTSA recalls impacting your vehicle and to promptly address them to ensure your safety on the road.


Some common Audi Q5 problems include airbag issues. Faulty airbags won’t deploy correctly in case of an accident, potentially leading to severe injuries.

You should stay vigilant about any recalls concerning airbag systems and follow the recommended actions to address these issues.


Seatbelts are another critical safety component of your Audi Q5. There have been reports of seatbelt troubles, especially in the 2010 Q5 model.

These issues could pose a risk to you and your passengers in case of an accident. Look for any recalls involving seatbelts and ensure that you repair or replace the affected components as needed.

Remember that recalls and technical service bulletins (TSBs) are crucial in maintaining the safety features of your Audi Q5.

Reliability and Reviews Rankings

Unfortunately, there isn’t enough data on regarding Audi Q5 to provide a comprehensive rating. However, you can still explore general Audi rankings and reports to understand the brand’s reliability.

The Best Years for Used Models

On the other hand, the best model years of the Q5 are 2023, 2022, 2020, 2019, 2017

Some key takeaways for the best and worst Audi Q5 years are:

  • Best Years: 2023, 2022, 2020, 2019, 2017
  • Worst Years: 2011, 2012, 2010, 2018

Owner Satisfaction

Owner satisfaction plays a crucial role in determining the overall reliability of a vehicle. According to Vehicle History ratings, the 2020 Audi Q5 has a slightly better-than-average reliability rating, with user reviews giving it a score of 4.67 out of 5.

Audi received the 2020 J.D. Power Quality and Performance Awards as a brand, earning rave reviews from its owners for new and three-year-old vehicles.

This overall satisfaction contributes to the perception of Audi as a reliable brand and speaks positively about Q5’s continued development and improvements.

What is Audi Q5 Life Expectancy?

When it comes to the life expectancy of your Audi Q5, various factors come into play, such as the level of care, maintenance, and treatment.

An Audi Q5 can last 125,000 to 180,000 miles on average if you follow the suggested maintenance schedule and drive under normal conditions. To break it down further, moving an average of 13,500 miles per year, you can expect your Q5 to last between 10 to 13 years.

Now, achieving a longer lifespan for your Audi Q5 is not impossible. With excellent care and diligent maintenance, you might even hit 300,000 miles with your luxury SUV.

To ensure that your Audi Q5 stays in good condition for a significant number of miles, consider the following tips:

  • Regular oil changes: Follow the manufacturer’s recommended oil change intervals to keep your engine running smoothly.
  • Tire care: Rotate your tires and check their pressure to prevent uneven wear and improve fuel efficiency.
  • Timely inspections: Keep up to date with regular checkups to avoid significant issues down the line.
  • Brake maintenance: Replace brake pads and fluids to maintain optimal performance.

What is the Best Audi Q5 Engine?

In this section, I’ll discuss the most popular engine choices and what makes them stand out.

One popular choice is the 2.0-liter TFSI four-cylinder engine, known for its fuel efficiency and respectable performance.

This engine produces 248 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, more than enough for daily driving and light towing. You’ll enjoy a comfortable and exhilarating ride with its smooth and responsive turbocharging.

Another option is the 3.0-liter V6 TFSI engine in the Audi SQ5 model. This engine offers more power and performance, producing 349 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque.

This engine might be your ideal choice if you’re looking for a sportier driving experience or have heavier towing needs. Remember that it may have a slightly higher fuel consumption than the 2.0-liter engine.

Audi also offers a plug-in hybrid option for environmentally-conscious drivers, with the Q5 55 TFSI combining a 2.0-liter TFSI engine and an electric motor.

This combination boasts 362 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, providing an excellent blend of performance and efficiency.

The Q5 TFSI e allows for all-electric driving for short distances while still offering the flexibility of a gasoline engine for longer trips.

In summary, the best Audi Q5 engine for you will largely depend on your priorities and driving style:

  • For fuel efficiency and daily driving: 2.0-liter TFSI four-cylinder engine
  • For sporty performance and heavier towing: 3.0-liter V6 TFSI engine (SQ5)
  • For eco-conscious drivers and a blend of performance and efficiency: Q5 55 TFSI e (plug-in hybrid)

Audi Q5 Competition and Alternatives

This section will discuss some popular competitors to help you make an informed decision.

Subaru Outback

The Subaru Outback is a reliable alternative with its standard all-wheel drive and excellent fuel efficiency. Its spacious interior and extensive safety features make it a great family choice.

Although the Outback has fewer reported issues than the Audi Q5, it’s worth noting that some earlier models (2010-2014) experienced head gasket problems.

Acura RDX

Acura RDX offers sporty performance, a comfortable interior, and user-friendly tech features.

It’s optional all-wheel drive and an upscale design makes the RDX a solid option for luxury SUV seekers.

While the RDX typically has fewer common problems than the Q5, some 2013 models encountered transmission issues.


The BMW X3 is another worthy competitor in the luxury SUV segment. Its powerful engine options, spacious cabin, and well-appointed interior deliver a premium driving experience.

Compared to the Q5, the X3 has fewer reported problems, but some owners of the 2011 model experienced engine failure.

Cadillac XT5

If you’re interested in American luxury, the Cadillac XT5 offers a smooth ride, a high-quality interior, and numerous safety features.

However, it may have a different level of performance than its European competitors, such as the Q5 or X3. Common issues with the Cadillac XT5 include transmission problems in the 2017 model.

Volvo XC60

The Volvo XC60 stands out for its focus on safety and Scandinavian design. With its standard all-wheel drive and a range of fuel-efficient engines, the XC60 is an appealing option.

Although earlier models XC60 (2010-2012), had some electrical issues, the XC60 usually has fewer common problems than the Audi Q5.

As you search for the perfect luxury compact SUV, consider each alternative’s potential issues and benefits.


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