The Audi Q5 and Q7 are the manufacturer’s two best-selling models in the US, but what exactly is the difference between the two SUVs?
The Audi Q7 is a midsize luxury crossover SUV, whereas the Audi Q5 is a compact luxury crossover SUV. The bigger Q7 can seat up to 7, has more space for cargo and a bigger engine under the hood. The Q5 is not a 7 seater, seating only up to 5 passengers, and has more compact dimensions on the inside and outside.
That’s the gist of it, but let’s take a closer look at exactly what separates the two vehicles.
Audi Q5 vs Q7: Price
It should come as no surprise that the bigger Q7 costs more than the Q5. Whereas the Q5 starts at $42,950, you’ll need to spend an extra ~$10k to get the Q7. The base model Q7 starts at $53,550, going up to $67,850 for the Prestige trim.
The price gap further increases when you add various options, since the same options cost relatively more on the Q7.
Worth noting, however, is that the Q7 gives you more standard features included in its price – like a panoramic sunroof and MMI® Navigation plus with MMI® all-in-touch.
Audi Q5 vs Q7: Design
The new Q5 and Q7 received major facelifts, and they definitely look more exciting than the somewhat dull looking previous generation. Although the smart and conservative designs are distinctly Audi, slimmer head and tail lights (with optional matrix LEDs) and sharper bodies give them a more aggressive look than their older counterparts.
However, the 2020 facelift for the Q7 is arguably more interesting than that of the Q5. With it you get new vertical striping down the large front grille and an aluminium trim that stretches across the back of the two taillights.
Audi’s recent interiors have been the subject of much praise thanks to their modern and uncluttered designs. Drivers won’t be disappointed by either cabin. Luxurious dark brown wood walnut inlays come as standard, with even more premium materials being employed in higher-end trims.
Audi Q5 vs Q7: Passenger Space
One of the biggest reasons buyers consider the Q7 over the Q5 is the power folding third row. Though cramped, you can squeeze in an extra 2 passengers at the back.
Despite the additional row of seats, the Q7 still manages to offer passengers in the front and middle rows more room than they would have in the Audi Q5. Front row passengers get an additional 0.6 inches of legroom and 1.8 inches of shoulder room. Middle row passengers get an additional inch of legroom and 2 inches of additional shoulder room.
The Q7 therefore makes a lot of sense for those who will often need the additional seating capacity or be carrying taller passengers.
Audi Q5 vs Q7: Cargo Space
Another advantage of the Audi Q7 is the additional cargo volume it provides. Although the trunk is smaller than the Q5 if the third row is in use, folding it down gives you a 10 cubic-feet bigger trunk than the Q5. To put that into perspective, you can fit another large suitcase in the Q7.
Both SUVs also turn into what are essentially luxury vans when you fold all the rear seats down, providing ample room for moving cargo. In this setup, the Q5 boasts 53.1 cubic-feet of cargo volume, while the Q7 has an even more impressive 69.9 cubic-feet of space available.
Audi Q5 vs Q7: Engine and Performance
Although Europeans have access to the diesel variants of the Q5 and Q7, Americans are limited to petrol engines, which is what we’ll be focusing on in this comparison.
The Q5 is only available with a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder TFSI® engine which has 248 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. This takes the Q5 from 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds and to an electronically limited top speed of 130 mph.
The Q7 is available with the same 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder TFSI® engine as the Q5, but can also be purchased with a more powerful 3.0-liter turbocharged 6-cylinder TFSI® engine which produces 329 horsepower.
Regardless of the engine, the Q5 and Q7 is paired with an Eight-speed Tiptronic® transmission with quattro® all-wheel drive.
The bigger Q7 feels a bit sluggish when powered by the 2.0-liter engine (0-60 mph in 7.1s) but outpaces the Q5 with the 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine (0-60 mph in 5.7s).
The Q5 and Q7 deliver a respectable maximum towing capacity of 4,400 pounds, although the Q7 can tow up to 7,700 pounds if matched with the 3.0-liter engine.
Audi Q5 vs Q7: Fuel Economy
The Q5 is the more fuel efficient car, with a combined mpg of 24 mpg. The Q7 has a gas mileage of 21 mpg regardless of engine. Over time, this improved fuel efficiency of the Q5 can yield further cost savings over the Q7.
Audi Q5 vs Q7: Ride and Handling
Both Audis offer adaptive air suspension which means you can lower or raise the vehicle depending on whether you’re off-roading, driving on the highway or racing around a track. For 2020, they also have the all-new roll stabilization which reduces the risk of rolling the car over.
As such, the driving experience is very good on either car, but expectedly the smaller Q5 feels slightly more nimble and agile. This makes it slightly favorable for driving around narrow city streets. This is reflected in the Q5’s smaller turning diameter of 38.4 ft. compared to the 40.7 ft. turning diameter on the Q7.
Audi Q5 vs Q7: Technology
Audi are one of the best automakers when it comes to innovative technology and intelligent driver assists.
For 2020, the Q7 gets the same infotainment that is found on the Q8, with two massive HD touch screens with haptic feedback. The Q5 comes with a smaller infotainment, although the ability to upgrade is available.
Although the Q5 and Q7 both come with various standard features like automatic emergency braking and a rear view camera, buyers will need to look at the Premium Plus trim and above to get the Audi Virtual Cockpit and Audi side assist with Audi pre sense rear technologies.
The decision between the Q5 and Q7 should ultimately come down to whether or not you need the additional seating capacity and cargo space provided by the Q7.
Although the Q7 does offer more standard features, those can all be optioned on the Q5. The Q5 also benefits from smaller body dimensions which makes it more adept at navigating narrow roads.
However, practicality aside, the Q7 does offer a more luxurious design, additional presence on the road and potentially better performance thanks to the availability of the bigger 6-cylinder engine. Some buyers will understandably be tempted by the bigger Q7 for these reasons alone.