Audi Q5 Years To Avoid – Worst And Best Years

2008 Audi began producing their compact luxury SUV series, the Q5. Audi has released two versions of this entry-level model since then.

The Audi Q5 models produced between 2011 and 2014 should generally be avoided. However, models from 2015 and other years have also had issues. The Q5 has faced various problems, including airbag and seatbelt malfunctions, excessive oil consumption, and fuel system defects.

Reading the entire article is recommended for comprehensive insights into the best and worst Audi Q5 models and detailed information about the issues they faced.

💥See also: Audi Tt Years To Avoid

Audi Q5 Years to Avoid List

A list identifying specific Audi Q5 model years known for having notable issues or less reliability.
A list identifying specific Audi Q5 model years known for having notable issues or less reliability.

Audi produced the first generation of the Q5 from 2009 to 2017; the second generation has been made since 2018.

Based on data from and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2012 was the most problematic production year for the Q5, with 206 complaints. This is followed by 2011, 2010, and 2014, with 191, 113, and 111 complaints, respectively.

Additionally, Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs), which are repair guidelines issued by the manufacturer without any legal obligation, are also important to consider.

The following are the Audi Q5 years to avoid, along with their specific issues:

  • 2010 Audi Q5: Problems with airbags, seatbelts, and the fuel system. The year saw four recalls and 759 additional TSB reports.
  • 2011 Audi Q5: Continued recalls and issues with excessive oil consumption. There were 895 TSB reports.
  • 2012 Audi Q5: Recurrence of previous problems, sunroof failure leading to a recall, engine failures, and 985 TSBs.
  • 2013 Audi Q5: Issues with the electrical system, cooling, and steering.
  • 2014 Audi Q5: Persistent problems with excessive oil consumption and other ongoing issues.
  • 2015 Audi Q5: Steering problems and continued issues with oil consumption.

These Audi Q5 Years Common Problems

Overview of recurring issues across various Audi Q5 model years, focusing on mechanical and electrical problems.
Overview of recurring issues across various Audi Q5 model years, focusing on mechanical and electrical problems.

I previously outlined the specific issues with the problematic Audi Q5 years. Here’s a brief overview of what to expect if you’re considering purchasing one of these models, possibly due to an attractive deal:

Airbag Deployment Issue

There have been instances where the airbag inflator could explode upon deployment during a crash, potentially sending metal fragments into the vehicle and causing serious injuries or fatalities.

Water infiltration into the sunroof drainage system could also damage the foam around the side head of the airbag inflator canister. Rust could weaken the canister, leading to inflator shards being ejected into the passenger compartment.

A recall to address these issues commenced on February 23, 2018, targeting models from 2010 to 2014. Dealers offered a free replacement inflator for the driver’s frontal airbag.

Seatbelt Malfunction

Issues with the seatbelt have been noted, particularly a persistent dashboard warning indicating an unbuckled passenger even when no one is seated there. This is frequently due to a malfunctioning cable under the seat, which can sometimes be temporarily fixed by adjusting the connectors.

Another common problem is the seatbelt jamming. When the seatbelt is removed quickly, it tends to fold and get stuck in the back seat, often due to a locking mechanism that fails to retract the belt.

Fuel System Faulty

Audi has issued recalls for fuel system flaws. One notable issue involves fuel leaking from the pump beneath the passenger seat, regardless of the vehicle’s motion status. This leakage often results in gas odors inside the car and visible fuel spills stemming from a faulty fuel pump.

The leakage can also cause gasoline to mix with the engine oil, leading to starting difficulties. Furthermore, this problem often damages fuel injectors, alternators, sensors, and spark plugs. If the leak reaches an ignition source, it poses a significant fire hazard. Many customers have reported a check engine light activation due to a leaking flange.

High Oil Consumption

There are reports of Audi cars consuming excessive amounts of oil, with the oil light frequently activated. Users often find themselves needing to top up oil every 1,000 miles. Smoke emitting from the exhaust during acceleration can indicate a leaking piston ring.

This issue often leads to a liter of oil being lost every 200-500 miles. The repair costs for such engine issues in Audis can be around $6,000, mainly due to faulty pistons and rings.

Steering Problems

A notable steering issue is a failure in the power steering system, which often occurs at low speeds and in colder conditions. One incident involved a driver experiencing steering failure at ten mph, accompanied by a dashboard warning light.

This issue significantly impairs vehicle control and worsens in lower temperatures. In one case, power steering failure coincided with cold weather, triggering a dashboard warning. The 2014 SQ5 model was recalled for a related problem linked to a failure in the modular controller at the gateway.

Electrical Complications

The Audi Q5’sTire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) malfunctioning while driving is a frequent issue. Additionally, other electrical problems often arise.

One notable electrical issue is the ‘replace battery’ alert. Drivers have experienced engine stalling at stoplights with the “replace key battery” warning illuminated. These electrical glitches are particularly linked to the car’s keyless features.

Such problems aren’t limited to misleading warning lights; actual component failures occur, leading to frequent visits to the repair shop.

Overheating and Cooling System Failures

In April 2018, Audi recalled 342,800 vehicles equipped with 2.0L Turbo FSI engines due to an issue with the electronic coolant pump. Moisture build-up in the pump can lead to overheating or short-circuiting of the cooling system.

This can result in power loss and, in severe cases, start a fire due to overheating or a short circuit.

📢Read also: Audi Tt Dashboard Warning Lights

Which Audi Q5 Models are Recommended?

Recommendations for Audi Q5 models and years known for their reliability and overall satisfaction.
Recommendations for Audi Q5 models and years known for their reliability and overall satisfaction.

When selecting a used Audi Q5, it’s crucial to avoid problematic models rather than just seeking the best years. This approach minimizes the risk of disappointment.

Audi uses a pain ranking score to evaluate the likelihood of serious issues in its vehicles. The Audi Q5, with a score of 5.12, ranks above average for potential problems within the Audi range.

Therefore, prospective buyers should anticipate significant maintenance costs. The Q5 is 17th in reliability among 19 Audi models.

It’s advisable to avoid the initial years of each new design or major overhaul. It’s also beneficial to scrutinize Consumer Reports and Technical Service Bulletins for the years and system areas with the most complaints and recalls.

Based on this, the most reliable years for the Audi Q5 are:

  • 2017 Audi Q5
  • 2018 Audi Q5
  • 2019 Audi Q5
  • 2020 Audi Q5

In Summary

Given its relatively recent introduction to the market, the Audi Q5 has several models that are best avoided. In my analysis, avoiding these problematic years is key to acquiring a satisfactory entry-level sports vehicle.

We hope this information assists in your decision-making process.

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