Finding a used luxury vehicle can be a challenge. When searching for an Audi Q5, which years should you maybe avoid?
What are the worst years of the Audi Q5?
Some years of the Audi Q5 should be avoided more than others. The 2014 Audi Q5 has some oil consumption issues and steering problems that could make ownership a headache. The 2018 Audi Q5 could have some pop up and weird electrical issues surface now and then.
We’ve been writing about automotive issues and repairs for years. Using resources like the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, as well as user reports from websites like CarComplaints, we’ll give you the lowdown on what years of the Audi Q5 might have some issues.
|The BEST Years For The Audi Q5
Years of Audi Q5 to avoid
2014 Audi Q5 has engine and steering problems
By far the most common problem with the Audi Q5 in the last decade are engine and steering problems in the 2014 model.
While we fully expect a vehicle to burn oil at some point during its life, some drivers felt like the 2014 models started to burn oil early and often. Some reports indicate that near the end of the warranty period, some Q5s will start burning oil at a rate of 500 miles to a quart.
Per the responses drivers received from dealerships and Audi’s corporate office, they should expect the vehicle to burn up to 1 quart every 1,200 miles. While this might seem like a lot of oil to burn, a sports car like the Audi Q5 does tend to burn a bit more just because the engine is designed for performance and does produce some heat.
Many drivers also took issue with the oil burn testing method offered by dealerships. One owner reported that the dealership wanted to charge him over $3,000 to pull the heads out of the engine and inspect them for premature wear. While this could help answer the question, there was no assurance that Audi itself would pay to fix the problem, so the driver would effectively just risk $3,000.
The solution here, unfortunately, is often a rebuild. The actual oil burn is caused by a combination of heat and the loosening of valves and rings that normally hold oil in the engine. Drivers who own an Audi Q5 might also want to check their oil often and be watchful for any dashboard lights.
The performance end of the car comes at the price of needing to monitor its fluids.
The timing chain is a fairly important part of the vehicle that helps keep multiple engine parts that drive combustion running at the appropriate moment.
Some users on CarComplaints noted that their dealer reported an issue with the timing chain stretching under pressure. The vehicle then gives a check engine light and the timing chain needs replacement before causing significantly larger issues.
As recently as 2021, the timing chain has been subject to a class action lawsuit which was allowed to proceed. A major part of the timing chain problem is that Audi has so far refused to work on many timing chain problems that are out of warranty, despite numerous complaints and knowledge of the problem.
While power steering problems aren’t reported frequently, a vehicle that prides itself on precise steering and performance could use some help here.
There is a plug side: Most of the owners who reported power steering problems experienced them immediately after starting the vehicle and before even putting the Q5 into drive.
This is at least less dangerous than the power steering suddenly failing while driving at high speed. The actual mechanical issue lies within the steering pump, which can fail – but at least the car knows about it and warns you!
Like previously mentioned issues, between Audi and its dealers, the customer ended up paying for the repair most of the time since the steering problem isn’t part of a recall.
2013 Audi Q5 Engine issues
The 2013 Audi Q5 has engine and oil problems similar to 2014, likely because it uses the same engine. Thankfully, most users who experienced excessive oil burning also stated they used Audi’s check engine and low oil lights as indicators that their vehicle needed attention.
2018 Audi Q5 Electrical Problems
2018 is among the first years when engine complaints aren’t numerous yet. Instead, the 2018 Q5 has a variety of small electrical problems that mostly cause annoyance.
For example, drivers stated the heated seats failed to work after a couple of years. Others also had failures in their safety pre-warning system that didn’t function as normal.
One issue also being pursued in a class action lawsuit that might be underreported on CarComplaints is that of a leaky sunroof.
Q5 owners reported that during heavy rain or snow, the sunroof can leak onto the infotainment system and cause an electrical failure. The opening of a class action lawsuit is the result of Audi not acknowledging the issue, and not covering a leaky roof seal under warranty. As you might expect, replacing the onboard infotainment system is rather expensive.
We’ll forewarn you a little bit here too: 2018 Audi Q5s have not been on the road for too long yet. Many Audi Q5s on the road right now don’t have many miles and are getting to the point where they could experience oil consumption issues like in previous years.
2011 Audi Q5 Transmission problems
Thankfully, transmission problems haven’t been reported on many Audi Q5s. Drivers from CarComplaints both said that a software glitch occasionally causes a problem resulting in the vehicle not shifting into or out of park, which can be resolved by restarting the vehicle.
The owner can then take the vehicle in for a software update, potentially.
A more serious issue is actual transmission failures. As you might suspect, transmission failures are complex repairs that cost a lot of money and often happen out of warranty. Again, thankfully only a handful of these problems were reported, but they can result in some serious sticker shock.
2020 Audi Q5 drivetrain issues
The problem related here seems to be a very isolated incident, but it is still weird. We also wouldn’t avoid a new car from this year just because of one problem: One driver claimed that their vehicle started but then stalled.
They restarted the vehicle and the warning message about stalling cleared. Unfortunately, they took it to a dealer who couldn’t find any warning codes or anything, so this one is a bit of a mystery.
Are oil issues common with Audis?
Oil consumption issues are not only common on Audis, they are prevalent across much of the performance vehicle industry. BMW has also been known to burn oil on a regular basis. While drivers report excessive oil burn as a problem, part of vehicle ownership is also regular maintenance. This means knowing when to add some oil to your vehicle to keep it running at its best – and not frying out.
So we fully expected to see oil issues with the Audi Q5 because compared to brands that the average American owns, the Audi does burn more oil. People report on it because they haven’t experienced the same issue with their Toyota or Honda.
Get your Audi inspected
We will say this about every vehicle out there: Get a used Audi Q5 inspected before buying. For an Audi Q5, check the service history to see how frequently the previous owner changed the oil.
Not changing the oil often enough can cause damage, and result in faster oil burn.
Some Audi owners might also be garage mechanics – meaning that they take care of their own maintenance. Ask for receipts if they are buying parts, and definitely get these cars checked out by an Audi expert to avoid problems in the future.
- Oil consumption issues are common, especially after 2011. Performance cars simply burn and use more oil.
- 2014 models have some issues with power steering. Thankfully, these aren’t especially dangerous and tend to happen right after the vehicle starts.
- 2018 Audi Q5s have some reported electrical quirks as well as a sunroof leakage issue.
- Regardless of year, get your prospective Audi Q5 inspected before buying