Like with most Audis, the suspension you get depends on which grade of car you choose, and there are other optional arrangements are available on top of that. The SE model comes with Comfort Dynamic suspension, which we’ve yet to try, while Sport comes with the aptly-named Sport suspension. It’s impressive; stiff enough to keep things admirably level even when cornering harder than most customers will want to try, but still comfortable enough to satisfy most families. The S line comes with stiffer, sportier suspension that is really too much for UK roads and doesn’t take enough sting out of lumps and bumps. Sure, it improves cornering ability even further, but the pay-off isn’t worth it, and the Q5 isn’t a machine to drive hard anyway. Thankfully, you can spec the S line with the more relaxed Sport suspension at no extra cost, and that’s the route we’d take.
Another option is to pay for the air suspension, which is pricey, but excellent. Importantly for a car that’ll be used primarily as family transport, it delivers a lovely smooth ride that wafts you along luxuriously when you select the car’s Comfort setting. Shift the setting to Dynamic, and you’ll enjoy crisp body control that contributes to impressively sharp handling. No suspension set up will let the Q5 compete with the likes of a Porsche Macan or Jaguar F-Pace for fun or involvement, though. The steering, although it’s weighty and consistent, doesn’t have the same level of engagement. That said, there’s no doubting how competent the Q5 is through a set of bends. Although most versions have abandoned permanent four-wheel drive – standard on all previous Q5s – for an on-demand system that disengages drive to the rear axle under normal driving conditions to save fuel, you’ll struggle to detect the difference in the traction delivered. That’s true both on the tarmac and on looser surfaces.