2022 Audi Q5 2.0 Review: Mild Reduction

Ben Chia

The Audi Q5 gets a slight power reduction to enhance its price competitiveness in this era of high COE prices in Singapore

2022 Audi Q5 2.0 (204hp)

Launched: June 2022 – Price S$304,813 with COE (May 2023)
Five-door, midsize premium SUV, five seats
204hp, 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol, VES B, 6.5L/100km

Not much changes from the 249hp variant
Reasonably well-specced
Still a decent drive

Downsized engine feels strained when pushed hard
Still expensive, no thanks to COE

Photos: Ben Chia and Lionel Kong


It’s probably safe to say that cars in Singapore have never been more expensive than in this current moment in 2023. Almost all COE categories have seen premiums reach record highs over the past few months, and even the supposedly ‘mainstream’ Category A has breached the S$100,000 mark.  

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and many car brands have been scrambling to find ways to lower their prices (as best as they can anyway) in order to keep consumers on side. The easiest method is to offer a car that’s eligible for a (slightly) cheaper Cat A COE, and that’s a move that has been adopted by a few brands, including the likes of BYD, Volkswagen and even BMW.

But even at the upper end of the spectrum, car manufacturers here are also looking for shortcuts to help boost their price competitiveness every way they can. And Audi has opted for the downsizing approach with their Q5, which is now available here with a slightly less powerful 2.0-litre engine, as a way of keeping costs down.

(Note: The car’s actually been on sale here since June last year, but Audi has only just made the media test drive car available recently)

Unfortunately though, ever-rising COE premiums means that Audi’s efforts have had a limited effect, and this ‘base’ Q5 2.0 now costs a staggering S$304,813 when included with a Cat B COE that now stands at nearly 120 grand (as of May 2023).

Nevertheless, the downsized Q5 still costs quite a significant bit less than its immediate German rivals, namely the BMW X3 and recently-launched Mercedes-Benz GLC. So if you fancy a premium German midsize SUV and want the cheapest (relatively speaking) one on the market, the Q5 is the one to go for.

What do you get for the money though? Well the most obvious one is the engine. It remains a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-pot with mild hybrid tech, but in this iteration it now puts out 204hp and 320Nm of torque, down from the 249hp and 370Nm of torque of the previously-more powerful model. Before you think that it’s a major downgrade, bear in mind that the equivalent BMW X3 xDrive20i puts out a mere 180 or so horsepower, and is significantly more expensive to boot.

Truthfully though, in Singapore, 200 horsepower is more than enough for daily driving, and the Q5 demonstrates that by being adequate and up to the task, without really setting any records on fire. The unit pulls smoothly, although it does strain a little at the upper end when pushed, but if you’re just going about in urban traffic, the Q5 is more than capable of getting you around without much fuss.

The other benefit of the less powerful engine come in the form of emissions, or more specifically, taxation. Whilst the 249hp model gets slapped with a VES C1 banding, and thus an additional S$15,000 surcharge, the 204hp version lands in the neutral B band and attracts no surcharge. Given the price difference of 22 grand between the two, going for the cheaper model can also be seen as paying less tax to the government, which is something many would surely delight in.

The rest of the car is similarly on point, with the Q5 offering a pretty decent drive without veering too much into sporty territory. It’s mostly planted and balanced in the corners, albeit lacking in engagement, and ride quality too is reasonably smooth and well-controlled, with only a slight hint of firmness. On the whole, the Q5 strikes a fine line between dynamism and comfort, and manages to toe the middle ground neatly without leaning too far into either end.

Being the supposedly ‘entry-level’ model of the Q5 range, one would expect this 204hp variant to lack a few of the goodies of its more expensive sibling. But surprisingly, the omissions are kept to a relative minimum. As far as we could tell, the only thing unavailable on this version over the more powerful car is the Audi Parking Aid Plus system, which incorporates rear cross traffic assistance that can detect obstacles when reversing and apply the brakes if necessary to avoid a collision.

Other than that, the Q5 comes pretty stacked with features, which include adaptive cruise control, a 360 degree all-round camera, 3-zone climate control, and Audi’s MMI infotainment system with navigation, along with wireless Apple CarPlay. You could also add on additional options like a panoramic sunroof, a head-up display, a Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system, and the fancy OLED taillight with three different lighting patterns to choose from, but those are likely to push the car’s price uncomfortably close, or even beyond that of the more powerful Q5 model.

The fact is, having a price tag of over 300 grand for a car like the Q5 may come across as unpalatable to some (or many). That’s not really Audi’s fault though, but more a function of the COE system as it currently stands. That said, the Q5 204hp does make a pretty compelling case for someone who wants a premium midsize SUV that undercuts its key competitors without losing too much on quality or functionality. If you need something that’s just about ticks most of the right boxes, and can stomach the high COE premiums, then the Q5 is probably well worth going for.

Audi Q5 2.0 TFSI (204hp)

Drivetrain typePetrol-electric mild hybrid
Engine1,984cc, inline four, turbocharged
Power204hp at 4475-6000rpm
Torque320Nm at 1450-4375rpm
Gearbox7-speed dual-clutch
0-100km/h7.3 seconds
Top Speed223km/h
VES BandingB / S$0
Fuel Efficiency6.5L/100km
AgentPremium Automobiles
PriceS$304,813 with COE
Verdict:Lesser-powered Q5 loses little over its more powerful sibling, but appeal remains curbed by sky-high COE premiums


2.0 Audi mild hybrid Q5 SUV

About the Author

Ben Chia

CarBuyer's print editor went out to explore the Great Big World, including a stint working in China (despite his limited Mandarin). Now he's back, ready to foist upon you his takes on everything good and wonderful about the automotive world. Follow Ben on Instagram @carbuyer.ben

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