Which Audi Q5 Years To Avoid and Why? (Explained)

Starting in 2008, Audi began building a line of small luxury sport utility vehicles (SUVs) called the Q5. Two generations of this entry-level Q5 have been made by Audi.

Audi Q5 years to avoid would be the ones from 2011-2014. But some bad products were seen during 2015 and other years too. Different years saw different issues with the Q5. Such as airbags, seatbelts, excessive oil consumption, and fuel system troubles.

Want to find out which are the worst years? Then which are the best years to buy an Audi Q5? What went wrong with the products? Read this article till the end to find out!

Audi Q5 Years to Avoid (List of Years)

The first of the two generations were produced between 2009 and 2017. And the second one’s being produced since the beginning of 2018.

According to carcomplaints.com and NHTSA, the worst year of production was 2012. About 206 complaints were recorded against the Q5. This is followed by 2011, 2010, and finally 2014.

The number of recorded complaints was 191, 113, and 111 respectively. Additionally, TSB reports (manufacturer-generated repair instructions with no legal forces attached) should also be taken into account.

What Are the Worst Years of Audi Q5?

The worst Audi Q5 years to avoid are stated below:

  • 2010: Airbag, seatbelt, fuel system issues. Four recalls and 759 more TSB reports.
  • 2011: Continuation of recalls and excessive oil consumption. 895 TSB reports.
  • 2012: Recurrences of previously encountered issues. A recall was issued for sunroof failure. Reported engine failures. And a total of 985 TSBs.
  • 2013: Electrical, cooling, and steering issues.
  • 2014: Excessive oil consumption and continuation of other problems.
  • 2015: Steering and oil consumption

What Makes These Audi Q5 Years Worth Avoiding?

Earlier I have discussed what exactly the issues are with the Audi Q5 bad years. Now I will briefly discuss those issues so you can know what to expect if you buy any model (if you can’t resist a very good deal!). So here goes:

1. Airbag Deploying Problem:

A crash-related airbag deployment could cause the inflator to explode. This will result in metal shards striking people inside the vehicle. Thus resulting in significant injury or death.

Moreover, the sunroof drainage system may allow water to infiltrate into the foam around the side head airbag inflator canister, resulting in damage. Inflator shards may be ejected into the passenger compartment if the canister is weakened by rust.

A recall was made due to both of these reasons, beginning on February 23, 2018. The models recalled were between 2010-14. The dealers provided a free replacement inflator for the driver’s frontal airbag.

2. Seatbelt Problem:

While driving, the seat belt warning may appear on the dashboard. The warning bells will ring every few seconds. The system will appear to believe that there is a person in the passenger’s seat who should be buckled up.

A cable under the seat may be faulty. In many cases, a quick wiggle of the connectors will remedy the issue for the time being.

Another issue is the seatbelt getting stuck. Often when hastily removed, the seatbelt may withdraw, bend over its head, and get lodged solidly in the back seat of the vehicle.

It seems that the mechanism gets locked. And it does not retract even after pulling for a long time.

3. Fuel System Issues:

There has been a recall regarding this issue. When the engine is running, fuel continues to leak from the fuel pump under the passenger’s seat. Regardless of whether the car is moving or not.

Gas leaks on the ground while the engine is running, whether the vehicle is parked or moving. You may also find the smell of gas in your vehicle. The reason for the fuel smell is a damaged/leaking fuel pump.

Due to this, the gasoline may also leak into the engine oil. Car starting issues are pretty obvious. Fuel injectors go bad because of bad wiring. The alternator, sensors, spark plugs and coils also goes bad.

The car can catch fire if the leak is discovered near an ignition source. There have been numerous reports from customers who have noticed that their check engine light has been illuminated by a leaking flange.

4. Excessive Oil Consumption:

Cars consume too much oil. The fuel light remains turned on most of the time. Moreover, for every 1000 miles, you’ll need to change your oil. Smoke may flow out of the exhaust at any speed of acceleration. A leaky piston ring can be the reason.

For every 200-500 miles, a liter of oil is lost. The engine repair cost for Audi owners is roughly $6,000.00. The main reason for this issue is the pistons and rings being faulty.

5. Steering Issues:

One user reported that while driving at 10mph on an interior curved route, the power steering failed. There was a ‘steering: failure!’ light on the automobile. This is a common issue.

It also becomes quite difficult to control the vehicle at this point. The problem gets worse at lower temperatures. According to a user’s report, the power steering fails on a cold day, and a warning light appeared on the dashboard.

The 2014 SQ5 was issued a recall for the same problem. Modular controller failure at the gateway.

6. Electrical Issues:

A TPMS malfunction (tire pressure monitoring system) is quite common while driving. More electric failures like this keep showing up.

One prominent example is the ‘replace battery’ feature. The engine stalls when the car is sitting at a stoplight, with the “replace key battery” warning light on. The electrical problems have been associated with driving the keyless features.

Not just misinformed light flashing, but some components fail too. This causes regular visits to the repair shops.

7. Cooling Issues:

In April 2018, Audi recalled 342,800 vehicles with 2.0l Turbo FSI engines and an electronic coolant pump. Excessive moisture may accumulate in the pump. This causes the entire cooling system to overheat or short-circuit.

As a result, there is a loss of power. Overheating and short circuits can start a fire.

Which Used Audi Q5 Years Are Safe to Buy?

The best year to buy an Audi Q5 is the one that provides the features and appearance you want at a price you can afford. Instead of searching for the finest years, the goal should be to avoid the worst ones. Otherwise, you risk being disappointed.

Audi automobiles are equipped with a pain ranking score system. The greater the number, the greater the likelihood of serious issues. At 5.12, the Audi Q5 ranks higher than the rest of the Audi lineup.

So, you’ll need a lot of money for maintenance in the future. Out of 19 Audi models, this vehicle ranks 17th in terms of reliability.

Keep away from the first year or so of each new design or substantial revamp. Look for years and system areas with the most problems and/or recalls in the Consumer Reports and Technical Service Bulletins.

Considering this, the best years are:

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


Audi Q5 is a comparatively new car in the market. Considering that, there are quite many Audi Q5 years to avoid, as per my research. In my opinion, if you avoid the bad years, you will find a good starting level sports vehicle.

I hope this article just acts as an addition to you making that decision.

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