Spoilt for choice

Deciding on the perfect Audi Q model.

With such an extensive range to choose from, it can be tough deciding which Audi SUV model is the best fit for your lifestyle.

Mark Bean, Mark Bramley, Ian Dyk and AUDI AG

3 May, 2023

The choice is extensive, allowing you to match the perfect model to your lifestyle

They’re called the Audi Q models, a family of SUVs that run the gamut from the compact, ‘urban SUV’ that is the Audi Q2, right through to the last word in high-performance, large luxury SUVs, the awe-inspiring RS Q8. Aside from the fact that they all share the brand’s celebrated design, engineering and finish, they vary enormously in terms of their size, appointment and performance.

In addition to the Q models themselves, there are also the sportier S variants to consider and across some models the high-performance RS models from Audi Sport. 

Different engine variants offer further choice between the different models and then there’s the question of front-wheel drive or quattro, SUV styling or Sportback, seating for five or even seven occupants.

For those not conversant with the range and the different model designations, it can be a little confusing identifying exactly which model fits best with your lifestyle. All are luxurious and beautifully engineered as you would expect and being Q models, all are versatile and offer a level of practicality to match their refined side. But different models offer specialist skills in different areas, so a quick overview of the extensive range will see you forearmed and best equipped to draw up a short list for test driving.

Starting at the smaller end of the market, the the Audi Q2 occupies the ‘compact SUV segment’ and is designed as the perfect vehicle for those in a largely urban environment. Compact enough to make easy work of parking and manoeuvring around the city streets, with their edgy, polygonal design and elevated SUV seating position, they are right at home in the big city. But, with accommodation for up to five adults as well as boot storage, the Q2 is also the perfect escape vehicle for weekends or even day trips away carrying an array of leisure sure equipment or luggage.

In addition to the Q2 this model range also offers a more performance oriented variant in the SQ2, which adds quattro all-wheel drive, sportier design elements and interior and a driving experience to satisfy those with a passion for driving.

Next up is the Audi Q3 range which are also classified as compact, luxury SUVs. ?yet this is misleading as the current, second generation models feature spacious accommodation and five adults can ride in this premium SUV in absolute comfort.

The Q3 offers a perfect balance between usable size for everyday needs, but also for extended trips away with ample storage room and the comfort to truly relax on long trips.

Indeed it is this combination of size and a range of engine variants that make the Q3 one of the most popular Audi models in the country. Customers are also afforded the choice of classic SUV style or Audi’s sleek, Sportback styling which adds a distinct styling element to the vehicle. 

it is this combination of size and a range of engine variants that make the Q3 one of the most popular Audi models in the country

The Audi Q5 is considered by many to be the perfect sized luxury SUV for the modern lifestyle

Performance aficionados are also very well catered for in the Q3 ranks with the RS Q3 models offering an extraordinary level of performance. Using Audi’s award-winning 2.5-litre, five-cylinder powerplant which has its roots in motorsport, it generates 294kW of power and 480Nm of torque to hit 100km/h from a standing start in just 4.5 seconds.

Add to that its unique sound, thanks to the five-cylinder firing pattern, handling and driving dynamics to match, and the RS Q3, which is also available as a Sportback, delivers an engaging drive to satisfy the most fastidious enthusiast, while delivering in equal measure in terms of its luxurious appointment and day-to-day practicality.

Step up to the mid-sized luxury ranks and you find the ever-popular Audi Q5 models. Considered by many to be the perfect size for the modern life, these luxurious models has been an outstanding success both in Australia and around the world since their its first appearance in Australia in 2009.

All Q5 models are also available as Sportbacks, including a purely front-wheel drive model (Q5 35 TDI) with its hugely efficient diesel powerplant for ultra long-distance driving and will soon also offer a plug-in hybrid variant in the Q5 TFSI e due in Australia later this year. This combines the versatility and range of a 2.0 TFSI engine with the purely electric motoring for up to 50km for a dual personality that will sit well with many an Australian lifestyle.

The Q5 model range also boasts the performance-oriented SQ5 TDI which has built something of a cult following for its blend of size, appointment and performance capabilities. Also available as in SUV or Sportback design, its 3.0 V6 TDI engine, eight-speed tiptronic transmission and surefooted quattro feel are considered by a legion of devoted fans as the perfect package for an SUV.

But when size, or more accurately, additional passenger accommodation is a factor, there is no substitute for the Audi Q7, the first Audi Q model and the perfect model in the large luxury stakes.  Launched in Australia in 2006 to major critical and popular acclaim, the Q7 has consistently delivered a luxurious vehicle that handles any situation with aplomb, as well as offering seating for up to seven passengers. Again the performance-minded are also catered for for with the availability of the SQ7 TFSI, which adds sporty styling cues and interior finishes to a performance package that belies the physical size of this outstanding model.

The first of Audi's Q models, the Q7 was launched in Australia in 2006 to major critical and popular acclaim

The mighty RS Q8 is the most powerful SUV Audi has ever produced

Topping the brand’s SUV ranks are the Q8 models. The ultimate in luxurious finish, ride and appointment, the Audi Q8 offers its own distinctive styling, coupled with luxurious accommodation for five passengers and absolute state-of-the-art technology, ride and comfort. No slouch in the performance stakes in ‘standard’ guise, performance increases with the SQ8 model with its 4.0 litre TFSI powerplant producing 373kW of power and a massive 770Nm of torque seeing off the standing sprint to 100km/h in a staggering 4.1 seconds.

But the last word in performance SUVs belongs to the RS Q8 which set a blinding record for large SUVs around the famed Nürburgring when it was first unleashed on the world.

Producing an incredible 441kW of power and 800Nm of torque, it serves up supercar performance, hitting 100km/h from stop in just 3.8 seconds and handles like a vehicle a fraction of its physical size. And yet despite these extraordinary figures, it lacks absolutely nothing in terms of on-board technology, connectivity and the highest standards of finish and execution.

Also part of the brand’s burgeoning SUV offering are the Audi e-tron models, which add state-of-the-art all-electric drive to the equation. Currently available on the Australian market is the Audi e-tron which offers a luxurious SUV slightly larger than the Audi Q5, but with all-electric propulsion via dual electric motors and the resulting emission-free motoring it provides. Again, customers can opt for the distinctive Audi Sportback styling in the Audi e-tron Sportback, but regardless of the external styling, the same high standard is assured in a vehicle that delivers all that you would expect from an Audi, but with seamless, silent electric drive and of course fast charging capabilities for ease of operation.

Here too the brand recognises those customers with a passion for performance, with the Audi e-tron S and e-tron S Sportback the first series production electric models in the world to be driven by three electric motors for scintillating emissions-free performance – think 370kW, 973Nm of torque and a 0 to 100km/h time of 4.5 seconds.

Certainly it’s an extensive list and one which offers considerable choice to match the right Audi SUV with each individual’s lifestyle. Their styling, performance and size may differ greatly, just as their drivetrain and levels of equipment vary, but regardless of the model, they are all undeniably Audi.

The Audi e-tron models boast all of the attributes of the SUV range but with all-electric, emission-free drive