Avoid the 2013 Audi Q5 Because of Its Questionable Reliability

German luxury car brands like Audi are usually known for their fine workmanship. So what went wrong with the 2013 Audi Q5?
Written by Andrew Koole
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
An close-up shot of the Audi logo on the front grille of a car.
There are a lot of reasons why people buy
luxury vehicles
, but a common one is craftsmanship. People expect finer attention to detail from Buick, Bentley, and BMW than they do from Fiat and Ford. But luxury models aren’t always more reliable than their cheaper rivals.
The 2013
Audi
Q5 is a perfect example. Since its release, it’s been plagued with some nasty issues and frustrated a number of buyers for not performing up to par.
Some of the Q5’s major components like its transmission managed to work without a hitch, but major problems concerning its engine and fuel system have forced some owners to spend more time talking to a mechanic than they likely expected. 

What’s wrong with the 2013 Audi Q5?

When Audi revealed the Q5 for the 2013 model year, the SUV impressed critics with its sporty exterior and driving experience. But the applause didn’t last very long.
Since then, owners have experienced a number of serious issues, some repaired under warranty, others not. The long list of problems drove the Q5’s reliability score as low as it can go on
Consumer Reports
(CR).
Aggressive oil leaks, shoddy steering units, and faulty water pumps plagued many Q5s, but the worst problem has to do with the timing chain. At around 100,000 miles, it overstretched for a number of drivers, forcing some to pay out of pocket for full engine rebuilds.
Other less dramatic issues include cooling and thermostat problems, leaky shocks, and faulty fuel system sensors. CR user Karen Q. from Virginia puts it as bluntly as can she can. “Do not buy this car,” she says.
MORE: Doug DeMuro Says a BMW Is the Worst Car He’s Ever Reviewed
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More reliable alternatives to the 2013 Audi Q5

CR isn’t the kind of publication that poo-poos a product and leaves it at that. So when writer Jon Linkov dissuaded consumers from buying the 2013 Audi Q5, he also recommended a few models with better reputations.
The 2016 Volvo XC60 was Linkov’s first choice for a similarly priced and sized SUV to the Q5 that’s aged a lot better than its German competitor. While it didn’t fare as well in CR’s initial road test as the Q5, it’s done a much better job of staying out of the repair shop.
Linkov also suggested the 2012
Lexus RX
as a strong contender for anyone looking for a used luxury SUV. While it doesn’t have quite the same spunk as the Q5, he says the quiet cabin and impressive reliability score make it a good choice with a similar price range.

Insurance premiums for luxury SUVs

MORE: The Audi Q3 vs Audi Q5: Which Does Consumer Reports Rank Best?
Whether you heed CR’s advice or not, expect to pay a little more for
car insurance
to cover your luxury SUV than you would for models with less flashy nameplates. Many of the models suggested by CR are built overseas, making repairs and insurance costs more expensive.
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