Worst Years for the Audi Q5

While the Audi Q5 has garnered praise for its luxury, performance, and style, like any other vehicle, it’s not without its flaws. As a car mechanic who’s seen the ins and outs of many Q5s over the years, I’m here to shed light on the worst years for the Audi Q5. These are the years when certain issues and drawbacks were more prevalent, and it’s essential to be aware of them before making a purchase decision.

Early Struggles: Audi Q5 2009-2012

The Audi Q5 made its debut in 2008, and the first few years of production saw their fair share of growing pains. While these vehicles had some merits, they were not without their problems:

  1. Oil Consumption: One of the most significant issues that plagued the 2009-2012 Q5 models was excessive oil consumption. Many owners reported having to add oil between regular oil changes, which can be both costly and concerning.
  2. Timing Chain Tensioners: Some of the Q5s from this period experienced problems with the timing chain tensioners. If not addressed promptly, this issue could lead to costly engine damage.
  3. Electrical Gremlins: Several owners reported electrical problems, including issues with the MMI (Multi Media Interface) system and various sensors. These can be frustrating and costly to diagnose and repair.
  4. Fuel Efficiency: Compared to later models, the 2009-2012 Q5s were less fuel-efficient, which can be a significant concern for daily commuters and those looking to minimize their carbon footprint.
  5. Outdated Technology: The technology and infotainment systems in these early models were not as advanced as what Audi offers today. If you value the latest tech, these years might disappoint.

Turbo Troubles: Audi Q5 2014-2016 (2.0T Models)

While the Q5’s 2.0T engine is known for its balance of performance and fuel efficiency, there were specific issues with this engine in the 2014-2016 models:

  1. Oil Leaks: These models were known for oil leaks, particularly from the rear main seal. Oil leaks can lead to a mess and potentially damage surrounding components.
  2. Timing Chain Tensioners (Again): Unfortunately, the timing chain tensioner issue reared its head in these years as well. This recurring problem was a headache for many Q5 owners.
  3. Excessive Carbon Buildup: The 2.0T engine in these years was susceptible to carbon buildup on the intake valves, affecting engine performance and fuel efficiency.
  4. Transmission Problems: Some owners reported transmission issues, including rough shifting and hesitation, which can be a safety concern.

Fallout: Audi Q5 2014-2016


While the Audi Q5 is undoubtedly a remarkable vehicle, there have been certain years and models that had their share of issues and drawbacks. If you’re considering buying a used Q5, it’s crucial to do your research, get a thorough pre-purchase inspection, and, if possible, opt for a certified pre-owned (CPO) model with a warranty for added peace of mind.

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