The Audi Q5 is almost too subtle for its own good, both to look at and to drive.

It’s not a car that overwhelms you within the first mile, but the longer we spent driving – and towing – with the Q5 the more we came to appreciate its qualities.

This is an exceptionally refined car. Road and wind noise are kept to very low levels, and the ride is supremely comfortable, both with and without a caravan in tow.

There’s no doubt the adaptive air suspension (a £2000 option) fitted to our test car helps, but while the standard suspension is a little firmer it’s still comfortable.

The 2.0-litre diesel engine stays in the background, even when pulling up to speed, and towing from 30-60mph takes just 11 seconds. For someone wanting more performance there’s also a 3.0-litre diesel, but the 2.0-litre is strong enough to tow any sensibly matched tourer.

At speed, the Q5 proved stable, but without the absolutely unshakeable feel of the BMW X3 or Jaguar F-Pace.

Some drivers found the car wandering a little when the wind picked up, and the Al-Ko ATC sensors picked up some slight sway from the caravan when slowing from motorway speeds. We’re splitting hairs to separate some very capable cars, though – we’d be happy to tow long distances with the Audi.

The Q5 earned strong scores from our practicality testers. They found room for almost all our typical load of holiday luggage, and stability control and self-levelling suspension are among the car’s many towing-friendly features.

2018
Category Winners
2018 Up to 1400kg

Skoda Octavia

2.0 TDI 150PS SE L DSG

2018 1400-1549kg

Skoda Superb

2.0 TDI 150PS SE L Executive

2018 1550-1699kg

Peugeot 5008

2.0 BlueHDi EAT8 S&S GT

2018 1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2018 1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 Td6 HSE

2018 Best Family SUV

Volvo XC40

Volvo XC40 D4 AWD R-Design Pro

2018 Best Petrol Tow Car

Kia Stinger

2.0 T-GDi GT-Line

2018 Best Ultralight Tow Car

Volkswagen Polo

1.0 TSI 115PS SEL DSG

2018 Fuel Economy Award

Hyundai i30 Tourer

1.6 CRDi 110PS Premium

Previous Winners
2017
1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 Td6 HSE*

2016
1400-1549kg

Skoda Superb Hatch

2.0 TDI 150PS SE Business

2015
1400-1549kg

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI BMT 150PS SE Business DSG

2014
1400-1549kg

Nissan Qashqai

1.6 dCi (130PS) Stop/Start System Acenta Premium

2013
Up to 1424kg

Skoda Octavia

2.0 TDI CR 150PS Elegance

2012
1725–1899kg

Jaguar XF

2.2D Premium Luxury

2011
1425-1574kg

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI 170 Bluemotion Sport

2010
1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery 4

3.0 TDV6 XS

2009
1900kg+

Volvo XC60

D5 SE Geartronic

2008
1575-1724kg

Ford Mondeo Estate

2.0 TDCi Titanium auto

2007
1575-1724kg

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI Sport 4Motion

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