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Buying a used car often feels risky. It can be hard to gauge its condition before driving it for an extended period. Unfortunately, not all pre-owned vehicles are reliable bargains, especially those that burn oil excessively. Certain used Audi Q5 model years — from 2010 to 2015 — suffer from this problem. 

Avoid used cars that burn oil

A close-up view of the left taillight of a black 2015 Audi Q5 SUV
2015 Audi Q5 | Scott Olson/Getty Images

Consumer Reports provides helpful information about the vehicles it tests. Recently, the consumer site released a roundup of used cars that tend to burn oil and what you should buy instead. Several models on the list come as a surprise because their manufacturers are typically regarded as reliable. 

Oil burning in older or used cars isn’t unheard of, but it’s expected only in vehicles with engines at least 10 years old. Younger cars that burn oil should be avoided, especially if their warranties have expired, as the problems that cause this symptom can be costly to repair. The only time you should consider purchasing a used car notorious for burning oil is if official documentation proves the issue has been resolved. 

Surprising vehicles on the Consumer Reports list include the 2012 to 2019 BMW M5, the 2010 to 2013 Chevy Equinox, and the 2010 to 2015 Subaru Forester and Outback. Used Audi models also appear a few times, notably the 2010 to 2015 Q5. 

These used Audi Q5 model years are notorious oil burners

The Audi Q5 is a stylish luxury SUV with a quiet, comfortable interior. It also boasts precise and snappy handling and a long list of standard features. The 2015 Audi Q5 earned an overall 7.6/10 from U.S. News for its excellent safety ratings, interior quality, and performance. 

However, its score took a hit thanks to its low reliability rating and high cost of ownership. It lands in 10th place on U.S. News’ 2015 luxury compact SUVs list and 48th place in the used compact SUVs under $25,000 roundup. 

Consumer Reports notes that 2010 to 2015 Audi Q5 models burn oil prematurely no matter the engine, whether the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or the 3.0-liter supercharged V6. Audi released a diagnostic to detect the problem, but it’s best to consider another Q5 model year or an entirely different SUV. 

What is a good used Audi Q5 alternative?


4 Used Audi Models Are Among the Best Cheap Luxury Cars

Consumer Reports recommends the 2014 Acura RDX as an excellent used luxury SUV at an affordable price of $14,175 to $15,250. The 2014 model isn’t a perfect SUV by any means. Still, it earned a 4.5/5 in reliability from RepairPal and an 83/100 in J.D. Power’s Quality & Reliability category. 

Owner satisfaction has never been exceptionally high in the Acura RDX, and 2014 is no exception. But Consumer Reports notes the “smooth and powerful V6” and comfortable, albeit “plain-Jane,” interior. In addition, the controls are easy to use. CR testers call it “competent all around” and “well-equipped for the money.”

The 2014 Acura RDX may not be the sportiest SUV, but it provides more bang for your buck than 2010 to 2015 Audi Q5 models, especially considering the oil-burning elephant in the room.