Is Renting An Audi Q5 From Silvercar Worth It?

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I write about Silvercar quite a bit, as they’re my favorite company to rent cars from.

Up until this week I had only ever rented an Audi A4 from them, as that car is the backbone of their fleet. However, lately they’ve expanded their selection of cars, and now also rent Q5s and A5 Cabriolets.

This April I shared my experience renting from Silvercar in Orlando. While I don’t want to fully replicate that review, I rented an Audi Q5 for the first time this week from Silvercar, and wanted to share my thoughts on whether or not it was worth it.

To start, here’s how the pricing compares between the two cars at the MCO location for my dates:

Note that the pricing already reflects the 30% discount you get on rentals of two days or more if you have a Visa Infinite Card (like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card). Just enter promo code VINFINITE to get the discount.

Also note that if you haven’t yet rented from Silvercar, they have a generous referral program, where you can get $25 in cash after your first rental if you’re referred by an existing customer. I wasn’t eligible for this, since I’ve rented from them before.

However, if you’re new to Silver, you can enter my code, BSCHLAPPIG, at the time you sign-up for Silvercar, you’ll get that after your first rental (and I’ll get the same). Just go to the top right of silvercar.com and click on “sign-up,” and then enter your email address and password. Once your email address has been verified you can log-in and enter the above referral code.

With the discount an A4 would have cost $35 per day, or $133.15 total for three days including all taxes and fees ($44.83 per day).

A Q5 would have cost $56 per day, or $206.95 total for three days including all taxes and fees ($68.98 per day)

So while I’m very happy with the A4, I figured I might as well give the Q5 a try to compare it. While this blog obviously isn’t a car comparison site, I did want to share my general thoughts.

The Q5 is an SUV, so obviously one benefit is being further off the ground, for those who care about that (personally I do).

However, the interior of the car didn’t actually feel significantly bigger to me, and looking at the actual car stats, it seems that the different is marginal. So don’t rent the Q5 over the A4 expecting that it’ll get you a bunch more legroom in the first or second row.

The place where I saw the biggest difference was in the trunk, where there was a lot more space than in the A4.

There was also a difference in fuel efficiency, as the A4 gets a few more miles per gallon than the Q5.

Perhaps the nicest part of renting the Q5 was that it was brand new, as it had under 250 miles on it.

I remember when I first started renting from Silvercar the cars were almost always new, while understandably that’s not the case anymore, since many cars have been in their fleet for a couple of years.

So I’d guess that in general you have better odds of getting a new car if you rent a Q5 (or even an A5) than an A4, though that’s not a sure thing either way.

Bottom line

Personally I found the Q5 to not be that different than the A4. It’s nicer to sit higher up, though other than that I didn’t find the car to be significantly more spacious, and the decreased fuel efficiency was definitely noticeable (especially in Florida, where you drive long distance).

I’d say it could be worth renting a Q5 if you want to maximize your odds of getting a new car, if you really value sitting higher up, or if you need a lot of trunk space. Otherwise I think the A4 is more than sufficient, and I’ll probably continue renting that going forward.

If you’re a Silvercar customer, how do you feel about the value proposition of renting an A4 vs. a Q5?

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Comments

  1. I prefer to contribute less towards global warming and therefore always avoid renting SUVs and even refuse them when they offer to upgrade me unless it’s a hybrid with excellent fuel economy

  2. Silvercar is less about “the” car and more about renting “an” Audi with zero bullshit. I rented one in Miami and I don’t plan to ever waste time on dealing with hidden fees, tolls, prices that double from reservation to drop-off again.

  3. I’m so tired of you elitist people over 22….with your inexpensively rented Audi’s! I’m over here renting a UHaul because for some reason I’m allowed to drive a box truck but not a Honda Civic.

    -kidding of course, but very annoying

  4. Not sure I could continue to drive while staring at that creepy-animal-smile-looking steering column, in the photo you posted.

  5. @Chilipalmer in the US silver cars all come with Audi’s Quattro system which is regarded as one of if not the best all wheel drive systems in the industry

  6. Give me an SUV every time. Awesome.

    You “tree-huggers” better be flying coach and not business or first. Those premium seats are so heavy and require more fuel to carry that extra weight. Enjoy the back row of the plane.

  7. This is such an endearing article and kind of shows why this blog is soooo good. Lucky clearly knows nothing about renting cars but is still sharing whatever limited knowledge he has in the same curious and earnest way he writes about airlines and hotels.

    Please never change Lucky!

  8. I can’t speak to the Q5 Silvercar rental experience, but as a previous Q5 owner, I can say that the Q5 (based on the previous body style) is slightly roomier than the A4. I rented an A4 in Fort Lauderdale and did find the sedan very similar to my Q5 but it was a little more cramped (not to mention lower to the ground as noted). I would love to rent the new Q5 to check out the updated design. It might make me a little nostalgic but that would be quickly tempered by memories of the outrageous repair bills that prompted me to get rid of my Audi!

  9. The Q5 was a perfect fit for my family of four on a trip from LAX to Palm Springs. It’s not that much roomier than an A4, but it fit our luggage much more easily. It’s not the perfect car for everyone.

  10. I have to admit Audi’s are my favorite car, I’ve owned several A4’s in the past, and have rented A4’s from Silvercar as well, but I honestly didn’t think I got good value out of it. Granted I didn’t have the 30% discount but I really didn’t feel like it was worth the premium over another rental company. Just my unsolicited two cents

  11. I’m currently renting a Q5 from SFO now, drove to Yosemite and I’m so glad I got the SUV. With the discount and the high car rental prices in SF, it actually came out cheaper than renting a midsize from the other big name companies. So to me this was definitely worth it!

  12. It’s one of the rules of journalism: where the headline is a question, the answer is always “no”.

    @ colleen

    I do wish you hadn’t pointed that out – the creepy animal is now all I can see! 🙂

  13. Bleh, they’re just entry level Audis, what’s the value in that? Give me the cheapest Priceline deal any day. I can have a lot more fun with the money.

  14. To all those who said that Silvercar is not worth it, can you please explain????
    The 50% premium to upgrade from A4 to Q5 might not be worth it, but $35 Midsize rental isn’t??????

  15. Don’t forget that if you own an Audi you get a free day rental on a two day rental and two free days on a four day rental. Don’t know if it’s stackable with the Visa Infinite discount.

  16. Rented an A4 from DIA last week for four days. I thought about the Q5 but decided against it because of the price differential. It was my first time with Silvercar and I will definitely be renting from them again. They were cheaper than mid-size from Hertz when you consider the add-ons like tolls, GPS etc. I Mostly drive my wife’s X1 and I wasn’t prepared to drive a Hertz Corolla thru the Rockies.

  17. lol 70$ bucks per day for a midsize SUV – Silvercar is the Apple of rental companies
    i can rent a Tahoe or Yukon at Alamo for a cheaper price and have a better and bigger SUV …

  18. I love SUVs and with the option, would probably opt for the Q5. Much roomier and bigger trunk for all the luggage, shopping, etc one does on vacation.

  19. @Chris
    And how often can you get an Escalade for $27, every time with Hertz?? I don’t think so. (If yes, your rate is the best I’ve seen, kudos) I’m pretty sure you end up in Sentra, Jetta, or Camry more often than any Cadillac.

    I’m trying to make a fair comparison for the mass. Good for you that you can rent at $27, not all of us are (or some pretending to be) part of a corporate account/pre-negotiated rate to rent with.
    I don’t think most people can get a midsize car at that price ‘all the time’. True, that not every one is a Visa Infinite holder but I can say it is definitely much more accessible to people.

  20. I don’t go out of my way to rent from silver car. The fleet is frankly boring.

    For a SUV, I like the top of the line XC90 from Hertz for hauling large loads. For off-road driving, I always rent from specialty renters.

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