Renting a Silvercar Audi Q5 SUV in the Mountains

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Recently Silvercar announced that they would carry not only their standard (silver) Audi A4 sedans, but select cities would also carry the option of renting a larger Audi Q5 SUV. This was obviously great news for family travelers who need a little more space for their people and their stuff. I’m a big fan of the Silvercar rental experience with their included quality car seats, in-car WiFi and Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, fair tolls and gas prices, and navigation. In some locations, they can even pick you up and drop you off at the airport terminal.

 

The larger Q5 SUVs are not yet available in all of the Silvercar locations, but they are available in many cities including Austin, Chicago, Orlando, Dallas, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Ft. Lauderdale, Denver, Seattle, San Francisco, Phoenix, Miami, and Tampa.

The Q5 SUV does start at a higher price point than the A4 sedan at about $69 per day and up before discounts, depending on the date and location. I’ve rented from Silvercar several times in the A4 model, but had never rented the Q5 until this week. A friend and I went to Colorado for a very quick girl’s ski trip, and we needed a vehicle to get us from Denver to Keystone. The Keystone ski resort is a couple hours West of Denver up in the mountains.

In the winter, there was no way we were doing that drive in a random ‘manger’s special’ type of compact rental car. We wanted a car we could trust in the mountains and that had some room for our ski gear. This made it the perfect time to try the new Audi Q5 from Silvercar. My friend was a first-time Silvercar renter, so she got the $25 Visa gift card referral credit by entering a referral code, and was able to use a new customer discount to slightly reduce the price.

If you want to earn a $25 Visa gift card with your first Silver rental, my Silvercar referral code is SHULL and here are some instructions on how to enter the code prior to your first rental.

To pick up a Silvercar in Denver, take a shuttle bus from the airport to their indoor facility where they have the line-up of Audi A4s and Q5s. Taking a shuttle bus from the airport isn’t ideal, but being able to complete the whole process and load into the car indoors is very nice when it is cold or raining outside. As you can see, the Q5’s were all outfitted with ski racks and ready for an alpine trip.

Silvercar line-up in Denver

The pick-up process was very simple as much of it is done in the Silvercar app (download that ahead of time), and within minutes we had put the final destination in the navigation system using CarPlay with our Apple phone and we were on our way.

While the drive started out nice and easy on I-70 heading west out of Denver, by the time we reached the mountains, things had changed. It was snowing and at times slippery while we were on winding mountain switchbacks. We were elated that we had the safety features and solid new tires on our Q5 rental.

By the time we safely reached our final destination in Keystone, the Audi SUV had gotten a snowy, slushy, workout.

The car performed well on our mountain drive, but let’s talk a little bit about interior space, since the added space is probably the main reason to pick the Silvercar Q5 over the A4. Audi lists the following specs when comparing the two models.

Audi Q5 vs Audi A4 interior space 

Backseat Headroom: 39.3 vs. 37.4

Backseat Legroom: 37.8 vs. 35.7

Backseat Shoulder Room: 56.5 vs. 54.5

Cargo Volume 26.8 with the seats up and 60.4 with seats folded down vs. 13.

As you can see from the numbers above, the Q5 does offer more space in the back for your family or your gear, but this is not a large SUV. It will more comfortably fit a family of four than the A4, but it will still be very tight for a family of five.

Audi Q5 backseat

We did appreciate folding down the back a little and using the space to store our ski gear overnight without having to rent a locker or use a ski valet service.

With the added cargo space, built-in technology features, and solid handling on the mountain drive, we were immensely pleased with the Audi Q5 we rented from Silvercar, especially when factoring in the new customer rental discounts. it wasn’t our cheapest car rental ever, but honestly almost any SUV rental from Denver during the ski season is going to cost a fair amount, so don’t assume Silvercar is pricier without doing some price comparisons.

If you have a Visa Infinite card, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can save 30% on Silvercar rentals of two days or longer using the code VINFINITE. This works on both the A4s and the Q5s, so it can really save you some serious cash. You might as well pay for the rental with your Chase Sapphire Reserve, too, as it has built-in primary car rental coverage.

Head here to learn more about Travel Rewards Credit Cards.

When we have the need for the extra space and features, I can absolutely see my family renting the Silvercar Q5 SUV again in the future. If you have some experience renting the Q5 from Silvercar, I’d love to hear about it!

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. Any news on if Silvercar will ever replace the Virgin America points earnings that went away after the Alaska merger? My wife rents Silvercar a lot and earned tons of Virgin (now Alaska) miles that way. Sad to see it go away.

  2. summer, a couple questions for ya – 1) are there any cities left where Silvercar still offers curb-side pickup? 2) at DEN (for Aug 2018), was quoted $83/day (A4) or $133/day (Q5) before promo codes. are they now using variable pricing? (maybe they always had? but i’d never “run into it” before). the old $59 rate, reduced by the promo codes, plus curb-side was a phenomenal value…i hope it still exists!

    • Michael, yes to variable pricing. As for curbside, that’s a great question and I don’t offhand know the answer, but can try to ask Silvercar. I last got it in Austin. If others have some drop-off/pick-up datapoints to share we could start our own list!

  3. I rented A4 sedan last winter (Jan 17) and drove it from Denver to Breckenridge with wife & a toddler. Renting process of smooth and fast. Car handled the snow & mountain roads well! Q5 would be more spacious – probably go for that next time.

  4. Booked one right now, used your code, so watch for a $25 card sometime at the end of April 🙂 Looks like Vegas don’t have the SUV’s yet, but the A4’s should be fun to drive to Zion.

  5. I always say the most dangerous part about skiing in Colorado is the drive from DEN on I-70. If you can get past that, you’re good to go. 🙂

  6. I was through DEN last week as well. I ended up using Hertz and with Five Star (via Marriott Platium) I was able to select a 2018 GMC Acadia SUV when booking a full size from the five star area. I had considered Silvercar but for a 7 day rental, it wasn’t price competitive. I realize it’s luxury vs mainstream, but there are other SUV options that can be had for cheap.

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