versus about $1400 for the Tirerack special with Blizzaks. I agree with laakness - going aftermarket is the way to go for winter wheels because they are going to be abused anyways. the most important thing is to choose good rubber.
Rims are rims; but tires are not tires. There are HUGE differences in winter capability. Depending on where you live, the choices can be different. Some people live where ice is the problem; that's one kind of winter tire. But that tire is typically not the greatest in the snow. So, choose accordingly and carefully. It's all about tread pattern siping, and rubber compound.
Whole post seems to go down path that OEM must equal dealer new. Not so
I always use OE on my Audi wheels, and never buy new. I gave up on the old steel aftermarket after the 1997 Town & Country AWD with the growth of the internet marketplace. This summer/fall, I got as new Audi OE 20" wheels for the Q5 with Dunlop 3D's (performance winters) someone walked away from--never run and Euro factory mounted--for $1900, and takeoff 20" summers with a few thousand miles for $1400. The baseline 19's mine had will be moving on.
I have found if you are willing to spend about a month or two and watch eBay, CraigsList, Audizine's classifieds and a few others, you can usually come up with nice OE wheels. If you can find Q5 fitments, the tire sizing is right of course too. When I net out tires and balancing from what I buy, I continue to spend $100-125 per wheel (!) effectively, and no more than $150. Why pay dealers or for that matter even TireRack for aftermarket whatever, when I can get that. Same strategy on my D3 A8 and on my 13 year old A6 4.2, and some of those wheels are pretty rare Audi forged varieties. Key to this tends to be finding wheels with tires you want; bare wheels price out more $ and then you don't get the big tire discount and no mounting charge a mounted set will essentially build in.
As before, 19" Q5 OE wheels used are not hard to find. 18's just sit like proverbial dogs on the market. No one on the board seems to want to try it, but my belief remains even 18's will fit on the SQ5. 20's are hardest to find and relatively the most per wheel, but they are out there at decent prices (compared to dealer new) too. Admittedly, as-mounted winters will be a rare fluke there (if even desired), but never say never.
Last, several posts mentioned basically winter wheels don't matter appearance wise, take a beating, etc. But as someone noted w/ the tires, there are different scenarios here. Thus for me, I live in sunny, mild coastal CA, but drive up 7000 feet into the Sierras and one of the highest snowfall areas of the country to a second home. A/S's there are dumb in my estimation (and many a crashed SUV, pickup and AWD sighting experience), but 90%+ of the miles run on the tires are still dry highway and not practical to switch wheels over and over. Thus, in stereotype car crazy CA (and I'm not even anywhere near LA), why not look nice year around?
Agreed, if you have the time to hunt/wait for the right OE wheels they are definitely out there. Every time I've purchased a car it seems to have been late fall or in the winter so time was never on my side.
I've had 4 different wheels from different manf. (but all ordered from tire rack). Blizzaks on them each time. Never had an issue but I did research who made them and what type of cast they were, etc.
Mine - 2014 S4 Premium Plus S-Tronic | Estoril Blue | Black Nappa | B&O | Nav | 19" Wheels | Side Assist | AWE Res.
Wife - 2014 SQ5 Premium Plus | Phantom Black | Black Nappa | B&O | Nav | 21" Wheels | Side Assist
Previous - 2013 S4 Prestige | 6MT
Previous - 2009 A4 | 3.2 V6 Prestige | Ibis White
I just dropped $1400 on my winter setup (18" Peeler reps with Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 SUV tires). If i'm spending anything over $3g's for wheels they'll be for some nice summer ones. The salt can have fun eating away at my cheap winter wheels, but to each their own. I'm just not baller enough to drop that much loot on winter wheels that'll eventually get messed up from the salt.
If you regularly wash your wheels in the winter, you'll appreciate a simple, smooth, 5-spoke design like the PR-C2T?? (the optional 19" wheel for the 2012 Q5?). It seems I spend as much time on the wheels as the rest of the car. I'll get some titanium peelers for the summer - more surfaces to clean but at least they're the colour of brake dust.
Seems expensive. I just looked up what my wife spent on her winter setup. $2550 from the dealer for a set of AMG wheels (identical to her existing wheels) and a set of acceptable Pirelli winter tires. The wheels were no-mile takeoffs in perfect condition - I know because I waxed both sides prior to install. That balanced, mounted package price was cheaper than just buying the rims.