The German automakers are great at what they do, and Audi has some very good models in the SUV segment that warrant your attention. You will pay a premium, at least $41,400, but you get what you pay for. The Audi Q5 sits in the middle of the SUV lineup and will cater for every need you could possibly have. Power is good with a 252 hp turbocharged four cylinder and the Audi Virtual Cockpit is one of the best, but will buyers agree on the premium pricing?
The bigger German manufacturers are usually found to be a market leader in many different sales categories, having a good product is obviously one of the main contributing factors to this, but another one is that of choice. With Audi, anyone who wants an SUV bearing the four interlinked Audi rings can choose between four different models ranging from compact to monstrous. Out of the Audi Q-range, the most practical one looks to be the Q5, which as Audi tells us, is created for any landscape. Premium comfort and appointments, style and an all-wheel drive drivetrain are reasons to take a closer look at an Audi Q5.
Exterior looks on the Audi Q5 are clearly upmarket; it’s when you step inside that this sentiment is driven home. You’re greeted with a typically German layout comprised of the best materials available for today’s modern car. There’s ample space for five adults who will sit in comfortable seats, which have been redesigned from the ground up. Seats are lighter and sturdier than before with more focus on lumbar support so long drives aren’t terrible, and the materials and trimmings are premium no matter the trim level chosen. With the various materials and trims on option, owners can customize many things to create a unique interior; there are even a few lighting options available. For those with a few more Dollars at their disposal, there’s the option of an S-Line sport package that sees the interior finished in either black or rotor gray with Nappa/Alcantara used on the seats and panels. This option includes exterior changes too.
While the new Audi Q5 has just undergone its first proper makeover since inception, it offers up a familiar drive. There are some tweaks to the suspension with lighter materials, but it’s still much the same and the way it’s bolted together gives the Q5 the feeling of driving a sedan with things being nice and taut. The S-Line option sees things stiffen a little more thanks to a slightly different suspension setup coupled with larger wheels. While it ticks all the right boxes, the electronic steering seems a little over-engineered and so while it’s precise, there’s not much feedback. Do you really want feedback in an SUV though? Audi also say the Q5 has off-road capabilities, and it does to some degree. It’s not quite the tool you’d use for tackling a trail, but it’s more than capable enough to get you over a few obstacles on your weekend away in the wilderness. If things get sticky the drivetrain can be set to all-wheel drive to power through the problem.
Audi has load of engine and drivetrain options at its disposal, but for the American market things are quite restricted. As you’d expect, all the diesel lumps have fallen away and so all that’s left is the 252 horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder. It’s not going to win any races, but that’s not the point of an Audi Q5. The engine produces 273 lb-ft of torque, which is enough to effortlessly move the decently sized body around though, and while doing so fuel consumption is claimed (EPA) to use 25 mpg on the combined cycle with 23 mpg for the city and 27 mph for the highway. The Audi Q5 employs all-wheel drive when the on-board tech deems it necessary, but otherwise power runs to the front wheels using a 7-speed auto transmission.
The new Audi Q5 has an extensive equipment list, the usual features are in play, but a few deserve special mention, like the optional Audi virtual cockpit presented on a high-resolution 12.3-inch screen. Info displays can also be extended onto the windshield via the (optional) heads up display. The MMI system has many features, is intuitive to use and the top system features navigation and touch on an 8.3-inch display. There’s a touchpad integrated into the rotary/push-button control that recognizes handwritten entries as well as gestures as found on smart phones with haptic feedback. Most functions can also be control via the multifunction steering wheel.
Safety systems include rear cross traffic assist, collision avoidance assist and turn assist. Audi pre-sense city is a standard feature, which warns the driver about pedestrians and vehicles, as well as initiating automatic emergency braking within the system limits.
While the Audi Q5 is a really good offering, it’s not really any better or any worse than what other manufacturers have on offer. It’s a similar size with similar performance, and option dependent, similar pricing. The new Audi Q5 starts off with an MSRP of $41,400 and closes in on $60,000 when you kit it out. No matter what spec you decide on, you’re not really going to go wrong with any new Audi these days.