Audi has realized that no matter how good the Q7 is, the gargantuan size just sit well with some buyers, especially in light of recent gas prices. To still satisfy their customers who require a bit more ground clearance than what their Avants offer Audi is releasing the Q5. A five seat SUV that supplies nearly the same amount of passenger room with superior performance, driving dynamics and fuel mileage than its big brother.
We drove the Q5 all over the Spanish seaport town of Valencia to determine just how good it is. Based on the same architecture as the new b8 A4, the Q5 offers surprising on road performance with equally surprising off-road prowess. The interior is typical Audi brilliance, well laid out and built with high quality materials. You feel like a guest in German Engineers living room, especially with the large MMI display at the top of the dash.
Cars equipped with Audi's new Dynamic Ride Select are almost sport sedan responsive. The new system actually changes everything from damping rates to steering response. Not satisfied with simply stiffening up the effort, it actually reduces the steering ratio making for quicker response.
For now, Audi is stating that only the 3.2 gas engine will come to the US market. While it is a great engine with plenty of power for the Q5, we are looking forward to the 3.0TDI. Quiet, smooth, efficient with lots of torque is what the turbo diesel is all about, and was meant for applications like this. For the European market, the Q5 will get Audi's fantastic new 7-speed DSG, the North American market however will only see the standard 6-speed torque converter auto. Most customers will never know the difference and for off-roading and towing, the standard auto is probably a better choice anyway.
The Q5 is expected to go on sale in March and we expect a price under 39 grand. For a full driving impression see European Car Magazine.
Longitudinal front engine all wheel drive
3.2-liter DOHC FSI 24Valve V6
6-speed Torque converter equipped automatic
Curb weight: 3836lbs