Positioned below Audi's three-row Q7, the compact Q5 crossover has space for five passengers in a stylish and well-appointed interior. For the latest model year, Audi updated the Q5 with fresh styling and a new supercharged V6. A hybrid model is newly available, and a diesel variant is on the way.
Exterior revisions for the latest model year include a new grille with pronounced vertical slats, redesigned front air intakes and revised headlights with a new pattern for their LED running lights. Around back, the Q5 sports sports new-look LED taillights and an updated diffuser.
The Q5 continues to share a basic platform with the A4 sedan and A5 coupe/convertible. Like those models, it features relatively sporty handling along with a comfortable ride, though the platform's driving dynamics are dulled somewhat by the Q5's higher height and larger size. On the other hand, the Q5 does provide an elevated view of the road ahead along with plenty of cargo space: 29.1 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 57.3 with them folded.
Despite being a car-based crossover, Audi says the Q5 still acquits itself well off-road. Its climbing capability of 31 degrees of incline is respectable, while its overhang angle is 25 degrees thanks to a short front overhang. The ramp breakover angle, determined by the wheelbase, is 17.5 degrees. Ground clearance is a healthy 7.87 inches, with a fording depth of up to 19.69 inches when driving through water. Despite all that, the Q5 should not be mistaken as a hard-core off-road vehicle.
The Q5's cabin is tastefully trimmed in high-quality materials and can be outfitted with the most recent version of Audi's MMI infotainment system. The latest model year brings Audi Connect, an optional feature that brings in-car internet connectivity and industry-first Google Earth integration - complete with panoramic views and high-resolution 3D satellite and aerial imagery.
The Q5 can be had with two powertrains, each of which shift through an eight-speed automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels via Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system.
The entry-level engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 211 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Shifting duties are handled by an eight-speed automatic transmission, and the pair is good for an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.
Those looking for a bit more power can spec a 3.0-liter supercharged V6, which replaces the old 3.2-liter unit and produces 272 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Like the four-cylinder, its dancing partner is an eight-speed auto. Fuel economy is rated at 18/26 mpg.
For the latest model year, electromechanical steering is standard in all Q5s to reduce fuel consumption.
Trim Level Breakdown
Audi asks Q5 buyers to choose between four separate trim levels.
The 2.0T Premium features the turbo four in addition to leather upholstery, tri-zone automatic climate control, an AM/FM/CD/SiriusXM sound system with an AUX inout jack, automatic wipers and headlights, a driver information system and 18-inch wheels.
The 2.0T Premium Plus adds a panoramic sunroof with two glass panels that run nearly the full length of the roof, a power tailgate, heated from seats, Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights and full iPod integration.
The 3.0T Premium Plus brings the six-cylinder motor in addition to a sporty S-Line bodykit, a proximity key, 19-inch wheels and headlight washers.
Finally, the 3.0T Prestige boasts a navigation system with voice control, a 14-speaker, 505-watt Bang & Olufsen Sound System, a rearview camera, adaptive headlights, Audi side assist and rear-door sunshades.
Highlights from the options list include the Comfort package, which includes heated and ventilated front seats and Milano leather, the Sport Interior Package, featuring front sport seats and a 3-spoke sport steering wheel, and the Driver Assist package, which lets the driver tailor steering effort, throttle response and transmission shift style to his or her preferences. This package also includes adaptive cruise control.
Standard safety features include dual front, front side and full-length side curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems and a tire-pressure monitoring system.
Also available as extra-cost items are rear side airbags and side assist, which warns the driver of vehicles in the Q5's blind spots.'
Vying to steal the hearts and wallets of premium crossover buyers away from the Q5 are the Cadillac SRX, the Lexus RX350 and the Acura RDX.