I have yet to drive an Audi I didn’t like. And their SUV line, particularly the Q5 with standard Quattro (AWD), is one of their top sellers making it a leader in the luxury SUV segment.
Driving local roads and highways, it seems every Audi Q model I see is a Q5. A gym buddy, a retired teacher, drives one and loves it. He says it’s the best car he’s ever owned.
Q5 is offered in several flavors and packages. There’s the Q5 40, Q5 S Line 45, Q5 S Line 55 w/battery pack, SQ5 w/V6, SQ5 Sportback. And there’s also the eTron all electric SUV.
We were privileged to test the Q5 45 S Line with Prestige Package. The Q5 45 was a looker with its District Green Metallic paint and chrome trim encircling the grille and splashes of it around the lower bumper, pan and windows. Q5s back end follows through with accent chrome strips and racy Ovid-type tailpipe extensions. Its rounded and sleek shape exudes a slippery, aero look.
Q5s interior is equally as sporty and eye-catching with brown wood inlays, perforated leather heated/cooled front seats, a low step-in of 19 inches, a 10.1-inch touchscreen, plus digital instrumentation that’s all awash in brushed aluminum trim. The rear seats are also heated and get this, heated/chilled front cup holders.
Both front and rear seat passengers have ample leg and head room but because of a high transaxle hump, only two adult passengers can be accommodated in the rear seat.
The touchscreen serves several functions including climate control, navigation, rearview camera, audio and driving mode selections that are selected by a separate dash mounted switch. Driving modes offered are Offroad, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual wherein the driver can customize their preferred driving characteristics.
A short stubby gear selector controls the 7-speed S Tronic automatic transmission that is supplemented with paddle shifters that are nice to have when needing to slow the vehicle on downhills instead of riding the brakes.
Over on the vivid gauge cluster, a driver information display between the tach and speedometer provides operating information, features, functions and alerts. All interior materials are stylish and of high quality.
Q5 gets its spunk from one of three powertrains. There’s a 2.0-liter turbo inline-4 with 201-hp and 236 lb/ft of torque for EPA mileage estimates of 23/29 mpg; the tested 2.0-liter, turbocharged inline-4 with 261-hp and 273 lb/ft of torque and EPA’s of 22/29 mpg; 2.0-liter turbo inline-4 plug-in hybrid w/electric motor for 362-hp and 369 lb/ft of torque for 61 MPGe (gas and electric), 26 city (gas) with an electric range of 23 miles; and 3.0-liter turbo V6 producing 349-hp and 369 lb/ft of torque for 19 city, 24-highway mpg.
Our 2.0-liter differs from the base 2.0 in that it’s sport-tuned for added power and torque. It provides spirited performance with a tach that redlines at 6,500 rpm. The 7-speed automatic transmission has quick upshifts that are merely a change in tone resulting in push-you-back-in-the-seat acceleration from a dead stop.
Q5 also has spirited handling when pushed hard. It hugs sharp turns and remains stable throughout. Quattro AWD helps the cause as it unnoticeably sends torque to the front and rear wheels depending on road conditions and offers added traction in snow and wet road conditions.
Shod with Continental 20-inch all-season tires, Q5 has a Euro taut but smooth ride with a suspension that nicely absorbs road imperfections with ease. There’s nothing more you can ask of the Q5 in this department as it excels all-around.
Standard safety features include lane departure warning, Audi side assist blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert and tire pressure monitoring.
The S Line 45 came loaded with a host of power features and functions that carried a base price of $46,000. Add the optional Prestige package ($11,000) that among a myriad of features and functions includes the panoramic camera and park assist, heated steering wheel w/hands-on detection, head-up display, Bang & Olufsen audio, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Wi-Fi hot spot connectivity and an exhaustive list of other important features. Optional too was District Green metallic paint ($595); 20-inch alloy wheels/tires ($800); Audi Guard Protection kit ($315); cargo cover ($285); Audi Beam-Rings ($275), and delivery ($1,195) that took the bottom line to $60,340. A lot of money but a lot of sporty, classy car.
Q5 is also a safe car to drive. To its credit, the Q5 came with top 5-star government safety ratings of five overall safety stars; five stars for driver/passenger frontal crash; five stars for front/rear seat side crash; and four for rollover. All impressive safety ratings.
Warranty wise, Q5 comes with a 12-year limited corrosion protection; 4 year/50k new vehicle coverage; and 4-year roadside assistance.
As the most popular Audi on today’s roadways, the Q5 doubles as a sporty car that excels as an all-encompassing family sedan for all-weather driving enjoyment.