The Audi Q5 first bowed in 2009 filling the role of a performance SUV that combined the feel of a sports sedan with the versatility and flexibility of an SUV in what many would perceive as the “just right-sized” package. It was based on Audi’s A4 platform architecture incorporating Audi’s Modular Longitudinal Build – a kind of kit approach. That first Q5 displayed all-new proportions in a sportier look than most competitors of the era with striking styling dynamics.
The power source at the time came from a 3.2-liter, DOHC, 24-valve V6 engine with FSI Direct Fuel Injection and Audi’s Valvelift System variable intake valve lift. It produced 270 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm, along with 243 pound feet of torque @ 3,000 rpm, and was capable of accelerating from 0-60 mph in 6.7 seconds, delivering power to all four wheels through Audi’s quattro AWD system, via a 6-speed Tiptronic® automatic transmission.
The 2018 Audi Q5 still displays a unique and attractive design and compared to its predecessor, The torque rating is 273 at 1,600 rpm. It is coupled to a seven-speed S-tronic® transmission that moves it from 0 to 60 mph in an impressive 5.9 seconds. Motive energy is still delivered to all four wheels via Audi’s quattro® permanent all-wheel drive system as standard fare, gearing power through a 7-speed S tronic automatic transmission. EPA fuel economy ratings are 23-mpg city, and 27-mpg highway.
The Audi Q5 is available in three levels of trim: the Q5 Premium starting at $41,500; Q5 Premium Plus beginning at $44,500; and the flagship Q5 – the Prestige with a base price of $50,800. My test 2018 Audi Q5 came in Premium Plus trim and the final price totaled $52,700 after factoring in the Premium Plus Package, Navigation Package, 20-inch wheel package, Bang and Olufsen with 3D sound system, Cold weather Package and Destination charge. The exterior wore a Florette Silver metallic finish, while the inter was executed in Black.
In terms of its visual appeal, the Q5 showcases sculptured forms artistically executed, Up front, the expressive headlamps flank the traditional, signature, large single-frame grille, curving into the aluminum hood. In profile, the oversized wheels and rising edge character lines are prominently featured. The roof exhibits a graceful slope, topped by rails, without joint strips for a smoother, more aerodynamic look, underscoring the Q5’s slender, coupe-like persona. In the rear, the aluminum, wrap-around power tailgate borrows styling cues from its larger sibling, the Q7. The Q5’s stance displays an athletic image with its wide track.
COMFORT & CONVENIENCE
The interior of the Q5 reflects the same tasteful elegance and styling as that of the exterior. The cabin accommodates is room for five adults to travel in comfort. The rear split seat backs offer angle adjustment for optimum comfort, as well as folding flat to accommodate varying passenger and load requirements. Audi’s MMI (Multi-media Information system) showcases the latest evolution of 3D navigation, joystick control for navigation map destination finding, updated graphical clarity, SIRIUS artist/title preview, SIRIUS traffic-based navigation, voice-based destination input control, and voice inputs such as “I’m hungry,” “I need money,” “I need gas” and “I need coffee” that will point to closest options within current vicinity.
Audi’s optional Drive Select actually provides four vehicles in one in the Q5. The system controls the adaptive suspension, dynamic steering, transmission shift points, as well as engine response. There are four operational modes within the system: Comfort, Automatic, Dynamic and Individual, which allows for a customized response profile.
The 2018 Audi Q5 2.0T Premium Plus Quattro is outfitted with the latest in top-of-the-line safety equipment as part of its standard inventory. Other technological features and equipment abound in the Q5 as well – things like ABS, ESP, etc.
Acceleration is outstanding and the dynamic steering is truly dynamic, with instantaneous response to driver input. The ride quality is both smooth and comfortable while still being firm enough to transmit road feedback. The handling is indeed sporty and nimble.
The Q5 strikes the perfect chord in terms of size – it is larger than the A4 Avant, but smaller than the Q7. The Panorama sunroof should satisfy the most avid sun worshiper, with its vast open aperture, and the front seats are infinitely adjustable in addition to being heated.
TFLCAR’s TAKE: In the final analysis, the Audi Q5 2.0T is actually more wagon-like than SUV or Crossover-like, though it is equally suited to on or off-road driving scenarios (we’re not talking rock crawling on the Rubicon Trial here, however). The rear lift-gate opening height would benefit from an increase for taller individuals to avoid head bumps. The Q5 is built in Ingolstadt, Germany, alongside the Audi A4 and A5.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2017 Audi Q5 2.0T Quattro S tronic Premium Plus
Base Price: $41,500.
Price as Tested: $52,700.
Engine Type and Size: 2.0liter, DOHC, 16 Valve with Audi Valvelift system, turbocharged TFSI inline 4-cylinder.
Horsepower (bhp): 252 @ 5,000-6,000 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 273 @ 1,600 rpm
Transmission: 7-speed S tronic automatic.
Drive Train: Longitudinally mounted front engine / quattro® permanent all-wheel drive.
Suspension: Front-Five-link independent axle with electronically controlled hydraulic gas-filled shock absorbers and steel springs.
Rear–independent axle with electronically controlled hydraulic gas-filled shock absorbers and steel springs.
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel vented discs with ABS, EBD, and ESP and brake booster.
Tires: Continental CrossContact Cross LX Sport 255/45 R20 101H M&S mounted on 5-Tri-spoke silver painted alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 111.0 inches
Length Overall: 183.6 inches
Width: 84.3 inches-with mirrors
Height: 65.3 inches
Curb Weight: 4,045 lbs.
Turning Circle: 38.4 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 18.5 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 23 mpg city / 27 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.32
0 – 60 mph: 5.9 seconds- Top Track Speed=130 mph electronically limited