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3/4 Front Glamour 2014 Audi Q5

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Expert's Rating

4.6Excellent

MPG 21 City / 28 Highway
, Automotive Editor -

Introduction

Though Audi has its sights set on overtaking BMW and Mercedes-Benz, the German automaker remains a perennial number three. It's gaining more ground, though, with models like the Q5 -- a relatively recent addition to the ever-growing compact luxury crossover segment.

What's New

Since its debut in 2009, the Q5 hasn't seen too many changes, but the 2014 model does introduce some changes under the hood. Audi tweaked the 2-liter four-cylinder engine to deliver an extra nine horsepower, putting it at a total of 220 ponies. The biggest addition for the year is an all-new 3-liter turbo-diesel V6 that delivers high fuel economy and respectable performance numbers.

Interior/Exterior

Audi's strategy for supremacy includes more features at lower prices, and the Q5 is no exception. It comes with standard leather seating, automatic climate control and the concert-quality sound of 10 speakers. Additionally, the Q5 is one of the largest vehicles in the compact crossover class -- it can haul up to 29.1 cubic feet of cargo with the seats in place or 57.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.

Typical Audi styling is elegant, though somewhat sedate. The optional S Line trim adds some much-welcome sportiness.

Under the Hood

The drivetrain is where the Q5 -- like most Audis -- earns serious credibility. The base 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine found in the 2.0T model starts things off with 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Mated to an eight-speed Tiptronic transmission, it nets the Q5 20 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined.

The 3.0 TDI model's 3-liter turbo-diesel V6 churns out 240 horsepower and 428 pound-feet of torque. This engine also makes use of the Tiptronic autobox, and turns in a thrifty 24 mpg city, 31 mpg highway and 27 mpg combined.

The final engine is the supercharged 3-liter V6 in the 3.0T model, which checks in with 272 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. So equipped, the Q5 checks in with 18 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined.

Performance

The Q5's ride is firm, but forgiving, which gives the SUV a great combination of sporty handling and a comfortable ride. Straight-line speed is relatively impressive across the board, as the 2.0T model sprints to 60 mph in 7 seconds, the 3.0T gets there in just 6 seconds and the 3.0 TDI clocks in at 6.5 seconds. Audi limits top speed to 130 mph in all three.

Which Style To Buy?

2014 Audi Q5
Starting price
$34,772

2014 Audi Q5 2.0T Premium

Recommended for: Buyers looking for a lower-cost luxury SUV with light performance credentials.

The Audi Q5 starts off with its 2.0T Premium trim level, and for a base model, it is rather well equipped. This trim comes standard with premium features, like leather interior, a two-zone climate control, power windows and door locks, eight-way power front seats, and a 10-speaker Audi Concert Radio audio system with a CD player and MP3 playback. Under the hood is a 2-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 220 horsepower and 258 foot-pounds of torque. This four-cylinder engine mates to an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive.

2014 Audi Q5
Starting price
$34,772

2014 Audi Q5 3.0 TDI Premium Plus

Recommended for: Buyers looking for good performance and great fuel economy from a luxury SUV.

Moving up the trim level chart, buyers then come to the 3.0 TDI Premium Plus Trim, which adds in some more premium features and a thrifty diesel engine. This trim level gains a panoramic sunroof, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 12-way power driver's seat, aluminum door sill trim, heated front seats, driver seat memory, xenon HID headlights with LED daytime running lights and a power liftgate. Under the hood is a 3-liter V6 diesel engine that produces 240 horsepower and 428 foot-pounds of torque. This engine connects to the same eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission and quattro all-wheel-drive system as the base model.

2014 Audi Q5
Starting price
$34,772

2014 Audi Q5 3.0T Premium Plus

Recommended for: Buyers looking for a high-performance crossover with all the bells and whistles.

The 3.0T Premium Plus steps performance luxury up one more notch with a few more high-end features and a powerful engine. This trim level adds in a set of headlight washers and the Audi S Line trimming package, The most distinguishing part of the 3.0T Premium Plus trim is the addition of the 3-liter TFSI V6 engine that produces 272 horsepower at 4,780 rpm and 295 foot-pounds of torque at 2,150 rpm. This engine combines with an Eight-speed Tiptronic transmission to deliver 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway.

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