2009 Audi Q5

Base AWD 4-Dr Sport Utility V6

Base AWD 4-Dr Sport Utility V6

2009 audi q5 Reviews and News

0904 02 Pl+2009 Audi Q5 2009 Mercedes Benz GLK350+2009 Volvo XC60 T6
0904 02 Z+2009 Audi Q5 2009 Mercedes Benz GLK350+2009 Volvo XC60 T6
You don't need to be a dyed-in-the-wool granola eater donning a hand-knitted sweater, burlap trousers, and Birkenstock sandals to qualify as a professional SUV hater. After all, the dreaded two-plus-tonners guzzle gasoline, and more and more people feel that they threaten our loved ones with their potentially lethal mix of high mass and low maneuverability. That's why the automotive world is - at least in so-called civilized countries - giving the antiquated body-on-frame off-roader a collective thumbs-down. But in a closely related and thus mildly schizophrenic move, the crossover population is mushrooming.
0904 05 Z+2009 Audi Q5 32FSI+front Three Quarter View
Most crossovers look as if they could drive up the north face of Mount Washington with the gear selector stuck in D, yet they often struggle for traction on muddy farm tracks because of their Nürburgring-biased tires. Perhaps nothing but a giant marketing ploy, soft-roaders combine Indiana Jones appearances with city-slicker undercarriages borrowed from related sedans and wagons. Although it's hard to predict how long the zeitgeist will tolerate these worst-of-both-worlds half-breeds, we wasted no time checking out the latest high-roof premium-brand entries. Predictably, the trio of small crossovers we tested from Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo is much more environmentally friendly and less dysfunctional than full-size SUVs. While fuel economy almost matches identically equipped versions of the sedans upon which these vehicles are based, handling and roadholding are surprisingly unfazed by the higher centers of gravity and added belly fat. Welcome to the strange world of all-providing, genetically engineered automobiles.
0904 17 Z+2009 Volvo XC60 T6+rear Three Quarter View
Four-wheel drive should be taken for granted in these pricey high-tech circles, but Mercedes offers a rear-wheel-drive, price-leader version of the GLK for $34,775. Our particular vehicles, however, each feature four driven wheels. Although in most cases a set of decent winter tires would do just fine, only four-wheel drive offers the confidence, control, convenience, and traction that these vehicles are all about. We understand why crossovers are so popular in Bavaria and Colorado. But what is the attraction when you live in London, Redondo Beach, or Abu Dhabi, where lack of traction is rarely an issue? Frequently asked question, disarming answer: the overriding appeal of our three musketeers is, of course, the mix of easy entry and exit, a commanding driving position, and relative invulnerability. You sit above the madding crowd, are surrounded by a few extra square inches of sheetmetal, and can see things earlier and more clearly. It's not just a girlie thing. It's a tangible asset and on aggregate almost certainly the main buying motive.
0904 14 Z+2009 Volvo XC60 T6+front Three Quarter View
We could have included the X3 in this shoot-out, but the aging BMW would have placed last. It's still a hoot to drive, yet its ride is unacceptably crash-bang hard, its cabin is sadly outmoded, and its compromised packaging is a good reason why buyers should wait for the replacement that is due next year. That's why this comparison concentrates on three brand-new and emphatically modern contenders. In the left corner, the Audi Q5 - pretty, practical, sporty, innovative, and powerful. In the right corner, the Mercedes-Benz GLK350 - more comfort-oriented, more relaxed, competent even off the beaten path, but styled inside and out with chisel and ax. Between the two German vehicles poses the Volvo XC60 - contemporary, clever, tastefully appointed, Scandinavian in style and character, and emphatically dynamic thanks to its distinct turbo urge.
In terms of styling, the three rivals radiate a mixed bag of charm and appeal. The GLK was allegedly conceived in an intimate fusion between design and marketing, but somehow the outcome looks more like an optical short circuit. The Audi is an Audi is an Audi, another newcomer from Ingolstadt adorned by the trademark single-frame grille that could do with some kind of evolution, pronto. The Q5, then, is our runner-up in the curb-appeal sweepstakes. The Volvo may be a flashy fashion item on wheels, but here today, the solid, light gray XC60 test car with the duotone two-piece aluminum wheels is our favorite centerfold.
0904 13 Z+2009 Volvo XC60 T6+headlights
If economy and ecology were our prime deciders, we would have picked the diesel models - which unfortunately won't go on sale in the United States anytime soon, if ever. This leaves us with a trio of gasoline-fed six-cylinder powerplants that provide enough grunt for energetic back-road passing maneuvers, legs long enough for relaxed highway cruising, and sufficiently docile manners for brisk intra-city commuting work. In terms of power output and torque delivery, there isn't much difference among these three units. Nominally least potent is the 3.2-liter direct-injection Audi V-6, which develops 270 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque. Next in the hierarchy is the Mercedes GLK350's 3.5-liter V-6, which is rated at 268 hp and 258 lb-ft. The Grunt & Oomph trophy goes to the 3.0-liter turbocharged in-line six of the Volvo XC60, which is good for 281 hp and 295 lb-ft. The machine from Sweden is also the heaviest drinker in this group. In our hands, it averaged an OPEC-supporting 15 mpg, thereby trailing the Benz (16 mpg) and the Audi (17 mpg). The Q5 can carry 19.8 gallons of fuel - that's 1.3 gallons more than the XC60 and a 2.4-gallon advantage over the GLK.
0904 09 Z+2009 Mercedes Benz GLK350+front Three Quarter View
Subjectively, the Volvo feels the quickest, the fastest, and the most responsive. According to their manufacturers, however, the Merc wins the 0-to-60-mph sprint in 6.5 seconds, the Q5 comes second in 6.7 seconds, and the XC60 finishes third in 7.1 seconds. Nonetheless, inside your head, it's the Swede that leads the pack. It simply whips up more momentum as the revs build, and the impressive avalanche effect generated by the zero-lag turbocharger peaks at a commendably low 1500 rpm. The Volvo straight six spins to its redline like a turbine on steroids, but its six-speed autobox is over-eager and not quite smooth enough. All three vehicles can cruise easily at triple-digit speeds, although they'll each be limited to 130 mph in U.S. specification.
With every new generation of vehicles, automotive engineers seem to unearth a little more grip and traction as well as an extra dose of power and torque. In addition, they try to give us more space, added versatility, improved ergonomics, and new driver-assistance systems. But what the R&D departments often stubbornly ignore is progress in terms of ride quality and suspension comfort. Despite innovations like air springs, adjustable dampers, and pneumatic massage seats, many vehicles' chassis setups vary between firm and overly firm. This trend is evident in our three crossovers. In their ambition to make their vehicles outhandle and outcorner each other, vehicle line executives are resorting to spring and damper calibrations that are aggressive enough to rearrange your discs in the wake of one deep pothole or a single tall transverse ridge. Other contributing elements are low-profile tires that look great but tend to crush every bit of compliance they can find.
0904 07 Z+2009 Audi Q5 32FSI+rear Three Quarter View
Even with the optional Drive Select set to comfort mode, the Audi, with its nineteen-inch Goodyear Eagle all-season tires, felt too stiff. Our Volvo was equipped with fat, nineteen-inch Pirelli Scorpion winter tires that gave it a tendency to tramline, but we've had more favorable ride-quality impressions in other XC60s shod with conventional rubber. Still, although the XC60 is in its element on supersmooth blacktop, on undulating tarmac it can develop too much yaw, pitch, and roll. The fail-safe handling is put into perspective by excessive early understeer, the inherently light steering stiffens during brisk changes of direction, and the chassis feels brittle on broken surfaces while providing too much seesaw motion over bigger obstacles.
Shod with modest seventeen-inch Pirelli winter rubber, our Mercedes test car turned out to be the smoothest riding and most relaxed soft-roader in this class. U.S.-spec GLK350s are offered only with standard nineteen-inch or optional twenty-inch wheels, but our stateside drives with the largest wheels also demonstrated good ride quality. Calm, composed, and almost cossetting, the GLK350 also deserves praise for its impeccable directional stability. It does not beg to be pushed, but when you do crack the whip, the Benz doesn't take long to enjoy life at the limit of adhesion. Having said that, the meaty steering is a tad on the heavy side, the brakes need a good stab to deliver, and the V-6 wants to be revved before it will show off. The Audi sports the best brakes, as far as effort and modularity are concerned.
0904 12 Z+2009 Mercedes Benz GLK350+rear Three Quarter View
The GLK is let down by its Tonka toy exterior and its somewhat uninviting interior, with a mix of angular shapes and surfaces plus a dashboard and door panels that are clad with humdrum materials. Despite the latest-generation Comand system, which works very well, the cockpit layout looks strangely old-fashioned - with the notable exception of the easy-to-reach window switches and the power seat adjusters. The Audi's cabin, naturally, is extremely well made and, in the case of our test car, was also very well equipped. Audi's new, second-generation MMI control system makes its U.S. debut in the Q5, and it's a significant improvement over a system that already far surpassed BMW's iDrive. There are still too many switches grouped around the MMI knob, but a new joystick controller and 3-D maps that show the outlines of buildings more than compensate. The Volvo XC60, conversely, is handicapped by a navigation system that's hard to read, hard to operate, and a potential deal-breaker. But the cabin layout, the seats, and the main instrument panel are first-rate. It's too bad that the active cruise control, lane-departure warning, and driver-alert monitor are linked to a nerve-racking army of warning lights and chimes.
Although the GLK is a highly capable, all-weather vehicle, its design polarizes, which is almost never a good thing, its presentation is ho-hum by Mercedes standards, and dynamically it is in almost every respect bettered by the Audi. It also has the smallest cargo compartment (23.3 cubic feet versus 30.8 for the XC60 and even more for the Q5) and the tightest back seats. The XC60 beats the Benz only by a head, but when it comes to form, fashion, and flair, the Swedish model is, in fact, our undisputed favorite. On the debit side, the large turning circle diminishes maneuverability, and the complicated ergonomics need updating.
The gold medal thus goes to the Q5 - but we have seen grander victories and more compelling winners. While engine, handling, roadholding, and build quality are hard to fault, the U.S. version lacks Audi's superb S tronic seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. All three of these vehicles are offered in Europe with smaller, more fuel-efficient engines that surely would broaden their appeal in the U.S. market. American product planners hint that plans are under way to bring them here. As far as we're concerned, they can't come soon enough.
Techtonics: Compact Crossovers
Don Sherman
Three ways to do the twist. Each of these compact crossovers employs a six-cylinder engine to power all four wheels in a slightly different manner.
0904 26 Z+audi 90 Degree V6 Format+engine
Audi and Mercedes-Benz agree on the 90-degree V-6 format with variable intake and exhaust valve timing. The two German engines achieve about the same peak power (270 hp for Audi, 268 hp for Mercedes), with the larger Mercedes engine generating a bit more torque. To manipulate airflow into the combustion chambers, Audi uses variable valve lift while Mercedes favors adjustable port flaps. Volvo lines its cylinders in a row and positions the engine transversely in the XC60's chassis. A twin-scroll turbo boosts the 3.0-liter six to 281 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque to trump the Germans' output.
0904 27 Z+all Wheel Drive+system
The Audi Quattro and the Mercedes 4Matic all-wheel-drive systems both employ a rear-biased torque split (40/60 front/rear in the Audi, 45/55 in the Benz). The Q5's Torsen limited-slip center differential is capable of routing a maximum of 65 percent of the available torque to the front wheels but no more than 85 percent to the rear wheels. Mercedes uses a multiplate clutch in the center differential to keep one axle driving when the other loses its footing. In the Volvo XC60, drive to the front wheels is direct. A Haldex coupling adds rear propulsion in response to commands from a control computer. All three crossovers use momentary brake applications to curb wheel spin.
A Crowded Pool
Our featured trio of all-new European luxury crossovers joins an already-packed segment of strong players from around the globe. But in 2008, the models below accounted for less than 1.5 percent of new-car sales in the U.S.
0904 18 Z+acura RDX+front Three Quarter View
Acura RDX
Base price: $34,655
2.3L turbocharged I-4, 240 hp, 260 lb-ft
5-speed automatic
Acura's (and Honda's) first gasoline turbocharged engine provides the performance of a six-cylinder, and the SH-AWD system makes it very capable in the turns.
Base price: $40,525
3.0 I-6, 260 hp, 225 lb-ft
6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic
BMW invented a new niche with the X3, but it's getting long in the tooth. Ride quality in particular compares poorly with that of its rivals.
Cadillac SRX
Base price: $40,000 (est.)
3.0L V-6, 260 hp, 214 lb-ft (est.); 2.8L turbo V-6, 300 hp, 295 lb-ft (est.)
6-speed automatic
Set to go on sale this summer, the redesigned SRX trims down and gets a pair of small, powerful V-6s to compete squarely against the strong-selling Lexus RX and BMW X3.
Infiniti EX35
Base price: $36,315
3.5L V-6, 297 hp, 253 lb-ft
5-speed automatic
The Infiniti is smaller than the others and it shows, both in its excellent driving dynamics and its somewhat limited utility.
Land Rover LR2
Base price: $36,150
3.2L I-6, 230 hp, 234 lb-ft
6-speed automatic
Cute and reasonably sporty, the LR2 keeps with Land Rover tradition and offers a bit more off-road ability than its competitors.
Lexus RX350
Base price: $39,000 (est.)
3.5L V-6, 275 hp, 256 lb-ft
6-speed automatic
The longtime segment leader has been redesigned to offer even more refinement, comfort, and power.
Lincoln MKX
Base price: $34,717
3.5L V-6, 265 hp, 250 lb-ft
6-speed automatic
Lincoln's entry is heavy on tech features, but it still comes off as a fancified Ford Edge.
0904 01 Z+2009 Audi Q5 2009 Mercedes Benz GLK350+2009 Volvo XC60 T6
  2009 Volvo XC60 T6 2009 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 2009 Audi Q5 3.2FSI
base price $38,025 $36,775 $38,000 (est.)
engine Turbocharged DOHC 24-valve I-6 DOHC 24-valve V-6 DOHC 24-valve V-6
displacement 3.0 liters (180 cu in) 3.5 liters (214 cu in) 3.2 liters (195 cu in)
horsepower 281 hp @ 5600 rpm 268 hp @ 6000 rpm 270 hp @ 6500 rpm
torque 295 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm 258 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm 243 lb-ft @ 3000 rpm
transmission type 6-speed automatic 7-speed automatic 6-speed automatic
drive 4-wheel 4-wheel 4-wheel
steering Power-assisted rack-and-pinion Power-assisted rack-and-pinion Power-assisted rack-and-pinion
suspension FRONT Strut-type,
coil springs
coil springs
coil springs
suspension BACK Multilink, coil springs Multilink, coil springs Multilink, coil springs
brakes Vented discs, ABS Vented discs, ABS Vented discs, ABS
L x W x H 182.2 x 74.4 x 67.4 in 178.3 x 72.4 x 66.9 in 182.2 x 74.8 x 65.2 in
wheelbase 109.2 in 108.5 in 110.6 in
track f/r 64.3/62.4 in 61.7/62.5 in 63.7/63.5 in
weight 4174 lb (per manufacturer) 4034 lb (per manufacturer) 3957 lb (per manufacturer)
epa fuel mileage 15/22 mpg 17/23 mpg (est.) 18/23 mpg (est.)
0807 05 Pl+2009 Audi Q5+front Three Quarter View
0807 05 Z+2009 Audi Q5+front Three Quarter View
Automobile Magazine has just driven the all-new, 2009 Audi Q5, a vehicle that made its world debut this past April at the Beijing auto show and which is Audi's answer to the BMW X3. The Q5 is the latest luxury entry in the small crossover SUV market segment that has grown rapidly in recent years and which is expected to continue expanding as more and more Americans ditch their full-size SUVs for smaller crossovers that drive better, achieve better fuel economy, and yet retain many of the utility and all-weather features of traditional SUVs. While vehicles as myriad as the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, Saturn Vue, and Hyundai Santa Fe serve the mainstream part of this market segment, the 2009 Audi Q5 joins the likes of the BMW X3, the Acura RDX, and the Land Rover LR2 in serving the luxury slice of the small-crossover segment. When it goes on sale here in February or March of 2009, it will also be joined by the all-new Mercedes-Benz GLK and the all-new Volvo XC60. Like those vehicles, the Q5 attempts to let its drivers have it all: attractive, modern styling; a powerful but efficient drivetrain; a luxurious, versatile interior; a full complement of safety equipment; and a sporty driving experience. Now that we've driven the U.S.-spec version of the 2009 Q5 in Valencia, Spain, let's see how successful Audi was in meeting those goals.
Not just another pretty face.
0807 01 Z+2009 Audi Q5+front View
To our eyes, the Q5 is a very handsome, even pretty, vehicle, with good proportions and exquisite detailing in items like the LED headlights and taillamps. Audi's modern, so-called shield grille dominates the front-end styling, and it makes for a very attractive face. In America, the Q5 will be offered exclusively with a full chrome treatment for the grille, whereas in other markets it is available in glossy black and matte gray guise as well. The European market also is offered an off-road styling package with polished front scuff plates, but at launch, Audi of America will not offer that here. Eighteen-, nineteen-, and twenty-inch wheels will be offered, and all of them are attractive, save for a twenty-inch chrome wheel (twenty-inch aluminum are also available).
In Spain, where Audi enjoys a higher luxury-brand awareness and regard than BMW and Mercedes-Benz (so claims Audi) and where Audi A3s and A4s are a very common site, people on the streets of Valencia took favorable notice of the Q5. We expect that Americans will like it, as well.
Step in, sit down, enjoy.
0807 10 Z+2009 Audi Q5+cockpit
Anyone who has sat inside the 2009 Audi Q5's big brother, the Q7, or for that matter in the new, 2009 Audi A4 or Audi's flagship, the R8 supercoupe, will instantly recognize the Q5's interior design theme, instrument panel, and controls. As in all contemporary Audi models, the Q5's interior is beautifully rendered in quality plastics, supple leather, and precisely engineered controls. It's a very pleasant place to be.
For the U.S. market, many features will of course be standard, such as power seats, windows, and locks; leather upholstery, a ten-speaker stereo, 60/40-split rear seats that recline and also slide fore and aft by four inches; and a new-and-improved version of Audi's MMI, or Multi-Media Interface, system that controls climate, radio, and navigation functions through a central knob and a display screen.
0807 03 Z+2009 Audi Q5+rear Three Quarter View
Audi of America plans two major options packages plus a number of stand-alone options.
The first options package will include bi-xenon headlights and a power-operated tailgate, among other items. (Cornering headlights will not be offered.)
The second options package will offer keyless start, a blind-spot detection system, nineteen-inch wheels, and a 14-speaker, 504-watt, Bang & Olufsen stereo system.

Among the stand-alone options are:
  • An all-new navigation system, bundled with a rearview camera, that is likely to cost about $2400;
  • A panoramic sunroof, which Audi claims is the biggest in the segment;
  • The aforementioned Bang & Olufsen stereo, which will probably cost about $1000;
  • An S Line exterior appearance package, which includes twenty-inch wheels;
  • The aforementioned twenty-inch chrome wheels;
  • Adaptive cruise control;
  • Audi Drive Select, which allows the driver to choose among three levels of tuning for three dynamic parameters: powertrain, suspension, and steering. This option is likely to cost close to $3000; more details on it are below.
Get lost? Not with Audi's new, advanced, 3D navigation system.
0807 11 Z+2009 Audi Q5+navigation Display
The screen display for the optional navigation system is among the best we've seen. It provides three-dimensional-style images of buildings and topography that's similar to what you see on Google Earth. Audi of America has not yet confirmed, but we expect they will offer a traffic-reporting function as well; the Euro-spec vehicles we drove in Spain had the feature.
The MMI interface itself is pretty much the same as it currently is in other Audis, which is to say largely quite intuitive and easy to use, at least when compared with BMW's iDrive. As with all such systems, there's a learning curve, although we expect most owners will master what they need fairly quickly. With one new feature, if you have the MMI screen set to display the navigation map and you then change the settings for climate control, the stereo, or the seat heaters, a small inset box will pop up on the left or right side of the nav screen temporarily. In previous iterations of MMI, these temporary indicators would take up the entire nav screen. It's a small but welcome detail.
The navigation system ditches DVD storage drives in favor of a 40-gigabyte, hard-drive storage system that can accommodate more detailed maps of the entire continental United States than we have seen in the past, plus many more POIs (points of interest, such as restaurants). The system also allows you to set aside several gigabytes of storage space for up to 2000 tracks of MP3 music. Naturally, full iPod connectivity is available, wherein you can use the MMI controller to access play lists.
Standard V-6 power and Quattro all-wheel drive. But how about that turbo four-cylinder, Audi?
0807 04 Z+2009 Audi Q5+rear Three Quarter View
In a decision that clearly was made well before gasoline crested $4 per gallon, the U.S.-market will be offered exclusively with Audi's 3.2-liter, direct-injection V-6, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission - there's no four-cylinder model. Since the 2009 Audi Q5 does not go on sale until next winter, Audi is months away from receiving official EPA fuel economy ratings, but Audi of America product planning head Filip Brabec says that their preliminary expectations are 17 mpg city, 24 highway for the V-6.
In Spain, we drove a Q5 equipped with the V-6 and Audi's upcoming S Tronic seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, which performed brilliantly, with sharp off-the-line throttle response and crisp, rev-matching upshifts. Unfortunately, the S Tronic will not be offered in the U.S.-market Q5, at least initially, but our past experience with Audi's six-speed Tiptronic automatic, the sole U.S. Q5 transmission, has been largely favorable. In any case, with 270 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque, the V-6 offers plenty of performance for the Q5; Audi claims a 0-to-62-mph time of 6.8 seconds. The top speed will be limited to 130 mph due to tire specifications.
0807 02 Z+2009 Audi Q5+profile View
We also had the opportunity to drive a Q5 fitted with Audi's superb 2.0 TFSI turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which is newly available in the 2009 Audi A4 but which at this juncture Audi of America will not offer in the Q5. With 211 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, it takes the Q5 to 62 mph in 7.2 seconds, according to Audi, and it suffers little in driving performance when compared with the V-6. It's clear when speaking to Audi officials that they wish this engine would be available from the get-go when the Q5 goes on sale in the United States in February or March 2009, but it won't be. However, Audi of America's Brabec allows that any engine that already is engineered for the A4 chassis (which underpins the Q5) could fairly easily be homologated for U.S. duty. Our prediction: the 2.0 TFSI will be brought to the United States just as soon as Audi of America can make a business case to its parent, Audi AG.
0807 08 Z+2009 Audi Q5+rear Passenger Seats
Naturally, Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system is standard, and here it offers a 40:60 front:rear torque split. Although the Q5 is clearly not intended to be a rock-crawling off-roader, Audi maintains that it has the capability to tackle most off-pavement tasks that owners will throw at it. Ground clearance is 7.9 inches, the approach and departure angles are both 25.0 inches, and the Q5, Audi claims, can climb hills with up to 31 degrees of incline. Hill-descent control is standard.
Take control: Dial in your preferences for the chassis, the steering, and the powertrain response.
0807 06 Z+2009 Audi Q5+front Three Quarter View
Audi Drive Select, a stand-alone option that will cost close to $3000 when the Q5 arrives in America, allows the driver to choose among three settings - comfort, normal, or sport - for throttle response, power assistance for the steering, and shift points for the transmission. The driver can mix and match his or her choices for each parameter or create a custom program.
The Drive Select system can be augmented with electronically adjustable suspension dampers and with Dynamic Steering. Audi's version of BMW's Active Steering, it varies the steering ratio and power assistance continuously. In concert with Drive Select, we found that it made a substantial difference in the Q5's steering feel, giving it very fast response with minimal lock-to-lock, especially at low speeds.
The Q5 puts the "sport" back into "sport-utility."
0807 07 Z+2009 Audi Q5+front Three Quarter View
The Q5 is based on the same platform as the new Audi A4, so it's perhaps no surprise that this new crossover drives more like a sport sedan than an SUV. In that vein, it's a lot like the new Infiniti FX50 and the BMW X6: SUVs with a whole new level of driving prowess.
From the first turn of the steering wheel on our test car, we noticed the faster, firmer-feeling steering, a welcome change from what you find in many Audis. This was thanks to the Audi Driver Select program, and although that option is rather expensive, we'd want it in our Q5.
Body control and grip are superb, but not at the expense of ride quality over rough pavement (and we did find some rough pavement around Valencia, surfaces that were every bit as bad as what we have back home in southeast Michigan). On smooth pavement, the Q5 rides very well, if firmly, without undue harshness. We were very comfortable riding in both the front passenger's seat and the driver's seat.
The Q5's V-6 sounds great as you rev it to the limit in each gear. It offers plenty of torque, and great throttle response off the line. As noted above, it's a shame that we won't get Audi's new S Tronic 7-speed transmission for the Q5, but Audi officials say that they prefer to introduce that transmission on a sportier vehicle than a crossover. We imagine that, eventually, it will also trickle down to the Q5.
A standout performance in a new class of crossovers.
0807 09 Z+2009 Audi Q5+cockpit
We came away very impressed by the 2009 Audi Q5. It clearly has surpassed the aging BMW X3 in terms of exterior styling, interior ambience, drivability, and comfort. Audi will face plenty of challengers in this segment, though, from the new Mercedes GLK and Volvo XC60, as well as from the existing entries from Acura, Land Rover, and BMW. Buyers in this category might also consider the new Audi A4 Avant, which shares its platform with the Q5. Although we like the Q5 as it is, we hope Audi of America finds a way to offer it soon with the superb 2.0 TFSI four-cylinder turbocharged engine and perhaps also the 3.0-liter TDI V-6 diesel that is debuting this winter in the Q5's larger sibling, the Q7.
Click here to read about Joe DeMatio's conversation with Audi of America's product planner, Filip Brabec.
2009 Audi Q5
Base price (estimated): $39,000
On sale: February or March 2009
Engine: 3.2-liter DOHC 24-valve V-6
Horsepower: 270 hp @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 243 lb-ft @ 3000 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Drive: Four-wheel
L x W x H: 182.2 x 74.0 x 65.1 in
Legroom F/R: n/a
Headroom F/R: n/a
Cargo capacity (seats up/down): 19.1/55.1 cu ft
Curb Weight: 3836 lb
Fuel economy (Audi-estimated, preliminary city/highway): 17/24 mpg
0906 04 Pl+2009 Audi Q5 3 2+front Three Quarter View
0906 04 Z+2009 Audi Q5 3 2+front Three Quarter View
0906 02 Z+2009 Audi Q5 3 2+profile View
0906 13 Z+2009 Audi Q5 3 2+panoramic Sunroof
0906 18 Z+2009 Audi Q5 3 2+rear Three Quarter View
0906 14 Z+2009 Audi Q5 3 2+front Three Quarter View
2009 marks the 28th year of the Wörthersee Tour, a meeting of Volkswagen and Audi enthusiasts held annually in Europe. This year marks Audi's third official appearance, and the automakers is celebrating "100 years of Audi" with a stand featuring everything from production models like the Audi TT RS and R8 5.2 FSI to concept vehicles like the subcompact A1 and Q5 custom.
0807 01pl+2009 Audi Q5+side View
0807 01z+2009 Audi Q5+side View

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2009 Audi Q5
2009 Audi Q5
Base AWD 4-Dr Sport Utility V6
18 MPG City | 23 MPG Hwy
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2009 Audi Q5
Base AWD 4-Dr Sport Utility V6
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2009 Audi Q5 Specifications

Quick Glance:
3.2L V6Engine
Fuel economy City:
18 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
23 MPG
270 hp @ 6500rpm
243 ft lb of torque @ 3000rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation (optional)
50,000 miles / 48 months
50,000 miles / 48 months
Unlimited miles / 144 months
Unlimited miles / 48 months
Recall Date
Potential Units Affected

NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Applicable
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
NHTSA Rating Front Side
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
NHTSA Rating Rollover
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
IIHS Overall Side Crash
IIHS Rear Crash
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