New For 2014
The biggest news lies with the addition of the new 2014 Audi Q5 3.0 TDI and 2014 SQ5 models, but other Q5 grades receive a few revisions for 2014, too. Base 2.0T models see their output boosted to 220 hp, while Bluetooth, Homelink, and Audi’s music-interface connection are standard equipment.
Audi’s mid-size crossover debuted in 2008 and was treated to a minor update for the 2013 model year. Although initially offered with only one engine — a 3.2-liter V-6 — Audi soon added its ubiquitous 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder to serve as the base engine. As part of the 2013 refresh, Audi not only replaced the 3.2-liter with its supercharged 3.0-liter V-6, but also introduced a four-cylinder/electric hybrid model.
Despite remaining one of the most enjoyable luxury crossovers to drive, the 2014 Audi Q5 can still easily be lost amid the sea of competitors. Thankfully, two new additions inject more flavor into the Q5 portfolio and help it stand apart from the ever-stronger competition.
Although sport-tuned luxury crossovers are nothing new, until the advent of the 2014 Audi SQ5, no manufacturer offered a sport-tuned small crossover/SUV in our market. In addition to big wheels and a sporty body kit, SQ5s also gain a lowered suspension, enlarged Brembo brakes, and sportier interior trim. Oh, and did we mention the extra heaping of power? Despite using the same 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 as the Q5 3.0T, the SQ5 has 354 hp and 347 lb-ft of torque, which surpasses the 3.0T by 82 hp and 52 lb-ft. Better yet, the SQ5 rockets to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds and is eerily stable and calm at speeds up to its electronically-limited 155-mph top end.
On the other side of the spectrum lies the 2014 Q5 3.0 TDI. Using the same 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V-6 new to other 2014 Audi models, the Q5 TDI returns EPA ratings of 24 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Better yet, it has more torque than a 2014 Audi Q5 3.0T and is only a half-second slower to 60 mph than a Q5 3.0T. Even more impressive, the TDI is as fuel efficient as the Q5 Hybrid and also costs nearly $4800 less.
One downside: unlike the SQ5, the Q5 TDI does have a true rival — the Mercedes-Benz GLK250 Bluetec — and its base price undercuts the Q5’s by nearly $7000. However, once you factor in the cost of adding HID headlamps, leather seating, and a panoramic sunroof — all options on the GLK that are standard content on the 2014 Audi Q5 — the diesel Benz’s price tag is just about even with a comparably equipped Q5 TDI.
- Good handling for a tall crossover
- Slick styling
- TDI delivers hybrid fuel economy at a lower price
You won’t like:
- Q5 Hybrid’s price tag
- Harsher ride quality than some rivals
- Acura RDX
- BMW X3
- Lexus RX
- Mercedes-Benz GLK