Shame on me for not playing with the fancy new Audi drive-select system while I had possession of the Q5. Joe DeMatio mentioned the system's ability to improve steering feel in his review of the Audi Q5 last summer, and the steering weight and feel were among my biggest disappointments in this Q5. I found the steering to require more effort than I'd expect from a crossover in this class. Perhaps a few adjustments through the drive-select system would have changed my mind.
I love Audi's new Multi-Media Interface (MMI) and its associated 3D navigation display. It looks very upscale and continues to be quite intuitive for operating the navigation system, the stereo, and other functions. As is usually the case with Audis, the interior is a very pleasant place to spend time, and the seats are comfortable. The panoramic sunroof isn't for me, but if you want to let the sun in, you'll love it.
Although the small luxury crossover class makes no sense to me, I'd say this Q5 is about as good as it gets. Obvious improvements would be to offer Audi's 2.0T and 2.0-liter TDI engines along with the 3.2-liter V-6. A 2.0T would provide plenty of thrust, and the TDI engine would provide much better fuel economy, although probably very leisurely acceleration.
Phil Floraday, Senior Online Editor