Can you believe this price? Like a fire sale, I tell you. I concur with spending the extra dough for the iPod cable and interface, and for heated seats (we are in the middle of a sub-zero period this week, so hard to deny seat heaters, and oh-by-the-way what about a steering wheel heater??). But I'm missing the nav. To add the nav and still keep it under $40,000, I'd give up the gorgeous quartz grey metallic paint job.
- Jean Jennings
For sure, this is the Q5 model to get. I was very pleased to see the as-tested price of $38,000, because in so many of these so-called "entry-luxury" compact crossovers, including the V-6-powered Q5, the sticker prices can so easily creep up to and beyond the $50,000 mark. There was nothing about this example that remotely felt like a "stripper," either, unless you count the lack of a navigation system, which I do not. This Q5 had satellite radio, an excellent Bluetooth interface, and toasty hot heated seats.
I first drove the Q5 in July 2008 in Valencia, Spain, and Audi of America admitted at that time that they hoped to bring the 2.0T model here, but first we'd have to make do with the more expensive V-6 model and its older, six-speed automatic transmission. They did let us drive a 2.0T model, though, and it was immediately evident that they needed to bring that model to America. It took them a year and a half after the V-6 model's debut to do it, but it's finally here, and I for one would take this smooth and refined turbo four and its smooth and refined and precise eight-speed automatic over the V-6 any day. Doing so also gets you 20 mpg city and 27 mpg highway versus the V-6 model's 18/23 mpg.
I was quite pleased that I had the Q5 over the weekend in early December when Michigan got slammed by its first big snowstorm. In addition to Quattro all-wheel drive, I had a set of Michelin Latitude Alpin snow tires at my disposal, thanks to Audi of America having the good sense to install them on our Q5 test car. I felt pretty invincible, and the Q5 scrambled up my extremely steep, snow- and ice-covered driveway with ease. Hurray for Quattro, and hurray for snow tires.
- Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor