This is definitely the Q5 to get. No, it's not quick -- 4090 pounds is about all Audi's excellent four-cylinder can handle. But frankly, who cares? If you really want to go fast, take that $7000 you've saved over the six-cylinder Q5 and buy an old Camaro.
With this powertrain, the little crossover can still keep up with traffic and never feels strained thanks partly to the efforts of the eight-speed automatic. It's otherwise just as quiet and just as pleasant to drive as models equipped with the 3.2-liter V-6. And its interior, which is very nice for $45,000 or even $50,000, becomes a real treat when the price dips to $38,000. And its fuel economy, even with the standard four-wheel-drive, beats that of most competitors, including the four-cylinder Acura RDX.
My single complaint with the Q5 has nothing to do with the engine but rather with the steering, which remains extremely artificial in its effort. Between about 5 mph and 15 mph, it becomes significantly heavier -- a real annoyance in parking lots.
- David Zenlea, Assistant Editor
Is there anything Volkswagen's turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 can't do? It blends performance and poise in the GTI, allows the Audi TTS to pack a verifiable wallop, and essentially perfects the Q5 package.
As my colleagues have noted, this is indeed the best engine choice presently available in a North American-spec Q5. Not only is the 2.0T more affordable and more fuel efficient, it also feels much more suitable to this application. The 3.2-liter V-6 is a great engine, but it almost overwhelms the small crossover with power. The 2.0T doesn't, but still provides plenty of grunt to hustle all 4090 pounds around. Unless you're counting spark plug wires or measure your existence on horsepower ratings alone, you won't miss the V-6.
Joe DeMatio noted that this model lacks navigation -- no matter, but it does relocate the MMI controller. On vehicles equipped with navigation, the rotary controller, along with source buttons and a volume control, are on the center console, surrounding the shift gate. On Q5s without, those same controls are mounted on the center stack. I miss the center console location, but audio and menu controls placed on the steering wheel almost make reaching for the MMI redundant.
- Evan McCausland, Web Producer