By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.8
The 2013 Audi Q5 is a compact luxury SUV that offers an impressive balance of comfort, performance, style and fuel economy. While just four years old, this 5-passenger SUV has quickly become Audi's number-2 seller behind the A4. A new – albeit pricey – hybrid variant arrives for 2013 in addition to a more powerful V6 engine or the potent-yet-efficient turbocharged 4-cylinder found in base models. The Q5 stands out from rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz GLK, Lexus RX, Cadillac SRX, Infiniti EX and Acura RDX with its standard all-wheel drive and laudable towing capacity of up to 4,400 pounds. The 2013 Q5 has a starting price under $37,000, but costs escalate quickly with options. The Q5's resale value is among the best in class.
The Q5 has effortlessly blended elegant looks, premium interiors and good power since its introduction in 2009. The Q5's appeal continues to strengthen with new powerplants, a host of high-tech features, and strong resale value.
If you want an SUV that emphasizes dynamic handling and swift acceleration, look to the BMW X3. Those seeking the greatest fuel economy might want to look to the Lexus RX Hybrid or the forthcoming Mercedes-Benz GLK250 diesel (a Q5 diesel is reportedly still in the works for the U.S.). For the value-conscious, the Acura RDX is a better option.
In addition to some front- and rear-end design tweaks, the big news for the 2013 Audi Q5 is a new supercharged V6 engine that replaces the naturally aspirated one, and a hybrid powertrain that pairs a turbocharged 4-cylinder with a lithium-ion battery pack and electric motor.
Driving Impressions If the BMW X3 is about speed and the Lexus RX favors comfort, the Audi Q5 splits the difference. This automotive Goldilocks is comfortable and quick, with...the latter characteristic helped by the new supercharged V6 engine under the hood. If you want to fine-tune your driving experience, say, for more agility and speed or overall comfort, the 2013 Q5's suspension and engine response can be modified with the touch of a button on V6 models with the Audi drive-select feature. The comfortable driver's seat offers a commanding view. The Q5 is nimble in corners, but steering is a bit heavy at low speeds. The Audi Q5 hybrid offers a smooth transition between its electric motor and gasoline engine, but with mileage estimates of 24 mpg city/30 highway, it's not that much more miserly than 4-cylinder Q5 models, which begin about $15,000 less than the admittedly loaded hybrid version.
This is the name for Audi's sophisticated in-cabin tech system that seems straight out of the future. Offering everything from Google maps with real-time news and traffic info to a Wi-Fi hot spot for up to eight devices, this system will indeed keep you and your passengers connected.
4 CYLINDERS, 8 SPEEDS
Audi's 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder is a splendid engine thanks to its blend of power and fuel economy. Connected to the buttery-smooth 8-speed automatic transmission found in the Q5, this powerplant shines even more.
The 2013 Audi Q5's interior is just as elegant as the SUV's outer skin. In fact, one might say the cabin dazzles even more with its emphasis on technology and, by default, bevy of buttons. Unlike some competitors, leather is standard even on base models, and tri-zone climate control will keep occupants front and back at the proper temperature. The shift lever and its surrounding cadre of buttons, knobs and dials would look at home in a private jet, while the optional wood grain lends a more classic feel. The Q5's roomy rear seats fold in a flexible 40/20/40 arrangement.Exterior
Even in a sea of luxury SUVs, the 2013 Audi Q5 stands out with its brilliant looks. From its massive, trapezoidal grille to its well-proportioned rear with twin tailpipes, the Audi is a picture of form and function. LED lights abound, from the optional daytime running lights up front to the standard LEDs in the taillights and those in the side-mirror-mounted turn signals. At 7.9 inches, even the Q5's ground clearance is a good balance between road-going sedan and mountain-climbing beast, which allows the Q5 to tackle both twisty pavement and snow- or dirt-covered roads.
In Q5-speak, a base model is designated "Premium." When it comes to features, that moniker mostly fits the bill, as even that version comes with leather seating, 18-inch 5-spoke wheels, 3-zone automatic climate control, AM/FM/CD player with 10 speakers, and hill-descent control. Surprisingly, you'll still have to pay extra for Bluetooth on base models. Stepping up to Premium Plus and Prestige trims brings heated front seats, iPod integration, auto-dimming rearview mirror, panoramic sunroof, xenon headlights, power tailgate, and a memory setting on the driver's seat.
For those willing to spend the money, a 2013 Q5 can become a seriously high-end vehicle. Among the extras found as options or incorporated within trim levels are a Nappa leather-clad instrument panel, 14-speaker/505-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system, rear-seat entertainment package, adaptive cruise control, and high-tech systems with navigation, rearview camera and a 3G network that turns the Q5 into a rolling Wi-Fi hot spot. One particularly ingenuous feature is an available thermo cup holder that can warm or cool drinks so your latte stays hot and your soda remains cold.
Three engine options are available in the 2013 Audi Q5. A 211-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder is standard on lower trims. For those wanting the most power, there is a 272-horsepower supercharged V6. The most fuel-efficient Audi Q5 is the hybrid, which pairs a turbo 4-cylinder with a battery pack and electric motor to make a total of 245 horsepower and attain up to 30 mpg. All 2013 Q5 models are linked to a smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode. All Q5 models are all-wheel drive and are rated to tow up to 4,400 pounds. All three powerplants require premium fuel.
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
211 horsepower @ 4,300 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/28 mpg
3.0-liter supercharged V6
272 horsepower @ 4,780 rpm
295 lb-ft of torque @ 2,150 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: NA
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 plus electric motor/generator
245 horsepower (combined)
354 lb-ft of torque (combined)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/30 mpg
The 2013 Audi Q5 2.0T Premium has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $36,795. Prices rise quickly here, beginning with the exterior paint. Opt for any color except black or white, and it's considered a $475 option. Stepping up to a top-line Q5 V6 model begins at over $52,000, as does the Q5 hybrid. Optioning up either can move you beyond the $58,000 mark. In terms of competitors, the Audi Q5's base price is in line with the Infiniti EX. It is more than the base price of an Acura RDX and Volvo XC60, and less than the Lexus RX, Mercedes-Benz GLK and BMW X3. Be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price on kbb.com to see what buyers in your area are actually paying for the 2013 Audi Q5. Resale value is a strong point for the Q5, with the Audi being among the best in its class.
By Inlet rider on Monday, February 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"Advertised 20-40 mpg. I get 22-23 mpg with the hybrid engine. Not happy. Had to wait for this model to come out to get good gas mileage and not getting it. Paid over $10,000 for this engine."
By John on Monday, February 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Handling, sound system, quality"
Cons: "Cost to maintain"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Handling and ride is fantastic All wheel drive works perfect Sound system (Bang and Olefsen) Rides great"
4 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Alex on Friday, February 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,232overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great MPG, Great Torque, Quiet clean diesel"
Cons: "mediocre HP but that didn't stop me."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My Q5 TDI is my second Audi I've owned. I previously owned an Audi S4. I love the power and handling of my S4, but didn't like the mpg on it. At first I thought of the SQ5 but the American version is the gas version. I really wished they brought the European diesel SQ5 version instead over here, then I would definitely gotten the SQ5. I settled with the Q5 TDI because of the insanely great MPG and torque I can get from it. I test drove all of the Q5 variants and they were ok on driving characteristics. Until I test drove the TDI version, and I was surprised to how 428 ft pounds of torque felt like. It almost felt like my S4, but no V8 rumble. But that didn't matter, because I was aiming for great MPG and better resale value. I actually had my Q5 customized before it was built. I got everything I wanted in it that made sense for me to get, i.e. S-Line pkg, Sport Interior pkg, Audi Mmi pkg, etc etc. all the way down to the color. When I waited a couple months for it to be delivered, I was so excited to see it in person. The quality both in and out was what to be expected from an Audi. So what if the bumpers have tail lights, I don't parallel park my Q5 nor park it near where there's a lot of cars anyways. I love how quiet this diesel car makes. It sounds as quiet as a regular gas car. As for the gas mileage, i'm getting way over 40 MPG on my new Q5 TDI. And as for combined MPG, I get it around 30-40 MPG. Not bad for an All wheel drive SUV when compared to other AWD SUV. My only wish is that Audi designed a Q5 TDI hybrid with AWD, now that would be something to look forward to. I do miss my V8 rumble sound from my previous S4 but moving to the Q5 TDI was much better for me. And Audi is always coming up with great technology."
5 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Spa on Sunday, December 15, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,400overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Performance - handling & smooth ride & sporty"
Cons: "None - 3 new Audis & no complaints"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Let me start by saying this is my 3rd new Audi in 4 years. I had had 2010 & 2012 A4's before this & wanted to go back to an SUV but was not too keen on the gas Q5 ride. The 2.0 was a bit stiff & I find the 3.0 gas to be a little heavy in the steering. BUT THE NEW TDI not only performs better than the gas Q5's it also handles & rides GREAT! Steering is spot on & the car rides very smooth & balanced. I had test driven the Mercedes M class Diesel but the Audi has a better suspension & drivers feel. I have owned Lexus (& my wife is on her 2nd RX350 - also new 2014), Mercedes & BMW but I enjoy the new generation Audi's the best. My wife likes the Lexus but it is Audi driving experience for me."
12 people out of 15 found this review helpful
By Coaach on Tuesday, December 03, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "solid, fast, comfortable,"
Cons: ""options" is an oxymoron. You get what they have.."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I have owned more than 20 cars, and have run most of them close to 200,000 miles, European, Japanese and US. We have a 2002 Audi A4 which is like a new car but has cost a lot to repair -$2,000 a side (dual exhausts) when the cat goes, bad coils, recalled after an expensive replacement at my expense, etc. But worth it. Test drove a Q5 with the 4 cylinder, worked awfully hard on my favorite test hill, 6 just goes up with no effort at all. Very comfortable and electronic console and phone work very well. Came with big wheels and summer only tires, an extra $500, tried to get dealer to switch them for regular wheels and tires, at no money back to me, but dealer would not. So bought aftermarket wheels and winter tires. You can fit an 8' long object in if you pull the passenger seat all the way up. Thule box on the roof is useful for trips."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By GeoregNY on Friday, November 22, 2013
I don't own this caroverall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Reliable company. Good Quality Car"
Cons: "Bad Design - Tail Lights on Real bumper is a NO NO"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"I am researching in buying this car as I already own an Audi A3 and I am very happy with it. There are 3 major items that it will make me to switch over to BMW X3. 1. The MMI feature all I hear is bad news. 2. Does not offer me a complete iphone integration 3. You DO NOT put tail lights on both sides of the real bumper. Think about how many times these lights will need to be replaced as you or other people hit you while parking."
4 people out of 16 found this review helpful