By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 9/25/2012
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.What's New for 2013
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 It 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.