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
By Audi A5 on Friday, January 09, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,200overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "quick, nice looking roomy cool led lights"
Cons: "cup holder in way of arm rest when forward"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have owned the Audi Q5 Premium 3.0 for 3 years now. No problems and only 31200 miles on it..At around 25, 000 miles, you can finally hear the sound of the tailpipes nice roar at full speed or passing speeds. Passing is easy and no worries, floor it and your going 100 before you know it. Just purchased another Audi....2015 A3 to add to the family. to early to review. I am a fan for life."
10 people out of 22 found this review helpful
By KJ on Friday, December 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,540overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Gorgeous vehicle, great MPG's, very fun to drive!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is the 3rd Audi that I have owned. I wanted something different- something bigger, with a little more cargo space. I literally purchased my 2014 Q5 without ever driving it beforehand. They are very difficult to find in this area- and there were none in stock to test drive...so I had them order it for me. No one should give this vehicle a bad review. It is fun to drive, it has a quiet ride, it is NOT bumpy at all, the technology is perfect, the gas mileage is great, and... let's be honest... it is an Audi. You feel important when you drive it. People look at you."
20 people out of 38 found this review helpful
By NurseNancyNP on Sunday, November 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,200overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Smooth ride, quiet running engine, no body roll"
Cons: "None so far"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I'm Luvin this vehicle. It drives like a charm! I don't know if it is the best I've ever owned, my old 2006 BMW X3 gives some stiff competition, but it is definitely in the running. This thing looks a lot smaller on the outside than it feels from the inside. The cargo space is just right. Drives like a car with the cargo of an SUV..."
14 people out of 23 found this review helpful
By DRB on Monday, October 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Excellent mileage. Nice acoutrements."
Cons: "Requires premium fuel, needs auto exit seats."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"The car has been great. No issues, only oil changes done in 33,000 miles. Needs tires before winter, but this has been a good car. Amazingly spunky for a little 4-banger. My only concern is the engine/transmission make a horrible grinding noise when we first start it up. Audi says it's normal but I'm not buying that. Panoramic roof is nice. Great in the snow."
16 people out of 27 found this review helpful
By Remlerman on Friday, October 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great handling and screaming fast"
Cons: "Behind the curve in connectivity and electronics"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"This car is beautiful inside and out and handles as well or better than any BMW or Lexus I've owned. It is TERRIFIC at going fast: I have the TDI's Turbo-Diesel and it has an incredible amount of low end torque. The ride is very comfortable, the wheel transmits just the right amount of road feel and the sound system's speakers are great. All that being said, I'd give it back to the dealer tomorrow if I could. The electronics are way behind the curve; you have to take your eyes off the road and one hand off the wheel to do way too many things (change stations on radio, change audio sources, change screens so that some climate or other adjustment can be made). The Navigation system is archaic and clunky to operate and the voice recognition is terrible. The bluetooth system has a hard time distinguishing when multiple phones are in the car and the answer button frequently stops (and starts!) working. We got this car almost about the same time as a new Ford Escape which has electronics that are vastly more modern, useful and safety-conscious (the car literally will park itself) but are in a car that cost half as much as this. Powertrain: this car is really bad at slow speeds: approach an intersection slowly while waiting for pedestrians or cross-traffic and then try to speed up; the car lags like it's been flooded. You're sometimes left in mid intersection waiting for acceleration. Really too bad that this car is such a mixed bag of both excellent and really terrible design choices. 3G connectivity practically useless. Can't disable door auto-locks; can't close rear hatch from inside the car(!!)or with key fob. You have to look down at console to control too many functions."
24 people out of 42 found this review helpful
By TOM on Monday, September 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Very utilitarian, great driving , great styling"
Cons: "A few missing features as noted."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This vehicle is now 4 years old and it looks like new, have had any mechanical issues or any other issues. It has been serviced by Audi under the Audi Care Plan 3 times (once per year) with no issues noted. Mileage is a bit less than advertised with High Octane gas. This, I do not think unusual at about 1 MPG less than advertised. The engine uses about 1 Qt. of oil in 10 months with normal driving. The vehicle is a smooth rider on highway driving and quite firm on bumpy roads using the oversize wheels that were purchased originally. At this point I see two improvements that could be made to this vehicle and that is: Find a way to create a well in the trunk/storage area so that items placed there do not move all over while driving. Rear leg room is minimal and a 5th passenger in the rear passenger seat is a bit unrealistic with the AC outlet in the middle over the hump. Also, the top side of the rear bumper is painted leaving it vulnerable to scratching while placing or removing items from the rear storage area. A protective pad should be placed there. Rear seats do not lie flat when released for more storage. Overall, however, this is a great reliable and beautifully styled crossover SUV that we love to drive."
12 people out of 19 found this review helpful