Blending comfort, style and performance, the 2014 Audi Q5 SUV expands its already impressive portfolio with a new performance model, the SQ5, and a long awaited diesel model. The Q5 has proven its worth by rising to become the company's 2nd-best selling model, just behind the A4. Ironically, the diesel and the hybrid trims earn about the same fuel economy figures, neither of which punch much past 30 mpg. Then again, the Q5 is more about performance than pinching pennies at the pump. Easily the equal of rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz GLK, Lexus RX and Cadillac SRX, the Q5's standard all-wheel drive (AWD) and laudable towing capacity of up to 4,400 pounds make it a favorite among buyers who require many services from a single car.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you're looking for a 5-passenger luxury SUV that wears many hats, the 2014 Audi Q5's combination of power, performance, luxury and ability will likely strike a positive note. Excellent resale values help offset the high cost of purchase.
You May Not Like This Car If...
The Q5's $38,000 starting price doesn't include many desirable options. If you're looking for a comfortable and safe SUV that stays in the low $40K range loaded, you might consider an Acura RDX or even a non-luxury model such as the Ford Edge or Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The long-awaited SQ5 joins the Q5 lineup, motivated by a 354-horsepower supercharged V6. Also new is the introduction of the Q5 TDI clean diesel that delivers up to 31 mpg highway. The base 2.0T sees its horsepower output increase to 220, and Premium Plus models gain more standard features.
Driving the Q5
With the introduction of the new SQ5, we no longer think Audi has to play catch up to the BMW X3. However, the rest of the Q5 lineup still walks...
... a fine line between comfort and performance, softer sprung than the X3, but not as disconnected from the road as the Lexus RX. Audi does allow the driver to fine tune the suspension and engine performance via the available drive-select feature. We still find the Q5's steering feel to be a bit over-weighted at low speeds, but have no complaints once up and running. 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 the torque-happy TDI or the 2.0T, the latter with a starting price about $15,000 less than the admittedly loaded hybrid.
AUDI CONNECT 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.
2014 Audi Q5 Details
The 2014 Audi Q5's interior is just as elegant as the SUV's outer skin. In fact, one might say the 5-passenger 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 3-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.
Even in a sea of luxury SUVs, the 2014 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, keyless entry and push-button start, blind-spot assist, 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 Q5 for 2014 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.
Under the Hood
Five engine options are available in the 2014 Audi Q5. A 220-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder is standard on lower trims. For those wanting the most power, there are two supercharged V6 engine choices, one offered in the new SQ5 putting out 354 horsepower. The most fuel-efficient Audi Q5s are the hybrid and diesel models. 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 2014 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. The gasoline-powered models require premium fuel.
The 2014 Audi Q5 2.0T Premium has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $38,500. 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 or SQ5 model brings you closer to $53,000, as does the Q5 hybrid. The TDI starts around $47,500. 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 QX60. 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 2014 Audi Q5. Resale value is a strong point for the Q5, with the Audi being among the best in its class.
"Bought the TDI Prestige Edition with active suspension. Average fuel consumption @ 75mph has been 36.5 mpg (20% higher than the EPA ratings). Getting 26 around town and do NOT use the stop & go feature. Extremely quiet. Great B&O sound system."
Pros: "Build quality, material quality, performance"
Cons: "Driving position isn't ideal - nitpick"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I've always preferred German Cars and have owned several over the years, as well as American and Japanese. Hands down, game over, the fat lady has sung; the fine people of Ingolstadt Germany quite simply build the finest automobiles on the road today. For those of us who need one vehicle that does it all, the Q5 is simply the best value on the market today. Some SUVs do "some" things great but the Audi Q5 somehow strikes the balance and does everything well. After 20K miles, the most prominent feature is the superior build quality which you really notice after a couple of years. Audi uses higher quality materials and tighter tolerances on assembly and the SUV seems to somehow get better with age - hence the high resale value.
People of Ingolstadt, thank you! When I finally make it to your beautiful city, drinks are on me."
- Handling in bad weather: snow, rain
- Diesel engine - good mileage - average about 26 miles/gal in mixed highway/city driving
- Reliable - Owned year and a half now
- Beautiful bang and olafson stereo sound
Not so great:
- It's an SUV, so it can't corner like my A4!
- Rear hatch sometimes does not latch when it comes down - not a big deal - slight push fixes it - but a little annoying"