A well-rounded entry.
Audi’s Q5 has been a huge hit, and it’s not hard to understand why. It’s more compelling than the larger Q7 and far more efficient, thanks to better packaging and considerably lighter weight (by more than 1000 pounds). Although it seats only five, the Q5 is plenty roomy without being ponderous — in fact, handling is one of its strong suits. An adaptive suspension allows sporty handling without the usual penalty of a kidney-pounding ride. This year, Audi made two major changes in the engine room. A turbocharged four-cylinder remains the base engine, but the underachieving 3.2-liter V-6 has been supplanted by a supercharged 3.0-liter that’s superior all-around. Still more impressive is the new Hybrid, which combines the 2.0T with an electric motor. It tops the fuel economy of the already pretty economical 2.0T by 4 mpg in the city and 2 mpg on the highway. Unfortunately, the Hybrid is only available in the top-spec, pricey Prestige trim. But if your tastes already run toward that type of sybaritism, know that the Hybrid is utterly seamless and quite peppy — this is no Prius. The Hybrid is an extremely impressive first effort in this department from Audi. Fuel-economy mavens should also know, however, that a turbo-diesel Q5 is in the offing, but it won’t reach our shores until the 2014 model year.
new for 2013
Besides the two new engines, the 2013 Q5 gets some minor styling changes outside, including parallelogram-shaped LEDs in the headlights, a new grille, and LED taillights. Also, Audi’s MMI navigation system is updated with 3G internet connectivity for Google Maps and local search functions.
Front, side, and side curtain air bags; ABS; and traction and stability control are standard. Rear side air bags; blind-spot monitoring; a rearview camera; and adaptive headlights are available.
Hybrid fuel economy
No diesel till next year
Base Price Range: $36,795–$52,295
TRIM LEVELS: 2.0T Premium, 2.0T Premium Plus, 3.0T Premium Plus, 3.0T Prestige, 2.0T Hybrid Prestige
BODY STYLE: SUV/crossover, 5-passenger
ENGINES: 2.0L turbo I-4, 211 hp, 258 lb-ft
2.0L turbo I-4/electric hybrid, 245 hp, 254 lb-ft
3.0L supercharged V-6, 272 hp, 295 lb-ft
TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic
PASSENGER VOLUME: 101.5 cu ft
CAPACITIES: Towing 4400 lb; cargo (rear seats up/down) 29.1/57.3 cu ft