2009 Q5 New Car Test Drive
Audi Q5 is an all-new crossover derived from the recent A4 and A5 line. As with the Q7, Audi came to the SUV party fashionably late but came well equipped.
The 2009 Q5 comes with a gasoline V6 engine and six-speed automatic transmissions; both gas-electric hybrid and diesel variants remain possibilities a few years in the future. All-wheel drive, with which Audi has arguably as much experience as any car company, is standard, as are a full suite of passive safety systems (only rear side airbags are standard; you may not want them with children) and an advanced stability control system that alters performance when the roof rack is in use.
True to name, the Q5 has five seats, and the rear seats offer the recline-and-slide functions that until now have oddly been the purview of less-expensive class crossovers. Cargo volume is substantially greater than the A4 Avant, the Q5 will tow a minimum 900 pounds more than anything else in this class, and EPA ratings are among best in class.
Styling inside and out is typical Audi, and the cabin has few peers for the combination of function, style, materials and finish. There is no obvious cost-cutting here: what looks like leather, wood or aluminum is; the passenger gets the same 12-way power seat the driver does; and three-zone climate control is standard.
Features and electronics rise with price, which ranges from $38,000 to $56,000 or more when fully loaded. Features include: heated front seats; panorama sunroof; iPod interface; Bluetooth/HomeLink; Xenon headlamps and LED running lamps; power-fold auto-dimming mirrors; programmable power tailgate; driver memory system; 18-, 19-, and 20-inch wheels; navigation with 3-D graphics, voice recognition, rear camera, real-time traffic and weather; Bang & Olufsen stereo and Advance Key.
The Q5 competes with the Acura RDX, BMW X3, Infiniti EX35, Land Rover LR2, Lexus RX350, Mercedes-Benz GLK350, and Volvo XC60.
The 2009 Audi Q5 comes with a 270-hp 3.2-liter V6, six-speed automatic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive with automatic electronic differential locks. Mechanical systems and passive safety features are identical across the range, which includes Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige models.
Q5 Premium ($37,200) comes with leather upholstery, three-zone climate control, aluminum roof rails with cross bars, heated power mirrors, sliding/reclining/folding rear seat, LED rear lights, privacy glass rear tint, tow hitch prep, 18-inch alloy wheels, 12-way power front seats, wood décor inlays, 10-speaker Audi Concert radio with Sirius, and a trip computer. Optional on Premium are rear side airbags ($350), heated front seats ($450), panorama sunroof ($1450), music interface for iPod ($300), Bluetooth/HomeLink package ($700), metallic paint ($475), and a Symphony radio upgrade ($250).
Q5 Premium Plus ($41,500) also includes xenon headlamps and LED running lamps, auto-dimming mirrors with power-fold outside mirrors, a programmable power tailgate, driver memory system, Audi Symphony radio with music interface, Bluetooth and HomeLink. Premium Plus options include the rear airbags and metallic paint, 19-inch wheels, wider 20-inch wheels with 255/45 performance tires, MMI navigation plus with rear park assist and camera ($3000), S line package ($2950) with 20-inch wheels and tires, headlight washers, sport steering wheel with shift paddles, brushed aluminum trim, black headliner, and S line grille, side valances and bumpers.
Q5 Prestige ($48,200) adds 19-inch wheels, park assist, rear camera, Bang & Olufsen sound, MMI navigation plus and Advance Key. Options include special paint, rear side airbags, and the S line package ($2150), Drive Select ($2950), 20-inch wheels ($800), and side assist ($500).
Safety features include standard frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags, electronic stability control, ABS, EBD, and all-wheel drive. Safety-related options include rear side airbags and Audi side assist.