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2010 Audi Q5 Review & Test Drive – A Smaller Q7

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Filed under Audi, Automotive, Featured, SUV, Test Drives

“Honey, I just checked the garage and someone shrunk the new Q7.”  Not really but the new 2010 is a smaller version of the popular Audi Q7 sport utility.

First introduced in 2009, the Q5 is a smaller, more fuel efficient, 5-passenger version of the excellent Q7.  It mimics the Q7’s design up front with Audi’s signature single-piece grille design, cat’s-eye HID headlights, LED daytime running lamps and lower bumper with round foglamps.

The Q5 is based on the current Audi A4 platform on Audi’s Modular Longitudinal Build kit.  The Q5 has sporty proportions and a muscular stance due to its long wheelbase and wide body and track.  The elimination of roof joint strips provides a high visual quality and minimized airflow. From the side you’ll notice the steeply raked windshield pillars, pull-out door handles and lower side extensions.  The rear features a wide opening hatch door dual exhaust tips below the bumper LED taillights.  Real aluminum trim is found up front, on the side around the green house and in the rear.  Audi’s passion for excellence in engineering and its hallmark of interior design, workmanship and quality materials follows its larger sibling.

Upgrades to the new 2010 Q5 include new fine grain ash, natural brown decorative inlays with chrome trim, new 20X9in., five-segment spoke, S line wheels are optional as is the 19X8in. alloy wheels with 18X8in. wheels and tires standard, Audi side assist (blind spot warning) is now standard on the Prestige model, new Luxury package for the Prestige model includes leather door armrests and instrument panel top, and ventilated front seat in Milano leather, Bang & Olufsen Sound System now is optional as a stand along option on Premium Plus models, chrome trim outline on four-spoke, multifunction, tilting and telescoping leather wrapped steering wheel is now standard.  Finally, a new indirect tire pressure monitoring system uses ABS wheel-speed sensors instead of wheel-mounted units to detect air loss and tire rolling frequency variances.

The Q5 is one of the best small premium crossover sport utility vehicles with unsurpassed fuel economy ratings of 18mpg/city and 23mpg/highway, best-in-class 4,400lb. towing capacity (others have 3,500lb. or less), it has the longest wheelbase in its class, the new 3G MMI shows the latest evolution of 3D navigation, joystick control for navigation map destination finding, updated graphical clarity, Sirius artist/title preview, Sirius traffic-based navigation, voice-based destination input control, and voice inputs such as “I’m hungry,”  “I need money,”  “I need gas” and “I need coffee” that will point to closest options within your current vicinity, the Audi Drive Select option which is unique to the segment helps drivers customize engine/throttle mapping, transmission shift characteristics, steering and suspension to suit each needs and desires with four operating modes-comfort, automatic, dynamic and individual, which allows a custom response profile, the innovative ESP system recognizes when the roof rail crossbars are in place and adjust them accordingly, the Q5 comes with standard Quattro AWD with rear-biased 40/60 asymmetrical system, two strut tower braces in the engine bay to give it sport sedan handling even though it has a high center of gravity, 3-zone climate control standard and segment only, standard 12-way power front seats with leather seating surfaces throughout, standard rear reclining/sliding 40/60-split bench that is also unique to the Q5, 40/60-split rear bench seats fold from levers located inside the rear cargo area, large center pass-through area built within the split fold rear seats, also unique, superior interior storage spaces including 1-liter bottle holders in each door with storage, clamshell shape rear trunklid opening allows low and wide rear cargo entry point and is a very clean design execution for exterior rear light area, with optional power opening/closing, an electronic dipstick allows customers to check the oil from inside the cabin.

The new 2010 has excellent driving dynamics with a new modular chassis architecture with a longer wheelbase and wider track, it has consistent use of high-strength and ultra-high strength steel grades for a highly rigid occupant cell with optimized deformation properties, the hood and tailgate are made from aluminum for lower weight and reduced opening and closing forces, extensive use of aluminum in the fully independent suspension to reduce unsprung weight and enhance steering feel, and finally, the compact trapezoidal-link rear suspension enables a low cargo floor and high luggage capacity.

The powertrain is also unique in the Q5 with Audi’s proven 3.2 liter V6 engine with FSI direct injection and Audi’s Valvelift System variable intake lift generating 270hp at 6,500rpm and 243lb.ft. of torque at 3,000rpm.  The Tiptronic fast-shifting six-speed automatic transmission comes with a Sport mode and rockets out to 60mph from a standstill in just 6.7sec.  The Q5 comes standard with Hill Descent to help manage the vehicle’s direction during steep hill accents or descents.

Standard equipment in the 2010 Q5 no mentioned above, includes trailer hitch pre-wiring, heated, power-remote exterior mirrors, self-dimming reaview mirror, light and rain sensor, privacy glass, driver information system with trip computer, Audi Concert radio with in-dash CD player, dual map lights, grab handles above each door, cruise control, central locking system with power express front/rear windows, rear pull-down center armrest with dual cupholders, roof rails with crossbars, thick cut-pile carpeting, rear reading lights, front console with dual cupholders/padded armrest with storage bin, and aluminum trim throughout.

I tested the premium plus model and it came with Audi’s giant panorama sunroof, garage door opener with Homelink, heated front seats, driver side memory, auto-diming & power folding sideview mirrors, stainless steel trunk edge trim and door sills, Audi MMI navigation plus package with voice control, Audi parking system advance with rearview camera, Bang & Olufsen sound system and 19X8in. alloy wheels wrapped with all-season radial tires.

To keep all occupants safe in the event of a collision, the Q5 comes standard with driver and front passenger airbags, driver and front passenger seat-mounted side airbags, SIDEGUARD curtain airbags, front seat belts with pretensioning and force limiters, rear outboard safety belts with pretensioners, active and passive rollover protection, lower anchors and tethers for child seats, side impact protection, front and rear impact crumple zones, anti-theft vehicle alarm system and rear child safety locks.

Of all the smaller crossovers that I have tested so far this new 2010 Audi Q5 is the best all-around model.  The engine and powertrain are smooth working in harmony as is the suspension, and the interior is top-notch as only Audi does.

COPYRIGHT:2010:HARVEY SCHWARTZ

SPECIFICATIONS

Price: MSRP $37,350.00 As-Tested $47,350.00
Type: Midsize SUV
Where Built: Germany
EPA Class: Sport Utility Vehicles

Dimensions

Exterior
Length: 182.2 in.
Width: 74 in.
Height: 65.1 in.
Wheel Base: 110.5 in.
Ground Clearance: 7.9 in.
Curb Weight: 4178 lbs.
Gross Weight: 5456 lbs.
Interior
Front Head Room: 41.1 in.
Front Shoulder Room: 57.7 in.
Rear Head Room: 39 in.
Rear Shoulder Room: 56.4 in.
Front Leg Room: 41 in. Rear Leg Room: 37.4 in.
Luggage Capacity: 29.1 cu. ft.
Maximum Cargo Capacity: 57 cu. ft.
Maximum Seating: 5

Performance Data

Base Number of Cylinders: 6
Base Engine Size: 3.2 liters
Base Engine Type: V6
Horsepower: 270 hp
Max Horsepower: 6500 rpm
Torque: 243 ft-lbs.
Max Torque: 3000 rpm
Maximum Payload: 1278 lbs.
Maximum Towing Capacity: 4400 lbs.
Drive Type: AWD Turning Circle: 38.1 ft.
0-60 mph: 6.8 seconds

Fuel Data

Fuel Tank Capacity: 19.8 gal.
EPA Mileage Estimates: (City/Highway/Combined)
Automatic: 18 mpg / 23 mpg / 20 mpg
Range in Miles:
Automatic: 356.4 mi. / 455.4 mi. / 396 mi.

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