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Audi Q5 Performance

Automotive journalists report that no matter which engine you choose, the 2016 Audi Q5 is powerful and quick. Still, some favor the base engine for its combination of fuel efficiency and punch, while a few prefer the more powerful optional engines. Test drivers say the Audi Q5 is one of the better-handling SUVs in the class, and note that it has composed handling on winding roads and around town. A few reviewers caution that the Q5’s athletic handling means that its ride may be a bit too firm for some buyers. Fuel economy is on par with that of most rivals.

  • "The Q5 continues to share a basic platform with the A4 sedan and A5 coupe/convertible. Like those models, it features relatively sporty handling along with a comfortable ride, though the platform's driving dynamics are dulled somewhat by the Q5's higher height and larger size." -- Left Lane News (2015)
  • "Handling is excellent, and we consider the 2015 Q5 to be one of the sportiest crossovers on the market. The steering is quick and responsive, though it has a rather artificial feel. Firm ride aside, the Q5 is hard to fault from the driver seat." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "People often buy these vehicles so they can sit up high and feel safe, even if it means sacrificing some handling capability. In the Q5, the sacrifice is so small that most drivers won't even notice." -- AutoTrader (2015)

Acceleration and Power

Powering the 2016 Audi Q5 is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 220 horsepower. The Q5 3.0T comes with a supercharged V6 engine that produces 272 horsepower, while the Q5 TDI has a 240-horsepower turbodiesel V6 engine. The Q5 Hybrid has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 245 horsepower, and the performance-oriented Audi SQ5 has a supercharged V6 engine that produces 354 horsepower. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard on all models. According to the EPA, the base Audi Q5 earns 20/28 mpg city/highway, which is close to what most rivals earn.

Automotive journalists agree that the base engine provides quick acceleration. However, a few critics find it a bit underpowered compared to the engines in other SUVs in the class. While test drivers report that all the available engines offer more robust power, some say the base engine has the best combination of power and good fuel economy. The eight-speed automatic transmission provides smooth, timely shifts, they add.

  • "While there are a variety of powertrains to choose from, Audi's 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder may be the best all-around choice. It's fuel efficient, powerful, and with the 8-speed automatic transmission, makes even the base Q5 a fun-to-drive SUV." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "Under the hood, the base 2.0T engine seems somewhat underpowered for luxury-crossover duty, though many owners seem to think it's just fine in the real world. Still, we much prefer the snappy acceleration of the 3.0T or the vast torque of the TDI. Better yet, grab an SQ5 and enjoy sports-car-like performance, including the benchmark 0-to-60 sprint in around 5 seconds." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • "Regardless of which powertrain you choose, the 2015 Audi Q5 delivers smooth, powerful acceleration, and the eight-speed automatic is refined and responsive. Both the 2.0T and 3.0T gas engines match their respective rivals in terms of acceleration and fuel economy, while the diesel and hybrid versions of the Q5 offer even higher fuel efficiency, yet still accelerate with verve. The automatic stop-start system (3.0T and 3.0 TDI only) also helps efficiency, but it doesn't always keep the engine off for the entire stop. Such random refiring can get annoying -- and you can only disable the feature temporarily, as it reactivates itself at the beginning of each driving cycle." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "The 3.0-liter TDI feels at home in the Q5. Torque is all but instant, and the little SUV whisks away from stops effortlessly. And with 428 lb-ft of torque available from 1750 rpm, the Audi will pull whether you're on a hill, in a swamp-wherever." -- Popular Mechanics (2014)

Handling and Braking

The Audi Q5 comes standard with all-wheel drive, and an available Audi Drive Select system allows you to adjust transmission, suspension and steering settings as well as throttle response. Reviewers praise the Q5's athletic handling, and say it rounds corners more confidently than most rivals. Automotive journalists note that the Q5's ride may be too firm for some car buyers. Some critics say the Q5's steering sometimes exhibits understeer and can feel heavy at slower speeds.

  • "At reasonable cornering speeds, the Q5 feels like the sport sedan of compact luxury crossovers. It's an A4 on stilts, yes, but it's an A4 nonetheless. If you push harder, you'll be battling understeer, but that's forgivable. No one buys a Q5 to chase motorcycles in the hills. The true calling of the Q5 is to traverse both highways and patchy urban pavement with composure, and for the most part, that's exactly what it does. The ride gets rather firm with the 20-in wheels, though." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • "Audi's engineers have also been trying to make their creations more fun to drive, and the Q5 is exemplary here as well. It really does feel at home dashing between corners on a country road. The downside is that on bumpy roads the Q5 will jostle you around more than competing rivals. If you value this crossover's above-average handling, you probably won't mind; otherwise, you might." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "On one hand, it's not quite as hard-driving as the BMW X3 - with the exception of the sporty SQ5 - but it doesn't feel as disconnected as the Lexus RX either. Instead, Audi lets you choose softer or sportier suspension and engine performance, thanks to the available drive-select feature. No matter what setting you choose, 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." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "The Q5 isn't a corner carver, but its light steering is accurate and direct and its ride is composed. Around town, it proved nimble and comfortable, with its only real demerit being iffy over-the-shoulder visibility." -- Left Lane News (2014)
Review Last Updated: 7/23/15

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