When most people read auto reviews they usually scan down to the bottom to find the reviewer’s conclusions. This time that is wholly unnecessary as the Audi Q5 is easily the best compact luxury SUV on the market today. You may think that is a small niche to be “best” in but on that count you would be wrong. In fact it is the fastest growing new car sales segment and the competition is fierce.
From the looks of how many rivals the Q5 has the profit margins on these cars must be pretty rock solid. There is the Mercedes GLK350, Volvo XC60, Infiniti EX35, BMW X3 and Lexus RX models all battling for supremacy. But none can match the Audi for sheer driving enjoyment, interior ambience and drop dead gorgeous styling. This is one classy luxury SUV that would be just at home picking up the kids from school as it would be chauffeuring you to the local Symphony on opening night.
For 2010 there is a new interior leather color called cinnamon brown and it adds a touch of trendy style to what is otherwise a pretty bog standard Audi interior. And by bog standard interior I mean best in class. Another new for 2010 extra is an extra leather package that covers pretty much everything including the dashboard in cow hide. The result makes the Q5 feel a lot more expensive than it is.
One has to wonder, considering the fact that Audi has dominated automotive interior design for so long it would be interesting to see them mess something up once in a while. Perhaps someday Audi will try a new hot pink interior color with lime green accents but that looks like it may never happen.
The only engine available in the Q5 is a 3.2 liter V6 offering a class competitive 270 horsepower. But while its horsepower ratings are pretty average among the competition for some reason it is faster than any luxury SUV from Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, Volvo or Acura. I guess that shows how much weight car buyers should put into horsepower figures.
Engine noise is muted at cruising speeds but when you really gun it the noise it makes it very pleasing to the ear. It is sort of metallic howl that builds steadily as the revs rise. It almost makes you feel like you are in a race car. And who can say that about their SUV?
The Q5 is by no means trying to be the executive isolation chamber that the Lexus RX is but instead wants to be driven much like a BMW X5. Really those are the two most fun to drive SUVs on the market today and it makes one wonder what sets them apart?
Well, in the case of the Q5 it is taut steering, agile yet compliant handling and compact dimensions that all conspire to make this SUV a driver’s delight. Beyond the fact that it is a joy to drive the Q5 also features the best exterior and interior styling in its class. So no matter which reason you choose to use as an excuse to buy your new Q5 the end result will always be the same. You will own the best compact luxury SUV on the market today.
Price: (Starting at $37,350)
Engine: (3.2 liter V6 engine : 270 horsepower/243 lb. feet of torque)
EPA Fuel Economy: (18 city/23 highway)