Audi Q5 TDI Test Drive

2014 Audi Q5 TDI rearQBy Barbara & Bill Schaffer

If Goldilocks were doing car reviews, she?d proclaim the all-new Audi Q5 TDI was a ?just right?. Well, that?s what we think; only more than right, it was almost perfect. Combining a just right midsize, the great styling, comfortable interior, all-wheel drive and diesel engine and the Audi Q5 TDI is a big winner in our fairytale.

Audi has found the magic elixir to great simple design with their entire lineup of cars and SUVs. The clean aerodynamic-look is distinctive, simple and elegant, and we find ourselves turning to look at nearly everyone we see. While driving the Glacier White Metallic 2014 Audi Q5 TDI through some local shopping center parking lots we noticed a great deal of head turning by other?s too. Of course, as Barbara pointed out, we did have a giant ?TDI clean diesel? in large letters on both front doors ? perhaps that?s what turned heads!

2014 Audi Q5 TDI FsideAudi pioneered the daytime running lights and now each of their models has a distinctive pattern that draws attention even when you pass one coming toward you on the highway.

2014 Audi Q5 TDI CstackThe interior on our test Q5 was in beautiful brown leather with black trim. The Q5 controls are well placed and we liked how the designers took advantage of the wide space on the center console for a multitude of the controls like the electronic parking brake, the start/stop button, the navigation and audio controls, communication controls in addition to the transmission shifter. They are easy to see and well positioned so the driver (or the passenger) can just drop a hand and make the desired adjustments to a variety of systems.

2605 Audi Q5 TDI interiorThe interior is spacious and will fit five adults, but as with most vehicles, four is better. Cargo space behind the rear seat is 29.1 cubic feet, or about twice that of a medium to large sedan trunk. When the rear seatback is folded that space grows to a spacious 57.3 cubic feet. That?s lots of room to carry recreational toys, or bring home some large purchases.

2014 Audi Q5 TDI cargoThe Audi Q5 is available in five variations for 2014 based on the engines and equipment level. There is the 2.0T four-cylinder turbo, 3.0T a supercharged V-6, a hybrid and the new SQ5 high performance version with a 354-hp supercharged V-6. Our test vehicle was the TDI with its 240-hp 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 diesel engine ? also new for 2014. The diesel engine produces 428-lb.ft. of torque ? that?s actually more torque than is produced by the 5.2-liter V-10 engine in the Audi R8 sports car.
All five models are quick with 0 to 60 mph acceleration times ranging from 7.0 seconds for the 2.0T to 5.1 seconds for the SQ5. The SQ5 has a top track speed of 155 mph, and all the others have a top speed limited to 130 mph. EPA fuel economy for the gas and hybrid models runs from 18- to 24-mpg in city driving to 26- to 30-mpg highway.

2014 Audi Q5 TDI frontQHere?s why we like the TDI. It accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in a quick 6.5 seconds, and the fuel economy is the best of the bunch at 24 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. We actually averaged an impressive 32.5 mpg during a week of driving. The new diesel is quiet at all speeds, although there is a very subtle diesel clatter at idle, but other than that is amazingly quiet. It also extremely clean and there is no smell or smoke at the tailpipe.

The transmission in all the Qs is Audi?s precision eight-speed Tiptronic automatic with steering wheel-mounted shift paddles. The transmission shifts are quick and smooth and spaced to keep the engine at the optimal speed. All Q5s are equipped with Audi?s legendary quattro all-wheel drive.

It was hard to think about the Q5 as being a crossover; it drove more like a sport sedan or sport wagon even though it has a higher center of gravity and a diesel engine. It runs on wide, low profile 19 inch all-season tires.

2014 Audi Q5 TDI rearSThe TDI Premium Plus version has a high level of standard features including three zone automatic climate control, panoramic sunroof, power tailgate, Xenon headlights, leather seating (heated in front) and the advanced key system. Our test vehicle had a base price of $47,395. The addition of metallic paint ($500) and the MMI Navigation Plus Package ($3,550) brought the price to $51,445. The MMI package includes navigation, CD/DVD player, parking system with rearview camera and Audi Connect online services. The Q5 has several other available options like a Bang & Olufsen? sound system, Side Assist (blind spot warning), 20-inch wheels, rear seat entertainment and the Audi S-line plus package. The diesel version is priced at $2,100 more than the V-6 gasoline version. For more information about pricing and available packages go online to

2014 Audi Q5 TDI groupOf the 100 to 150 cars we get to drive each year there are a few that make it into our fantasy garage, and the 2014 Audi Q5 TDI has certainly earned a slot.

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