EXECUTIVE EDITOR ROGER HART: I like the size and styling of the 2011 Audi Q5, but the 2. 0-liter turbo is not quite enough of a powerplant to motivate this thing properly. The ute is screaming for Audi’s small diesel powerplant, and it would certainly improve the fuel economy. If i had to suffer with this small of an engine, I’d audi q5 to be getting better than 20 mpg. I know the diesel would up the price by a couple of grand, but it would be worth it in the long run.
The interior is certainly comfortable, but again, this is a small ute. The back seat is small and the cargo area, likewise. I would like to ask those who buy this vehicle what made them choose it over a sedan? Headroom? Ground clearance?
EXECUTIVE EDITOR–AUTOWEEK. COM BOB GRITZINGER: I can see the case for spending a fewsuv new audi thousand more on a better matched, more efficient diesel for this ute, but the Q5 is also just fine with this powertrain. The gasoline turbo pulls strong enough to haul this 4, 000-pounder around and does so without too much racket and drama. Is it a rocketship? Heck no. But it’s up to the task at hand, at least with just the driver aboard. Fill all four seats and pack the cargo hold full, and it might be another story.
Overall, this is handsome take on the small-crossover theme, with nice lines and a typically sharp Audi interior. I do note that this model is a little short on the kinds of accoutrements we tend to take for granted in Audis: navigation, adjustable suspension damping, paddle shifters, for instance. At the same time, you can get into this Audi for less than $40, 000, which seems almost impossible. I did a double take.
What you lose at the lower sticker is the ability to smooth the ride and track your course–not the end of the world in either case. But if a softer ride is high on your list of priorities, make sure you take a drive that includes some bumpy pavement before you plunk down your money.
2011 Audi Q5 2. 0T Premium
Base Price: $36, 075
As-Tested Price: $38, 000
Drivetrain: 2. 0-liter turbocharged I4; AWD, eight-speed automatic
Output: 211 hp @ 4, 300 rpm, 258 lb-ft @ 1, 500 rpm
Curb Weight: 4, 090 lb
Fuel Economy (EPA/AW): 22/20 mpg
Options: Bluetooth and Homelink package including preparation for mobile phone, garage-door opener ($700); quartz gray metallic paint ($475); heated front seats ($450); Audi music interface with ipod cable ($300)
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