The Audi Q5 competes in one of the hardest fought markets in the entire automotive world. Lexus derives much of its revenue, and a fair percentage of its overall sales from the RX350 luxury crossover. Lexus created this segment and has dominated since. However, Audi has been hard at work trying to chip away at the Lexus with a design many find appealing. For 2013 Audi makes major changes to improve its chances in the showroom.
Power and Fuel Economy Improvements
Starting with the powertrain is always a smart move, and Audi’s new engines are all state of the art. Every one of its options includes direct fuel injection and also automatic stop/start. These features improve fuel economy by about 15% across the board and horsepower is up substantially as well. The top of the line engine will move the Q5 from a standstill to 60 in about 6.5 seconds which was Mustang GT territory until a few years ago. The top of the line fuel economy approaches 37 MPG highway. Clearly, the Q5 can appeal to a wide range of buyers needs in terms of performance and fuel economy. Audi is also introducing a hybrid model it calls its first production hybrid. The four cylinder engine is mated to an electric motor for power equaling a six-cylinder, but with the fuel economy of a four.
In order to improve the driving experience each of the transmissions in the Q5 works to speed warm-up time to get heat moving to the passenger compartment. Not many automakers brag about their transmissions ability to warm its passengers, but Audi has a ski trip in mind for the Q5 and it shows. To move the Q5 up snow covered hills, most Q5s sold in the US will have the Audi Quattro all-wheel drive system, though a front drive version is available for sale in some markets.
Audi has Spartan design, but is moving ahead with more chrome trim in the Q5 interior. It will be welcome. If that interior is too comfortable the driver assistance feature can note a drowsy driver and alert them to the danger. Updates to the infotainment system include the ability to work with smartphone apps to receive internet radio.
Audi is working hard to impress customers in the luxury crossover segment and has improved power, fuel efficiency, infotainment, and the looks of the Q5 luxury crossover.