2010 Audi Q5

Last time I reviewed a crossover, I told you that I was beginning to warm up to them. It is getting harder and harder to find a good sporty wagon, and the more crossover Kool-Aid I drink the better they start to look. If you squint at the picture of this 2010 Audi Q5 above it almost resembles a fat wagon. Those pretty LED eyelids are staring at me and I am slowly being sucked into a land I swore I would never find myself in. I am in mid-size luxury crossover country…and I like it here. The 2010 Audi Q5 is powered by a 3.2L DOHC V6 engine which benefits from direct injection. It makes 270 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque at 3,00o rpm. This engine is paired with a six-speed tiptronic automatic transmission. Right away I was surprised at how much more I enjoyed this transmission than the DSG so often found throughout the Audi/VW lineup. The tiptronic responded promptly when I called upon it and was intelligent when I let it work on its own. No sluggish “normal” mode or skittish “sport” mode as I find with the six-speed DSG. The Q5 is by no means a lightweight at 4,244 lbs yet it is not the heaviest in its class either. 270 hp doesn’t sound like much for a vehicle such as the Q5, but it felt almost sprightly to me. With a mash of the gas and a flip of the paddles near the redline, and I can hit 60 mph in under seven seconds. This Q5 feels quicker than I thought it would. Throw in the standard quattro AWD system, optional 20-in wheels, a five-link aluminum front suspension and I find myself enjoying curvy roads in a 4,000+lb fat wagon. Since this is an Audi, I am not just enjoying the surprising performance. The Audi Q5 has a level of fit and finish that is near tops in the industry. They don’t just reserve it for their upper echelon vehicles either. It starts with the A8L and filters down to the A3. The Q5 is no exception and I find the inside of this Audi is a wonderful place to be. The Q5 comes standard with such features as tri-zone climate control, heated exterior mirrors, and the Audi Concert radio system. The Q5 I am driving however is fitted with the Prestige trim level features. These include a panoramic sunroof, power tailgate, a drivers side heated and cooled cupholder (sounds silly on paper, in reality it’s awesome), a bunch of parking assist features, and a Bang & olufsen sound system which picks up all the finest nuanced details of Lil’ Wayne’s Drop the World. All those features, combined with a very comfortable front seating area, make the Q5 cabin a welcoming environment on trips of any length. The one feature that stands out however is the ultra-crisp screen located at the top of the center stack. Audi has really taken the lead on their display quality and you can see this right in the Q5s map images. Moving beyond the simple birds-eye view, in the Q5 I can actually see the contour of the terrain as I move down the coast. As I progress from the flatter regions of Huntington and Newport Beach into the hilly sections of Laguna and Dana Point, the map shows me in great detail the elevation changes that pass around me. This is not just good as eye candy as the map is much easier to read with this greater detail. If a navigational unit is easier to read then I can spend less time staring at it and more time watching the road. The 2010 Audi Q5 is a pleasantly surprising joy to drive. The 3.2L engine provides solid response even in the face of all that weight and the AWD system. The interior is feature-packed and a comfortable space at the same time. On the outside, the Q5 resembles a fatter, taller Audi wagon. It’s like the guy or girl from your high school who was hot back in the day, but muscle eventually turned to fat. The face is still quite attractive and the more time you spend with them, the more you remember the good old days. The style of the Q5 is visually appealing the longer you look at it. The gorgeous LED eyelids shine bright day or night and look great against the silver paint on this specific Q5. Next time you see one in person, don’t just walk by…take a second to examine the lines from a few different angles and see if you feel the same way. I have dismissed crossovers many times but this is one that I approve of. Well…until we get to the pricetag. The base price of the 2010 Audi Q5 is $37,350 which is actually a good starting point. You get the 3.2L V6 and the six-speed tiptronic plus a good number of standard features. The Q5 you see here however is fitted with that Prestige trim which drives the price up by $11,500. Throw in a few more options like Audi Drive Select and the 20-in wheels, and the total price is $56,200. That is a lot of money for a mid-size crossover. Compared to the competition, this price is in line with the rest of the segment for a fully-loaded, top-trim, mid-suze luxury crossover. If you can live without some of the interior upgrades from the Prestige trim (give me a Bang & olufsen audio system…or give me death) then you can get an excellent vehicle in the high-$30k to mid-$40k range. The 2010 Audi Q5 is the first real crossover vehicle which I have enjoyed on almost every level. If you are in the market for a luxury wagon…maybe you would consider a fat wagon?

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