What Changed for 2009:
- All-new small luxury SUV from Audi
- Built on the same platform as the Audi A4 and Audi A5
- Standard 3.2-liter V-6 powerplant
- Permanent quattro all-wheel drive (AWD)
- Next-generation MMI multi-media interface
- Available Audi parking system
Audi's second SUV, the all-new Q5, enters a segment already occupied by the BMW X3, Land Rover LR2, Lexus RX 350, Infiniti EX35, Volvo XC60, and the Mercedes-Benz GLK. As such, the Q5 finds itself competing against strong rivals. To differentiate its entrant from the competition, Audi boasts that the new Q5 is the sportiest in the segment, the most fuel efficient in the class, and offers best-in-class towing capability. A long list of standard luxury features, permanent quattro AWD, a strong 6-cylinder powerplant, and innovative technology will help consumers discern it from the growing crowd of small luxury SUVs.
Smaller than its sibling, the larger 7-passenger Audi Q7, the 5-passenger Audi Q5 is decidedly sportier in overall appearance, execution, and performance, the automaker claims. The large, now familiar, Audi single-frame grille is bracketed by expressive headlights (\"Xenon plus\" headlamps are optional) and LED daytime running lights. Large 5-spoke wheels, set inside gently flared fenders, give the Q5 an aggressive stance, enhanced by the tapered LED tail lamps and wrap-around rear reflectors. Audi has styled the Q5 with a roofline that begins to slope down towards the rear immediately after the B-pillar without impeding rear-seat passenger head room. The Q5's interior is lined with high-quality materials including standard leather seats and real wood trim, accented by thin aluminum surrounds. The center console houses a storage compartment, dual cupholders, and the controls for the MMI (multi-media interface) set just behind the conventional transmission shifter. The traditional instrument panel features a large central display screen, located just above the center vents.
The all-new Q5 fits in well with the rest of the Audi model lineup, and shares the same platform as Audi's A4 and A5. The modular chassis architecture allows the Audi to have the longest wheelbase in its class, to improve ride quality, and a wide stance, to improve handling and stability, the automaker says. With the exception of the hood and trunk-both made of lightweight aluminum-most of the chassis and body panels are manufactured from high-strength, or ultra-high-strength, steel. According to Audi, these provide a stronger passenger cell with optimized deformation properties and reduced cabin vibration.
There are three different 2009 Audi Q5 models: Q5 Premium, Q5 Premium Plus, and Q5 Prestige. In addition to the long list of expected standard power and luxury equipment, the standard Premium model is equipped with leather upholstery, triple-zone climate control, rear reclining/sliding seats, and 12-way power-operated front seats. The Premium Plus model adds Xenon headlamps, power tailgate, auto-dimming mirrors, heated seats, panoramic moonroof, and upgraded audio. The Prestige package includes 19-inch alloy wheels, advanced keyless entry/start, parking assist with reversing camera, MMI Navigation Plus, and the high-level 505-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system.
The 2009 Audi Q5 does not share a platform with the new Volkswagen Tiguan. As proof, all Q5 models share a longitudinally mounted (front-to-back in the engine compartment) engine, unlike the transverse (side-to-side) powerplant in the new Tiguan. The powerplant is Audi's familiar 3.2-liter V-6 FSI with direct injection, rated at 270 hp and 243 lb.-ft. of torque. Connected to a standard 6-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission with DSP and sport shift programs, Audi says the Q5 sprints to 60 mph in an estimated 6.8 seconds. All Q5s will be equipped with quattro permanent AWD as standard equipment. To enhance driving feel, and offer more traditional rear-wheel-drive handling dynamics, the quattro splits torque 40:60 (front to rear) under normal driving conditions. In inclement weather, or under road conditions offering less-than-ideal traction, quattro will automatically transfer more engine power to the wheels that need it. According to 2009 EPA estimates, the Audi Q5 earns 18 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway for a combined rating of 20 mpg.
Audi's new Q5 SUV utilizes a 5-link front axle, and a trapezoidal-link rear axle. Both are manufactured primarily of aluminum in an effort to reduce weight and improve the ride, Audi says. Four-wheel disc brakes, with anti-lock control, are standard across all models. Standard Q5s feature 18-inch lightweight forged aluminum alloy wheels, with 19- or 20-inch aluminum wheels available as options.
Audi utilizes a modular unibody chassis with high-strength and ultra-high strength steel grades for a rigid occupant cell with optimized crash properties. In addition to the dual frontal-impact air bags, side air bags, and side curtain air bags, all models feature standard anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic stability control with rollover mitigation (EPS), wet-weather brake disc wipe, and brake assist. A blind-spot warning system is optional.
The 2009 Audi Q5 had not been crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) when this profile review was originally published.
The 2009 Audi Q5 was the first model in the manufacturer's lineup to debut the next-generation Audi multi-media interface and communication center (MMI), with what Audi claims is simplified operation. The refined MMI features a new joystick with 8-way control for convenient input. The display is now a 7-inch TFT monitor with high-resolution images and LED backlighting able to project high contrast 3-dimensional maps (conventional two-dimensional views may also be selected) with real-time traffic reporting. A new telephone directory has the capability of storing up to 2,000 named entries with refined speech-to-text capabilities allowing the driver simplified hands-free operation without the need to spell out the individual letters.