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2013 Audi Q5 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 Audi Q5 was new.


Performance: 8.3

Auto writers say that the 2013 Audi Q5 offers fun driving dynamics thanks to its agile handling and accurate steering. A small turning circle also makes the Q5 relatively easy to maneuver in tight spots, according to critics. One test driver says that the 2013 Q5 strikes a nice balance between comfort-tuned SUVs like the Lexus RX and sportier models like the BMW X3.  

  • "Firm, responsive steering adds to twisty-road driving enjoyment, while a tight turning radius eases close-quarters maneuvering in the daily grind." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "On country roads around Munich, the Q5 displayed a quiet and comfortable ride." -- Road and Track 
  • "If the BMW X3 is about speed and the Lexus RX favors comfort, the Audi Q5 splits the difference. This automotive Goldilocks is comfortable and quick, with the latter characteristic helped by the new supercharged V6 engine under the hood." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Being in Los Angeles, I am the only one on the AutoWeek staff who is not currently wading through waist-deep snow, cursing the weather. So why is it that I am driving this perfectly capable all-wheel-drive Audi SUV? Because it's fun to drive on dry pavement, too." -- AutoWeek (2011)

Acceleration and Power

The base 2013 Audi Q5 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 211 horsepower. An eight-speed automatic transmission and Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system are also standard. The EPA reports that the 2013 Q5 gets up to 20/28 mpg city/highway, which is better than the fuel economy of SUVs like the Cadillac SRX and Volvo XC60. For 2013, an optional supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine replaces the 3.2-liter V6 that was available in the 2012 model. The new V6 is slightly more powerful, generating 272 horsepower. The Audi Q5 Hybrid is also new for 2013. It features a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that make 245 horsepower combined.

While one reviewer mentions that the Q5’s base engine can run out of steam on steep hill climbs, test drivers generally agree that the turbo-four offers plenty of power. They note that the engine is a good match to the eight-speed automatic transmission, which helps keep the Q5 in its power band while delivering good fuel economy. The new V6 also earns reviewer praise. Critics say that it is refined and offers strong acceleration.

  • "The new V6 powerplant does a commendable job of hauling the base Q5's considerable 4,057-pound curb weight. Off-the-line acceleration and in-gear performance is encouragingly strong - it's no-out-and-out rocket ship, but neither does it feel wanting in any way." -- AutoWeek 
  • "The turbo 4-cylinder feels peppy except on long uphill stretches, where it labors somewhat, but the smooth, alert 8-speed automatic helps make the most of what the engine has to give." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "Audi's 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder is a splendid engine thanks to its blend of power and fuel economy. Connected to the buttery-smooth 8-speed automatic transmission found in the Q5, this powerplant shines even more." -- Kelley Blue Book 
  • "Audi's claimed 0-60 time also highlights the 3.0T as the athlete of the group, requiring just 5.9 seconds. Silky-smooth engine run-out and a slightly playful exhaust note make getting there fun, too." -- Truck Trend 

Handling and Braking

The 2013 Q5 impresses the automotive press with its composed handling and impressive all-wheel drive traction. One test driver says that the Q5 feels almost as stable and athletic as a compact sport sedan, while another notes the Q5’s deft cornering ability. Still, one critic writes that the Q5 rides more firmly than he would like, especially with the optional sport suspension.

  • "Dynamically, the Q5 feels more resolved than ever. With Audi's patented Torsen torque-sensing four-wheel-drive system apportioning drive to all four wheels, traction is always strong. It also provides tenacious grip in corners." -- AutoWeek 
  • "Despite its higher SUV stance, the Q5 corners almost like a compact sport sedan, with little body lean and a reassuringly stable feel." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "The ride quality is still a little too stiff, though, especially if you opt for the S line sport suspension." -- Edmunds 
  • "The Q5 is nimble in corners, but steering is a bit heavy at low speeds." -- Kelley Blue Book

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