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2014 Audi Q5 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2014 Audi Q5 was new.


Performance: 8.2

Most test drivers say the 2014 Audi Q5 is a fun-to-drive luxury compact SUV thanks to nimble handling and a number of powerful and refined engine options. They especially like the new diesel model, which has strong acceleration and achieves good fuel economy for the class.

  • "With the introduction of the new SQ5, we no longer think Audi has to play catch up to the BMW X3. However, the rest of the Q5 lineup still walks a fine line between comfort and performance, softer sprung than the X3, but not as disconnected from the road as the Lexus RX." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "We momentarily forgot the Q5's tall ride height and the diesel under the hood and enjoyed snaking through ess-bends just below the threshold where the tires start to sing." -- Car and Driver
  • "Performance and practicality, two traits that are typically opposing forces when you're talking about an SUV, are both here in ample supply." -- Edmunds
  • "The Q5 could be a little more engaging to drive, but in the end it's still a compact utility vehicle, so expectations are set according-this is not an R8." -- Popular Mechanics

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 Audi Q5 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 220 horsepower. A 272-horsepower, supercharged 3.0-liter V6 and a new 240-horsepower turbodiesel 3.0-liter V6 are optional. The Audi Q5 Hybrid features a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that make 245 horsepower combined. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. The base 2014 Q5 gets an EPA-estimated 20/28 mpg city/highway, which is good for a luxury compact SUV. The turbodiesel Q5 earns even better fuel economy estimates of 24/31 mpg and the Q5 Hybrid gets 24/30 mpg. The new Audi SQ5 features a 354-horsepower, supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine and eight-speed automatic. Audi says the SQ5 can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds and hit a top speed of 155 mph.

Reviewers agree that the Q5’s turbocharged four-cylinder engine is refined and offers plenty of power. They say the eight-speed automatic transmission shifts quickly and smoothly, and that the optional supercharged V6 engine offers impressive power. Critics are especially enamored of the new diesel model, which they say offers fantastic acceleration from a stop.

  • "Regardless of which powertrain you choose, the 2014 Audi Q5 delivers smooth, powerful acceleration, and the eight-speed automatic is also refined and responsive. Both the 2.0T and 3.0T gas engines match their respective rivals in terms of acceleration and fuel economy, while the diesel and hybrid versions of the Q5 offer even higher fuel-efficiency while still delivering plenty of power." -- Edmunds
  • "The 3.0-liter TDI feels at home in the Q5. Torque is all but instant, and the little SUV whisks away from stops effortlessly. And with 428 lb-ft of torque available from 1750 rpm, the Audi will pull whether you're on a hill, in a swamp-wherever." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "Moreover, Audi took special care to make the Q5 feel like anything but a diesel-powered vehicle. Through measures like specially-tuned piezo injectors and a reduction of camshaft chains, the Q5 TDI is indeed remarkably quiet." -- Left Lane News
  • "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 (2013)

Handling and Braking

The 2014 Audi Q5 comes standard with all-wheel drive. Audi drive select, which allows you to adjust steering, throttle and transmission settings, is optional on the Q5. Test drivers agree that the 2014 Audi Q5 handles very well for a luxury compact SUV and offers a comfortable ride. A few think the Q5’s steering doesn’t offer good road feel, but they say that it is precise. Critics write that the all-wheel drive system delivers strong traction and great grip when the road gets twisty.

  • "The Q5's ride quality is firmer than the norm for this class of vehicle, but we've never found it to be harsh. Handling is excellent, and we consider the 2014 Q5 is one of the sportiest crossovers on the market. The steering is similarly quick and responsive, though it has a rather artificial feel." -- Edmunds
  • "The Q5 isn't a corner carver, but its light steering is accurate and direct and its ride is composed. Around town, it proved nimble and comfortable, with its only real demerit being iffy over-the-shoulder visibility." -- Left Lane News
  • "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 (2013)
  • "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 (2013)

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