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2015 Audi Q5 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2015 Audi Q5 was new.


Performance: 8.3

Test drivers agree that the 2015 Audi Q5 features sporty, secure handing that makes it fun to drive. Still, a few critics note that its ride can be slightly firmer than that of some competitors. The Q5 can be equipped with multiple engines and reviewers say that the Q5 gets up to highway speeds without hesitation, regardless of which one you choose.

  • "Audi's engineers have also been trying to make their creations more fun to drive, and the Q5 is exemplary here as well. It really does feel at home dashing between corners on a country road. The downside is that on bumpy roads the Q5 will jostle you around more than competing rivals. If you value this crossover's above-average handling, you probably won't mind; otherwise, you might." -- Edmunds
  • "In fact, the entire Audi Q5 lineup is oriented toward sport, with even the diesel and hybrid offering impressive acceleration." -- 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 (2014)
  • "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 (2014)

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 Audi Q5 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 220 horsepower. A trio of 3.0-liter V6 engines are also available. The Q5 3.0T comes with a supercharged V6 engine that has 272 horsepower, while the Q5 TDI features a turbodiesel V6 that generates 240 horsepower. The high-performance Audi SQ5 has a supercharged V6 engine with 354 horsepower. All 2015 Q5 models come with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The base Audi Q5 earns an EPA-estimated 20/28 mpg city/highway, which is fairly good for an all-wheel drive luxury compact SUV.

The Q5 Hybrid has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that produce 245 horsepower. It earns 24/30 mpg city/highway, which is lower than many hybrid rivals' estimates.

According to reviewers, the turbocharged four-cylinder and supercharged V6 engines both provide plenty of power and quick acceleration. Models equipped with diesel engines also impress test drivers who say they’re fast off the line, can climb hills with ease and have excellent fuel economy. Still, some automotive journalists say that the base engine offers the best combination of power and good fuel economy. The transmission also earns test drivers’ praise for its responsiveness.

  • "Regardless of which powertrain you choose, the 2015 Audi Q5 delivers smooth, powerful acceleration, and the eight-speed automatic is 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, yet still accelerate with verve." -- Edmunds
  • "While there are a variety of powertrains to choose from, Audi's 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder may be the best all-around choice. It's fuel efficient, powerful, and with the 8-speed automatic transmission, makes even the base Q5 a fun-to-drive SUV." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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 (2014)
  • "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 (2014)

Handling and Braking

The 2015 Audi Q5 comes standard with all-wheel drive. An optional Audi Drive Select system allows you to adjust steering, throttle and transmission settings. Test drivers report that the Q5 offers sharp handling, which some say makes it one of the sportiest options in the class. However, some reviewers note that it rides more firmly than some rivals. Most automotive journalists are pleased with the Q5’s precise, communicative steering, but a few complain that its steering is heavy and artificial feeling.   

  • "On one hand, it's not quite as hard-driving as the BMW X3 - with the exception of the sporty SQ5 - but it doesn't feel as disconnected as the Lexus RX either. Instead, Audi lets you choose softer or sportier suspension and engine performance, thanks to the available drive-select feature. No matter what setting you choose, we still find the Q5's steering feel to be a bit over-weighted at low speeds, but have no complaints once up and running." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Q5's ride quality is firmer than the norm for this class of vehicle, but we've never found it to be harsh. Just make sure you find some rough pavement on your test-drive so you'll know what it feels like. Handling is excellent, and we consider the 2015 Q5 to be one of the sportiest crossovers on the market. The steering is quick and responsive, though it has a rather artificial feel. Firm ride aside, the Q5 is hard to fault from the driver seat." -- 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 (2014)
  • "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)

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