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2018 Audi Q5 A Luxury SUV For The Family A Review By Larry Nutson

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2018 Audi Q5
Luxury for the Family

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

In my various residential moves over the course of many years my goal in buying or leasing an existing residence was to find one that had acceptable aesthetics on the outside but that really could provide complete personal satisfaction on the inside.

To me, cars are like that too. After all we, as driver's spend most all our time seated inside.

Some automakers do a great job at both the in and the out. Audi enjoys a reputation of having really good interior design. And in the case of the new 2018 Audi Q5, Audi has done a nice job in the cabin as well as on the exterior.

So much so, the editors at Autotrader praised the all-new 2018 Q5 for its styling and sportiness in the crossover segment. And, the 2018 Audi Q5 has been named one of Autotrader’s "10 Best Car Interiors under $50,000.” The awards are based on attractive, comfortable and thoughtfully planned interiors of recently updated models.

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) On the outside the 2018 Q5 follows in the footsteps of the Q7 with a new front fascia and distinctive Audi signature grille, a strong should line over the wheel arches and a flat, coupe-like roof line for an overall crisper design. The five-seat interior has a new dashboard design that gives a more spacious feeling.

The Q5 now comes with only one engine, a 252-HP 2.0-liter I-4 engine paired with an all-new seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission. Quattro AWD is standard and the Q5 takes just 5.9 second to go from 0 to 60 mph.

Audi has updated the Q5 with a new suite of driver assistance safety systems including blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and automatic emergency braking. These safety features are becoming a must-have in a new vehicle. (See Also; My Car Does What? See Latest Advanced Driver Assistance Technology Features On Your New Car - What They Are And How They Work - HERE

This helped the Q5 receive a 5-Star Overall Safety Rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association’s (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program (NCAP).

Q5 buyers have a choice of three trims, Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige priced at $41,500, $45,500 and $50,800, respectively.

For my evaluation I drove the top-line Prestige with an added Cold Weather package ($500) that topped out at $52,275 including the $975 destination charge.

Dynamically, Audi does a great job and the Q5 is no exception. Keep in mind that the typical SUV driver is not racing around. They’re just going about their daily routine doing their personal business immersed in the road traffic of their community.

The turbo four-cylinder engine now has more power, up by 32 horsepower. The quattro all-wheel-drive system has been made more efficient and now is primarily front-wheel drive that engages the rear wheels when traction is required. And, Q5s have five different driving modes to choose – comfort, auto, dynamic, individual and off-road.

The decoupling rear axle on the quattro system has helped the EPA test-cycle ratings that are up for the 2018, now at 25 mpg combined, with 23 city mpg and 27 highway mpg. Audi says, no other non-hybrid luxury SUV in its competitive segment offers higher EPA-estimated city or combined mileage.

Riding on an all-new platform, overall ride quality is quite good with very neutral handling from its nicely compliant suspension. The smooth ride along with its quiet interior make for lots of comfort. The Prestige model I drove also had dual pane acoustic glass in the front side windows making for even more quiet.

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I personally like the instrument panel layout, especially the eye-level center display. The MMI is a quick study and the navigation system allows you to set a destination while underway…I’m a bit impatient and don’t like to sit parked while I enter an address. The MMI now also has handwriting-recognition technology.

A 19-speaker Bang and Olufsen audio system delivers music hall entertainment and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto let you connect in your personal mobile device.

The new Q5 has more rear legroom and shoulder room, as well as increased cargo capacity. The rear seat is user-friendly with a 40/20/40 split-fold back as well as a sliding feature and adjustable recline. Rear cargo space is 26.8 cu.ft. that expands to 60.4 cu.ft. with the rear seat folded.

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If you want or need more sport in your life for $54,300 there’s an SQ5 version. It has a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 making 354-HP that’s paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and will hit 60 mph from a stop in 5.1 seconds. More information and details on the 2018 Audi Q5 and SQ5 can be found at

There are many choices in the 5-passenger luxury SUV segment from European, Asian and U.S. brands. And it’s fair to say today that there are no bad cars, or SUVs. The car-buying public is in pretty good shape when shopping for a new vehicle with many options that will prove satisfactory and meet their personal taste as well as financial goals. Over the years Audi has established itself in the U.S. market with a decent dealer network that also plays a key role in owner satisfaction. That said, if I were in the market, the Audi Q5 would be on my shopping list.

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Audi’s Q5 design and engineering has to meet the needs of many global markets and that in itself yields a better vehicle. The overall performance is sporty with quick acceleration, highway merging and passing ability. The transmission shifts quickly and smoothly and is not too busy. Like every SUV there’s a slight climb-up to get in but ingress and egress is easy. Once seated outward sight lines are clear and instrumentation and controls are well marked and easy to us.

All in all the new Q5 is a nice package. There are a couple recent entries on the market from Alfa and Jaguar that might be tempting but the Q5 should be near the top of the list.

© 2018 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy

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