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2019 Audi Q5 Review - Three Ways It's Different

2019 Audi Q5 Review

The Audi Q5 was introduced as an entry-level luxury crossover back in 2009. Since then, it has become one of Audi's most popular vehicles in the United States, owing to both relative affordability and utility. 

In the years since introduction, the segment has become increasingly crowded. There are many excellent vehicles competing with the Q5 in the $45k - $55k price range, including models from Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW. In order to stay relevant, Audi has had to push the envelope to make this generation of the Q5 more technologically advanced than ever before. 

Industry Leading Instrument Cluster & Safety Technology

Audi has always done an incredible job with their driving displays, but this new virtual cockpit is truly next level. It features a 12.3-inch display which delivers incredibly vibrant colors and graphics. It can display an entire map for navigation via Google Earth. Currently, Volvo is the only other manufacturer offering this type of display in the segment, but Audi edges out by way of better graphics and more customization options.

The Q5 also offers a full-color heads-up display, which projects relevant driving information directly into your field of vision. While many competitors also offer this feature, it is still a nice perk that even a few years ago was not your standard fare.

Especially in the luxury crossover market, safety is an important consideration, and the Q5 offers some slick safety tech, namely the Audi specific Pre Sense, which can intervene and help prepare the vehicle for impact. This process includes beginning to close the side windows and panoramic sunroof, as well as pre-tensioning the front safety belts. Hopefully, you will never have a need to experience this feature, but knowing that it is there is great for peace of mind. 

Having driven in large cities for most of my life, I can tell you that pedestrians can come out of nowhere, and that's where Audi Pre Sense City could actually save a life. It helps detect cornering and stationary vehicles, as well as pedestrians, at speeds of up to 52 mph. Pre Sense can initiate full braking when a potential collision is detected, and that makes this feature a must-have, especially if you do a lot of city driving. 

Simple Yet High Touch Interior

2019 Audi Q5 Review

When you pop inside many new luxury vehicles today, you're greeted with large screens, tons of buttons, and confusing control knobs. Audi, however, has gone with a minimalistic interior, and much like the exterior design of this vehicle, it is simple and inoffensive, yet modern and clean. 

All of the interior materials are of high quality as you'd expect from an Audi product. The polished wood is a nice touch, though you can also spring for a sportier metal trim as well. Unfortunately, natural wood grain is not available. 

All surfaces are finished in soft rubber-like plastic or incredibly smooth leather. These soft touches are moved down to the steering wheel as well which feels as smooth as silk. 

Athletic Driving Experience

All Q5's are equipped with the same 2.0t, 4-cylinder engine, which generates 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. This will get this 4,000-pound crossover from 0-60 mph in just 5.9 seconds, over a full second faster than its predecessor. The turbos spool up quickly too, allowing for lively acceleration and spirited driving if you wish. 

While the engine is good, it's the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission which makes driving this one truly special. The transmission on the Q5 feels more like one you might find in a Porsche 911 rather than a crossover. Even at the highest engine shift points, the transmission remains smooth and quick, a hard engineering feat to accomplish. 

If you like to carve canyon roads on the weekend as much as I do, you'll be surprised at just how much fun the Q5 can be to drive.

Source forbes.com
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