By Frank S. Washington
DETROIT – Audi already had a hit with its Q5 crossover vehicle. The addition of the 2014 Audi Q5 TDI should make this luxury CUV even more popular.
The Q5 TDI was powered by a 3.0-liter V6 turbocharged direct injection diesel engine that made 240 horsepower and a healthy 428 pound-feet of torque at 1,750 to 2,250 RPM. It was mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. That engine put the diesel right in the middle of Audi’s Q5 five model lineup with a zero to 60 mph time of 6.8 seconds. Top speed was electronically limited to 130 mph.
And the Q5 had an EPA rating of 24 mpg in the city, 31 mpg on the highway and 27 mpg combine. In our world, after six days and 122 miles of driving, we still had more than three-quarters of a tank of fuel left and a range of 530 miles. Fuel capacity was 19.8 gallons.
Power was the operative term during a week-long test drive of the O5. It didn’t feel overly quick nor did it seem to be speedy. But step on the accelerator and the vehicle would power forward with authority from any speed. Our test vehicle was equipped with Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system. Capable of sending torque to the wheel with the most traction, quattro operated with a 40-60 rear bias during normal operation. Putting traction to all four wheels all the time enabled a level of handling that rivaled some sporty cars.
Everything with any exterior design of Audi starts with the Singleframe® grille and so it did with the Q5. The vehicle had a sloping roof, LED daytime running lights, Xenon headlamps for nighttime driving and LED taillights. Also new for 2014, the Q5 TDI had the S line plus package. It included 20-inch, five segment spoke wheels, brushed aluminum inlays, a three-spoke flat bottom steering wheel with shift paddles, an adaptive damping suspension, Audi drive select controls and a high gloss black package with matte black roof rails.
Inside, the Audi Q5 TDI had a black leather sports interior. There wasn’t any wood trim but there was aluminum trimmed instruments and inlays. The test vehicle had a panoramic roof, the movable section in the front and the rear section was fixed but it would tilt open.
There was plenty of leg and head room in the Q5’s backseats. Back seat passengers could get the full effect of the glass roof. It had 29.1 cu. ft. of storage capacity with the second row seats in use. That opened up to 57.3 cu. ft. of storage with the second row seats folded.
The driving characteristics of the 2014 Q5 were light. That is the vehicle didn’t feel like it weighed 4,475 lbs. It drove pretty light on its treads.
Of course it had a navigation system, a premium audio system, Bluetooth, satellite radio and voice controls, a rearview camera. It also had Audi connect, an in-vehicle Wi-Fi hotspot that enhanced the navigation system with Google Earth maps and it featured local weather, news and fuel prices.
It also enabled local searches for information about travel destinations such as restaurants, hotels, pricing, traffic information as well as parking. The Audi Q5 could even detect when the roof rack cross bars were installed and then adjust driving dynamics based on the center of gravity.
The starting price of the 2014 Audi Q5 was $46,500. Add on three option packages, plus the freight charge and the price as tested was $55,445.
Frank S. Washington is editor of AboutThatCar.com.