These days, it takes more than a beautifully designed interior, elegant shape and fantastic utility to compete in the midsize luxury crossover field. While the 2010 Audi Q5 certainly possesses all of the attributes listed above, it comes to the table packing an even more important weapon: a healthy dose of advanced technology that elevates its driving and riding experience above that of any other premium crossover in its class.
The 2010 Audi Q5 (MSRP $37,350) provides potential buyers with a stunning array of high-tech equipment and packages that position the crossover at the crest of a very advanced luxury wave. Taking a look at the convenience gear that can be loaded into the Q5 is a real eye-opener. For example, the vehicle’s available MMI Navigation Plus system comes with a seven-inch LCD screen that displays in full color. It steps past the standard ranks of navigation equipment thanks to its stunning ability to offer 3D topographical representations of major cities across the country. These bird’s-eye views of a city’s roads and neighborhoods allow drivers to better situate themselves through the use of realistic landmarks and points of interest. The feature is managed through the rotary Multi Media Interface (MMI) controller, and also provides real-time traffic updates and a 40GB hard drive.
MMI Navigation Plus further integrates with the Audi Parking System Advanced, which provides a rearview camera and ultrasonic sensors that not only offer a view of the area directly behind the Q5 while reversing, but also incorporates audio tones that help guide drivers while backing up. The ultrasonic sensors are especially useful in low-light situations where obstacles that are close to the ground are more difficult to see with the naked eye. Other features that are designed to integrate with Audi’s MMI system include the Audi Music Interface. This unique option allows you to connect an iPod to the vehicle’s sound system in order to provide full control for the device through Audi’s stereo controls.
Audi’s technological leadership also shines through when it comes to active safety equipment. The 2010 Audi Q5’s Electronic Stabilization Program (ESP) keeps the crossover within safe handling limits at all times, regardless of how treacherous road conditions might become. The ESP system works hand in hand with the Q5’s Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and antilock brake systems, as well as the Electronic Differential Locks and Anti-Slip Regulation, to augment the already strong grip provided by Audi’s standard quattro® all-wheel drive. The ESP system is so finely tuned that it can even automatically detect the presence of cargo loaded onto the Q5’s roofrack and adjust its response to reflect the vehicle’s higher center of gravity. The Audi Q5 also comes with Hill Descent Control, a very useful feature when venturing off the beaten path and one that uses the crossover’s brakes to automatically slow the rate of descent when moving down a particularly steep incline. Last but not least, rollover mitigation is also a part of the vehicle’s overall safety technology package.
In the engine bay, the Audi Q5’s 3.2-liter Fuel Stratified Injection (FSI) engine squeezes 270 hp and 243 lb/ft of torque out of its six cylinders thanks to the judicious use of variable valve timing and the Audi valvelift system. The latter provides for complete control over the engine’s power production profile to maximize either output or fuel economy, depending upon the demands of the driver. The vehicle’s six-speed automatic transmission offers Tiptronic manual shifting capabilities, and fuel mileage for the vehicle shows as an excellent 23 mpg during highway driving.
Buyers can also opt for Audi Drive Select, which is designed to allow for driver control over the vehicle’s adaptive suspension system along with its available dynamic steering. The “Comfort” setting tunes the Q5 for the smoothest possible ride while “Dynamic” is meant for sportier driving. The system also offers “Auto” and “Individual” settings with the latter providing a custom measure of control over the vehicle’s driving feel. Transmission shift points and engine response are additionally tied in to the Audi Drive Select feature.
The 2010 Audi Q5 conceals a great deal of technological investment underneath its attractive metallic skin. The endless efforts of Audi engineers to produce the most advanced automobiles available are readily apparent when sampling this sublime premium crossover.