When Audi launched the Q7 in 2006, it ushered in an era of SUVs for the company that invented Quattro. Now, Audi follows that car up with a smaller SUV, the Q5. With its independent suspension and small size, this car also fits into the crossover segment.
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The Q5 borrows many styling cues from Audi cars, including the big grille that extends through the bumper.
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Audi's signature LED parking lights adorn the top edge of the headlight casing. With these lights, there's not mistaking an Audi at night.
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A 3.2-liter direct injected V-6 moves the Q5, providing 270 horsepower. Smart programming in the six-speed-automatic gearbox makes the car feel fast.
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As a luxury small SUV, the Q5 seats five and offers extra cargo space. It competes with the Lexus RX350 and BMW X5.
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Quattro all-wheel-drive comes standard in the Q5. The most recent generation of this technology not only moves torque between the front and rear wheels, but shunts it between the rear wheels, as well.
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The cargo area has a moderate amount of space, enough to handle weekend luggage for five.
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A panoramic sunroof lights up the rear seat, and offers an excellent sky view for all passengers.
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As a luxury brand, Audi allows a little too much plastic in the cabin, although partially offset by wood insets, leather seating surfaces, and soft materials over the dashboard.
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Audi keeps the controls on the wheel simple, with rollers for changing the stereo volume and selecting music. With the voice command button, you can search for restaurants just by saying I'm hungry.
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A small color display on the instrument cluster shows a lot of useful information, from route guidance, to range, to currently playing music.
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The Q5 gets the latest version of Audi's MMI, the controller for navigation, music, and the phone system. The MMI's knob now has a small joystick on top to make moving around a map easier.
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Drive Select is a relatively new feature for Audi. It lets you change the steering, suspension, and gearbox between comfort and dynamic modes. In dynamic mode, the Q5 takes on sports car characteristics.
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Blind spot detection is also available on the Q5. A button on the A pillar lets you turn it on, and when a car is in the Q5's blind spot, yellow lights on the side view mirror casing turn on.
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With its trajectory lines, the rearview camera provides excellent guidance information. It also helps you park by shading in areas next to the car.
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The new navigation system is hard drive-based, and has very detailed 3D maps of major urban centers.
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Traffic information is integrated with the navigation system. You can view traffic flow information on the navigation system maps, or a separate listing of nearby incidents.
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A Bang & Olufsen audio system is available in the Q5, with 14 speakers and a 505 watt amp.
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