Daily Archives: October 9, 2013

Audi Q5 shows TDI efficiency, electronic excellence

San Francisco’s dense traffic, poorly timed traffic lights, and hills cause just about any car’s fuel economy to plummet like a 1930s Wall Street stockbroker. Even the vaunted diesel efficiency of the 2014 Audi Q5 TDI suffered, the trip computer showing an average as low as 15 mpg while I drove it around town.

However, that same average leaped to over 34 mpg as I cruised down the freeway, my first hint that the Q5 TDI would offer a host of seeming contradictions.

The Q5, Audi’s small crossover, hit the streets in 2009, and besides some engine and electronics updating, remains basically a first-generation vehicle. At a little over 15 feet long, it’s a good fit for an urban environment, and didn’t feel unwieldy as I maneuvered through heavy traffic. It fits five passengers with 29.1 cubic feet left over for cargo.

At the same time, this SUV-classified vehicle comes with Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system and a descent control mode. None of those systems means that it can climb out of canyons, but they will help it negotiate snowy, icy, or muddy roads. And for real utility, Audi rates its towing capacity at 4,400 pounds. The massive amount of torque from its diesel engine might be able to pull a bit more, but the monocoque architecture probably won’t handle it.

As another contradiction, the outside of the Q5 looks a bit lumpish, yet the inside offers elegance and simplicity.

While not exactly ugly, the Q5 body is designed… [Read more]

    








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