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2011 Audi Q5 S Line Review

Luxe Sport Utility

A three-quarter front view of a 2011 Audi Q5 S Line

In short: A premium performance crossover.


With its line of sleek, stylish, and yes, expensive SUVs, Audi seems intent upon proving that America's favorite form of plus-sized transportation can be as cool as it is capable and convenient. The new Q5, with its refined looks and smooth driving dynamics, does much to demonstrate this point. During our short time with the Q5, we found the luxury crossover to be a pleasure to drive — both in the city and out on the open road.

Our tester, which came fitted with the premium S Line exterior trim and upgraded 3.2-liter, 270-horsepower V6 with direct injection (a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder is also available), looked great and handled better, with its beefed-up engine providing a sporty feel and ample acceleration. However, don't let the Q5's luxury leanings mislead you — behind the sexy sheet metal of this posh crossover is a very practical, utility-minded vehicle that works great as a daily driver. Despite its small size, the Q5 offers plenty of cargo room that makes it ideal for road trips and grocery runs alike. And with the added bonus of Audi's standard quattro all-wheel drive, you can rest assured that this smart set of wheels won't wimp out when the weather gets rough.

Unfortunately, such a harmonious blend of style and substance does come at a price — and by no means a small one, either. Starting at $42,500 and offering a host of add-ons that can quickly run you up thousands of dollars more, the Audi Q5, sad to say, will remain an unknown pleasure for most. However, if you've got the cash and the compulsion, we say go for it!

Read a review of the 2009 Audi Q5 Prestige

Warranty/Service: Four-year/50,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty; twelve-year limited warranty against corrosion perforation; twelve-month/5,000-mile no charge first scheduled maintenance; four-year roadside assistance coverage provided by a third party supplier


QUICK SHEET
Base Price: $42,500 / As Tested: $59,900

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: front engine, all-wheel drive, 5-passenger, 4-door crossover

Engine: 3.2-liter DOHC V6 engine with FSI direct injection
Horsepower: 270 hp @ 6,500 rpm
Torque: 243 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic with Tiptronic

Curb weight:
4,299 lbs
Wheelbase: 110.5 in
Length/Width/Height: 182.2/82.2/65.1 in
Turning circle: 38.1 ft

Brakes:
ventilated disc front; solid disc rear; ABS; electronic brake pressure distribution, electronic stability control
Suspension: front five-link independent; rear trapezoidal link independent
Traction: electronic stability control; quattro all-wheel drive

Top Speed: 130 mph (governor limited)
0-60 mph: 6.7 seconds

EPA City:
18 mpg
EPA Highway: 23 mpg

Safety:
driver and front passenger dual-stage airbags; driver and front passenger seat-mounted side thorax airbags; head curtain airbags; rear side airbags

Likes: quality build; handling; performance

Dislikes: wallet intensive; rear visibility

 

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Photography: AlphaMedia

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