2016 Audi Q5 Review

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2016 Audi Q5 Overview

The second-generation Audi Q5 will arrive this year, but the popular SUV won’t be arriving from Ingolstadt, Germany, anymore. Instead, the vehicle will be manufactured in San Jose, Mexico, and that’s just one of the changes for the 2016 Audi Q5.

The most significant, though least visible, change is the switch to a lightweight MLB-evo platform. The Q5 is expected to lose around 220 pounds with its new platform, which will also increase efficiency and improve handling.

The exterior lines receive a slight facelift, losing some of their curve in favor of a more angular look. The grille shape remains the same, but the vertical bars have been turned on their side and now run horizontally. That change goes well with the headlights, which are slightly narrower. Both 20- and 21-inch wheels are also newly available for the Q5.

Interior updates mimic the changes seen in the new Audi TT with an emphasis on simplicity and function. The infotainment system gets a navigation upgrade, and the optional Navigation Plus package now comes with Audi Connect, which features Google Earth satellite imagery, 4G connectivity for up to 8 wireless devices, traffic information, weather updates, and social-media integration. A three-spoke multifunction steering wheel and Panoramic sunroof are now standard features on all three Q5 trims: Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige.

The Q5 offers three engine options, and you can’t really go wrong with any of them. The base powerhouse is a 2.0-liter TFSI 4-cylinder that produces 220 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque and gets 20 mpg city/28 highway/23 combined. There’s also a 3.0-liter TFSI V6 that offers that offers 272 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque and gets 18/26/21. And there’s a 3.0-liter turbodiesel (TDI) V6 that cranks out 240 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque and gets 24/31/27. All three engines are paired with an 8-speed Triptonic automatic transmission and Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive (AWD) system.

The base 2.0-liter 4-cylinder provides enough power for normal driving situations, but if you like a little more pep, opting for one of the V6 choices makes sense. And if you really like to get off the line, opt for the TDI, which has a 0-to-60 time of 6.5 seconds. But no matter which engine you choose, the quattro all-wheel-drive system and Audi’s attention to engineering details deliver solid handling and a safe and smooth ride.

Some of the standard feature highlights for the Premium trim (which comes only with the base engine choice and has a suggested MSRP of $40,900) include Bluetooth, Sirius XM satellite radio, cruise control, air conditioning, HID headlights, heated mirrors, a rear spoiler, power front seats, and fold-flat rear seats.

Many of the upgrades for the Premium Plus trim (suggested MSRP of $42,750 with the base engine, $46,000 with the TFSI V6, and $48,100 with the TDI V6) are optional—like a premium sound system and parking-assist system—but there are some features that come standard when you move up to Premium Plus, like memory and heat for the front seats and auto-dimming exterior mirrors with memory. The Prestige trim (suggested MSRP of $53,500 with the TFSI V6 and $55,600 with the TDI V6) upgrades include standard navigation, a premium sound system, and the park-assist system.

The Q5 performs well in safety tests, even the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s small overlap crash test, which is tricky for most SUVs. The 2016 Q5 got a rating of Good in that small overlap crash test and overall received a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS, the highest rating given out by the Institute. Standard safety features for all Q5 trims include stability control, traction control, antilock brakes, brake assist, tire pressure monitoring, and the full array of air bags.

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After working at gas stations and car washes in high school, driving across the country more than a dozen times and even living on the road in a well-outfitted truck, Tim O'Sullivan finally started putting some of his automotive knowledge to work when he began writing for CarGurus in 2008. He's also an award-winning journalist and the Sports Editor at the Concord (NH) Monitor.

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