Monday, November 5, 2012

Guest post : 2013 Audi Q5 - Subtle Success

Audi has a reputation for manufacturing luxurious, understated vehicles, and their 2013 Q5 SUV is just that. With its sleek, simple body style and superior driving capabilities, it’s both a classic and a head turner. Originally launched three years ago and not scheduled for an overhaul until 2016, the Q5 saw some minor upgrades in 2013. And while it may be predictably Audi and significantly short of revolutionary, it certainly doesn’t disappoint.
When the first Q5 hit the streets in 2008, it was nothing special by any means. Not only was it late to the compact SUV game, it didn’t offer anything that made it stand out from its competition. Nevertheless, it quickly became one of Audi’s best-selling models. Four years later, the Q5 is facing stiffer competition, which includes the Range Rover Evoque, Cadillac SRX, the BMW X3 and Infiniti’s EX35. Therefore, a few changes were necessary to give it an edge. Because Audi rarely whips out completely redesigned vehicles, it’s no surprise that the changes to the Q5 amount to little more than minor improvements. New for 2013 is a grille with slightly harsher corners, chrome lined fog lights on the front, revised LED lights on the rear, and adorning the back of the vehicle, a pair of chrome tipped exhausts. The interior upgrades include a revised steering wheel and new ignition switch design, additional interior color options, and cleaner lines throughout.
Previously, those interested in purchasing a Q5 only had the choice of two engines, either the premium 2.0L I-4 with 211-hp or the premium plus 3.2 L V-6 with 270-hp. In 2013, Audi expanded its engine options to include a hybrid and a TDI diesel, which probably won’t make it into the U.S. lineup. Additionally, they replaced the 3.2-liter V6 with a newer direct-injection, supercharged 3.0L engine. This V6 offers 268-hp and 296 lb-ft torque. Audi claims the Q5 is capable of 62 mph in 5.9 seconds and has a top speed of 146, which is pretty impressive for an SUV.
Though pricing details have yet to be released, MSRP for the Q5 is expected to begin around $36,000 and reach $45,000 fully loaded. The Q5 will arrive in American dealerships in fall of 2012, but the hybrid model won’t make it across the pond until later in 2013. Only 500 total hybrids will be sold by Audi for the 2013 model year.

This guest post was contributed by Brittany Larson on behalf of Audi Warwick.