Out on the roads around Valencia, the Q5 performs admirably given its height. Like all MLB Audis before it, the Q5 benefits from strategic engine placement thanks to clever positioning of the clutch or clutches behind the center differential – a move that allows the engine to be placed further back in the chassis.
Steering is also more direct than the Q7 and other previous Audis thanks to the new architecture. The positioning of the box means direct input to the tie-rods for more direct action and road-to-hand communication. Combine that with the variable weight and ratio Servotronic steering assistance and the steering experience is vastly improved for an Audi. Turn-in is direct and surprisingly satisfactory in a segment where this is not often a concern, much less a focus.
With around-town on-road driving compromising the entirety of our route, there was no chance to test Audi’s new dynamic ESP system that debuts in the Q5 as standard equipment. Even still, this electronic safety net boast on and off-road settings and can even sense a load on the roof rails and adjust the ESP accordingly.