At last, the American-spec Audi Q5 has arrived. And to celebrate, I took one to my favorite canyon road. Naturally, such gnarly stretches of tarmac are not the kind of thing a crossover SUV is built for, but the Q5’s (new A4) underpinnings suggest a depth of handling talent not found in rival machines. In the best sense possible, it rocks. Which means it doesn’t rock. Or roll. Body control and overall composure is remarkable, even without getting into the adjustable parameters of throttle response, gearshift speed and active suspension tweaks.
The one engine currently available for U.S. buyers is Audi’s well-known and well-loved 3.2-liter V6 (although there’s talk of a 2.0T version coming down the pipe). Here it develops 270 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque, reined in by the aforementioned electronic trickery plus stability control and Quattro all-wheel drive, yet it never feels smothered by them, or by the Q5’s 4,178-pound curb weight. This is a lusty, trusty drive.