For anyone not paying attention, modern Audis have some incredibly cool features. Gadgets like the smart key (which allows you to have full control of the car without ever removing the key from your pocket), Audi Drive Select for on the fly adjustments to the suspension, steering and engine, optional side assist, the parking assist camera, the fully encompassing MMI system; the Q5 gets the latest and greatest iteration of the MMI/nav system, with a 40 gigabyte hard drive, 505 watt Bang and Olufsen audio system, DVD player, SD slots in the dash, and the new 3D navigation system with real time traffic updates and voice commands and more. One of the new features of the new nav system in the Q5, on the top of the main control button is a small flat topped joystick, which allows the user to actually scroll around the map, allowing the option of looking ahead on your route to make updates or look for fuel or food or lodging.
Not new, but worth talking about, for the time being the only engine we’ll get in the USA is the 3.2 liter V6 direct injection gasoline engine. In the Q5 it produces 270 horsepower, and 243 lbs. ft. of torque. The only transmission we’ll see here is the 6 speed quick shifting but torque converter style Tiptronic automatic. Manual transmission fans, don’t despair too much; it’s not at all slushy or soft feeling.
The Q5 gets off the line very sharply in fact, and the shifting action from the Tiptronic is very crisp and fast, sometimes a little too crisp actually, as we found part throttle shifts in Tip mode to sometimes be a bit jerky. Not so in Drive however, where it’s as smooth and comfortable as you’d expect from a luxury sedan.