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2014 Audi Q5 2.0T Premium quattro

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Published on Sun, Mar 9, 2014

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

2014 Audi Q5 20T Premium quattro (John Grafman)

2014 Audi Q5 20T Premium quattro (John Grafman for LA Car)

By John Grafman For the past several months, those of us in Southern California might be the envy of the rest of the nation. We can’t really fault those on the East Coast for being jealous. After all, taking a “sick day” in January or February to work on our tans seems far more the stuff of tropical vacations than it does of Los Angeles. Pessimists only see a drought. We, on the other hand, are very appreciative having the Pacific Ocean, the largest body of water on earth, at our beck and call. The 2014 Audi Q5 with the 2.0-liter engine is the perfect complement to this unseasonably summer-like weather. This stylish crossover utility vehicle is plenty accommodating for juants over the hill from the valley, and exploring the regions of Malibu up to the beaches of Ventura County Line. Audi’s Q5 fits-in with the upscale, Malibu coastal community, as it should. This is a mix of quality and design, which stands up to community standards of this celebrity enclave and surf destination. This has that sort of casual elegance that so many strive for. Several years ago LA Car reviewed this vehicle, and most of the prior comments still hold true, with a couple notable changes. Inside and out, the new Q5 is very similar, retaining a tasteful, subtle flair. The most obvious exception is the massive grill. Honestly, this has grown on us since it was first introduced several years back, however the horizontal accents on the crossbeam that covers the bumper-bar looks awkward, as the rest of the gleaming accents are running vertically.

2014 Audi Q5 20T Premium quattro (John Grafman)

(John Grafman for LA Car)

Inside the Audi Q5 we are once again treated to stately design and materials, and extensive attention to detail. This is exactly what we expect, as the bulk of the Audi lineup shares these outstanding traits. A few quirks lie in layout of the Multi Media Interface. Even though it is easy enough to understand how the MMI functions, with each button on the center console corresponding the graphical button layout on the corners of the display screen, the reality is we are fishing our hands around the central control knob in hopes of stumbling on each button. Glancing down resolves this, but the idea is to alleviate the need to look at anything but the roadway ahead. Along those lines, the satellite radio no longer gives a visual preview of what’s on another station channel prior to selecting it. This was one of our favorite perks of the previous Audi Q5. On the flip side, that is a cause of distracted driving. The generous proportions are perfect for fitting in both people and cargo. One can also adjust the bias with the adjustable rear seat. By forgoing the desire to squeeze in a third row, the Q5 can get in five real size occupants in true comfort.

2014 Audi Q5 20T Premium quattro (John Grafman)

(John Grafman for LA Car)

One of the significant differences is the engine and transmission that’s mated with this year’s Q5. While other options are available, this model is equipped with the 2.0-liter, turbocharged gasoline powerplant. Before taking possession of this, the thought of saddling a rather large product with a small motor was not warming our hearts. How wrong we are. The 2.0T with the eight-speed automatic Quattro transmission is far better than one would hope for. The engine doesn’t bog down or strain under the weight of the Q5. Audi engineers created a smooth and perky four-cylinder that feels like a small six, albeit at 220 horsepower this has 52 ponies shy of the 3.0-liter. Okay, maybe it isn’t as refined, but it is well within the range of acceptability. Complementing the engine is the transmission. Gearshifts via the automatic are seamless. If we didn’t know any better our guess would be this isn’t an eight-speed, but rather a CVT. Plus, the additional lower gearing assists the four-cylinder in the performance department. Ultimately, this isn’t a strong as the other offerings, and thereby one has to plan on passing other vehicles with a bit more care. Of course, the net result of a smaller, efficient engine coupled with a more advanced gearbox is better fuel economy. Now, this isn’t going to displace the A3 Diesel, but this is a huge improvement over the SUVs that roamed this planet just a decade ago. Still, the hybrid and diesel get a 20 percent boost in MPG over the 20 the 2.0-liter squeaks out in the city. The EPA estimated 28 MPG highway is pretty much what we’d expect in this size package.

2014 Audi Q5 20T Premium quattro (John Grafman)

(John Grafman for LA Car)

By no means is this set up to carve the canyons of Topanga, Las Virgenes, or Kanan like an exotic sports car. Yet, this high-profile vehicle can still move at a decent clip without freaking out the driver, or those piloting the other cars on the road. The feedback on the steering is oddly absent, although there is decent resistance to turns of the wheel. Perhaps that’s due in part to the electromechanical speed sensitive rack and pinon. The five-link front suspension and compliant tires provide a luxury oriented ride, and much more suitable to harsh roads, and weather related challenges that are prevalent almost everywhere but here, or at least for the moment. Given the right size and purpose of the 2014 Audi Q5, and versatility this CUV affords, Angelenos and watermen everywhere can’t help but question if this might not be the VW Microbus, surf-van for a new generation? True, this isn’t the cheap wheels that the V-dub offered up a half-century ago, but then most surfers these days are well-respected members of society, and some even have jobs (what’s the world coming too). Today, surfers aren’t exactly the counter-culture rebels of the 60s or 70s. Besides, it’s simpler to blend in with the affluent landscape thanbecome the ire of theMalibu sheriff. Certainly, surfers and land lovers alike enjoy niceties such as the optional power tailgate, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and the Voice Control System, which even includes voice to text. It’s hard not to love the massive panoramic sunroof and the xenon plus lighting with LED daytime running lights that are part of the $3,800 Premium Plus option package. Maybe the best part of the Q5, unlike the weather, the Audi is consistently amazing. Now that’s California dreaming at its best.

2014 Audi Q5 20T Premium quattro

Audi Q5 interior

SUMMARY JUDGMENT No matter what the adventure or the climate the Audi Q5 has you covered. A car for all seasons and occasions. For more information about Audi products, go to SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2014 Audi Q5 2.0T Premium quattro Price: $37,300 (base) $ 45,645 (as tested) Engine type: Inline 2.0-litre 4-cylinder, Turbocharged/FSI, DOHC, 4 valves/cylinder, continuous camshaft adjustments, iron block and aluminum heads EPA mileage estimates (city/highway): 20/28 miles per gallon Horsepower: 220 @ 4,450-6,000 rpm Torque: 258 lb-ft @ 1,500 rpm Drive configuration: Front engine/all-wheel drive Transmission type: 8-speed, automatic with “Tiptronic” feature Brakes Front: Vented 12.6” Rear: Solid 11.8” Electronic Stability Program (ESP), ABS Wheels and tires Front: 18 x 8 (standard), 19 x 8(optional), 235/60/18 (standard) 235/55/19 (optional) Rear: 18 x 8 (standard), 19 x 8 (optional), 235/60/18 all-season tires (standard) 235/55/19 all-season tires (optional) Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) Dimensions Overall length: 182.6 inches Overall width: 74.7 inches (82.2 with mirrors) Overall height: 65.2inches Curb weight (lbs): 4,079 0-60 mph: 7.0 seconds Top Speed, mph: 130 (limited)

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