Set to arrive to dealerships early next year, the 2009 Audi Q5 will have to fight its way to consumers’ hearts through a number of strong competitors such as the Japanese Acura RDX and Infiniti EX35, the German 2007 BMW X3, and the British Land Rover LR2, although only the latter is a truly off-road capable vehicle.
During the initial period, the car will be offered only in one trim, with one engine and one transmission, so the choice will be pretty much an easy one, especially considering the fact that the compact SUV will be equipped with a 240 hp, 368 lb-ft, 3.2-liter six-cylinder TDI engine mated to a six-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox with a Torsen limited slip differential. The choice of the transmission will possibly not make the Q5 the compact off-roader, but, combined with low mass and powerful engine, will make it an ultimate city crossover.
The car measures 4.63 meters long, 1.88 meters wide and 1.65 meters high (15.19, 6.17 and 5.41 feet respectively). It makes the 2009 Audi Q5 about 3 inches longer than the BMW X3. Its wheel-base of 9.22 feet is also an inch longer that that of the X3 so there is a good chance that the Q5 will have roomier interior and more spacious luggage compartment.
The 2009 Audi Q5 is also more agile than its older compatriot.
While the X3 takes about 6.9 seconds to jump from zero to 60 mph, the Q5 does that in only 6.5 seconds achieving a top speed of 225 km/h (139.81 mph). The powerful oil-burner consumes only 7.7 liters of diesel fuel per 100 km (30.55 mpg).
Still, if you plan to use the crossover in a location with snowy winters and lots of steep hills, the small BMW crossover may be a more adequate choice. The keyword here is, of course, the xDrive four-wheel drive that keeps the car going where the Quattro system will simply stop.
By the way, the compact luxury SUV is rumored to be assembled in China. Nice move, but what about quality?