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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Audi Q5: What happened to the wagon?


Interesting review here of the Audi Q5 by The New York Times.
All this is not to pick on the new Audi Q5. Stowing my own pro-wagon prejudices, I found the Q5 the most compelling small luxury crossover I’ve driven.

Compared with the 5,300-pound Q7, the 4,200-pound Q5 is far less of a walrus on wheels. At 182.2 inches long, the Audi matches the Volvo XC60 and Toyota RAV4, and it’s a foot shorter than big family sedans like the Honda Accord, making it relatively useful in tight parking lots and urban maneuvers.

The dimensions may be trimmer, yet the Q5 cuts no corners on luxury, performance or features. The owner is making a clear statement: I could have leased a Range Rover, and don’t you forget it. As such, the Audi seems aimed at affluent singles, young couples and empty-nesters. Parents who haven’t blown the budget on a designer stroller can apply, but two fast-growing children can quickly tax the available real estate.

I’d say that the cabin is straight from the Audi corporate parts bin, but in this case it’s a corporate jewel box: there is rich wood, gleaming metal trim, a beautifully tactile steering wheel, comfortable seats and finely wrought gauges and switches. Like its sister cars from Ingolstadt, the Q5 effortlessly blends form and function.

As I admired the interior, I was struck again by how Audi has become the Apple of luxury cars: its sleek designs are modern and minimal, consistent and familiar. Yet like a Mac, the cars are functionally elegant in a way that lets owners feel they’re making a purely rational choice even as they spend a bit more.


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Source: New York Times

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