Bottom line: Buyers still wedded to traditional notions of luxury and prestige will find a jewel in the new Audi Q5 TDI Premium Plus crossover utility vehicle. They’ll also get a pleasant surprise — a healthy helping of common sense and a decent serving of practicality to go along with the plush.
Ride, acceleration and handling: It gets excellent marks in all three.
Head-turning quotient: That bold, vertical-slat grille turns heads everywhere.
Body style/layout: The 2014 Audi Q5 2.0 TDI Premium Plus Quattro is a compact, front-engine, all-wheel-drive, diesel-fueled luxury crossover utility vehicle. It has a steel unitized body with an aluminum hood and rear hatch. There are four side doors.
Engine/transmission: The engine is a 3-liter, turbocharged (forced air), 24-valve, diesel-fueled V-6 (240 horsepower, 428 pound-feet of torque). It is linked to an eight-speed — repeat, eight-speed — automatic transmission that also can be operated manually.
Capacities: There are seats for five people. Cargo capacity with rear seats up is 29.i cubic feet. With rear seats down, cargo capacity is 57.3 cubic feet. The fuel tank holds 19.8 gallons of required low-sulfur (15 parts sulfur per million) diesel fuel.
Mileage: Coating downhill and sticking as close as possible to posted speed limits, I averaged 35 miles per gallon on the highway. The Environmental Protection Agency rates the Q5 TDI at 24 miles per gallon in the city and 31 miles per gallon on the highway.
Safety: Standard equipment includes front and rear ventilated disc brakes; four-wheel antilock brake protection; emergency braking assistance; electronic brake-force distribution; electronic stability and traction control; passenger head restraint whiplash protection system; side and head air bags.
Pricing: The 2014 Audi 3.0 Q5 TDI Premium Plus Quattro starts at $46,500 with a dealer’s invoice price of $43,247. Price as tested is $54,895, including $7,500 in options (onboard navigation with high-definition backup camera, Bang & Olufsen sound system, Milan leather seat coverings, and other items) and an $895 factory-to-dealer destination charge. Dealer’s price as tested is $51,119.