2014 Audi Q5 TDI
2014 Audi Q5 TDI
2014 Audi Q5 TDI. Click image to enlarge

Review and photos by Jacob Black

When I was a child, I would eat all the vegetables on my plate first, so I could eat the good stuff (steak!) last and have that as my lasting memory of the meal. So I was perplexed when I realized the Audi Q5 would be the last vehicle in our three-leg drive through the District of Columbia’s best roads. “Surely,” I thought, “ending the day in a Q5 TDI would just dull the joy of the A6 and A7 that preceded it?”


The final leg of our day driving Audi’s newest crop of TDI-powered vehicles was not only as good as the rest of the day, in some places it was better. Powered by the same 3.0L TDI engine with the same 240 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque, the Q5 weighs in seven percent heavier than the 1,895 kg A6, at 2,030 kg.

That means it takes a full second longer to hit 100 km/h (5.7 s vs 6.7 s) yet behind the wheel the Q5 doesn’t feel slow.

The Q5 was equipped with Adaptive Damping Suspension, which noticeably firmed the suspension once the Sport button was pressed. Out on the narrow roads of Virginia and Maryland it meant we could push on the twisty windy stuff and still have smiles on our faces.

2014 Audi Q5 TDI2014 Audi Q5 TDI2014 Audi Q5 TDI
2014 Audi Q5 TDI. Click image to enlarge

On one particularly narrow stretch the Q5 showed me its biggest and best draw card over one of the sensational TDI sedans. Rounding a corner on a road only wide enough for one and a half cars we encountered a wide load coming in the opposite direction. No drama; with barely abated speed we skipped to the outside and let two wheels run in the dirt while we skirted our obstacle – the Q5 remained composed and steady, and I was confident that I had enough clearance and capability to not damage the gorgeous pearl-white body paint with bushes or flying rocks. When I was ready to return to the road, a gentle tug on the wheel had me rejoining the pavement with all four wheels and no fuss. The Q5 made me look like the best driver in the universe during a flinch-inducing moment, and for that I will always love it.

The Q5 was as surefooted as the A6 and A7, with only the tiniest bit more understeer and a little more body roll to remind you that this is a big SUV and not a sedan. The steering wheel was weighted well and felt that same connection to the road, while the trick suspension did an excellent job of communicating our level of adhesion while still absorbing the bumps. One of my bugbears, bump steer, was more evident than in the A6 and A7 (where it was non-existent) but still well within limits.

Connect with Autos.ca