Audi has officially set the base price of its "segment-redefining" 2009 Audi Q5 crossover at $37,200. While this is a couple thousand more than some of its rear-wheel drive competition, their prices rise when equipped comparably with AWD, which comes standard on the Audi (Mercedes GLK 350 4Matic - $36,775, Lexus RX350 AWD - $39,100, BMW X3 xDrive 30i - $40,225). Prices for the Q5 do not reflect destination ($825), taxes, title or dealer charges.
2009 Audi Q5 (Euro Spec)Enlarge Photo
Three trim/equipment levels will be offered; Premium, Premium Plus ($41,500), and Prestige ($48,200). Initially, the only powertrain offered will be Audi's 3.2-liter FSI V-6 generating 270 horsepower and operating through a six-speed automatic and Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system. Notably, when properly equipped, the Audi is rated to tow a stout 4,400 lbs., 900 more than the next-best in the segment.
Initial drives of the 2009 Audi Q5 crossover reveal tenacious handling and a sporty demeanor. As well, its direct-injection reportedly affords it the best mpg of its competitive set at 20 mpg overall (18 city, 23 highway). Based on a widened A4 sedan chassis, the Q5 has the longest wheelbase in its class and boasts big interior room. We wish it were debuting with the mega-mileage 3.0-liter TDI clean diesel used in Audi's recent Mileage Marathon which trekked cross-country with some of our editors at the helm.
Some standard features that make it unique in the small crossover segment are standard three-zone climate control, 40/20/20 rear seats that recline and offer fore-aft adjustment, and standard roof rails with aluminum cross bars that sync with the stability control system to adapt handling accordingly with a heavy load on the roof.