There's no shouting of "SUV" from the Audi Q5's rooftop. It's a handsome, elegantly spare crossover, without any hint of trendy, momentary appeal.
The Q5 is more than the mechanical cousin of Audi's Allroad wagon, it's visual kin too, sharing the softly rounded cues common to all Audis, just slightly taller and blunter than the related wagon. Last year's minor restyling reshaped the grille and slimmed down the headlamps, and capped it with LED taillamps, but did nothing to upend the Q5's best features--its carlike curves and its closeness to the rest of the Audi A4/A5 lineup.
There's a similar simplicity at work in the cabin. The Q5's cockpit derives its style from its lack of drama, its lack of subpar materials, the absence of flashy cheapness. It's a universally pleasing, well-detailed execution that's common to just about every Audi interior. Like those other cars from the brand, the Q5 has a rather wide center console, clearly differentiating the driver and front passenger areas, cockpit style, yet the dash itself isn't all that curvy or claustrophobic--rather, it's more upright and forward, helping maximize a sense of space. A beautiful layered oak trim is now an option, elevating bits of the dash with a furniture-like finish.
Audi frames all this in metallic trim, wood, and coordinated leathers and plastics to give the somewhat cluttered dash a unified look. About our only complaint about the design is that, at least directly around the driver--even with the MMI interface--there are a few too many buttons.