2014 Audi Q5
Audi’s more conventional compact crossover gets a number of revisions for model-year 2014. Base four-cylinder models gain power and additional standard equipment. Added are a turbodiesel V-6 and a high-performance edition called the SQ5. The diesel has 240 horsepower and is rated 27 mpg city/highway combined. That actually beats the 26-mpg rating of the gas/electric Q5 Hybrid, which you can learn more about in the CarPreview.com 2014 Electric and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle Buying Guide. The SQ5 uses a 354-horsepower 3.0-liter supercharged V-6. Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive is standard across the Q5 lineup. All Q5s handle very well and boast wonderfully crafted interiors. The new diesel model is a terrific hybrid alternative and costs less. For the other Q5 models, fuel-economy ratings span 19-23 mpg combined. Base-price range is $38,195-$52,795.
2014 Audi Q7
Q7 is Audi’s large-class SUV, with seven-passenger seating on three rows. It sees only minor equipment tweaks for 2014. Gasoline and diesel engines are offered. The gas engine is a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 producing 280 or 333 horsepower, depending on trim level. These models are rated 18 mpg combined city/highway. We’re partial to the Q7 TDI. Its 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 has a healthy 406-pound-feet of torque yet rates a combined 22 mpg — not bad for a vehicle with a curb weight of 5,412 pounds. Though stylish and comparatively thrifty, Q7’s design feels a bit dated and doesn’t use its interior space with maximum efficiency, with relatively tight cargo room and a very cramped third-row seat. Base-price range is $48,595-$65,795.
2014 BMW X1
It might surprise you that the most affordable 2014 BMW on sale in the U.S. is not a base-level 3 Series sedan but rather the X1 crossover. This very compact four-door wagon offers a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive and turbocharged four- and six-cylinder engines. Even though it is the least costly BMW, you still get all the perks of ownership, including 4 years/50,000 miles of complimentary scheduled maintenance. This is one of the more fun-to-drive SUVs of any stripe, and has the feel of a classic small BMW sedan. Given its tidy exterior dimensions, passenger room is surprisingly good in front and passable in back. But cargo space is at a premium, and desirable luxury features such as leather upholstery and heated front seats can add significantly to the sticker price. Fuel-economy ratings span 21-27 mpg city/highway combined. Base-price range is $31,725-$39,525.