Audi Q5 Hybrid and Q5 Diesel
Base-price range: $47,395-$54,895
Fuel-economy ratings span: 26-27 mpg city/highway combined
’s entry-level SUV
is a five-passenger, compact-class crossover
that comes with no fewer than five different engine choices. The two most efficient ones are new for 2014. One is the German automaker’s first gas/electric hybrid, which combines a turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline four-cylinder engine with a battery-powered electric motor for a combine 245 horsepower and 26 mpg city/highway combined fuel-economy rating. The other fuel miser is a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 that puts out 240 horsepower and returns 27 mpg combined. Both the hybrid and diesel have an eight-speed automatic transmission and Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive. All Q5s benefit from striking exterior design, a sumptuous interior, and an engaging driving experience. Passenger room is adequate, but the cargo area is on the small side, even for a compact crossover
. Further, it takes more time to acclimate to Audi’s MMI infotainment system than similar suites offered by other luxury automakers, though the 3D maps powered by Google are a technological marvel. While the Q5 Hybrid is a nice-enough vehicle, it’s overshadowed by the diesel’s punchier acceleration, better projected fuel economy, and lower price point. Only the most die-hard diesel detractors need look at the hybrid.