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The Audi Q5

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Based on Audi’s A4 platform, the Audi Q5 inherits a tidy size, great handling and good acceleration. An enjoyable drive, the Audi Q5 also delivers on Audi’s reputation for leading the industry in interior design. The 2009 Q5′s cabin is nicely decorated with fine leathers, polished woods and ergonomic efficiency.

At launch, the only engine offered in the U.S. was Audi’s 3.2-liter V6. Producing 270 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 243-ft-lbs of torque at 3000 rpm, the engine is mated to Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system through a six-speed automatic transmission with a manual mode that Audi refers to as Tiptronic. Audi drive select, introduced last year with the new A4, enables the driver to choose throttle response, transmission shift characteristics, steering response and suspension stiffness.

All of this adds up to quite the delightful driving experience. Sharp acceleration, combined with flat cornering and broad torque response make the Audi Q5 just as interesting on curvy roads as it is off-road. On the highway the Audi Q5 is smooth and packs plenty of passing power.

One of the more interesting innovations introduced with the Audi Q5 is the smart roof rail system. Sensors in the rails communicate with the ESP (Electronic Stability Control) system and adjust its response to account for the higher center of gravity that results when loads are mounted on the roof.

Behind the wheel, all the major controls are logically placed and easy to decipher.

Naturally, as befits an entry in this category, multi adjustable seats, a power tailgate, keyless entry, Bluetooth hands-free phone operation, iPod connectivity, a Bang & Olufsen 505-watt 14-speaker sound system, and even a heated and cooled cupholder number among the luxurious features.

The adoption of Audi’s latest generation MMI (Multi-Media Interface) system has resulted in significant gains in ease of use as well as nicer graphics on screen. In metropolitan areas, the navigation system actually depicts the placement of major buildings. Sirius traffic information is incorporated, along with voice-based destination inputs. The system even responds to non-specific voice inputs. Say, “I’m hungry,” and it will locate the restaurants closest to your location and guide you to the one you choose.

With the Audi Q5, Audi has introduced what may well be proven to be the benchmark of the segment. It’s outstanding driving characteristics, innovative feature set and remarkable good looks make it a must consider for anyone shopping in this category.

–Source: The Examiner

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