Review: 2013 Audi Q5 Hybrid

Remember the soup that ‘eats like a meal’? Likewise, the 2013 Audi Q5 Hybrid drives more like a German performance sedan than a crossover. It’s still large enough to house your weekender’s gear but so much sleeker and more nimble-looking than its zaftig sister, the Q7.

Weighing in at a significant 2,545kg—it’s carting Quattro, Audi’s signature all-wheel drive, plus the hybrid system—this Q5 still charges from 0 to 100kmh in seven seconds. That’s from a 4-cylinder engine, albeit a turbocharged one with direct-injection; not much turbo-lag. It erupts to maximum hp of 211 between 4,300rpm and 6,000 and tip-top torque of 258 lb-ft from just 1,500rpm to 4,200.

The electromechanical steering senses your speed. So, when you’re backing out of a condo parking spot, you’re not performing the 20-minute workout. However at highway speeds, it provides laser-like precision.

Considering its girth, weight and available muscle, the 2013 Q5 Hybrid is pretty good on fuel—even if you don’t milk the electric mode with a soft foot. Eight gears, compared with your typical five or six, offer a greater range of ratios, ultimately providing better efficiency. Its gently sloping nose and forehead promote a decidedly un-SUVesque drag coefficient of just .33.

That doesn’t mean you won’t want to exploit the cruise control. (Sadly the adaptive cruise control is extra.)

A wicked TO winter storm worthy of military intervention (aka, shovelling  provided an excellent opportunity to test the all-wheel drive. When I took it out of town, there was nearly a foot of snow, protected by a hard crust of ice, covering our lane. The Q5 danced out to the plowed road with hilariously easy aplomb.

Two hours out of town, the abandoned and snowy cul-de-sacs of Grey County offered some oversteer opportunities. The electronic stabilization off-button sits—no surprise—right beside the shift knob. After disabling the nanny control, I switched to Tiptronic transmission, turned up the Bang and Olufson stereo (an extra $1,000) and artistically swooped into corners and hills.

It was beautiful, like creating snow angels — or maybe donuts that ate like a meal.

Pricing: 2013 Audi Q5 hybrid
Trim price:

Options: Ice Silver Metallic $750
Rear Door Sunshades $300
Fine Grain Ash Natural Brown $500
Bang & Olufsen Sound System $1,000
Comfort Front Seats with Milan Leather $2,500

Freight: $1,995

A/C tax: $100

Price as tested: $63,745

Though a co-owner and former editor of DailyXY, Steven Bochenek is actually an advertising writer who does some journalism on the side. In 2011 he was accepted into the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada. His other interests include playing music, long-distance running, skiing and writing in the third person.

Photo curtesy of Audi. 

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