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First Drive: 2018 Audi Q5

For Audi, the Q5 is quite an important machine. It’s the automaker’s volume seller here in the United States. There’s a new one coming and we trekked to Mexico to sample the latest four-ringed compact crossover.

Our first drive of the 2018 Audi Q5 unfolds over the roads and off-road stretches around Cabo San Lucas. The southern end of the Baja peninsula proves to be a great place to sample the second-generation Q5.

While Virtual Cockpit will certainly grab your attention, it’s the addition of a new generation of quattro to which you should be paying attention. The Q5 has an all-wheel-drive system that can run in full front-wheel-drive mode until the system deems it necessary to send power out back. This makes the Q5 better on fuel economy, yet it still retains that quattro sense of comfort you want in less than ideal weather.

[Disclaimer: Audi got us on a plane and put us up in a Bond Villain-like hotel Cabo. There was food and booze to be had in the evenings as well.]

  • Jim Klein

    Does anyone who spends around $50k for a new Q5 really care about an extra mpg or so due to it running in FWD most of the time? Doubtful. Will they be annoyed when it slips and grips like a Honda CRV even though it’s a “quattro”? They should be. This Ultra-quattro system seems ridiculous and is a further watering down of what is frankly the one thing that put Audi on the map to begin with and now will serve to turn off the faithful that have belonged to the choir all these years. 250 milliseconds reaction time is NOT predictive, it is one hundred percent REactive. 250ms is the same as 1/4 second which is a long time when you’re in a situation when you REALLY need the extra grip at the rear. It’s just like me predicting the lottery numbers right after the little white balls fall into the slot…Uh, no, not a winner. But a nice looking car otherwise!


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