The first compact luxury crossover from the brand, the 2010 Audi Q5 takes on the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLK and BMW X3 head to head-not to mention the class sales leader, the Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h crossovers. The Q5 is, for now, available in one configuration: a five-door wagon with a V-6 engine, an automatic transmission, and “quattro” all-wheel drive.
In a class of handsomely sculpted all-weather wagons, the 2010 Audi Q5 stands out. It’s a softly sculptured piece, using height and stance to convey SUV capability. As with the Volvo XC60, it’s the opposite tack taken by the Benz GLK and Land Rover LR2, which wear more straight-edged sheetmetal. If its massive grille were a little less imposing, the Q5 would be as sophisticated as Audi’s sedans-which also suffer from the same prominent nose. The slope of the roofline and the sedan-like tail lamps (with LED lighting) walk the best line between sport-ute size and German-wagon efficiency. The cabin’s a fine example of a well-executed driving environment. There are a few too many small buttons, but Audi frames them in metallic trim, wood, and coordinated leathers and plastics to give the somewhat cluttered dash a unified, rich look.