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Old 03-04-2014, 11:29 AM   #1
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First post here, though I have read probably hundreds of posts from others. I am looking for a new SUV and I really like the Audi Q5. I am considering a 3.0 TFSI with Premium Plus (but no other major options) as my next car. I'd also consider a diesel but I haven't driven one yet and there don't seem to be many with Premium Plus but minimal other options in dealer inventories. I am also thinking of looking at the BMW X3 as well, but based on what I've read and comparisons between the two, I think I would prefer the Audi. I did a quick test drive of a Q5 and while the performance didn't wow me quite as much as I was expecting, I still found it very nice. However, I have a couple hang-ups that I need to sort through.

First, we are a family of five so although a third row isn't required, it would be nice. A comparable Q7 is about $10,000 above my target price so I would have to go to an American or Japanese SUV to get a third row. My wife's SUV has a third row so that could be our main family vehicle I suppose. However, I am sure I would have to haul the full family around in the Q5 from time to time. How does a full rear seat work out for trips that are longer than a quick run out to dinner or to the store? In particular, how comfortable or uncomfortable is the middle seat? Also, how about luggage space? I did take a look at the cargo area of the Q5 during my test drive, but it is tough to visualize how much will really fit in it. Any Q5 owners that have gone through the same decision of the Q5 or a slightly larger SUV with a third row? Any regrets going with Q5 versus the larger SUV?

And second, although capacity is a concern, the bigger issue is that I can get employee pricing on Ford vehicles. With that in mind, I am also considering a Ford Explorer Sport. I know it is not an apples to apples comparison, but since a loaded Explorer Sport would run me about the same as a Q5 with the V6 and Premium Plus package, those are the rigs I am between. The Ford is larger with a third row seat and for the price, offers more in the way of features such as navigation, touchscreen, air-conditioned seats, etc... When it comes to performance the Explorer Sport is probably right up there with the Q5 as far as acceleration and power, though the Q5 probably has the advantage in other areas. Although the Q5 gets better mileage, higher insurance costs compared to the Explorer might negate that. I like the quality, fit & finish and overall image of the Q5 more and I suspect it will be a bit more reliable that the Ford in the long-run. Issues that arise with the Ford would probably be easier to deal with for me though since the dealer is much closer.

I think the problem is that the dollars and cents point to the Ford as being the better value when considering price to size/features. I do like the Explorer Sport, but at the same time I am really drawn to the Q5. I see Fords at every stop light, but Audis aren't as common and a little more exclusive. Any advice or words of wisdom from the Audi camp on this one?

Thank!
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:54 AM   #2
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Sounds like the Explorer is much more practical for a family of 5. The Q5 is a CUV (compact utility vehicle) that is sporty but not practical to carry 5 or lots of cargo. The Explorer, Acura MDX or Infiniti QX60 fit the bill better with 3 rows and more cargo capacity IMO.
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Old 03-04-2014, 01:05 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by lmariorod View Post
Sounds like the Explorer is much more practical for a family of 5. The Q5 is a CUV (compact utility vehicle) that is sporty but not practical to carry 5 or lots of cargo. The Explorer, Acura MDX or Infiniti QX60 fit the bill better with 3 rows and more cargo capacity IMO.
Agreed. Our family of four just downsized from a Mazda CX-9 with three rows. With the third row down it held a ton of gear for camping or skiing. Now we just have to pack light (smaller coolers, skis through the middle pass-through which you could not do with five, etc.).

On the other hand, the Q5 is quite a wide vehicle so three in the back (I'm assuming small to medium-sized children) should fit comfortably. Not nearly as much cargo space as the Ford you reference.
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Old 03-04-2014, 01:49 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by snmhanson View Post
First post here, though I have read probably hundreds of posts from others. I am looking for a new SUV and I really like the Audi Q5. I am considering a 3.0 TFSI with Premium Plus (but no other major options) as my next car. I'd also consider a diesel but I haven't driven one yet and there don't seem to be many with Premium Plus but minimal other options in dealer inventories. I am also thinking of looking at the BMW X3 as well, but based on what I've read and comparisons between the two, I think I would prefer the Audi. I did a quick test drive of a Q5 and while the performance didn't wow me quite as much as I was expecting, I still found it very nice. However, I have a couple hang-ups that I need to sort through. First, we are a family of five so although a third row isn't required, it would be nice. A comparable Q7 is about $10,000 above my target price so I would have to go to an American or Japanese SUV to get a third row. My wife's SUV has a third row so that could be our main family vehicle I suppose. However, I am sure I would have to haul the full family around in the Q5 from time to time. How does a full rear seat work out for trips that are longer than a quick run out to dinner or to the store? In particular, how comfortable or uncomfortable is the middle seat? Also, how about luggage space? I did take a look at the cargo area of the Q5 during my test drive, but it is tough to visualize how much will really fit in it. Any Q5 owners that have gone through the same decision of the Q5 or a slightly larger SUV with a third row? Any regrets going with Q5 versus the larger SUV? And second, although capacity is a concern, the bigger issue is that I can get employee pricing on Ford vehicles. With that in mind, I am also considering a Ford Explorer Sport. I know it is not an apples to apples comparison, but since a loaded Explorer Sport would run me about the same as a Q5 with the V6 and Premium Plus package, those are the rigs I am between. The Ford is larger with a third row seat and for the price, offers more in the way of features such as navigation, touchscreen, air-conditioned seats, etc... When it comes to performance the Explorer Sport is probably right up there with the Q5 as far as acceleration and power, though the Q5 probably has the advantage in other areas. Although the Q5 gets better mileage, higher insurance costs compared to the Explorer might negate that. I like the quality, fit & finish and overall image of the Q5 more and I suspect it will be a bit more reliable that the Ford in the long-run. Issues that arise with the Ford would probably be easier to deal with for me though since the dealer is much closer. I think the problem is that the dollars and cents point to the Ford as being the better value when considering price to size/features. I do like the Explorer Sport, but at the same time I am really drawn to the Q5. I see Fords at every stop light, but Audis aren't as common and a little more exclusive. Any advice or words of wisdom from the Audi camp on this one? Thank!
That was my main concern about the Q5 that it felt a little small but I also didn't want anything big like Q7 or a mini van. I only have one kid (2 years old) but I like to keep my cars for a while so I took in considerations 2 kids on the back. A friend has a Q5 and he has two car seats in the back. He told me they fit perfectly fine in the back, and with a roof top cargo box, they have no issues going on yearly road trip family trips loaded with their gear, to include their dog as well.

When I test drove, I put my seat exactly where I would to drive and had the 6'2" salesman sit behind me...he fit just fine (I am 5'8"). The trunk space was about 3" shorter in depth than my CRV but just as wide as the CRV's trunk (which I though the CRV was very roomy and had lots of cargo space). So I think for a family with no more than 2 kids, the Q5 is perfect; 3 kids should fit fine in the back but I think you'd have to get a roof top cargo/luggage container to fit all the "stuff" to take on a road trip for a family of 5 as you.

I am curious on the rest of the replies to your post from families with Q5's and what they think of the room? If you do post, please let us know the number and age of the passengers in the back as well.

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Old 03-04-2014, 02:05 PM   #5
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i looked at a ton of options, pretty much everything. DRIVE THE TDI. it must be driven to be understood. Also look at the fuel economy numbers after you drive it Thats all I'll say on that. Regarding options, I was quite impressed with the overall package of the Acura MDX, power, handling, space, 3rd row. But the style, elegance, excitement of the Q5 TDI got my money in the end (too many MDXs where I live).
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:37 PM   #6
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I think some of the virtue of having more than one vehicle in the household affords one the opportunity to have some very diverse daily drivers. If you already have the larger SUV, the wife's car, I would not buy another just because there may be the rare need for a larger vehicle since you already have one. I'd opt for the car that gave the best match for how it would be driven the majority of the time, not the minority. Oh wait, you have three kids.... TCO over the coming years is huge then. I see the dilemma but still leaning Q5
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Old 03-05-2014, 07:53 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies. I was expecting a little more of a Q5 bias in the responses since this is an Audi forum. I appreciate the honesty rather than the fan-boyism that you sometimes see on other forums.

That said, I am still leaning slightly towards the Q5. Given that my wife has a SUV with a third row I think that we would be ok with a smaller second car. Typically we would just take her car whenever we go on road trips or longer outings and the vast majority of the time in the Q5 would be with four or less passengers. Not really sure why I asked the question about size - I do know how big it is from the test drive and understand it is not ideal for transporting five. I think I am just used to driving slightly larger vehicles (Acura MDX is my current daily driver) and was initially a bit surprised by how small the Q5 was. Also, I should probably mention that my wife's car is also an Explorer Sport, so if I went that route we would have matching cars. That wouldn't be a big deal to me and I would obviously go with a different color than hers. It's kind of a mute point since I've narrowed the Explorer down to my only option if I don't go with a European car.

So right now I am more interested in the value prospect of paying the same price for a lightly outfitted Q5 as I would for a fully loaded Explorer Sport. Am I going to regret getting a smaller and less optioned Q5 over the loaded Sport? Am I going to miss navigation, touchscreen, cooled seats, rear view camera, remote start, etc... or is the Audi so nice that I won't really care? I could bit the bullet and buy a more heavily optioned Q5, though I really wanted to stay under $45K. I guess it would be worth more down the road when I go to sell it or trade it in though. Anyone have any advice or recommendations about the value of the Audi versus Explorer Sport? Taking into account that we have a SUV that is plenty big to transport the family, but thinking about the value prospect and the pricing I can get on the Explorer, what would you do if you were in my shoes?

Thanks!
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:56 AM   #8
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The thing to remember about Audis is not so much all the luxury accessories in them, it's about the chassis and the driving dynamics. When you need to make an evasive maneuver, they respond and you can put it where you want to(or need to).
I'm looking to replace my 23 year old Jeep Cherokee. I don't really want an SUV, but I do need some cargo capacity for things that won't fit into a trunk. I know I could buy a similarly equipped Jeep for quite a bit less than the Q5, but I'm pretty sure I will buy a new Q anyway (and I'm pretty cheap). There is just something about the way Audis DRIVE.
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:30 AM   #9
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... Taking into account that we have a SUV that is plenty big to transport the family, but thinking about the value prospect and the pricing I can get on the Explorer, what would you do if you were in my shoes?

Thanks!
I don't know if this helps because I am most certainly in your shoes. Sometimes a less biased opinion is better...

In any case, we have 4 kids - 9, 11, 13, & 15, and a Chevy Traverse as our large (/enormous) vehicle. The Traverse is decent for what we need it for: full-family trips of any length. It's my wife's daily work commuter car, and we bought it simply because there was no other vehicle when we bought it with the sheer volume, AWD, and OK looks/driving dynamics (we both strongly dislike Toyotas and/or minivans so we tied our hands pretty thoroughly). Suffice to say, it's the only vehicle I've ever purchased that can be lumped predominantly in the utilitarian appliance category.

Fast forward to late 2012, we desperately need to replace my (actually her... ) old Grand Cherokee. We looked at the Q7, MDX, X5, Explorer, new Grand Cherokee, anything Honda/MB/Mazda, even minivans. Nothing was working. We simply did not want another land barge.

And then we realized how we really used our cars -- if I need to drive all 4 kids somewhere, they always fit in the old Jeep and fit in the Q5 even better. If all 6 of us are needing to go somewhere, by definition my wife is there, and we will use the Chevy. In the past 12 months, we haven't had a single issue with managing cars and space with 4 kids. And -- Bonus, when it's just me & her, we have an option to drive something more rewarding in every way. Speaking for my wife as well I am sure, we made the right choice for us, for the way we use our vehicles. YMMV of course.

Hope this helps
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:36 AM   #10
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The thing to remember about Audis is not so much all the luxury accessories in them, it's about the chassis and the driving dynamics. When you need to make an evasive maneuver, they respond and you can put it where you want to(or need to).
I'm looking to replace my 23 year old Jeep Cherokee. I don't really want an SUV, but I do need some cargo capacity for things that won't fit into a trunk. I know I could buy a similarly equipped Jeep for quite a bit less than the Q5, but I'm pretty sure I will buy a new Q anyway (and I'm pretty cheap). There is just something about the way Audis DRIVE.
You'll be pretty disappointed with the Q5 then. The steering wheel doesn't feel like it's attached to anything. The Allroad's steering is somewhat similar. Have you considered an A4 Avant?
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:36 AM
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