Review: The 2011 Audi Q5 is a nice reward after years of schlepping infant and toddler detritus


The 2011 Q5 was delivered to me on Christmas Eve and I had to keep reminding myself I couldn’t keep it. There was no giant red bow on it after all, so I agreed I’d give it back after a week. I got totally lucky because a snow storm prevented the return of the car by a couple days, so it really was like I got a Christmas present. Three extra days in the Q5!

So I made lots of errands in the Q5. Not the fun kind of pre-Christmas mania. The other kind-the returns. I drove the Q5 all over to make right Christmas blunders like too small shoes and too big shirts. I was dreading parking lots, as it seems the spots are so tight these days. I was just dreading all the stopping and going, the road rage, the exhaustion. But the Q5 was the perfect companion and juggled all these tasks with ease and confidence.


I should also mention I had the Q5 on New Year’s Eve. We had a snowstorm, but it had been so warm in previous days and weeks so the snow fell, melted, then froze up into a lovely sheet of ice. And of course we had dinner plans at a fancy-pants restaurant so staying home wasn’t really what we wanted to do, we’d looked forward to those plans. Did the Q5 perform in even the most treacherous conditions?

Yes. Audi’s Quattro All-Wheel Drive dazzled me with its traction, wowed me with its reflexes, and pleased me with its “I’ll take care of this” attitude. I like to think I’m a pretty good driver in inclement weather, but still, I’ll take assistance any time I can get it.

The snow had actually started when I was downtown earlier in the day. I had a ways to go to get home and the temps were quickly dropping. The slush was pretty nasty as well. Inside the Q5 all was bliss. The brushed metal and wood accents kept the Q5 from feeling to cold (aesthetically, not temperaturlly). The panoramic sunroof kept the interior from feeling to batcavey.


I had a cup of coffee stored in the center console (if I’d had rear passengers, they would have used the rear cupholders stashed in the armrest). I like the cupholders that have the springloaded knuckles that grip your beverage. Better than the too-sticky rubber grips that fight you when you go to get a drink. I had my seat heat.

I had a great stereo system. Despite my perennial frustration with the scrolling direction of Audi’s MMI knob (turn to the right and the menu scrolls up, turn to the left and it scrolls down) I coped and got myself as comfortable a road warrior can be in nasty weather.

The size of the Q5 was great, I didn’t feel like I was maneuvering a cruise ship in traffic. While the cargo space was small, it was easy to fold the back seats down to accommodate more stuff. In fact, the seatbacks locked into place when they were down, a nifty subtle feature I liked a lot.


But what I liked the most was the 4-cylinder turbo. It’s no surprise to you I’m sure. In better weather when I wasn’t slowly creeping home in the slush and ice, I zipped everywhere. With an estimated 20/27 mpgs, and premium fuel required, I’d probably appreciate a snowstorm every few days to slow me down.

But it’s the price that won me over. All of these features and systems for $39,450 MSRP was really impressive.

On the recommendation scale of:

Buy it

– Lease it

– Rent it or

-Forget it

I am happy to give the 2011 Audi Q5 a rating of




Sara Lacey

SaraGrowing up in Colorado Sara Lacey was always kind to her cars.  These days however, she spends her time punishing automobiles with the help of her children.  Reviewing cars from the unique perspective of a woman and mom, Sara also writes for and  In addition, she sits on the board of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press Association.

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