In an earlier blog post, I had mentioned that the biggest competitor to the new 2013 A4 allroad quattro in the United States will be the Audi Q5. In this article, I will go into the similarities and differences between the A4 allroad quattro and the updated Q5 crossover that will be on sale in North America later this year.
Due to the fact that there aren’t any official US spec sheets released for the 2013 models, some of the specs in this article is based from the Audi UK spec sheets and brochures. Such numbers may differ slightly for US spec vehicles; though, it should not be significantly different.
Update: I forgot to include front and rear legroom numbers for both the vehicles; which, has since been added after the headroom numbers. I have also added some additional performance numbers to the drivetrain section.
Update 2012-05-05: The EPA fuel economy numbers have been released for the 2013 A4 allroad quattro. I have updated the appropriate section to reflect that.
Before going further, the first important difference between the two vehicles is the starting price. Audi is marketing the A4 allroad quattro as a niche product and the pricing absolutely reflects that. I would venture that the 2013 Q5 would start at around $37,000 for the 2.0T Premium and $41,200 for the 2.0T Premium Plus. The pricing for the 2013 A4 allroad quattro are: $39,600 for Premium, $42,900 for Premium Plus and $48,800 for Prestige. This puts the 2013 A4 allroad quattro around $2,600 and $1,600 more than the respective Q5 trims.
The first major similarity between the two vehicles is that both share the same B8 Modular Longitudinal Platform that is also used for the A5 model line. This similarity doesn’t manifest itself in the exposed sheet metal, but allows for the sharing of engine and gearbox layout and shared core supports. The sole drivetrain for the A4 allroad quattro and the base drivetrain for the Q5 is the 2.0TFSI engine, 8-speed Tiptronic gearbox and rear-biased (60% rear/40% front default torque split) quattro all wheel drive. The top-trim Q5 will receive a detuned version of the supercharged 3.0TFSI V6 found in many other Audi models. The 3.0TDI engine will not be available until the 2013.5 or 2014 model year Q5.
Even though the two share the same drivetrain, the EPA rated fuel economy for the 2013 A4 allroad quattro is just about the same as the 2012 Q5 2.0T. The new A4 allroad quattro is rated for 20 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the highway, 23 MPG combined. The 2012 Q5 2.0T gets the same city and highway ratings, but its combined rating is 22 MPG. This is partly due to the Q5’s slightly heavier weight and possible different final gear ratio (3.760 for the Q5 and possibly 2.848 for the 2013 A4 allroad quattro). This also accounts for the slightly faster 0-100 km/h times for the A4 allroad quattro, 6.8 seconds (UK spec with either the 6-speed manual or 7-speed S-Tronic) versus 7.2 seconds (UK spec Q5 2.0T with the 8-speed Tiptronic). You can shave off about 0.1 seconds for 0-60 MPH speeds.
Another similarity between the two vehicles include the overall interior layout and infotainment systems. Both will be available with the new MMI navigation plus with Audi Connect, Drive Select controls and safety options. While the current 2012 Q5 3.2 can be had with the S line and S line plus packages, neither are available on either 2.0T models. It is not known if either S line package will be available with the 2.0T engine, or if it will stay exclusive to the top-trim 3.0TFSI models. The 2013 A4 allroad quattro only comes with the allroad exclusive suspension, no options for the same S line suspension that is currently available for the 2012 A4 Avant.
Some of the early reports of the 2013 Q5 include mentions of optional allroad-style cladding that is similar to that of the A4 allroad quattro’s cladding. The same cladding design was also unveiled on the Q3 Vail Concept at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show.
The other big, and important, differences between the two models is quite obvious: exterior and interior (passenger and cargo) dimensions. The base Q5 is 65.1″ (1653 mm) tall and has 7.9″ (200 mm) of ground clearance. The base A4 allroad quattro has an approximate overall height of 58.9″ (1495 mm) and approximately 7.09″ (180mm) of ground clearance. Looking at overall vehicle length, the A4 allroad quattro is slightly longer at 185.9″ (4721 mm) versus the Q5’s 182.2″ (4629 mm). Even though the A4 allroad quattro is longer than the Q5, its 37.7′ (11.5 m) turning circle is slightly smaller than the 38.1′ (11.6 m) turning circle for the Q5. This is due to the near identical wheelbase of 110.4″ (2805 mm) and 110.6″ (2807 mm), respectively.
The more upright Q5 provides approximately 39.4″ (1000 mm) and 39.0″ (990 mm) of front and rear headroom; while, the more squat A4 allroad quattro provides 40.4″ (1026 mm) and 38.2″ (971 mm) of headroom. The estimated overall width for passengers, the Q5 provides 57.7″ (1465 mm) and 56.4″ (1432 mm) for the front and rear rows versus a minimum/maximum 55.5″/57.6″ (1410 mm/1463 mm) and 54.3″/56.8″ (1380 mm/1442 mm) for the A4 allroad quattro.
Another measurement that is as important as headroom is the available legroom provided. The Q5 provides 41.0″ (1041 mm) and 37.4″ (950 mm) for the front and rear seats, respectively. The A4 allroad quattro will most likely have the same available front and rear legroom as the 2012 A4 Avant; which, provides 41.3″ (1049 mm) up front and 35.2″ (895 mm) in the back.
One of the most popular reasons why car buyers have considered and/or purchased an SUV or a crossover is the ability to haul larger goods with or without the second row seats folded down. The overall cargo space for the Q5 is approximately 29.1 cubic feet without and 57.3 cubic feet with the second row seats folded (based on calculations for the EPA). The approximate dimensions of the cargo space behind the second row is 36.5″ (926 mm) deep and 41.3″ (1050 mm) wide. Unfortunately, neither Audi of America or Audi UK provide specs on the interior height of the cargo area.
Looking at the A4 allroad quattro, it provides 50.5 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded and 17.3 cubic feet (this is based on the more conservative EU number of 490 litres) with the rear seats upright. This is in part to the more aggressive rake of the A4 allroad quattro’s rear window and hatch. The approximate dimensions of the cargo space behind the second row is 40.4″ (1027 mm) deep, 39.4″ (1000 mm) wide and the maximum opening height of approximately 25.6″ (650 mm).
If you plan on towing a trailer, the Q5 would be more capable than the A4 allroad quattro. For the Q5, the maximum trailer hitch tongue weight is 440 pounds (220 kg) and towing capacity of 4400 pounds (2000 kg). In contrast, both the US and UK spec sheets for the A4 allroad does not have a maximum trailer hitch tongue weight. Based on the UK spec sheet, the towing capacity would max out at 4180 pounds (1900 kg).
One set of dimensions that is not called out by any of the US or UK spec sheets is for the front and rear door openings. By looking at the UK spec sheet drawings for both models, the Q5’s slightly larger openings would be welcome for parents that need to install baby or child booster seats.
Whether the A4 allroad quattro or the Q5 would be a better choice for you would come down to a couple of things:
- Preference of engine and performance
- Preference of allroad quattro/Avant or crossover styling and/or driving style
- The amount of cargo that you expect to haul with the vehicle
- Ease of getting in and out of the vehicle for both you and your frequent passengers
For me, I will always go with an Avant or allroad quattro over any crossover vehicle. There is something sleek and beautiful in the way Audi styles their Avants. I would also rarely need the larger cargo opening of a crossover and do not like the higher and more upright seating in the Q5.