2014 Audi Q5 TDI
The entire automotive industry is working feverishly on alternative fuel vehicles with electric and hydrogen powertrains. But, engineers are also working just as hard to improve the efficiency of traditional internal combustion engines. So, with ever higher mpg mandates ahead, clean diesels are becoming a lot more common, especially in utilities, like this Audi Q5 TDI. So, let’s see if this diesel ute is one Americans can love.
What is it about turbo diesels like this 2014 Audi Q5 TDI that we love so much? It’s certainly not the smell or more expensive cost of the diesel fuel. Perhaps it’s their simplicity as a higher mileage option, or that ability to fulfill our long range ambitions?
Or maybe it’s just that huge hit of torque you get when you stomp on the pedal. It’s a highly addictive response, and once you’ve sampled it, driving a gasoline powered equivalent is just not the same.
The Q5, Audi’s smallest crossover here for now, got a styling refresh just last year. But Audi saved the best updates for this year, a high performance SQ5 and our high miler TDI.
The 3.0-liter turbocharged clean diesel V6 is the same 240-horsepower engine that we loved so much in the larger A8 sedan. But there’s even more to love in the Q5 as torque is up 22 lb-ft. to 428. Helping the high mileage cause is an 8-speed automatic transmission, and the combination is good for a towing capacity of 4,400-pounds.
All Q5s come equipped with the same quattro all-wheel-drive formula found in Audi sedans and SUV’s for years, rear bias and all; and is as much about handling performance as it is about all-weather capability. Though we put the latter to test through a few weeks of what has been a very cold and snowy winter here in the Mid-Atlantic. We had no issues finding traction even in deep snow; a testament to both the quattro’s abilities and the TDI’s low RPM nature.
All of that white stuff did keep us from taking the TDI to our test track, but Audi claims a 0-60 time of 6.5-seconds and our informal clocking concurs.
As for the recently updated design, the Q5 is truly a modern Audi, from the large Singleframe grille to the LED DRL’s that started the whole phenomenon. 19-inch wheels come standard on the TDI with 235/55 all-season tires.
Both commute time ride, and weekend getaway handling are quite good. But if you’re looking to get the most out of it in the performance department, make sure you have the crossbars removed from the roof rails; as when they are in place, the ESC adjusts parameters for a higher center of gravity. That’s pretty trick!
Steering is electro-mechanical and felt very natural. Government Fuel Economy Ratings come in at 24-City, 31-Highway, and 27-Combined. We managed a quite good 29.4 miles per gallon. The Energy Impact Score is average for all vehicles at 14.1-barrels of oil used and 6.4 tons of CO2 emitted annually.
You’ve heard our rave reviews before about recent Audi interiors, and the Q5 does nothing to dampen our fondness for the high quality materials, simplicity of design, and ease of use of its many high tech features; including the updated MMI Navigation Plus system.
Front seats are very supportive and comfortable, and there’s good room for 3 in the back seat. All passenger’s get plenty of light thanks to the standard panoramic sunroof. Cargo space is 29.1 cubic-ft. with rear seat backs in place, but expands to 57.3 cubic-ft. with them folded.
It’s not all good news, however; as a TDI Q5 will cost you $47,395. That’s almost 10-grand over a base Q5 which starts at $38,195. Our tester, with options, was over 50-grand.
Is the TDI worth all of that extra coin? Well truth be told, our SUV money would probably go elsewhere as there are a lot of mid and even full-size choices for that kind of money. Although, if you’re even contemplating stepping up to a turbo diesel, but are hesitant due to price; our advice is don’t even test drive one. Because, once you get a taste of all the torque that the 2014 Audi Q5 TDI has to offer, you might get addicted too.
- Engine: 3.0-liter
- Horsepower: 240
- Torque: 428 lb-ft.
- 0-60 mph: 6.5 seconds
- EPA: 24 mpg city/ 31 mpg highway
- Energy Impact: 14.1 barrels of oil/yr
- CO2 Emissions: 6.4 tons/yr
2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid
Crossed Up Corolla Gets More Efficient
Toyota offers a hybrid powertrain in just about everything they make, so it did seem odd that last year, when they debuted an all-new SUV version of their long-time best-selling Corolla, a hybrid was nowhere to be found. Well, it didn’t take long for Toyota to correct that situation, delivering this Corolla Cross Hybrid for 2023.
With prices for everything seemingly going up daily, we can all use a little more cost efficiency in our lives. That’s a mission that Toyota has been undertaking for some time now and continues to do it with this 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid.
The Alabama-built Corolla Cross arrived just last year as Toyota’s attempt to bring their best-selling nameplate into the SUV era, and give them an additional entry into the most popular automotive segment going right now, small crossovers.
There are some RAV4 styling cues here, but the Corolla Cross is mostly its own deal, and the Hybrid is more than just a fuel efficient option, it has added performance too. So, it’s offered only in Toyota’s S line of trims S, SE, and XSE, where the standard Corolla Cross is available in base L, LE, and XLE.
There are some differences outside, most notably unique front and rear fasicas; the front with a much more aggressive look, with larger grille and blacked-out trim.
Black trim and logos in back too, along with a redesigned bumper; plus, you can optionally go 2-tone by adding black paint to the roof.
Great packaging has it feeling roomier inside than most small 5-seat utes, straddling the line between subcompact and compact. And seats are way more comfortable than your typical urban-minded utility.
In fact, the entire interior feels quite upscale, and the layout will be very familiar to those stepping up from an actual Corolla.
Those who put off buying a Corolla Cross until now will be rewarded with upgraded infotainment, as all Hybrid’s will come with Toyota’s latest 8-inch touchscreen multimedia system standard.
The Hybrid’s small battery is located under the rear seat, so there’s minimal loss of rom, with a good 21.5 cubic-ft. of cargo space available; expanding to 61.8 with rear seatbacks folded.
Getting to the heart of the matter, the Corolla Cross Hybrid’s fuel-sipping ways are courtesy of the 5th generation of Toyota’s Hybrid System which outputs a combined 196-horsepower through its trio of electric motors and naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine. One of those motors operating strictly the rear axle for standard all-wheel-drive.
At our test track, there was a nice little chirp of the tires off the line, but that’s where the excitement ended.
So while a 7.5-second trip to 60 may not raise your blood pressure, it’s a full 3-seconds quicker than the standard Corolla Cross we tested last year. We’ll take that!
CVT automatic means engine revs and engine noise both hang relatively high throughout the whole ¼-mile, which took us 15.6-seconds to complete, finishing at a reasonable 90 miles-per-hour.
The Hybrid also gets a “sport-tuned” suspension, and indeed it felt light and nimble through our cone course, very neutral too, with no noticeable understeer or oversteer. Steering was light but still provided good feedback. With some grippier tires, this would certainly give the best handlers in the segment a run for their money.
But the real reward comes in Government Fuel Economy Ratings which are 45-City, 38-Highway, and 42-Combined. We averaged a great 43.3 miles-per-gallon of Regular; that’s a 40% increase over the 30.9 miles-per-gallon we averaged in the standard Corolla Cross last year.
But, that does come at a cost, though it’s difficult to make direct comparisons with separate trim families, but pricing starts at $29,320 for the Hybrid, about 3-grand over a base all-wheel-drive non-hybrid. Top XSE comes in at $32,400.
As influential as Toyota is in spreading the hybrid doctrine, it was indeed odd that the Corolla Cross arrived last year without a hybrid option. Smartly, it didn’t take them long to right that wrong, as it was always part of the plan, and the Corolla Cross has benefitted from it greatly. The 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid is not just more efficient, it’s more capable, and a much better small utility all around.
- Engine: 2.0-liter 4-cylinder
- Horsepower: 196
- 0-60 mph: 7.5-seconds
- MW Fuel Economy: 43.3 MPG (Regular)
- Transmission: e-CVT
- Torque: 139 lb-ft
- 1/4 Mile: 15.6-seconds at 90 mph
- EPA: 45-City, 38-Highway, and 42-Combined