Audi’s sales have grown by leaps and bounds in the United States, with new records being set consistently. While some of this growth has been from existing model lines like the A4 and A6, a lot of it is from newer models like the Q5. It’s easy to forget though that the Q5 is due for a mid-cycle enhancement, given it was launched in 2008.
It doesn’t seem like that long, and the Q5 has remained remarkably fresh since then. That is probably why Audi has decided to leave it pretty much as is. The MCE includes only minor changes to the exterior. One thing we’ve never liked about the Q5 is the grille, and while they’ve changed it somewhat, we don’t think its fixed. Audi’s changes include redesigned inner headlights, the addition of Audi’s signature LED daytime running lights and new Xenon plus units.
Audi says they are “shaped as curved bands that surround the headlights.” The aforementioned high-gloss black grille now has beveled chrome edges and redesigned detailing that Audi says emphasize horizontal lines. The lower fascia gets redesigned integrated air inlets with high-gloss black inserts, and out back the rear LED taillights have a redesigned pattern when you opt for the Xenon package. Overall, it sounds like there have been more changes than there appears to be.
The real news is under the hood. For 2013, the Q5 is adding a hybrid model. It includes a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder mated to a 54 horsepower electric motor for a combined output of 265 hp. The Q5 hybrid has two miles of pure electric range and Audi projects it will return 34 miles per gallon combined. The standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder now makes 225 horsepower (up from 211) and the top-shelf 3.2-liter V-6 is swapped out for a 3.0-liter turbocharged unit. It makes 272 hp and 295 pound-feet of torque. Except for fuel economy reasons, we aren’t sure why they switched that V-6 out – hp is up by only 2. Big deal. Other detail changes in the interior round off the 2013 Q5. Pricing information will be forthcoming.