By Paula MacPherson
As is the case with many new cars, the 2012 Audi Q5 has chosen its own path when it comes to the interior controls and the results weren’t always to my liking. My advice: Set up the audio and climate control systems before you start your trip.
Many of these adjustments require two steps. Changing radio stations is done with the MMI (Multimedia Interface) knob on the console, but you have to select the “presets” list with a button first, otherwise you scroll through the available frequencies in order. Adjusting the seat heater also requires pre-selecting that function before turning a knob to make the change in temperature.
Even the speedometer has its own little twist: Zero miles per hour is at the bottom of the dial and 180 miles per hour is displayed at about 2 o’clock. As a result, the speed readings that are most useful on the highway get squeezed into the 9 o’clock region of the dial, but I’m sure you get used to it.
The rest of the car is a delight. The steering could use a little more power assist, but its precision and feedback are above reproach. This Audi always seemed secure and well-planted on the pavement. The seating seems surprisingly high in the Q5, but the view ahead is good. The side mirrors are quite large; good for a view to the rear they can create potential blind spots to the sides for shorter drivers.
The seat and steering wheel adjust quickly and have a wide range of movement, making this car capable of accommodating just about any driver. While I complained about the speedometer scale, I did like the instrument panel displays that give you route guidance from the navigation system or show you the music that is playing on the radio.
Summing up the Q5 is easy: This is a solid performer. Premium gasoline is required and we averaged 21 miles per gallon.