2015 Audi Q5 3.0 TDI - Fuelly Forums

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Old 01-20-2016, 01:38 PM   #1
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2015 Audi Q5 3.0 TDI

Preamble

When I was shopping for a new vehicle, one of the things I did was check Fuelly.com for real world fuel economy, and I based my decision in part on those number. I was wasn't disappointed. I've been driving my 2015 Audi Q5 since May, for about 8 months and 9,400 miles, and I've attained impressive fuel economy, both in my best tank ever, as well as a 10-tank average that puts me in Fuelly's #1 spot for my vehicle.


The Averages

My actual average (not the one calculated by Fuelly) for my last 10 tanks is 6.64 L/100 km / 35.44 US MPG / 42.57 imperial MPG. My calculations take the actual fuel consumed and the actual distance traveled over 10 tanks, and does the math using those numbers. As this time, Fuelly looks at each tank's MPG value and then averages those numbers, which can give you a less accurate value.

My best tank ever delivered a true 5.77 L/100 km / 40.74 US MPG / 48.93 imperial MPG over a distance of 1,030 km (637 miles). Important facts that let me attain this atypically high value include:
  • All highway
  • Mostly 60 mph with some 50-55 mph (nothing over 60 mph)
  • Few speed variances
  • Few rest stops
  • Level terrain from northern Florida to the Carolinas
  • Mild weather in October, required no heating or A/C
  • Daytime driving required no headlights
  • 1 occupant
  • <20 lbs luggage
  • properly inflated tires

Driving Style Makes a Big Difference

I do the following things to minimize fuel consumption:
  • Gentle starts
  • Look ahead, and let off the gas rather than use brakes, if possible
  • Use cruise control where possible. It's more precise than my foot at keeping a fixed speed
  • Monitor real-time fuel consumption as per the dash display. It's not accurate, but the relative value is useful to let me know if I'm doing better or worse
  • When going downhill, my fuel consumption may go down to 0. This is better than putting it in neutral and idling (which takes up fuel)
  • If I'm going down a steep enough hill, I turn cruise control OFF, and let my vehicle pick up speed, which I'll later bleed off using an in-gear coast until I reach the speed limit (be judicious not to exceed the posted speed limit beyond prudent limits)
In contrast, when I drive "normally" or when I'm in a hurry to get places, I can consume 50% more fuel, which is substantial.


Other Factors

The 3.0 liter turbo diesel is a fuel sipper when driven gently. That's a given. But when you put the pedal to the metal, it becomes a beast. With 428 ft-lbs of torque, it accelerates like a muscle car, going 0-60 mph in about 6.4 second. It passes effortlessly, even uphill. It's also outstanding in the snow and other low-traction surfaces. When you feel it understeering, just aim it and don't let off the throttle. Audi's Quattro full-time and fully automatic all-wheel-drive system automatically distributes the power to the wheels with available traction, and keeps you going where you aim, resulting, at worst, in a controlled and gradual drift rather than over or understeering.


Conclusions

As you might tell, I'm exceedingly happy with my Audi Q5 3.0 TDI's fuel economy. I get better economy than the 2.0 liter gas variants, and even better highway economy than the Q5 Hybrid! When I combine the increased fuel economy with the savings of diesel fuel at the pump as compared to premium unleaded that I'd have to buy for the 2.0 gas variant, the savings are even greater. I live in Canada, where I've been paying a diesel price that's close to the price of regular gas since I got my car, and that's definitely cheaper than premium gas. My calculations tell me I've saved about 1/3 in fuel costs so far, and I will have paid off the diesel engine premium (CAD$5,000) after about 6 years or 141,000 km (87,400 miles) at my current driving pattern. After that, it's saving me annually.

I have to tell you, I love this car. It seems like a great blend of roominess, looks, power, admirable fuel economy, and low per-mile costs.
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Old 01-20-2016, 07:04 PM   #2
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I was part of the Audi Truth In 48 event, where we were given a Q5, an A6, and an A7 (all 2015 TDI Quattro). I was on Team Q5, and we drove that Q from LA to NYC in under 48 hours and averaged almost 40 MPG for the trip. Its a great vehicle, I just wish I could afford one.
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Old 01-20-2016, 09:27 PM   #3
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Jay2TheRescue: Was your "almost 40 MPG" determined by doing the math with actual fuel consumed and actual distance travelled, or by using the in-dash computer display? FYI, the in-dash fuel economy reading is notoriously optimistic in the Q5. My best tank of 40.74 US MPG is the real deal.

I'll be trying to hit 45 MPG on another road trip, but I don't know if it's realistic. That'll mean I need to reduce fuel burn by 9.5% for a day's driving.
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Old 01-21-2016, 12:17 AM   #4
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Enjoyed your very honest review. Does the Q5 come with the 2.0litre TDI unit there? That would be slower, but more efficient. VW/Audis TDI u it's are very effecient, they have won many awards and broken many records, even some of the big wagons can get over 60 UK MPG. Any downsides to the car or anything you dislike?

It's often the case here too that the diesel offers better economy than any hybrid variant, which are also more expensive, most people go for the diesel variants. In many cars, especially large ones, there is no petrol option as people just wouldn't buy them. Recently fuel prices have dropped and petrol and diesel are pretty much priced the same, sometimes diesel is more expensive sometimes it's cheaper. When you calculated the cost difference and split even period, there's no need as your car will depreciate less and you'll get more money back when you sell it on.
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Old 01-21-2016, 01:52 AM   #5
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Draigflag: The Q5 does is not offered with the 2.0 liter TDI in Canada. Only the following engines are available:
  • 2.0 liter 220 hp gasoline (petrol)
  • 3.0 liter 272 hp gasoline
  • 2.0 liter 245 hp gasoline hybrid
  • 3.0 liter 240 hp diesel (temporarily suspended due to Dieselgate)
The SQ5 is available only with a 354 hp gasoline engine.


Downsides:

I ordered my unit without the Navigation package. Although Audi does not advertize this, it sells multiple MMIs (Man/Machine Interface) with different feature sets. In mine, without the Navigation option:
  • Drive select does not have a customizable mode. You only get the fixed Comfort, Auto, and Dynamic modes. I wanted the Custom mode for Comfort acceleration and gearshifts, but firm steering. Not possible.
  • Voice recognition on the phone works only if you (a) create a directory entry (it doesn't access your phone's contacts for this purpose), and (b) record a voiceprint (e.g., "John Smith"). There is a 50 voiceprint limit. After you’ve successfully created a directory entry with a voiceprint in your MMI, you initiate a call using voice recognition EXACTLY and ONLY as follows:
    1. Driver: Press the TEL button on the steering wheel and wait for the beep
    2. Driver Says: “Select Name”
    3. MMI: “The Name Please”
    4. Driver Says: “John Smith”
    5. MMI plays the recorded voice print: “John Smith”
    6. Driver Says: “Dial”
    7. MMI: “Dialing”
    This is so awkward, I just use my iPhone's voice recognition, connected via Bluetooth.
  • The MMI's control buttons and knob are made of plain black plastic and are mounted high on the center stack. When you get the Nav, they have a brushed aluminum finish are are mounted south of the shifter.
  • The MMI's screen is not icon based, or full color. It uses a limited color pallet, looks flat, and resembles Windows 3.1 from the 1980s
iPod integration intermingles music and audiobooks (i.e., each audiobook track appears as a song). You'll see audiobook tracks mixed with songs when viewing songs, albums, artists, etc. ALL your iTunes playlist appear in a single linear list, not hierarchically as they do in the iPod, iPhone, and iTunes.

Audi has removed a lot of control buttons and put their functionality in the MMI. This makes using those controls awkward, multi-stepped, and unintuitive. For example, if you’re listening to your iPod, and you want to turn down the bass.
  1. If the Media button is not already selected, press the Media button (light goes on to confirm it’s selected)
  2. Look at the display to determine the available options. (Sound is the correct one)
  3. Look to your console to locate the physical key that represents Sound (bottom right key)
  4. Press the bottom right key
  5. Look at the display to determine the available options
  6. Grasp the MMI control knob and turn counter-clockwise while watching your screen, and then stop when the selector highlights Bass
  7. Press the MMI control knob to enter Bass mode
  8. Turn the MMI control knob counterclockwise to decrease the bass as desired
  9. Press the MMI control knob to save the current bass setting, and to exit this screen and return to the previous one
  10. Press the Return button (below the MMI control knob) to exit the current screen and return to your music information screen

Aside from these irritants and disappointments, I love it. Great looks. Handles like a sport sedan. Very comfortable on long trips. My Audi dealer says most of the Q5s he sells are diesel. Diesel cars haven't caught on in North America. I'm a convert, though. It gives me the best of both worlds: Monstrous torque for brisk acceleration and great fuel economy. Audi tuned their 3.0 liter diesel so it doesn't sound like one. No clatter. It sounds very close to a regular engine. The urea injection system and diesel particulate filter ensure that there's no smoke and no smell, other than perhaps a faint wiff of something that reminds you of a chlorinated swimming pool.

My previous cars were a BMW Z3 and a BMW 328 convertible, and the Q5 is my favorite ride!
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Old 01-21-2016, 05:12 AM   #6
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Every car has downsides, regardless of price. They shouldn't detract from the overall experience, as you say, you still love the car and most of us just learn to live with them or get used to them after a while. Alot of annoyances these days are to do with touchscreen multimedia systems, some cars you control everything on them, even the heater and blower controls. The benefit is that they can usually be changed and updated, so be sure to send your feedback to Audi, if they get enough messages saying the same thing, they should be able to do an update and you can have it done at your dealer for free.
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Old 01-21-2016, 03:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveMak View Post
Preamble
As this time, Fuelly looks at each tank's MPG value and then averages those numbers, which can give you a less accurate value.
This was changed to do a true avg of total distance / total fuel used on Jan 1st. http://www.fuelly.com/forums/f2/10-t...lly-18324.html
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Old 01-21-2016, 03:40 PM   #8
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Very cool! :-)
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Old 01-21-2016, 03:44 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Draigflag View Post
Every car has downsides, regardless of price. They shouldn't detract from the overall experience, as you say, you still love the car and most of us just learn to live with them or get used to them after a while. Alot of annoyances these days are to do with touchscreen multimedia systems, some cars you control everything on them, even the heater and blower controls. The benefit is that they can usually be changed and updated, so be sure to send your feedback to Audi, if they get enough messages saying the same thing, they should be able to do an update and you can have it done at your dealer for free.
I'll take your advice and report these annoyances to Audi... and detach myself from the outcome. The car is what it is, and I'm best served to accept that and enjoy it to the greatest of my ability. That'll surely be a better experience for me than being upset about it :-)

FYI, I've put an annual reminder in my calendar to ask me how I feel about my car. I'm still thrilled after 7 months, and I'm wondering how long that new car thrill will last.
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Old 01-21-2016, 07:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveMak View Post
Jay2TheRescue: Was your "almost 40 MPG" determined by doing the math with actual fuel consumed and actual distance travelled, or by using the in-dash computer display? FYI, the in-dash fuel economy reading is notoriously optimistic in the Q5. My best tank of 40.74 US MPG is the real deal.

I'll be trying to hit 45 MPG on another road trip, but I don't know if it's realistic. That'll mean I need to reduce fuel burn by 9.5% for a day's driving.
It was a true reading, as accurate as possible. We did not even use the odometer reading. We entered the route we took in Google Maps, and used Google's distance calculation. We did have the Q5 fully loaded with 4 adult males, plus luggage, plus full size spares for the other cars. We also had a time constraint where we had to get there in under 48 hours, so we had to keep the pace up. For a shorter run where time was not an issue, and the Q wasn't loaded to the max, I think 45 could be doable.
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