Typical new-car launches consist of a dozen writers driving cars they don’t own, burning fuel they didn’t pay for on roads in part chosen for their limited police presence. It’s a suitable arrangement for evaluating a car’s major attributes for Audi dealers and buyers in New York and other states. When fuel efficiency is the selling point of a car, like with the new diesel-powered 2014 Audi Q5, automakers do their best to remind people of it.
For the first drive of the new Audi Q5 TDI, Audi pulled out the fuel-economy challenge, an old industry standby created for this occasion. With a prize on the line, writers sort themselves instinctively into one or two camps. The first consists of those who treat the contest as a chance to win a million bucks. The second consists of those who shrug off the game and drive the car as they would any other.
Regardless of their true goal for the fuel-economy challenge, both sets of writers found at the end that they should take the 2014 Audi Q5 TDI more seriously than a game. Designed for local Audi dealers and consumers, its impressive efficiency and civilized performance is something to marvel.