July 14, 2009

Audi Q5: Awesome $50,000 Not-A-Wagon


I get it, I get it, New York Times guy. Everyone hates station wagons, unless they have lift kits and smaller storage, get terrible mileage, and cost at least $50,000. Like the lovely, Murano-esque Audi Q5 you love so much.

Still, did you have to kick a wagon when it's down by publishing these sales numbers?:

BMW (2008)
3-series wagon: 1,533
X3: 16,000 (est.)

Audi (2007)
Q7: 21,000
A4 Avant: 2,800
A6 Avant: 758

S4 Avant (2008): 175. Repeat, one hundred and seventy five. Cars. Total.


Ouch, I am amazed Audi and BMW even sell wagons here in those volumes. It's probably not even worth their time to federalize them. Oh, well, I guess we can kiss them goodbye.

I love my station wagon! Of course, it's 15 years old (tough to find a good American wagon these days), but it's got a decent set of features, a good power/economy mix, and room for eight. Most importantly, it's not a minivan or an SUV.

Well $50K wis pretty loaded it starts just under $40. Too bad they don't have the 2.0T which would be comparable to the A4 avant. I have no doubt one will be introduced for the next model year. Maybe bring the price down a few K.

I'd say the q5 does have more usable space in the cargo area though (it's a LOT taller) and the rear seat is better for baby seats. The A4 is really tiny in the back.

While the article contains plenty of criticism it is still fairly balanced. I can't imagine a GM vehicle that provided such limited utility/space while managing only 20 mpg would not be treated as kindly.

The article is also a bit off in claiming that Subaru's "wagon fanatics" (of which I am one) have permitted that brand to stay in the wagon business. Actually the Legacy Wagon was discontinued right around the time of the death of the butch Dodge Magnum and sleek Mazda6 wagons. The Legacy wagon lives on in Outback form but that's a concession to American preferences similar to the one Audi's making with the Q5. If you want an unapologetic wagon your choices are truly limited: Volvo, Saab, Audi, VW, BMW and Mercedes. A new option arrives in the next few months and, surprise, it's a Cadillac. The edgy CTS Wagon looks great and includes "killer" blind spots and a hint of fins. But even still this list is pretty heavy on imports and luxury brands. Where's the wagon for the rest of us?

But the wrap up The Times article is perfect: "If you’re determined to drive a smaller crossover, spend as much as humanly possible and still project an image of restraint, the Audi Q5 is a fine way to scale down..."

Yeah, I just don't get the Tiguan or Q5; they're more expensive, less useful, and not nearly as sporty as the wagons that VW and Audi sell. (Nice tail lights though.)

At least that Mercedes GLK looks like it has a little space in it.

unfortunately, it also looks like it was beaten with a stick as a child.

We just moved from manhattan to Ohio (i know), haven't owned a car in ten years and though we brought our bakfiest (bellabike.com) we need a car for the two toddlers and their mom. So we are going to get a jetta tdi, less for the immediate fuel savings than for the possibility of veggie oil conversion after the explosion of oil market once the economy turns back around. Or that's the general idea. Turns
out there is a veggie oil gas station in our little college town. Though I also think we are going to lease as I can't maintain a car to save my life and then if we like it we will buy out and convert at the end of the term. I really liked the touareg but cmon it is just too expensive and 'fuel savings' on an SUV is like a diet hot fudge sunday.

Sorry the point was we are getting a jetta 'sportwagon' tdi.

Nice choice on the Jetta TDI. It's somewhat under reported how popular the TDI engines have been for VW. http://www.autobloggreen.com/2009/07/01/diesels-grab-81-of-volkswagen-jetta-sportwagen-sales-in-june/

This is huge news but it doesn't fit the conventional wisdom that Americans won't drive diesels so the media don't mention it.

Now if VW wanted to turn the Routan into something more than a joke they'd figure out (or have Chrysler figure out) how to equip it with with a diesel and AWD. Then they'd have something to differentiate their otherwise copycat minivan.

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