Since its inception in 2008, the Q5 has catapulted in importance to the Audi brand. Sales immediately beat projections and it is now the best selling Audi vehicle in America. When the first Q5 came out, the “luxury midsize crossover” was barely a thing—only the BMW X3 and Mercedes GLK really existed. But in the interim sales in the segment have exploded, which means competitors are springing up from everywhere. The Jaguar F-PACE, Lexus RX, and Acura RDX all want to eat a piece of Audi’s pie, as does Benz’s much-improved GLC (formerly known as the GLK). Bimmer’s next-gen X3 also waits on the horizon, as does Volvo’s XC60. Competition is fierce, so Audi has to come out with guns blazing.
So, for the second-generation Q5, Audi is loading it with safety suites, loads of technology, and an improved dynamic ride. To learn more about the new Q5, I sampled this new Audi in Cabo San Lucas, at the tip of Mexico's Baja peninsula, on driving surfaces that ranged from cobblestones and paved new highway to switchbacks and backcountry dirt roads.