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Friday, June 26, 2009

AutoAlert: The Audi Q5, BMW X3 & Merc GLK showdown

The following are the excerpt from an article found in that may help potential customers looking for an mid-sized SUV. The 3 models are fiercely contesting in that particular segment:

2009 Audi Q5

Price: $37,200

The basics: 3.2-liter V-6 with 270
horsepower; six-speed automatic; all-wheel drive standard

Fuel economy: 18/23 mpg

Rating: 8.4 out of 10

Audi Q5 is new
for 2009, and scores highly for its suave looks and its spacious interior.
Editors liked its appealing style, inside and out; the quality feel of cabin and
controls; its ample V-6 power; and its standard all-wheel-drive.
On the flip
side, the Q5's Drive Select system feels gimmicky when one setting for ride
quality would be fine. Steering is too heavy in all modes of Drive Select, and
with that $2950 option and others, the
Audi Q5 becomes a pricey addition
to the class, with a $50,000 sticker possible.
Our Bottom Line? The
2009 Audi Q5 sports the sleek lines
of a sweet German sedan, a date-worthy cabin, and good but gimmicky, hefty

2009 BMW X3-Series

The basics: 3.0-liter in-line six with 260
horsepower; six-speed manual or automatic; all-wheel drive

Price : $39,700

Fuel economy: 16/23 mpg

Rating: 8.2 out of 10

The revamped BMW X3 is substantially improved, and editors have noted how the settled-down ride and upgraded cabin make the X3 feel more luxurious than prior versions. Strong acceleration, a smartly styled cabin, standard all-wheel drive and the availability of a manual transmission are all pluses for the X3. Negatives for the 2009 BMW X3 include a tight back seat, choppy styling outside, and handling that comes close to but doesn't match the enviable responses of BMW’s cars. Fuel economy is lower than the Audi Q5's as well.

Our Bottom Line? The 2009 BMW X3 is a more rugged
alternative to a sport wagon, but it's not as much fun to drive.

2010 Mercedes-Benz GLK

The basics: 3.5-liter V-6 with 268 horsepower;
seven-speed automatic; all-wheel drive available

Price: $34,900

Fuel economy: 16/22 mpg

Rating: 8.2 out of 10

The 2010 Mercedes-Benz GLK sport-ute bears a strong resemblance to the larger GL-Class, and that is a good thing--for the most part. Our editors like the upright styling,
but it simply looks less upscale than the curvy
Audi Q5 or the Volvo XC60. The
GLK's smooth ride quality, car like acceleration and grip defy its SUV shape, but
the roomy cabin and cargo area confirm its utility even before you load it with
people and stuff. Like other
SUVs in this class, the GLK's steering can feel light for a vehicle of its size and height. It's pricey, for sure, not compared to the other Germans but to economy-brand sport-utes in the same size class. Of all these vehicles, only the GLK is offered in rear-drive form, which cuts the price but could also affect resale value, depending on your geography and weather. And even with an extra gear in the transmission, the GLK gets the worst fuel economy in this select group.
Our Bottom Line? The smaller, nimbler 2010 Mercedes-Benz GLK sport-ute
has come to America at just the right time for
Mercedes; where's our diesel

The Winner: 2009 Audi Q5

The 2009 Audi Q5 sports the sleek lines
of a sweet German sedan, a date-worthy cabin, and good but gimmicky, hefty

The Competition

You might not think the Audi Q5 is
exactly the right car for you--and the other German
SUVs may not
fit the bill, either. So what's left in this size and price class? If you're
still looking for rugged lines and all-terrain travel,
Land Rover’s LR2 is a square-jawed
niche player in the group, with true four-wheeling bred in its blocky

The next pair, the Acura RDX and Infiniti EX35, share Japanese
heritage, but feel radically different. The RDX’s pulsing turbocharged
four-cylinder feels at odds with its mission, while the EX35’s teensy cargo area
leads to questions about its SUV classification.

Last, the soft and comfy SUVs in this
group include the
Lexus RX, a luxury favorite
with little driving feel and a
hybrid model; the new Volvo XC60, a sleek and fairly
quick-footed SUV with a marvelous interior; and the
Cadillac SRX, a new entry in this
size class with crisp styling and good on-road maneuvers.

Source :,


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