Audi has announced fuel economy estimates for its A6 and A7 sedans and its Q5 SUV, all in TDI diesel-powered guise, and the estimates are pretty good.
According to the official press release from Audi, the EPA fuel economy estimates break down like this for the oil-burning big Audis:
• 2014 Audi A6 TDI – 24 city/ 38 highway/ 29 combined MPG
• 2014 Audi A7 TDI – 24 city/ 38 highway/ 29 combined MPG
• 2014 Audi Q5 TDI – 24 city/ 31 highway/ 27 combined MPG
Let’s remember just how large the A6 and A7 are: The A7 is considered an “executive car” in European classifications and is nearly 200 inches long from bumper to bumper. That’s roughly the same length as the Chrysler 300— a car in which you’re not likely to see 38 MPG highway unless your commute is on a perpetual downhill grade.
The Q5, meanwhile, is a 4,100-lb compact crossover SUV similar in size to the Chevrolet Equinox. In that case, the Equinox is rated for up to 32 MPG highway, but a quick scan of owner reviews will show that number to be lofty, in some owners’ experience. In addition, to obtain that 32 MPG number, the Equinox has to be equipped with a 2.4-liter gasoline four-cylinder engine good for just 182 horsepower and 172 ft-lbs of torque. Those numbers do not compare favorably with the diesel-powered Q5’s 240 horsepower and 428 ft-lbs of torque. The Equinox can beat the Q5 TDI’s horsepower rating if eqiupped with the 301-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 gas engine, but that engine is more thirsty. In our experience, the V6 in the Equinox was good for just shy of 20 mostly highway MPG.
Of course, any of the Audis will carry the Euro-luxury premium in pricing. You won’t buy a Q5 TDI for the $37,000 MSRP of our Chevrolet Equinox LTZ V6 tester— the Audi release lists the Q5 TDI at $46,500. Likewise, a hot, 240-horsepower, 428 ft-lb A7 will require deeper pockets than even the mighty 470-horsepower Chrysler 300 SRT8— Audi lists a $66,900 base price compared to the 300 SRT8’s $49,250.
Spendy they may be, but if you want to say you own a vehicle with pin-you-back-in-your-seat takeoff power and fuel economy that won’t make you any enemies at the next Sierra Club meeting, the aforementioned Audis beg for your attention.