It’s safe to say the Audi Q5 has been one of the bestselling SUV’s in the premium mid-size segment on European markets for years. It seems to have the ability to combine the best of both worlds by offering you a vehicle that’s not to big, and yet not small enough to trouble a family of a decent size. Now the successful midsize SUV has been extensively updated inside and out to compete with the very best in this segment. Although the width and height of the Q5 remain as before at 1.89 metres and 1.66 metres respectively, it is now 19 millimetres longer at 4.8 metres, thanks to new larger bumpers. It is currently available here in the familiar Sport, S line and Vorsprung specification options but some lucky punters might also be able to bag an exclusive Edition 1 version for the first time. Next generation digital OLED exterior lighting for top-tier versions is also a first in the automotive sector. The upper sections of the LED headlamps now replace the Xenon units as part of the entry level Sport specification featuring a new signature style for their daytime running lights, while S line and Edition 1 models get cutting edge Matrix LED headlamps that were previously reserved for Vorsprung versions.
Once you are done admiring the striking exterior it’s time to open the door and reveal the expansive sweep of the two-section dashboard and sculpted trim inlay. Sitting in reveals that Audi’s famous MMI powered monitor has grown to 10.1 inches compared to the outgoing model of 8.3 inches a feast of new technological gains await you from the comfort of front sport seats. As expected the trim is beautiful with two-tone leather in the Sport model, Alcantara and leather in the S line variant or diamond stitched fine Nappa leather in the Edition 1.
Audi are never shy on engine offerings and the Q5 is no different with a range of TDI and TFSI engines ready to power this mid size SUV. Hybrid lovers are also catered for, as the Q5 TFSI e plug-in hybrid will also be reinstated with a choice of two outputs. Most Q5 owners will probably opt for the 35 TDI with 161 hp powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine. If you can stretch to the 40 TDI you can experience a nice power increase from 190HP to 204HP, and peak torque of 400Nm. The mild hybrid system (MHEV) and the latest on-demand version of quattro all-wheel-drive use a belt-driven starter/generator (BSG) to recuperate energy generated under braking and stores it in a compact lithium-ion battery within the 12-volt electrical circuitry. It enables the Audi Q5 to coast with the engine off at speeds of up to 160kp/h. This naturally is a significant boost to fuel economy.
From appearance alone the Q5 looks strong, safe and robust. Aside from a plethora of airbags, expect virtually every driver assistance feature available including front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, cruise control, pre sense city collision avoidance and a mitigation system. Hill descent control is common to all versions, but upgraded adaptive cruise control and pre sense systems are also welcome assistants to take care of you and other occupants. Step up a little further in price and you can also avail of a parking space, blind spot and motorway lane assistants. It’s an extensive list that is guaranteed to have you in good hands.
Prices kick off at roughly €56,997 for the new Q5 stepping up incrementally depending on your engine choice and trim specification. Audi have a number of finance and PCP options across the range so it’s worth dropping in to see your local dealer and taking a test drive.
After spending a few days with the Audi Q5 I think its safe to say it’s a wonderful vehicle to spend time with. The advanced quattro system works in tandem with conventionally sprung and exceptionally lightweight multilink front and rear suspension. Flicking through the various driver profiles on your daily commute leaves you safe in the knowledge that regardless of the conditions ahead, you are going to get there! Our 7-speed automatic accelerated this Q5 35 TDI to 100 km/h in 9.0 seconds and it will pull until you reach 212 kph. Even though it has a kerb weight of 1740 kg, it can easily achieve 4.1 litres of fuel per 100 kilometers or 60 mpg in old money. The 65 litre fuel tank is good for 1382 kilometres before you will need a refill and space is also plentiful with a luggage capacity of 520 litres, expandable to 1520 litres for larger loads. All this combined makes the Q5 a very easy vehicle to live with. It’s practical, comfortable, brimming with technology and sitting at a local Audi dealership for you. Go take a look!