Given Aussies love affair with SUV’s, it’s no surprise Audi’s biggest sellers are no longer its superb sedans or coupes, rather it’s their Q-cars, like the new Q5 2.0 TFSI Sport that are the stars.
Building on the first model Q5 that started the SUV revolution for the four-ring brand, the latest second-generation line up boasts new levels of infotainment, connectivity, driver assist technology and more powerful engines.
According to Audi the mid-size Q5 ticked all the boxes with its owners for its versatility and manoeuvrability in the city, while delivering fuel-efficient long-distance driving. After a week with the Q5 2.0 TFSI Sport or ‘Q5 2.0 TFSI quattro S tronic Sport’ as it’s officially called, I’d have to agree.
Like its predecessor, the second-generation Audi Q5 is well proportioned and sports a more muscular, sculptured look thanks in part to its broader stance and sharply chiselled creases. It has also had the Jenny Craig treatment, shedding 90 kilograms that has improved its handling, ride comfort, performance and fuel efficiency.
Audi is head and shoulders above the field when it comes to interiors and the Q5 2.0 TFSI Sport delivers plenty of premium feel and luxurious appointments. The cabin is superbly finished with quality materials and fittings, soft touch surfaces and its clean minimalist lines convey a feel of open space.
The instrument display includes the amazing virtual cockpit and customisable dash. All-round visibility is excellent and the new design seats afford plenty of upper body and under thigh support and frankly are a wonderful place to spend several hours.
There is a decent compliment of standard kit in the new Q5 2.0 TFSI Sport including 18-inch alloy wheels, Xenon headlights, LED daylights and taillights, leather upholstery, a multi-function steering wheel with shift-paddles, tri-zone climate control air and an eight-speaker audio system featuring a CD player and two SD cards.
The MMI system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, DAB digital radio, Google Earth and Google Search functionality, sat nav plus mobile phone connectivity and music streaming is a breeze to operate and easy to navigate around using the scratchpad or wheel controller.
It’s roomy inside for four adults or two adults or three kids and the electric tailgate is activated by a sensor-controlled ‘kick motion’ that comes in very handy when your arms are full. It’s large enough to swallow a family’s summer holiday needs and there is no shortage of leg and headroom in the both rows, with the rear getting more legroom in this new model.
Although the badge says Quattro, it’s no longer a permanent all-wheel drive, rather a front drive for greater efficiency. That said, the moment the torque control systems and on-board computers detect the slightest hint of slip and long before you feel it, the system instantaneously reverts to all-wheel drive. It really is the best of both worlds and all happens automatically.
On board is Audi’s latest Drive select program allowing you to alter the power, transmission, suspension and steering settings, with a flick of a switch. Ninety nine per cent of people will be satisfied with the set and forget of Auto mode, while a flick to Dynamic mode shifts more power to the rear and sharpens up the steering and suspension for a sportier drive without compromising its ride. Another flick to the new Off-road mode permanently engages the quattro all-wheel drive system, but its impossible to pick when it was doing it, it’s that seamless.
Under the bonnet is the same turbine-smooth 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine as in the A4 and A5 sedan and coupes. There’s no lack of urge from down low and its hefty mid-range makes overtaking and climbing hills a breeze. With 185 kW and 370Nm on tap it takes a mere 6.3 seconds to get from zero to 100km/h and feeding the power to the front and/or all wheels is done via a revamped version of the previous model’s quick and swift-shifting, seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
An arsenal of the latest safety tech including Pre-sense city with Autonomous Emergency Braking and pedestrian detection, door exit warning system, cross traffic assist, blind spot warning, rear view camera, pre-sense basic that tightens the seatbelts and closes the windows if an emergency is detected and pre-sense rear that warns following traffic if they are at risk of running into the rear of the car are standard and give the Q5 a five-star ANCAP safety rating.
Fitted to the test car were several option packs including a $520 ambient lighting pack giving you a choice of 30 colours and a $2470 Comfort option pack that provided heated and folding exterior mirrors, heated windscreen washer jets, a memory function for the driver seat and a fore and aft sliding and reclining rear seat. The Navarra blue metallic paint adds a further $1846 to the price.
Although the latest Audi Q5 isn’t a giant leap forward, given how good the old one was, it’s incrementally better in all areas, ensuring the $73,211 Q5 2.0 TFSI Sport stays at the sharp end of the pack.
For more information on the Q5 2.0 TFSI Sport or to book a test drive head to Audi.
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