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Audi Q5 2.0 TFSI: Convenient, comfortable and capable

By Ghaith Madadha - Nov 13,2017 - Last updated at Nov 13,2017

Photo courtesy of Audi

Audi’s most popular car next to the A5 saloon, the outgoing Q5 mid-size SUV sold over 1.6 million cars and leaves big shoes for the second generation model to fill. A task that it is convincingly capable of, the latest generation Audi Q5 is a clearly improved and more focused machine, but one that is nonetheless evolutionary in tone. Launched for the 2017 model year and arriving in the Middle East in September, the Audi Q5 is initially offered either with a 2-litre engine as tested, or in 3-litre SQ5 performance guise.

 

Sculpted and snouty

 

Progressive in terms of design, the new Mexican-built Audi Q5 is slightly longer and, with slightly longer wheelbase, is more spacious than its predecessor. Also more powerful and efficient than before, the new Q5 is, however, up to 90kg lighter, depending on model, owing to a greater use of lightweight aluminium and high tensile strength steel in construction. Built on a new platform, it features multi-link suspension all round and optional active air suspension, as tested in Salalah, Oman, during a regional launch event, for improved ride and handling. 

Tauter, sharper and with more emphasis on a perception of width and a sporty demeanour, the new Q5’s fascia features a more sculpted bumper, bigger side intakes, more heavily browed and moodier headlights with distinctive LED signature, and a bigger, snoutier and more heavily outlined hexagonal grille design. Bodywork features more defined ridges and character lines and, and more muscular shoulders, while a relatively level waistline and descending roofline lend it an elegant stance and provides good visibility, while wide lights and upturned lower bumper insert with integrated exhaust ports make it seem ready to pounce from rear views.

 

Seamless delivery

 

Powered by an in-line turbocharged 2-litre 4-cylinder engine positioned low and just ahead of the front axle, the Q5 2.0 TFSI develops 248BHP throughout 5000-6000rpm and 273lb/ft torque at a broad and versatile 1600-4500rpm band. Producing 22BHP and 15lb/ft more than its predecessor yet 50kg lighter, as tested, the Q5 accelerates through 0-100km/h in 6.3-seconds, is capable of 237km/h and returns 7.1l/100km combined cycle fuel efficiency. Responsive from standstill, with quick-spooling turbo, muscular mid-range and seamlessly progressive transition to top-end power, the Q5 proved confident and brisk through steep winding hill climbs and country lanes.

Ostensibly powering all four wheels through a slick, smooth and swift shifting 7-speed automated dual clutch gearbox, the new Q5 features a revised Quattro four-wheel-drive mechanism. Traditionally a full-time four-wheel-drive system, the Q5’s new Quattro Ultra system features a multi-plate clutch in place of a self-locking differential, and can disengage drive to the rear wheels to reduce friction losses and power required to drive them. Setting off from standstill with all four wheels engaged for sure-footed traction, Quattro Ultra soon disengages the rear wheels and re-enges automatically and when necessary in just 0.2-seconds.

 

Settled and smooth

 

Automatically active in all driving modes, Quattro Ultra, however, keeps four-wheel-drive engaged more often in Dynamic mode and less so in other modes. During a test drive on winding roads and moderate off-road routes in Salalah, the Q5’s Quattro Ultra system seemed to be seamless in operation, with one not even realizing the absence of four-wheel-drive in most normal driving situations. Meanwhile on moderate off-road routes, Quattro re-engaged to provide necessary traction over loose surfaces. The Q5 ride height can also be raised by 45mm with optional adaptive air dampers for better off-road ability.

Smooth, refined and stable at speed and when cruising, the Q5’s adaptive air suspension keeps it comfortable over imperfections despite optional 255/45R20 low profile tires, and well wards off body lean through corners. Over sudden crests and dips, it is settled on pitch and rebound. Steering is precise, quick and meaty, if not particularly nuanced for road feel. Into corners, the Q5 turns tidily, with understeer well-contained despite its front-biased weighting. Committed through a corner, one can, however, nudge its weight out and to the rear to tighten a cornering line before reapplying power and traction to power out onto a straight.

 

Ergonomic and elegant

 

Elegantly inside with an emphasis on horizontal lines and width, the Q5’s cabin is finished with quality materials and textures, and features a perfectly centred driving position, with seat, steering wheel pedals, and configurable virtual cockpit instrument lining up exactly and ergonomically. With good space to seat five, the Q5 features improved cabin room over its predecessor, while cargo volume also rises by 10-litres, with a minimum 550-litres capacity expanding to 1550-litres with the rear seats folded down. The Q5’s air suspension can also lower the body by 55mm for easier loading and cabin access. 

 

Well equipped with convenience, infotainment and safety features, the Q5 comes with standard power tailgate with a sensor for hands-free automatic operation, while pneumatic massaging seats and head’s up display are optional. In addition to an optional 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit screen, the Q5 features an 8.3-inch infotainment screen with touch pad and natural voice input, a rear tablet style entertainment system and optional Band & Olufsen sound system. Driver assistance and safety systems include hill descent, side, park, rear cross traffic, turn and collision avoidance assistance, Audi Pres-sense safety and other features.

 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

 

Engine: 2-litre, turbocharged, in-line 4-cylinders

Bore x stroke: 82.5 x 92.8mm

Compression ratio: 9.6:1

Valve-train: 16-valve, DOHC, direct injection

Gearbox: 7-speed dual clutch automated, four-wheel-drive

Ratios: 1st 3.188; 2nd 2.19; 3rd 1.517; 4th 1.057; 5th 0.738; 6th 0.557; 7th 0.433

Reverse/final drive: 2.75/5.302

Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 248 (252) [185] @5000-6000rpm

Specific power: 125BHP/litre 

Power-to-weight: 138.1BHP/tonne (kerb)

Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 273 (370) @1600-4500rpm

Specific torque: 186.5Nm/litre

Torque-to-weight: 206.1Nm/tonne (kerb)

0-100km/h: 6.3-seconds

Top speed: 237km/h

Fuel consumption, urban/extra-urban/combined: 8.6-/6.3-/7.1-litres/100km 

CO2 emissions, combined: 162g/km

Fuel capacity: 70-litres

Length: 4663mm

Width: 1893mm

Height: 1659mm

Wheelbase: 2819mm

Track, F/R: 1616/1609mm

Loading height: 759mm

Aerodynamic drag co-efficient: 0.30

Headroom, F/R: 1059/998mm

Shoulder width, F/R: 1466/1438mm

Luggage volume, min/max: 550-/1550-litres

Unladen/kerb weight: 1720kg/1795kg

Steering: Electric-assisted rack & pinion

Turning Circle: 11.7-metres

Suspension: Multi-link, anti-roll bars, adaptive air suspension

Brakes: Ventilated discs

Tyres: 255/45R20

Price, starting at: JD60,606

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