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Car review: Audi Q5


Made as solidly as an oak table and yet as light as a feather on the road, the updated Audi Q5 is a dream drive, writes car reviewer Tim Barnes-Clay.

Audi Q5

The styling of the Audi Q5, with its coupe-like roof line and wrap-around tailgate, has been subtly refreshed, and the design of the headlights has been changed.

The sparkling xenon units are now framed by new-look LED daytime running lights that form a continuous band surrounding more of the lens.

Audi Q5 'a dream drive'

Inside, the Q5 is pure understated refinement.

The controls are trimmed in chrome, and the narrow panels of the centre console are finished in high-gloss black.

The high-tech central media component, MMI navigation plus, has very few buttons so you don't need a degree in rocket science to work out how to use it.

Other touches such as heated seats, air conditioning and a multifunction steering wheel make the Q5 a dream to drive.

Lightweight and improved safety

The car is as solidly made as an oak table and yet seems as light as a feather.

There's a reason for this: the bonnet and tailgate are crafted from aluminium, while the car's structural elements integrate ultra-high-strength steels.

This reduces weight and improves crash safety.

The result is that the Q5 handles like an executive saloon and takes off like a bat out of hell when you dab the accelerator.

Audi Q5: Top speed of 138mph

Indeed, the performance totally matches the looks of this Germanic road warrior, with a top speed of 138mph, and the 0-62mph sprint is done in a satisfying 7.1 seconds.

Another explanation for this awesome performance is the updated Q5's TFSI petrol engine, which combines direct fuel injection.

Meanwhile, the eight-speed tiptronic automatic powers the 2.0 TFSI Quattro up the cogs effortlessly.

The chassis of the latest Audi Q5 also adds a great dollop of refinement and comfort, thanks to changes to the spring, shock absorber and anti-roll bar settings.

Audi drive select system

The new power steering system gives you a better feel for the road too.

The Q5 driving experience is further enhanced when the optional Audi drive select system is specified.

Audi Q5 - interior

This lets you vary the operating characteristics of the throttle pedal, the shift points of the automatic transmission, the degree of power steering assistance and the operation of the automatic air conditioning system.

In addition, three optional components can also be controlled by the Audi drive select system if they are fitted.

These include adaptive cruise control, damper control and dynamic steering.

During higher speed cornering, it compensates for under-steer and over-steer by intervening with slight steering pulses.

Audi Q5: Performs well off-road

I'm not saying you'll ever get sick of driving the Audi Q5, but when you've had enough of all that commuting to work and driving the kids to school malarkey, this motor will thrill you off road.

It may look a bit bling but it actually performs well on rugged terrain.

Its maximum climbing angle is 31 degrees and its approach and departure angles are each 25 degrees.

And you won't rip anything off the Q5's underbelly because the vehicle’s ground clearance measures 20 cm.

This is truly a motor for everyone – but you'll have to have a decent bank balance or a boss who's nice enough to put this on the company car list to drive one.

Audi Q5: Pros & cons

  • Looks √
  • Performance √
  • Build √
  • Expensive X

Audi Q5: Fast facts

  • Max speed: 138 mph
  • 0-62 mph: 7.1 secs
  • Combined mpg: 35.8
  • Engine: 1984cc 4 cylinder 16 valve petrol
  • Max. power (bhp): 222 at 4500 rpm
  • Max. torque (lb/ft): 258 at 1500 rpm
  • CO2: 184 g/km
    Price: £35,350

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