Mark Jones
Road Test Editor
5 minute read
2 Aug 2017
9:00 am

New Audi Q5 delivers on all promises

Mark Jones

It has all the luxury and tech you could want in such a good-looking package

It’s no secret that I really thought the new Audi Q2 was quite a pointless model. Not quite an A3 or a Q3 but, hey, it comes in some cute colours.

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And then you have the massive, now much better looking Q7, which also wasn’t my first choice either. But I have to say, I really like the all-new Audi Q5 that has just been launched in SA.

It has that nice sharp Audi styling going on, in a package that is just the right size for the average family, and a solid range of power plant options.

It will come as no surprise then that the Q5 is Audi’s best-selling SUV, and Audi says that their SUV again sets the standards in terms of connectivity, efficiency and driver assistance systems. I would be lying if I said I could disagree with them because you would need to undergo extensive OEM training at their HQ and every other manufacturer’s HQ to know exactly what technology is in what car, and which is better than the other.

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So, as to be expected these days, the new Q5 at 4.66 metres long, 1.89 metres wide and 1.66 metres tall with a 2.82 metre wheelbase, has grown from the previous model, but the weight of the SUV is down by up to 90kg.

And although this is not the big brother Q7, the interior still offers proper space for five fully grown people, and is said to surpass the previous model and its competitors in key interior dimensions areas. The rear seat back is split into three segments.

Depending on the rear seat position, the basic volume of the luggage compartment ranges from 550 to 610 litres, 10 litres more than in the previous model.

When the rear bench is folded down, this volume grows to 1550 litres. Cargo loading is simplified by intelligent solutions like a standard, variably folding mat, optional sensor control of the power tailgate and manual lowering of the body via the optional air suspension.

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So I can’t see you needing any more than the new Q5 offers, unless you are after a seven-seater, which in turn kills your luggage space.

The Q5 offers a nice mix of the two in ultimate people space and luggage terms. When it came to the actual launch test drives, the Western Cape was in a particularly grumpy mood, with the rain blowing in sideways at pace. The roads were quite a mess but this actually provided the perfect platform for the Q5 to show off its new quattro-ultra technology.

In a nutshell, this new technology is “quattro on demand”, and is standard in the 2.0-litre range. The quattro with ultra technology disengages the rear-axle drive whenever it is not needed, and if necessary it can proactively re-engage it.

The bottom line is the new concept to Audi boosts efficiency without reducing traction or driving dynamics.

The intelligent operating strategy of this system permanently monitors the route, driver and driving status, and predicatively distributes the drive torque to the front and rear axle as required.

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Or in this case it is already active before the need arises. Depending on the situation, up to 100% of the drive force can be transmitted to the front or the rear axle. And if the driving situation does not require Quattro, like when you are cruising on a nice dry highway, the Q5 stays in the more efficient frontwheel drive mode.

You get optional adaptive air suspension and a very good standard system, and as per usual you can switch between comfort and sport and now lift and offroad using the Audi drive select system, and basically configure your Q5 to handle like you want it to.

Not once did we have any sort of traction or slip and slide issue in any of the Q5 models we drove in the horrible weather conditions we experienced, and it was here that the value of having Quattro mixed with lots of power made perfect sense. As said, a compact range of engines will be available at launch, and we drove them all.

My favourite was the 3.0-litre V6 TFSI that produces 260kW and 500Nm along with such a nice grumpy ex – haust note when in Sport mode.

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It also handles exceptionally well thanks to Quattro permanent allwheel drive with optional sports diff. Audi says the SQ5 will get to 100km/h in just 5.4 seconds, while the top speed is an electronically limited 250km/h.

This is said to happen while the SQ5 consumes just 8.3 litres of fuel per 100 kilo – metre. The 2.0-litre four-cylinder TDI was up next and the 140kW and 400Nm made for excellent every – day driving and fuel consumption.

The 0-100km/h here is claimed to be 7.9 seconds along with a top speed of 218km/h. The good news is that the claimed combined fuel consumption is said to be just a mere 4.9 litres per 100km.

We drove the 185kW / 370Nm 2.0-litre TFSI last, and it is good, but to be honest, if it’s torque and consumption you want, the diesel is your pick and if it’s power, then it must be the SQ5.

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Audi’s new SUV is dynamic and it has all the luxury and tech you could ever want in such a good-looking package.

Pricing

  • Q5 2.0 TDI quattro S tronic R698 000
  • Q5 2.0 TDI quattro S tronic Sport R748 000
  • Q5 2.0 TFSI quattro S tronic R747 500
  • Q5 2.0 TFSI quattro S tronic Sport R797 500
  • SQ5 3.0 TFSI quattro Tiptronic R1 044 000