Audi has just launched its second generation Q5 medium sized SUV along with the hot version SQ5.
Four of the top 6 best selling Audis in Australia are SUVs. So clearly this is an important car for them. New looks, and they say more features and new technology to make the all-wheel drive work better. Sounds good so we drove the news models from Melbourne to Adelaide typically on secondary roads to see if they lived up to expectations.
The range comes with three engines.
2 litre diesel. 140kW and 400 Nm. Strong off the line with low down torque. On the open road it is adequate without running like a stallion. Its fuel consumption is rated at 5.3 l/100km
2 litre turbo petrol engine with more power 185 kW and nearly as much torque 370Nm. It runs more freely giving more confidence when overtaking for example. The Petrol gets 7.3 l/100km in the laboratory tests
Both two litre engines come with 7 speed tiptronic dual clutch transmission.
Hot SQ 5, unlike the previous model does not have a high-performance diesel engine. Top of the range is a turbocharged petrol with 260 kW and 500 Nm. It still goes very well helped by an eight speed tiptronic automatic gear box with sports mode. It ran with wind in its hair.
Audi gave a bit of a wink when asked if the hot diesel might come in the near future. Which is either good news or I can’t read nonverbal signals.
The high horse power is great if you can show it which is not often.
Fuel consumption is rated at 8.7 l/100km combined cycle.
All models are very sure footed on the open road at touring speeds. Vehicle noise is really quite minimal and there is a general ambiance of well-constructed luxury.
In recent years engines have been getting more powerful but vehicles have also been putting on weight with extra features and more electronics. But with lighter metals and better packaging the Q5s are lighter with the diesel engine model losing 90kgs. It all helps with driving performance and fuel economy.
They have a new development in the all-wheel drive system which means that you only get all wheel drive when you need it so most of your driving is in the more economical two-wheel drive. We will do a separate video on this impressive bit of technology.
On the outside it looks better, more purposeful and masculine. The old model looked functional but by modern standards a bit bland.
The new vehicle is 34mm longer, the same width, 6mm taller and a 12 mm longer wheel base.
Inside has usable space except for the rear passengers when you have a big person in the front. That is a common feature with this style of vehicle.
Some good driver safety assistance with adaptivecruisecontrol, distancewarning, hilldescent, parkassist,crosstrafficassistat the rear and exitwarningso when you go to get out you don’t door another car or worse a cyclist.
The interior has functional simplicity but not adventurous styling. There is a good eightpoint three -inch Multi-Media Interface screen and Audi’s fantastic digital dash board. The information is crystal clear and easy to read.
The side storage areas in the doors are easy to get to but not well designed for holding bottles and the cup holders, back near the arm rest, are cumbersome to use.
Theseatshavebeenredesignedfromthegroundup and felt good even on a long drive.
There’s 550litresluggage capacity that’s up a smidgin,10litres, for the previous model. Flatten the second row of seats and you get 1550 litres of space.
Apartitionnetandluggagecompartmentcoverarestandard, with fourlashingpoints.
Moving up the models or picking some options can add features to your vehicle.
It is good that most of the safety features are included in all models.
There is an adaptive air suspension with up to 220mm of ground clearance. The ride felt softer on the road.
Additional options are a comfort package, and S line style package (including 20 inch sport alloy wheels) and a Technik package (including heads up display) andseparate items like heated front seats. They are not bargain-basement prices but they are significantly lower than previous Audi offerings.
The base model with a diesel engine has a list price of $65,900. The 2 litre petrol starts at $73,211 and the SQ 5 is $99,611. To all prices you must add on-road costs.
After the test we hoped into a credible, everyday new small SUV but immediately noticed the increased noise and lack of a refined feeling.
So Q 5 and the hot SQ5 gives Audi a distinct position of prestige, technical development and comfort for a price.
There is no mistake, SUVs are now very car like in what they offer.
Originally aired on 8 July 2017. For past programs and individual segments visit www.drivenmedia.com.au