Audi Q5 is an important product in the company’s SUV line up and has also been one of the top selling models in its segment globally. 10 years and 1.6 million units later, Audi has brought the all-new second generation Audi Q5 to India. The Q5 will be a key model for the German carmaker in India, to further their sales in 2018, which Audi is calling to be the year of progression. Audi sold a total of 7876 units in 2017 increasing their sales by 2 per cent over the year before. Audi, then, cannot afford to miss a beat in their plans, can they?
Like every other new generation of cars, the new Audi Q5 has shed a lot of weight and has become longer and sharper. The new design may not be radical enough to recognize immediately but the new grille and optional LED headlamps with the daytime running lights let you know that it is a new car. Yes, the front grille is identical to the new Q7 and yes, the tail light design is similar to the previous generation and the 18-inch alloy wheels may not look special. But the Q5 certainly looks tightened in its skin, more athletic and the design will certainly grow on you.
Inside is where most Audis score ahead of the competition and it’s the same case with the Q5. The dashboard is identical to the latest models from Audi and you cannot find fault with the quality of materials used. The highlights of the dashboard, apart from its build quality, are the 12.3-inch virtual cockpit and the free standing 8.3-inch MMI infotainment system in the middle. For the unknown, the virtual cockpit is a fully digital instrument cluster that displays driver-relevant information that also includes navigation and communication. You can also customize the display options as per your liking. Audi has introduced a new MMI control with touchpad that is more intuitive to use as the infotainment system itself is a non-touch screen unit, which we approve. Other major comfort features include 3-zone deluxe automatic air conditioning, wireless charging, smart phone interface, 10 GB jukebox, hill descent assist, rear view camera, parking sensors, cruise control, 8 airbags and more.
As the Q5 has grown, it reflects in the space inside. The cabin has become roomier but the big tunnel in the middle means the third passenger in the middle of the rear seat has to sit in a compromising position. The front seats come with electric adjusts and also get 4-way lumbar support while the rear seats can be split 40:20:20. Boot space is at a commendable 550 litres, which increases to 1550 litres with the rear seats folded down. From the driving position, the view ahead is great, thanks to the low set dashboard and not-so-thick A pillars.
The new gen Q5 also gets a new engine – a 2.0-litre TDI engine, the only one made available in India for now. The new 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine makes a 190 hp and a peak torque of 400 Nm and can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.9 seconds. It is the same unit that powers the new Audi A4. With the torque available at as low as 1,750 rpm, the turbo lag is almost non-existent and this can also be credited to the 7-speed S-tronic dual clutch transmission. The gear changes are quick and smooth, making for a great low and mid range power delivery. The engine is smoother than the previous generation and feels more refined.
The new Q5 gets adaptive suspension with damper control but misses out on the air springs which are available globally. What you get, however, is an Audi Drive Select with five driving modes – comfort, dynamic, auto, efficiency and individual. So while the general setting could be a bit lumpy, you can get a much sportier output in dynamic mode.
The quattro system offers adequate grip around the corners and keeps the body roll in check.
The new Q5 has bettered all the things that the original Q5 has come to be popular with. While it may not be the best handling SUV, it certainly is the best riding one. The NVH levels too are the best among the class. Along with a long list of equipment, the new Audi Q5 is a great package.