Audi has revised their mid-size SUV by giving it some cosmetic and mechanical updates. The Q5 comes with both petrol and diesel powertrain options, we drive the former, as it is the most powerful Q5 that you can buy (until the SQ5 arrives). The Audi Q5 sits between the Q3 and Q7 in Audi’s India line-up.
The SUV is sized appropriately with typical Audi design. The huge hexagonal grille up-front reminds you of the Q7. There are large air-scoops on the bumpers and the headlights with neatly executed LED DRLs that look quite smart. The highlight of the Q5’s design has to be the crease that connects the headlights to the tail-lights. It gives a sense of continuity and stability. The rear, too, is typical Audi with familiar tail-lights and chrome exhausts.
The interiors are finished in black and beige adorned by subtle silver finishes. There is a 3-zone climate control and a standalone 8.3-inch infotainment system on the centre console. It supports Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and navigation and is operated by the rotary controller. There is also an MMI touchpad with multiple gesture shortcut for easy operation of the infotainment system. The electrically adjustable front seats are very comfortable and come with 4-way lumbar support. The driver is also greeted by a 12.3-inch cockpit digital instrument cluster. Legroom and headroom, at the rear, is sufficient but the passengers miss out on a USB port. The Q5 also gets a large panoramic sunroof.
Using the same engine as the Q7, the Q5 petrol is badged 45 TFSI and outputs 252 HP and 370 Nm from its 2.0-litre motor, claiming a sprint time of 6.3 seconds from 0-100 km/hr, the top speed is rated at 237 km/hr. There is some lag lower down but once you get past 2200 RPM, the turbo kicks in full flow and offers some serious mid-range performance. Power continues in the top-end too as it screams to its 6500 RPM redline. There are 6 drive modes on offer and in Dynamic mode, the motor feels more eager and holds on to the redline in each gear.
The petrol Q5 is mated to a 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission which is quick but jerky compared to the torque converter unit found in the Q7. You can use the gear-lever or the paddle shifters to manually take control of the shifts. The fuel-efficiency is 8 km/l in the city and 10 km/l on the highway.
The Q5 comes equipped with Audi’s famed Quattro all-wheel-drive system which ensures grip at all times, even when driving in the rains with the Traction Control off, there is no wheel spin. Ride quality on the Q5, with adaptable dampers, is stellar. In Dynamic mode, the suspension stiffens up and the handling becomes tighter, body roll being well contained. However, the steering doesn’t offer the best feel and feedback.
The Audi Q5 petrol makes a strong case for itself. The petrol engine is more refined and more powerful than the diesel counterpart and it will appeal to the driving enthusiasts. Audi targets to sell more than 50% of its cars with a petrol engine by the end of this decade and we think the Q5 is a good start for that target. The only sore point is that the petrol-powered Q5 has average fuel-efficiency (compared to the diesel) but if you don’t drive a lot and want a more refined driving experience, the petrol Q5 is the one to go for.