2.0 TFSI quattro S line S tronic
The final frontier. In a
shrinking world, space is at
a premium, especially premium
space. And getting around in
limited space calls
for making the right choice
size-wise. Which brings us to
Audis Q range of premium
SUVs, all of which will let you
boldly go wherever you want...
FITTING IN on the worldwide web of roads while still providing plenty of
your own personal space within is the mid-sized Q5. And going the 'perfectly-sized'
Q5 route now gives you more it's fresh from an update both inside
That said, it's a very subtle refresh and the changes, though visually beneficial,
are hard to spot. Most noticeable are the shaplier bonnet (crafted from aluminium)
and squarer headlights, now redefined by new-look LED daytime running lights.
Size aside, for the majority of buyers what's under the bonnet is the next (after
badge) most important buying 'decider'. Q5 customers get to choose from five
powerplants: a pair of petrol engines and three diesels.
petrol-drinking Q5s can be had in either 180PS or 225PS 2.0-litre guise. For
those drivers who prefer filling up from the now more expensive black pumps,
there's a choice of two 2.0-litre units (143PS and 177PS) and a 245PS 3.0-litre
Dont make the mistake
spoken with a lack of aggression: press
down hard with your
right foot and keep
it there and this Q5 will
get you to the
benchmark 62mph from
standstill in a drama-
free 7.1 seconds...
Four-wheel drive is, of course, standard Audi's trademark quattro (with
a small 'q', if you please) permanent all-wheel drive system ensures grip is
maximised under all circumstances. Generally, drive is split 40:60 to the front
and rear axles but this is adjusted automatically to suit prevailing conditions
consequently corners can be taken reassuringly in a Q5; it won't lose
its grip come hell or high water.
The new four-pot 2.0-litre TFSI puts out a polished 225bhp, a useful step-up
from its previous 211bhp. Fire up the engine and you'll be hard pushed to hear
the turboed four-pot idling; factor in excellent soundproofing and you have
the basis for a very quiet and restful cabin.
But don't make the mistake of associating mechanically softly-spoken with a
lack of aggression: press down hard with your right foot and keep it there and
this Q5 will get you to the benchmark 62mph from standstill in a drama-free
7.1 seconds. Once it surges past the 3,000rpm mark it's well into its performance
envelope and palpably on song, but even then the engine note remains pleasant
The 2.0 TFSI S line S tronic I've been driving for the past week comes fitted
with an eight-speed tiptronic auto; transmission modes, selected using the selector
lever (topped with a shapely, perforated leather knob that fits your palm perfectly)
are the usual Drive, Sport and manual modes. Alternatively you can finger-shift
using the steering wheel-mounted paddles (left 'down'; right 'up') and appreciate
why Formula One pilots favour them.
Shifts through the eight-speed, twin-clutch, S tronic semi-automatic 'box are
seamless, and make intelligent use of the engine's meaty pulling power
258lb ft on tap from a low 1,500 through to 4,500rpm.
For the record, the top speed is 138mph. Officially, this 225PS motor averages
35.8mpg and emits 184g/km of CO2. Seven days spent behind the wheel, over all
kinds of roads and in mixed traffic and weather conditions, saw us better the
offical figure we logged an average overall consumption of 35.9mpg. Pretty
good stuff for a two-tonne all-wheel drive SUV.
Q5's cabin is a very good place to be and easy to access from all four
doors. The non-Audi alternatives, as dictated by the market, are BMW's X3 and
Range Rover's Evoque, both of which the Q5 sells well against. No surprise if
you've gone for the plusher S line Audi the brand's desirable cabin ambience
is an acknowledged success.
The Q5 even cares for
its drivers well-being:
a driver rest
function comes as
standard if the system
detects that the
is waning (benign
big brother really is
it recommends that
the driver take a short
break from driving...
Meticulously-fitted and subtly-applied satin chrome highlights to trim, switchgear
and controls add to the high-end look and feel. Everywhere you look build quality
is first rate.
And the Q5 cares for its driver's well-being too: a 'driver rest' recommendation
function (part of the sophisticated Driver's Information System) comes as standard
if the system detects that the driver's attentiveness is waning (benign
big brother really is watching you!) it recommends that the driver take a short
break from driving.
In addition to the centre stack's 6.5-inch colour monitor, there's also a driver's
information display between a lovely pair of crystal clear dials for the speedo
and rev-counter. Accessed via the steering wheel-mounted controls, it's directly
in the driver's line of sight.
No excuses for a messy cabin either, because there's plenty of storage spaces
including lidded bins built into the leading edges of the front seats, large
door pockets on all doors, and a two-tier glovebox, as well as a bin under the
height-adjustable, sliding centre front armrest.
Standard equipment on the S line model includes Nappa leather upholstery, sports
front seats, climate control, cruise control, Driver's Information System, Audi's
easy-to-use MMI (Multi Media Interface) linked to a 6.5-inch colour monitor,
rear parking sensors, auto lights 'n' wipes, auto-dimming rear-view mirror,
a hill descent assist function, split/folding rear seats, daytime running lights,
Xenon headlights with automatic range adjustment, Bluetooth, slots for SD multi-media
cards, tyre pressure monitoring, electric parking brake, one-shot power windows,
drive-away central locking, power-operated heated door mirrors, glasses holder,
and stand-out 19-inch alloys.
Large glass areas create a light and airy interior. The well-cushioned Sports-style
seats chairs, really) are extremely comfy, and surrounded by plenty of
space for heads and legs, while the commanding driving position makes for excellent
all-round visibility. The deeply-bolstered sports seats hold you in place and
even hours behind the wheel don't leave you tired or fidgety.
driver and front passenger get height-adjustable seatbelts, extending thigh
support, power lumbar adjustment as well as seat tilt and height adjustment
real comfort (both seat- and ride-wise) is definitely one of the Q5's
Some of the Q5s
recent upgrades involve
All you need to know
about them is that
Audis mid-range SUV
now rides and handles
better than ever...
seat they choose to sit in, four large adults can travel comfortably with room
to spare in the back that means six-footers relaxing behind six-footers;
and sitting several inches higher than those up front. A third person sitting
in the middle won't fall out with those either side unless they want
to use the wide central armrest with built-in cupholders. Adding to the appeal
of travelling in the Q5's spacious rear cabin are backrests that can be set
at different angles for some genuine business class lounging.
The powered tailgate opens onto a big boot 540 litres. Lighty pulling
levers in the boot sides releases the 1/3;2/3 split/fold rear seatbacks for
you, and opens up a 1,560-litre loadbay easily loadable thanks to the
floor being level with the rear bumper. A nice safety touch is that the rear
backrests lock down in their folded flat positions.
Also handy are the bag hooks, the pair of large deep trays under the boot floor
and a net 'hammock' strung under the rigid rear parcel shelf-cum-luggage cover.
And the sturdy chromed tie-down eyelets look strong enough to hold King Kong.
Some of the recent upgrades to the Q5 involve the suspension. All you need to
know about them is that Audi's midrange SUV now handles better than ever. The
suspension tweaks have also noticeably improved the Q5's ride quality, proof
of which is that even rolling on large 235/55 Michelin-shod 19-inch alloy wheels
the ride remains pleasantly compliant.
On-road grip is consistently strong and the newly-fettled Q5 feels sure-footed
wherever you take it, driving with a great deal of assurance whatever the weather
and whatever the road. Adding to the driving pleasure is the excellent new electromechanical
steering that at urban speeds is acceptably light but weights-up sympathetically
as your road speed rises.
The Q5 also has Drive Select a computer-controlled ride and handling
package that lets you change the vehicle's dynamics in a button-pressing instant.
There are four settings to choose from: Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, and Individual.
Auto setting leaves it to the on-board electronic brain to oversee and decide
what's best for the prevailing conditions at any given moment and it
does so faultlessly. But no matter how clever these systems are, there's no
substitute for a bit of what you fancy, when you fancy it…
Off-road the Q5s
hefty torque and
Hill Descent Control
make it as
as it is on-road...
instance, while you might be in a sporty driving mood you may prefer a different
steering weighting than the pre-set Sport mode serves up. No problem; select
Individual and you can then fine-tune (Comfort, Auto, or Dynamic) the engine,
the suspension, and the steering parameters to suit.
Select Dynamic from the Drive Select menu (sharper throttle response, upshifts
at higher revs, firmed-up suspension, and weightier steering) and the Q5 feels
discernibly sharper, handling persuasively with body roll kept in check
as you'll appreciate if you're pressing-on along winding roads. Add in a set
of excellent brakes and a clever Electronic Stability Programme (that also senses
and adjusts for off-road use) and you have a dynamically well-rounded package.
It even goes off-road, where its ground clearance, four-wheel traction, hefty
torque, and Hill Descent Control together make it as reassuringly capable as
it is on-road. So should you ever need to get down-in-the-mud-dirty in your
Q5, you won't be left floundering.
Behind its desirable badge, the tweaked and stylistically polished Q5 is, to
be sure, a sure-thing. It's a breeze to drive, makes a first class long-distance
cruiser, plus its paddle-shifting eight-speed S tronic transmission lets you
drive as smoothly or as spiritedly as you're in the mood for. A definite star
Audi Q5 2.0 TFSI quattro S line S tronic | £38,985
Maximum speed: 138mph | 0-62mph: 7.1 seconds | Overall MPG: 35.9mpg
Power: 225ps bhp | Torque: 258lb ft | CO2 184g/km