New generation Audi Q5

Words by:
Tim Barnes-Clay
Featured in:
August 2012

The Audi Q5 is about to hit new heights on the efficiency scale as fresh generation versions of the Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) are readied for their October debut on our roads.
Combining subtle styling revisions and equipment enhancements, the remodelled range is available to order now, priced from around £33,400. The Q5 comes with four engine options: two TDIs and two TFSIs as well as a start-stop system, which is standard in all versions.

Although most of the engines have better performance, their fuel economy has been improved by up to fifteen per cent. The 2.0 TDI is the entry point to the diesels, and delivers 47.1 mpg on the combined cycle. The 3.0 TDI V6 diesel has been completely redesigned and now combines the potential for up to 44.1 mpg with even more forceful acceleration. Equipped with a seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission, it powers the Q5 from zero to 62 mph in 6.5 seconds on the way to a top speed of 140 mph.

Away from the oil-burners, the new 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol power-plant can cover up to 37.2 mpg. The supercharged 3.0-litre TFSI engine is also new to the Q5; this potent and economical engine delivers enough shove for a 5.9-second sprint from rest to 62 mph, a top speed of 145 mph and an average fuel economy of 33.2 mpg.

The four-cylinder engines are linked to a manual six-speed gearbox as standard. The seven-speed S tronic transmission is fitted to the 3.0 TDI quattro and optional for the 2.0 TDI quattro, while the eight-speed tiptronic automatic is the norm for the 3.0 TFSI quattro and optional for the 2.0 TFSI quattro.

The quattro permanent all-wheel drive system generally distributes engine power to the axles at a ratio of 40:60 in favour of the rear, but it can also rapidly reallocate the clout at high speed when necessary. Naturally, with this kind of setup, the Audi Q5 is able to perform very well on rugged terrain too.

Looks-wise, the styling of the Q5, with its coupe-like roof line and wrap-around tailgate, has been delicately refreshed in this latest generation model. The design of the headlights has been modified, and the xenon units which are built-in to S line versions and elective for all others are now framed by new-look LED daytime running lights that form a continuous band surrounding more of the lens. The horizontal lines of the high-performance SUV’s front end are emphasised more strongly, and roof rails and crossbars are factory fitted across the range.

The narrow panels of the centre console are now finished in high-gloss black, and the steering wheel now features the latest Q-specific motif.

The Q5’s cabin offers ample interior space and, handily, the seatback angles can be adjusted on the rear seats. When these seats are folded, which is very easy using the remote seatback unlatching feature, the cargo capacity increases almost threefold. But the revised Audi Q5’s practical abilities don’t stop there. As well as being a spacious on and off-roader, the German luxury motor is a formidable towing vehicle. It can haul up to 2.4 metric tons of trailer load, depending on the engine and hill incline.

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