With a host of improvements, the updated Audi Q5 has become a force to reckon with.
Since its launch in 2009, the Q5 has always lived in the shadow of the Q7. Despite being substantially cheaper it never managed to outsell its big brother. So the mild facelift and fine tweaks will give it a tiny but much needed shot in the arm.
To start off with the visual changes you need a spy’s attention to spot the minor differences in the new Q5 over the old one. The changes lie with a grille that now takes Audi’s new hexagonal shape and its detailing that differ depending on what engine is under the hood. The headlights get new daytime running lamps, the bumper is new and the fog lights have chrome ring surrounds. At the rear, the tail-lamps get different LEDs and there’s a new rear diffuser. Thanks to the wide stance and high bonnet, the Q5 looks quite brawny.
There are some subtle changes to the interiors too and the cabin now looks even richer than the old version. The Q5 is offered with the same range of engines as before, but Audi has increased their power output and also claim that the Q5 is 15% more fuel efficient than before. We drove the 3.0 litre diesel and the 2.0 litre petrol extensively to see what it’s like.
The 3.0litre diesel Q5 was always our favourite and now with even more power it has become even better. At the heart of it all is the 3.0-litre, V6 diesel with common-rail diesel injection and a variable vane turbo that makes 245bhp and 59kgm of twisting force. That’s 5bhp and a massive 8kgm more than the old car. As a result the V6 turbo-diesel propels this 1.8tonne beast to 100kph in 6.5seconds flat. But the kick in the kidneys every time you floor the delightfully sprung floor-pivoted throttle pedal makes the Q5 feel even faster than the figures suggest. This is a shockingly quick car, whisking you to ludicrous speeds from as little as 1200rpm in one hard, linear shove.
The 2.0 TFSI turbo petrol on the other hand is a much tamer beast. But still it has more than enough grunt on hand. The lusty mid-range and strong top-end holds the key to the 2.0TFSI’s terrific performance. This turbo-petrol isn’t going to wind to dizzy revs like a naturally aspirated engines do but it is smooth all the way to the 6500rpm limit.
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