The new Audi Q5 promises a significant improvement over its predecessor and is set to raise the bar in terms of performance and appeal in its segment. We got our hands on the formidable 3.0TDIq version for a drive and the vehicle is revelation. No doubt, Audi has another winner in their product line-up
The Audi Q5 has drawn in the crowds in terms of sales in India. No doubt, its larger sibling the Q7 commands a solid presence and the smaller Q3 exudes a more chic appeal, but when it comes to a practical product offering in the premium SUV space, the Q5 is second to none. Further, Audi India has steadily and successfully been offering their latest products in India, usually within a few months of their global debut. This has not only provided them with a solid impetus in the market but has also resulted in the company having a rather young fleet in its product offering. After all, who wouldn’t want to buy the latest vehicle that’s out there and judging by the sales figures, this strategy is working well for the company. In the light of that, the Audi Q5 was due for an upgrade and sure enough, the new version is now available right here on Indian shores.
Unlike other mid-life product upgrades, the Q5 has gone through a rather substantial metamorphosis. The exteriors have been treated to offer a sportier and sharper profile compared to the outgoing model. The design ethos, which borrows heavily from the Q7, still exists but the vehicle just looks bolder thanks to the kinked hood design with fine contoured lines and the front bumper which boasts of a trapezoidal design that adds a robust flair. Another significant change that catches your attention right away are the all-new Xenon plus headlights and LED daytime running lights.
While every manufacturer has jumped at the opportunity to offer the LED treatment to their respective products, nobody does LEDs like Audi - after all they started the trend and continue to dominate on that front. Such are the changes on the new Q5 that even our resident photographer couldn’t get enough and while I tried to decipher his take on the vehicle including how captivated he was with the way the light bounced off the contours and made for photographer bliss, I was keeping to my agenda that involved better things than just staring at this machine. It was time to get inside and drive it!
Once firmly seated and buckled up, I found myself in familiar territory. After all, I have had the opportunity to be behind the wheel of just about every Audi vehicle on offer and there is a welcoming sense of familiarity in terms of how all the equipment is laid out and of course the fit and finish of some rather fine material. Now, before I fired up that beast of an engine, I took the time to admire my surroundings. The first change that I realised was already in my grip, namely the new leather covered steering wheel that boasts a 4-spoke design that is specific to the Q model range.
Not only does it feel nice to grip, it also features numerous controls that have further been accentuated with chrome rings. On the centre console, the high gloss black used on the inner fascia of the entertainment system is another change that caught my eye and I am told that customers can opt for a premium Milano leather finish to the interiors in either beige or black. If it’s style that you are looking for, then the interiors of the Q5 are a fashion statement!
Regardless, being the SUV aficionado that I am, I couldn’t wait any longer so without further ado, I pressed the key in its slot and got that magnificent 3.0 TDI engine to roar to life. Incidentally, Audi India is offering the new Q5 with a choice of three engines, namely a 2.0TDI, 2.0 TFSI and the 3.0 TDI, which I currently had at my disposal. The massive 2967cc V6 engine comes fitted with a common-rail injection system that is capable of developing 1800 bar and injection is via piezo injectors.
Further to that, it boasts of a VTG turbocharger and intercooler. It is an impressive amount of kit but what really matters are the 245 horses that it delivers between 4000 and 4500rpm and the solid 580Nm of torque on tap between 1400 and 3250rpm. Ensuring that you get the best out of this engine is the 7-speed S tronic transmission with electrohydraulic control. Such is the lugging power of this beast that you can’t help but display a slightly evil grin as you shift into drive and unleash this machine.