2013 Audi Q5 : India First Drive
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
Adding to that is the registered self-locking differential and torque vectoring system which further aids control, especially under low traction conditions. In terms of driver aid, Audi offers the Drive Select dynamic handling system which, at the touch of a button, allows you to switch between comfort and dynamic modes which immediately changes the set-up on the chassis and dampeners to allow for the selected choice of driving. Last but not the least is the hill descent control system which allows you to go down an incline without any driver interference other than steering control; the vehicle literally brakes on its own!
It’s tech savvy and extremely capable too and I got to experience the Q5 under rather diverse conditions. While on tarmac, the Q5 was poised and well behaved, just what you would expect from a vehicle of this calibre. Ride quality is apt and while it is a little on the stiff side, you have to understand that this is an SUV and not your luxury limo! It is on the off-road course that Audi India designed that I really got to experience the true grit that this vehicle possesses.
I waded through water, drove over rocks, up a steep incline and even got to experience the hill descent function on the way back down. I drove through sand traps and even got one wheel in the air while negotiating a series of ditches but rest assured the vehicle remained easy to control and never once did it feel like it was being pushed to the limit. For a vehicle that won’t see too much mud plugging action in the hands of its owners, I am glad that I got to witness this side of this beast as well; a true revelation on what a premium SUV should be capable of doing.
Audi has obviously worked real hard at taking one of their winners and making it better. I remember stating that the original Q5 was the quintessential urban SUV, but I am now going to have to revise my statement for the new one. The latest avatar of the Q5 is the quintessential premium SUV. It has the right dimensions for urban use, is well planted on tarmac, has the ability to handle a fair bit of off-roading and comes with enough power under the hood to shame a number of sedans! To put it simply, the Q5 appeals to the senses and when a vehicle connects with you at an emotional level you know that the product is just right and it is destined to be segment winner.
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