Audi Q5 2.0 TDI: First Drive
The Audi Q5 has been a success story in the Indian premium SUV space. While its larger sibling the Q7 commands a solid presence, the Q5 has won hearts as it offers a more practical product experience coupled with the quintessential Audi aura. Available with a plethora of engine and package options, the Q5 caters to a wide audience. However, we've decided to start at the bottom rung and unravel the Q5 from its entry level model, namely the Q5 2.0TDI
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Audi commissioned the Q5 to fit into the smaller premium SUV space and in keeping with the design ethos of its bigger sibling, namely the Q7, the Q5 too boasts clean cut lines, the large Audi trademark grille up front, neat stretched rectangular lights fitted with an outline of LEDs, clean stretched metal and a compact look. It’s not exaggerated in any manner and while some people might argue that it comes across as a little bland, I feel that the entire treatment suggests a subtle sense of power. The Q5 isn’t designed to be overbearing as it’s a vehicle that stands for a progressive air and class, and the designers have achieved that.
The interiors are typical Audi which translates to the usage of high quality materials on the dash, door panels and seats. The texture is fine and the entire aura of the vehicle is that of a well packaged elite SUV. Incidentally, Audi offers a number of interior options that allow the owner to pick and choose the level of equipment they would like to have on board and this includes numerous elements from the Q7 range as well. The Q5 at my disposal was well kitted and sported just about every creature comfort I expected. Speaking of which, the front seats are the best place to be in as they really cocoon you in luxury and offer you that elite feel.
The rear bench is slightly cramped, which is a bit of a letdown and you really wish that a car maker like Audi would have paid more attention to it. For the Indian market this is a double whammy because most people who can afford the Q5 also opt to be chauffeur-driven and the back isn’t the best place to be in. But then again, the Audi Q5 has been conceived as a dynamic vehicle that boasts the performance and image of a butch SUV while harbouring the genes of a sportscar. So it goes without saying that the best seat in the house would be the driver’s seat!
Keeping in mind that this was just the 2.0-litre TDI engine, I wasn’t expecting the Q5 to hustle along like the 3.0TDI version, which is a brute of an SUV, but I was pleasantly surprised. The 1984cc direct injection engine comes fitted with a common-rail injection system that develops 1800 bar and is equipped with piezo injectors and a VTG turbocharger with intercooler. All this wizardry transforms this relatively small motor into a rather commendable performer. It generates 172.3PS @4200rpm and unleashes a tremendous 350Nm of torque @ 1750-2500rpm.
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