CHARGE IT

More econ­omy, more lux­ury at much the same money — that’s the up­gunned and up­graded Q5

Herald Sun - Motoring - - First Drive - NEIL DOWLING neil.dowling@cars­guide.com.au

More new cars have boosted rather than con­ven­tional en­gines. Audi’s new Q5 is the best SUV of the crop

AUS­TRALIA’S sin­gle most pop­u­lar Audi model will continue to best its ri­vals in a tight fight when it goes on sale in De­cem­ber from about $65,000. High on the list of changes is the in­tro­duc­tion of clever safety and infotainment gear within Audi’s smart Con­nect sys­tem.

The model of great­est in­ter­est here is the 3.0-litre V6 petrol TFSI. The su­perb su­per­charged engine that does ser­vice else­where re­places the out­dated 3.2-litre petrol.

VALUE

The updated Q5 range must re­main price com­pet­i­tive and, pend­ing fi­nal pric­ing, it looks good. Its high build qual­ity and re­mark­able driv­e­train mix sit well with mar­ket de­mands for a pres­tige SUV.

The new su­per­charged V6 should cost about $75,000, at the top of the food chain apart from the new SQ5 sports SUV. It adds an eight-speed au­to­matic, gives bet­ter fuel con­sump­tion and is even faster. On driv­e­train tech alone, this SUV has the edge on ri­vals.

DE­SIGN

Xenon head­lights and LEDs are listed as op­tions though the su­per­charged engine model may— in­deed should— have these as stan­dard. Cabin trim is typ­i­cal, class-lead­ing Audi. There are sub­tle body tweaks but you have to look hard. For ex­am­ple, the dual tailpipes have flat­tened bot­toms.

TECH­NOL­OGY

The new elec­tric-me­chan­i­cal steer­ing is de­signed to save engine load, slightly im­prov­ing econ­omy. The su­per­charged six puts out 200kW/ 400Nm (up 5kW/ 70Nm on the 3.2), is a sec­ond quicker in the 0-100km/h sprint (5.9secs) and uses 8.5L/100km.

Now all Q5 en­gines are boosted ,start­ing with the 2.0-litre turbo pair of the TFSI and TDI. Audi sells a hy­brid Q5 in Europe, China and the US but it’s a no-show for us. (Its fuel use is sim­i­lar

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