Audi q5 45 tfsi quattro
Audi have introduced the Q5 petrol, which has been priced exactly the same as the diesel variant. Should one still buy a diesel? We seek to find out
Audi bring petrol power to the Q5 midsize SUV
SUVs are big, butch, torquey, and mostly available with a diesel engine; at least in India that is the norm. You see, the idea of a petrol-powered SUV would entice the population of the USA , but for us Indians, diesel is the king. So, why would a company like Audi India invest in what seems to be a big risk, a petrol-powered SUV? Recently, Audi launched the Q5 45 TFSI, powered by the 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine that we have already seen in the Q7. Is it really worth buying a petrol-powered SUV or should one just stick to a diesel one? We try to answer the question.
First of all, let’s get the similarities out of the way. Being experienced German automobile makers, Audi have played smart by offering both the petrol and diesel variants at exactly the same price, which brings
The 1,984-cc in-line four turbocharged petrol motor churns out 252 PS and 370 Nm and is an absolute delight to drive
everything down to your love for petrol or diesel. The base Premium Plus variant and the top-end
Technology trim have the exact same specification regardless of engine type. Pampering you is an incredibly well-done cabin with excellent attributes such as comfortable seating with good overall support and ample room, leather upholstery, premium fit-andfinish, top-notch quality, a tonne of features, and a good-looking exterior. Basically, you get all the bells and whistles regardless of petrol or diesel.
The main change, however, is to be found under the bonnet. The 1,984-cc in-line four turbocharged petrol motor churns out 252 PS and 370 Nm and is an absolute delight to drive. It comes mated to the famed seven-speed S-tronic which sends the power and torque to the Audi’s excellent quattro all-wheel-drive system depending on the driving style and available grip levels.
The engine is turbocharged and that is the major reason why it produces so much power and torque; 62
PS more and 30 Nm less than the diesel variant. Based on this difference, it seems difficult to decide which one one should buy. The turbo-petrol engine has got one thing spot on and that is refinement. This engine is literally quiet; I was actually trying to listen for engine chatter while navigating through Pune city traffic and all I got was honking fellow motorists. The engine behaves in a smooth and refined manner. It also showcases its turbocharged nature below 2,000 rpm, which means there is a bit of turbo lag, especially in the eco and comfort modes, at lower speeds. However, it isn’t high enough to come in the way of a smooth and comfortable drive in town. The power
and torque are fed to the wheels in a linear fashion at most times as the engine features good bottom-end and excellent mid-range delivery. The seven-speed S-tronic felt a bit slow on the down-shift while cruising around town but I got used to it quickly.
On the highway, however, the engine truly shines. Its strong mid-range delivery ensures that triple-digit cruising is effortless. You can hardly notice that you have crossed 100 km/h as the only indication of this, apart from the speedometer, is the faint tyre noise creeping into the cabin. The Q5 is extremely quiet when you are gentle with the throttle; however, once you work your right foot, your ears are treated to a low-pitched, sports carlike engine sound. The performance is quite amazing as well because of the lighter petrol engine which gives the Q5 45 TFSI a whopping 129.5 PS/tonne power-to-weight ratio. This results in the gasoline Q5 going from 0 to 100 km/h in just 7.2 seconds. It covers a quarter mile in just 15 seconds and can achieve a top whack of over 230 km/h, making it a better performing SUV than the diesel Q5.
The bit that impresses the most, however, is the way the Q5 45 TFSI moves. Its ride quality, handling, and dynamic ability are simply superb. The chassis is incredible as it gives the Q5 excellent stability and just the right combination of stiffness and flexibility, which make it a brilliant SUV around corners. Audi’s dynamic suspension set-up gives the Q5 an ironlike grip around corners, making it a great handling SUV that loves to corner. Not just that, it can take on potholes and ditches like nobody’s business. The Q5 has always impressed with its handling and ride quality and the petrol-powered one doesn’t disappoint. However, I would have loved to see Audi offer a better steering system. The current one is on the lighter side and, honestly, it doesn’t communicate that well. Brakes are excellent with superb stopping power, to-the-point communication and a three-second 100-0 timing.
So, should you go for the petrol Q5 or simply stick to the diesel one? A question that is tough to answer but we shall clear the air for our readers. First of all, there is no difference in terms of equipment you get with both the variants; the two come loaded with all you can ask for, well, almost everything. Both the variants are priced identically at Rs 55.27 lakh and Rs 59.79 lakh (ex-showroom) for Premium Plus and Technology trim respectively. So, if I were to buy a Q5, I would certainly consider going for the 45 TFSI rather than the 35 TDI because it gives me the same features, comfort, ride quality, and handling with better performance at no extra cost. So it’s quite clear that the petrol Q5 is more capable than the diesel variant in many ways; however, if you are worried about the rising cost of petrol and would like to have the range and convenience of a diesel SUV, you would be better off with the diesel variant.
( Above) The engine is extremely refined and powerful
( Above) The cabin and the dashboard come straight from the Q5 35 TDI