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

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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

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