Car re­views

Public Sector Manager - - Contents - Writer: Ashref Is­mail

The new Audi Q5 is pow­er­ful and ef­fi­cient

For many years the first Audi Q5 was the world's best­selling SUV in its class. Since its in­ter­na­tional launch in 2008, it has sold more than 1.6 mil­lion units world­wide. Launched in South Africa in 2009, it has sold 11 300 units lo­cally, hav­ing put up a brave fight against its arch ri­val, the for­mi­da­ble BMW X3.

While not ev­ery­one has a bud­get that can ex­tend to the big­ger Q7, many may also find its big­ger di­men­sions un­nec­es­sary, since the new Q5 has grown in all the crit­i­cal ar­eas. At 4.66 me­tres long, 1.89 me­tres wide and 1.66 me­tres tall, with a 2.82 me­tre wheel­base – com­pared to the pre­vi­ous model, the new Q5 is larger in nearly all of its di­men­sions.

This re­sults in a com­fort­able and spa­cious in­te­rior for five peo­ple, while sur­pass­ing the pre­vi­ous model and its com­peti­tors in key di­men­sions. Its hor­i­zon­tally-ori­ented lines underscore the im­pres­sion of width and com­fort, and a three-di­men­sional trim strip runs across the en­tire width of the in­stru­ment panel.

The rear seat back is split into three seg­ments. Depend­ing on the rear seat po­si­tion, the ba­sic vol­ume of the lug­gage com­part­ment ranges from 550 to 610 litres, 10 litres more than in the pre­vi­ous model. When the rear bench is folded down, this vol­ume in­creases to 1 550 litres.

Two pow­er­ful and ef­fi­cient en­gines are cur­rently be­ing of­fered:TDI and TFSI.They have added up to

20 kW of power, with fuel con­sump­tion, how­ever, sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced.

At the launch I drove the four-cylin­der TDI which has a dis­place­ment of 1 968 cc and is avail­able with an out­put of 140 kW and 400 Nm of torque be­tween 1 750 and 3 000 rpm. While no pocket rocket, the Q5 TDI took un­der eight sec­onds to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h and reached its claimed top speed of 218 km/h.

Fac­tory claimed fuel con­sump­tion is 4.9 litres per

100 km, with com­bined CO2 emis­sions of 129 g/km.

The fur­ther de­vel­oped 2.0 TFSI has an out­put of 185 kW and 370 Nm of torque, yet only con­sumes 6.8 litres of fuel per 100 km, which equates to 154 grams of CO2 per km. With this en­gine, the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h takes 6.3 sec­onds.

The new quat­tro drive-train, with ul­tra-tech­nol­ogy, also known as “quat­tro on de­mand”, is stan­dard equip­ment for the range.The quat­tro with ul­tra-tech­nol­ogy al­ways dis­en­gages the rear-axle drive when it is not needed, and, if nec­es­sary, can proac­tively re-en­gage it.

The new con­cept boosts ef­fi­ciency with­out re­duc­ing trac­tion or driv­ing dy­nam­ics.The in­tel­li­gent op­er­at­ing strat­egy per­ma­nently mon­i­tors the route, driver and driv­ing sta­tus, and pre­dic­tively dis­trib­utes the drive torque to the front and rear axle. The new Audi SQ5 has a 2 995 cc, V6 TFSI en­gine with an out­put of 260 kW.The tur­bocharged, alu­minium en­gine de­liv­ers a con­stant 500 Nm of torque from 1 370 to 4 500 rpm. The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h is com­pleted in 5.4 sec­onds, while top speed is elec­tron­i­cally gov­erned at 250 km/h.The Audi SQ5 3.0 TFSI con­sumes just 8.3 litres of fuel per 100 kilo­me­tres – a CO2 equiv­a­lent of 189 grams per kilome­tre.

A fast and smooth-shift­ing, eight-speed tip­tronic trans­mits the power in the new Audi SQ5.The lower gears fea­ture short, sporty ra­tios, while the up­per gears are long to re­duce revs and fuel con­sump­tion.

The quat­tro per­ma­nent all-wheel drive con­trib­utes to the sporty han­dling. Dur­ing nor­mal driv­ing, it dis­trib­utes the en­gine power with a slight rear-axle bias.

The Audi Q5 range will be priced as fol­lows, stan­dard with the five year/100 000 km Audi Free­way Plan and in­clu­sive of all taxes:

• Q5 2.0 TDI quat­tro S tronic: R 698 000.

• Q5 2.0 TDI quat­tro S tron­icS­port: R 748 000.

• Q5 2.0 TFSI quat­tro S tronic: R 747 500.

• Q5 2.0 TFSI quat­tro S tron­icS­port: R 797 500.

• SQ5 3.0 TFSI quat­tro tip­tronic: R 1 044 000.

If you're look­ing for an ex­ec­u­tive high-end, mid-size SUV, you will be do­ing your­self a great dis­ser­vice if you don't short-list the Audi Q5 for a test drive.

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