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.