Q5 com­petes on price too

SIBONELO MYENI finds a sexy soft-roader in the Audi Q5 TFSI Sport in 2.0 Auto

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE -

FOR the fes­tive sea­son pe­riod, we got to test the New Audi Q5 TFSI Sport in 2.0 Auto guise.

Over three weeks, we got to ex­pe­ri­ence this model in more de­tail than nor­mal and it seems the pub­lic got to view it more in­ti­mately judg­ing from the in­ter­est gen­er­ated.

The de­sign of the new Q5 is a mix­ture of Q7 and the svelte lines of the A5 and in our test units S-Line de­sign (stan­dard) and Navy Metal­lic, it gar­nered a lot more pos­i­tive com­ments from on­look­ers.

One of the on­look­ers was a gen­tle­men who was driv­ing a sim­i­lar model in Sil­ver. He com­mented the darker colour works best for the de­sign. The LED day­time lights work like jew­elry to ac­cent the de­sign, while the sin­gle frame grille and S-Line lower air in­takes give an im­pos­ing ap­pear­ance in any­one’s mir­ror. The Q5 rides on 18-inch wheels as stan­dard.

The rear gets LED dy­namic in­di­ca­tor lights that drew much ad­mir­ers. Over­all the Navy metal­lic Q5 was an at­ten­tion grab­ber wher­ever we went, even out­stag­ing much more ex­pen­sive SUVs at events over the fes­tive sea­son.

In­te­rior

In­side the ar­chi­tec­ture is well laid out and easy to set up.

The one neg­a­tive fea­ture I found was the lack of stowage space for phones and ke­hys around the front. The cup hold­ers are also not ide­ally placed when us­ing the arm­rest.

But the Vir­tual Cock­pit worked magic al­low­ing ease of Nav­i­ga­tion in­struc­tions with­out tak­ing eyes off the road. Google Maps stunned many pas­sen­gers with real life Satel­lite view im­ages of places.

The Panoramic Glass roof cre­ated an airy feel in­side and at night cre­ated a “Night amongst the stars” at­mos­phere in­side. LED in­te­rior light­ing also comes stan­dard with dif­fer­ent hues of colour ac­ces­si­ble through the MMI sys­tem.

Leather seats with man­ual ad­justable front seats.

Through load­ing rear mid­dle seats worked a boon with Fes­tive sea­son shop­ping whist the gen­er­ous boot space car­ried hol­i­day lug­gage with ease (we never got to use the fold­ing rear seats but we re­alised when needed, huge space would be at­tained).

The rear seats were a bit up­right over long dis­tances and we felt a re­clin­ing ad­just­ment would have been a bonus.

Un­der the hood

The TFSI on test fea­tures the 185kW/350Nm 2-litre, 4-cylin­der Turbo en­gine linked to a Dual clutch seven-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

Drive is through Audis Qu­at­tro all-wheel-drive sys­tem that on nor­mal roads uses only the front wheels to en­gage power but in mil­lisec­onds can trans­fer power to any of the wheels with most trac­tion.

This saves fuel as less power drives the wheels in nor­mal con­di­tions. Our test unit came with Adap­tive Air sus­pen­sion, an op­tion that is well worth the in­vest­ment. This sys­tem al­lows the driver to con­fig­ure the driv­e­train for vary­ing ride qual­ity (Com­fort, Ef­fi­ciency, All Road, Dy­namic, Auto, In­di­vid­ual).

Play­ing dirty

For of­froad con­di­tions, the sys­tem raises the ride height whilst dy­namic low­ers the ride for agility.

Put the sys­tem in com­fort and it has one of the best rides I have ex­pe­ri­enced mak­ing long dis­tance travel even on bad roads, a breeze. Al­lied to the ex­cel­lent sound in­su­la­tion on the cabin, this makes the Q5 an ef­fort­less cruiser.

Put the sys­tem in Dy­namic and the throt­tle re­sponse is im­proved but still lags which makes Econ­omy quite frus­trat­ing as the throt­tle re­sponse is even lazier.

The ma­jor plus of the Adap­tive Air Sus­pen­sion is the abil­ity to se­lect the Sport trim (Sport Sus­pen­sion) which means you get the sporty ap­pear­ance but un­like some ri­vals who then de­liver a hard ride, the air sus­pen­sion still al­lows a plush ride, best of both worlds.

Run­ning costs

Dur­ing our test we av­er­aged 9.5l/100km, a fig­ure higher than the claimed 6.8l/100km.

At the stan­dard price of R797 500, the Q5 TFSI Sport Auto is good value for an ex­cel­lent pack­age.

The down­side is that to have all the fea­tures that trans­form this model to be bril­liant (Air sus­pen­sion of note), you have to pay more, some­thing the Q5 is not alone at as its main ri­vals also com­mand a price pre­mium on ex­tras. The Audi Q5 comes stan­dard with a 5 year/ 100 000km Audi Free­way Plan

Q5 com­peti­tors

BMW X3 30i X-Drive ........................................... R739 800

Mercedes GLC 300 Petrol 4Matic ............................................. R742 198

Lexus NX 200t F-Sport .......................................... R786 600,

Q5 TFSI Sport Auto R797 500

Alfa Romeo Ste­lio Su­per ........................................... R810 000

Jaguar F Pace 25t AWD R Sport .......................................... R943 400.

Range Rover Ve­lar P250 ............................................ R947 700

• Catch Sibonelo Meyni live on Ukhozi FM, ev­ery Thurs­day from 7.45 am.

PHOTO: GT SPIRIT

While plush as can be, we can vouch the Q5 can to dirt roads too, thanks to adap­tive air sus­pen­sion and all wheel drive.

PHOTO: SIBONELO MYENI

With its Navy metal­lic paint, the Q5 was an at­ten­tion grab­ber wher­ever we went dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son.

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