Battle of the bulge

Losing it.

- By Anthony French-Constant

Inadverten­tly kicking wide the door of the Old Jokes Home, the missus has made an admission: ‘I love it,’ she says of the Audi. ‘I just can’t park it.’

Truth is – as evinced by the constant tussle we both have with threading it into, and out of, our diminutive driveway without demolishin­g the petite porch en route – the Q5 is far larger than it feels from behind the wheel.

That’s probably a compliment to the painstakin­g engineerin­g lavished on making it pleasingly agile for such a large chunk of tin. However, even though the high driving position gives a good view ahead, it doesn’t equate to a clear grasp of where the corners are.

Especially after dark. Already fugged by the grime associated with any lens not blessed with a badge that lends itself to pop-up concealmen­t, the rear camera is about as much use as a chocolate fireguard. Moreover, reinforcin­g my belief that all car designers live under urban floodlight­ing, the reversing light would not exactly constitute my first port of call when seeking to illuminate an emergency appendecto­my.

In this coruscatin­gly bright LED age, why the hell can’t we have what is effectivel­y a wide-beam rear headlamp?

Mercifully, forward visibility is considerab­ly better. Or, at least, it was until the screenwash ran out on me halfway down a sodden M5. That’s the trouble with a system that blasts great gouts of the reservoir at the headlamps every time you instigate a quick squirt just to clear the windscreen.

Should not the former be switchable rather than compulsory? And shouldn’t said switch also activate a gnat’s-pee jet to simultaneo­usly clean the camera lens?

Lob in the fact that, long after the driver’s side is clear, the passenger-side wiper is always still a drop or two short of enough water to properly cut through the grime, and the only way the Q5 might be equipped with a reservoir large enough to slake its relentless thirst is through towing a bowser…

 ?? ?? Tiny reversing lights give tiny amounts of light
Tiny reversing lights give tiny amounts of light

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