Audi Q5 2.0TDI quattro S line S tronic11 | 05 | 2017Scotcars rating

    Audi takes its Q5, the world's best-selling mid-size SUV, and makes it even better

    THE AUDI Q5 is the world’s best-selling mid-size SUV, with 1.6 million having been sold since it was launched in 2008. No surprise then that we jumped at the chance to experience the second generation for the first time. (Related: Roadtest — Audi A5 Cabriolet 2.0TDI S tronic)

    On-sale now at Scottish dealerships, the new 2017 Q5 is a handsome car. Ok, from some angles it looks pretty much identical to its predecessor, but it is in fact much sharper and carries more presence than its predecessor.

    At launch, buyers have the choice of two engines, a 252hp 2.0-litre TFSI petrol or 190hp 2.0TDI diesel. These will be joined by a racy, range-topping 354hp 3.0 V6 SQ5 next month.

    All get seven-speed semi-automatic dual clutch gearboxes — eight-speed for the SQ5 — plus the latest generation of Audi’s brilliant quattro four-wheel drive.

    Worth highlighting here that the quattro system fitted to the new Q5 is no longer permanent. Instead it is usually front-wheel-drive to save fuel, and only when the electronics detect a loss of grip does its rear axle ease itself undetected into action.


    The result is impressive fuel figures for the diesel, with Audi quoting an appealing 55.4mpg. That’s probably around 50mpg in real life.

    Despite all the brouhaha over diesel emissions, don’t be surprised if the 2.0TDI remain the bestseller in the range, a position it’s held by quite some margin over the last nine years. Prices for the diesel starts at £37,240, with the mid-range Sport costing £38,340 before options.

    But we’ve bagged the S line, which starts at £39,405. Our test model adds £6115 in options to the price, taking it up to £45,520.

    Externally you’ll immediately spot the new larger and bolder signature ‘singleframe’ grille, flanked by new slim headlamps, plus the dominant strong shoulder-line and subtly flared wheelarches. The proud combination gives the new Q5 a solid, positive stance on the road.

    Inside the cabin, well … it’s an Audi. Which means everything is pretty much close to perfection. There’s nothing in the wrong place, and everything you touch gives you that feeling of quality; it’s practically impossible to find fault.


    The interior is near-identical to that found in the A4 saloon; and that’s no bad thing. With a stylish and logically laid-out dashboard, the ergonomics are simply excellent. That, combined with Audi’s intuitive MMI infotainment and satnav system ensure sitting in the new Q5, even in a traffic jam, is a haven from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

    Standard equipment on the entry-level SE includes xenon headlights, leather upholstery, heated front seats, three-zone climate control, automatic emergency braking, cruise control and Audi Drive Select; this offers a choice of driving modes from Comfort to Dynamic. Step up to Sport and you add the excellent MMI navigation, while S Line offers larger, 19in alloys, sporty body styling and LED headlights.

    Not surprisingly, Audi is very good at tempting you with a comprehensive, and very attractive options list. Without trying too hard, it’s easy to add another £10k to your starting price. I suspect the average upsell will be around £8000-£10,000.


    While my test car had Navarra Blue paint (£645), Technology Pack (£1100), the show-stopping Audi Virtual Cockpit (which replaces the standard dials with a 12.3-inch screen, at £250), Storage Pack (£250), Rear Bench Seat Plus (£350) and the bargain-priced flat-bottomed three-spoke leather high multi-function steering wheel at £100 — amongst other goodies — you could spend more … much more.

    There’s adaptive air suspension at £2000, panoramic sunroof (£1400), comfort and sound pack (£1250), Audi Matrix LED headlights with the snazzy dynamic front and rear indicators (£650) and a rear-view camera (£450).

    There’s also a head-up display, park assist (which steers the car into a space while you control the pedals), adaptive cruise control (which maintains a set distance from the car in front) and a ground-quaking 17-speaker Bang and Olufsen hi-fi.

    And while the test car was fitted with the standard 19in alloys, I’d strongly tempt you to splash out £900 for the 20in diamond cut alloys, which really add to the car’s appearance without impeding the ride.


    Now, you know how diesels have this reputation for being noisy and clattering? Well, forget it. The new 2.0TDI, which is Euro 6 compliant — and one of the cleanest engines available — is as near-silent as it’s possible to get. Yup, seriously. And strangely, I found it even quieter than the 2.0TFSI petrol; and that was quiet.

    This new Q5, especially in diesel form, has been built for cruising. It ensures the cabin, in which there’s no wind noise at motorway speeds, is as refined an environment to travel as anything available even at a significantly higher price.

    Add that to the silky smooth automatic gearshift and light steering, and you have all the ingredients for a very relaxed and serene driving experience.


    Worth mentioning too that the new Q5 has been on something of a diet. Audi designers have cleverly used aluminium and steel composites to trim up to 90kg from the weight of its predecessor. That’s like getting rid of a sizeable adult male passenger.

    While many will argue the likes of the Jaguar F-Pace and Porsche Macan are ‘sportier’ than the new Q5, there’s no denying the Audi delivers pace, technology, cleaner engines and class-leading refinement. Personally, and correctly specced, I also think the Q5 is the better-looking car of the three.

    And all these factors combine to merely confirm the latest Q5 is not only the best all-rounder in its sector, but remains the leading premier SUV on the market.

    Related: Audi reveals A4 Black Edition

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    Jim McGill

    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £39,405 / £45,520
    Engine / Power: 1968cc 4cyl turbocharger diesel with 7sp auto / 190PS
    How fast?: 7.9sec / Max 135mph
    How big/heavy?: L4663mm W1893mm (excl mirrors) H1659mm / 1770kg
    How thirsty/CO2?: 55.4mpg combined / 133g/km CO2
    InsGP/Road tax: n/a / n/a
    Alternatives: Jaguar F-Pace, Porsche Macan

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