Audi Q5 2.0TFSI S Line S tronic01 | 06 | 2017Scotcars rating

    Petrol or diesel? Difficult choice. Tougher still when you have to choose which Audi Q5

    WE’VE ALREADY DRIVEN what will be the best-selling version of Audi’s latest Q5 SUV, the 2.0TDI. But in light of all the bad press diesel is  getting at the moment, we thought we’d spend some time with the 2.0TFSI petrol. (Related: Audi Q5 2.0TDI quattro S Line S tronic)

    The four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol delivers 248bhp and 370Nm. Mated to an S tronic seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic gearbox, it reacts quickly on kick-down, and flits between gears in the blink of an eye.

    If petrol’s your thing, I doubt you’ll be disappointed with the 2.0TFSI. It’s keen to rev and feels genuinely lively on the move. Boosted by its turbo, it also pulls strongly from low revs.

    We spent the best part of a week with the car, covering 657 miles on a tour to Ireland, using the Q5 in an environment in which it thrives, long, leisurely drives. Two-thirds of the mileage was on motorway, the rest on good quality A-roads.

    At no time did the Q5 fail to deliver in terms of comfort, versatility and enjoyment. It is, without question, one of the most enjoyable cabins in which to waft the miles away.

    But let’s deal with the elephant in the room: economy.


    I’ll hold my hand up here: I’m a diesel fan. I know there will be those amongst to who would have me vilified for contributing to what appears to be — depending on what you read — one of the biggest problems in the UK: air pollution.

    Ok, that debate is for another day. Suffice to say, the problem doesn’t stem from the current generation of ultra-clean Euro6 diesels.

    But if we are to switch from diesel to petrol, one important topic which must be considered is fuel consumption. Just as drivers have concerns about the range of electric cars, those who currently travel long distances scrutinise the fuel consumption figures of petrol and diesel cars.

    Let’s get one thing straight: the 2.0TFSI is impressively economical for a four-wheel-drive, automatic, petrol SUV of the Q5’s size. Its CO2 of 154g/km is equally impressive. Audi quotes it’ll return 40.9mpg on the combined cycle.

    Over the 650-odd miles we covered — and I specifically drove the Q5 with a light foot in order not to distort the figures — we averaged 33.4mpg. Audi quotes 55.4mpg (on 19in alloys) for the 2.0TDI — same spec, same seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic gearbox — and it wouldn’t be difficult to get 48-49mpg in real world driving over the same route.


    That’s around 15 miles different per gallon. Fill the 70-litre, 15-gallon tank in the 2.0TDI, and that’s an extra 225 miles. Enough to drive from Glasgow to Manchester! Which makes the diesel very appealing.

    But rather stating the obvious, if you don’t rack up the miles, then the 2.0TFSI petrol Q5 is a belter. It’s super-smooth, especially fitted with the optional air suspension, and an absolute delight to drive.

    It’s brisk — very brisk — when you need it to be, and you’ll find yourself questioning whether you’re actually driving a large SUV: it scampers from zero to 60mph in just 6.3secs.

    The steering is nicely weighted, meaning you can place the car accurately in corners. And with Audi’s Quattro four-wheel drive fitted as standard, there’s loads of traction when accelerating hard, even in slippery conditions.

    The Q5 also delivers a refined environment in which to travel. That’s aided by the standard acoustic glazing on the windscreen which helps suppress both tyre and wind noise at speed.


    Our test car was the S Line trim, meaning super-comfy sports seats with their bigger slide bolsters and four-way electric lumbar adjustment. There’s also a lever to angle the seat base for extra under-thigh support, plus extendable seat bases. I defy you not to find the perfect driving position, given the seats are also height-adjustable, and the steering wheel has reach and rake adjustment.

    And in these times when more and more manufacturers are determined to hide all the important, and even basic controls behind a myriad of software flicks, swipes and touches on an ever-confusing, sticky-fingered ‘infotainment screen’, Audi thankfully continues to keep things simple: there are crystal clear, simple to locate switches and buttons.

    Plus there’s the MMI infotainment system, which is a dream. It’s the simplest system I can think of to use. And your point of contact with it is via a beautifully engineered, textured steel rotary controller. Plus there are simple shortcut buttons.

    Personally, I believe the Audi system is not only easier, but arguably much safer to use than rival touchscreen systems.


    Navigating through the menus on the Audi system is pretty intuitive, meaning you don’t need to dig out the dog-eared handbook from the glovebox; an exercise you’ll find yourself doing in rival cars.

    There’s crisp, high-resolution graphics on the 7.0in screen, and if you opt for the Technology Pack, you get MMI Navigation Plus, which offers Google Maps with Streetview, on-board wifi and a larger 8.3in screen. You also get wireless phone charging and a 4G internet connection.

    Oh, and Audi’s Virtual Cockpit is a must-have. It’s brilliant. Replacing the standard instruments with a 12.3in display, you can configure it to show lots of info. This includes full-screen sat-nav maps placed just beneath the driver’s line of sight. A head-up display is another option.

    And when it comes to build quality, the Audi Q5 is unchallenged. Press anything in the cabin which is meant to move — like a switch — and there’s a satisfying precision to the function. Conversely, if something isn’t meant to move, it doesn’t.


    As for space? There’s acres of it, both front and rear. Storage in the front is boosted by a sizeable bin, shaped to fit a large bottle, in each front door. And if you can’t live without your takeaway coffee, you’ll be delighted to know there are a couple of cup holders in the centre console.

    If that’s not enough, there’s big cubby hole — underneath the front armrest — behind the gearlever, with a smaller one in front for items such as loose keys. And the good-sized glovebox is big enough for much more than just a pair of gloves.

    Rear passengers are equally well rewarded in terms of space, and the luggage hold is capable of swallowing 550-litres, which matches rivals such as the BMW X3 and Mercedes GLC. An electrically powered tailgate is standard on all Q5s.

    There’s a reason the Q5 is Audi’s bestselling car: it’s refined, comfortable, spacious, oozes quality, is beautifully built, and is a delight to drive. The biggest challenge you’ll probably face, is whether you go for the petrol or the diesel? I know what I would choose.

    Related: Roadtest — Audi Q2 1.4TFSI CoD 150PS S Line

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    Jim McGill


    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £40,170 / £51,710
    Engine / Power: 1984cc 4cyl turbocharger petrol with 7sp auto / 252PS
    How fast?: 0-62mph 6.3sec / Max 147mph
    How big/heavy?: L4663mm W1893mm (excl mirrors) H1659mm / 1770kg
    How thirsty/CO2?: 40.4mpg combined / 159g/km CO2
    InsGP/Road tax: n/a / n/a
    Alternatives: Jaguar F-Pace, Porsche Macan, BMX X3, Mercedes GLC

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