Audi Q5 diesel India Review
- Published On: 9 January 2018
- 6 min read
As the mid-range luxury SUV segment begins heating up, one of the more well-known models gets properly updated.
At first glance, the front of the SUV looked near identical to the Q7 – the big grille with a matte chrome surround. The LED headlamps also looked very similar. That aside, the SUV does look very similar to the previous generation Q5. Even though the lighting is now LED, the overall shape remains the same.
On the Outside
We were driving the car on a deserted highway in Jaipur. The new Q5 is only marginally larger than the previous generation model, but there’s something about it that makes it look athletic and slightly more compact. The sides of the car now have a thicker crease curving around the wheel wells with more curvy body panels. The rear, as we said before remains similar to the previous-gen car, however, this time around there is a diffuser with exhaust tips that add a bit of style. The wheels on the car however, look a bit simple – we wish they had opted for a more dramatic design.
Under the Hood
Called the 35 TDI, it falls under Audi’s new badging scheme. It isn’t powered by V6, but instead uses a 2-litre, four-cylinder diesel. However, it is Audi’s brand new 190hp, 400Nm motor that is also seen the company’s A4. The new Q5 is built on the same MLB Evo platform as the Q7; it is considerably lighter than the previous generation model, 90kg to be precise. This weight reduction helps increase fuel economy and performance.
How does It Drive?
The Q5 feels shockingly quick, not in the aggressive manner like a larger six-cylinder but in a linear manner. The engine is torquey and feels it like most new VW Group diesel engines. The seven-speed automatic in the SUV shifts quickly and is very good and gauging what gear you are looking for. It is so smooth and refined that it almost feels like a torque-converter gearbox.
Since the car comes equipped with all-wheel drive it lays down power instantly. It takes off the line fast without any drama. The claimed 0-100kph time on the 1,900kg car is an impressive 7.9 seconds. The motor also heads towards the redline quickly with sufficient mid-range. This SUV is not a performance car and the future buyers would rather look for refinement over outright power. And the Q5 doesn’t fall short there as well, it is well refined and city driving is also a relaxed affair.
The Q5 is comfortable, but the best bit is that this comfort doesn’t bring with it a large amount of bounciness, like it does in, say, an A4. Since this car is an SUV and the manufacturer does not need to raise the ride height like it has to with its sedans, there are close to no changes made to the original European setup, resulting in an amazing ride.
As we headed to smaller interior roads, simply to try and figure out what the Q5 is like in a situation a little less desirable than a smooth tarmac highway, and the car scores well. Yes, the steering is typical Audi – light and easy, but not very communicative – but the rest of the dynamic package is well sorted.
On the Inside
The interior design is nicely done and is a familiar place - very similar to what you get in the Q7, except without the long bar of AC vents that goes across the width of the cabin. The car has superb quality of materials used on the inside, even the harder trim pieces have been made of quality materials. The switches and ac controls are made of what looks to be knurled metal and feel really good. However, when compared to the Q7, there is lesser chrome or brushed aluminium bits around the cabin.
The top-spec car we were driving was equipped with everything you’d come to expect in a new Audi. The infotainment uses the latest version of MMI with a touchpad and wheel button. The car also has the manufacturer’s Virtual Cockpit which works on a second screen and can be adjusted in many ways. The car has electric seats up front and a large sunroof, it also has wireless charging.
The seats on the car are typical Audi and are flat with a comfortable cushion. Getting into to the cabin requires stepping up but the back seat does offer a great seating position and view. The space at the rear is more than enough for two, a third passenger however, will find it difficult to get comfy.
Should I buy One?
The new Q5 is not a path-breaking SUV - it follows the same formula as the previous Audi - but why fix what’s not broker right? The company has refined and modernised the older car. Audi has made it more powerful, more refined and likely more fuel efficient. The German carmaker has also modernised the car and this is where the previous car was really lacking. We expect the new Q5 to be priced slightly higher than the outgoing model but not too high thanks to local assembly. It is expected to be priced at ₹50-55 lakh for the 2.0-litre diesel model. The car has a lot of competition from various manufacturers in this segment. It will take on the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLC, Land Rover Discovery Sport, Evoque, Volvo XC60, Lexus NX 300h and the BMW X3.