Ever since the Audi launched Q5 in India in 2009, it has got a moderate response for this big although humble SUV. One reason behind its average response is the Q7 which despite being pricey and bulkier raked in money for the company uninhibitedly. Launch of the facelift version of Q5 provided much needed boost as company is now sure that this s u v will finally able to get on its feet. Q7 maybe touted as one of the reasons behind q5 average success although we feel that there are some inherited deficiencies that conspired to make sure q5 didn't get its due in the Indian market. Whether this new facelift avatar is capable to do so; we find in this road test review.
Design, Style & Interiors
Changes on the new Q5 are very subtle in nature and require hawk's attention to be figure out. Most prominent chain is the new hexagonal single frame grill which has got the detailing in accordance with what lie Under the Hood. Headlamps are new and now come with daytime running lamps. Bumper has also been re-imagined and fog lamps are surrounded by chrome bezel. Profile is almost similar to the outgoing model and sloping roofs line makes this SUV a visual delight. At the rear, tail lights feature new LED and a new diffuser has also been placed to whip up dynamism quotient.
Changes on the interiors or even more subtle as Audi has not tinkered much with already very practical and luxurious cabin. Quality has been upped by a notch and thanks to the use of new materials, quality grains and rich texture; Q5 cabin is now even more luxurious than before.Controls are minimalist in nature and coupled with very practical and compact central console layout, these score perfect on the economics. Steering wheel is Chunky, stitched in leather and capable of performing a host of telephonic and other voice control functions. Space at both front and rear is quite good to seat for adults however squeezing in third person at the back is not an easy task. Jostling for the space will sure to follow in such a situation
Engine, Transmission & Driving Dynamics
Like the outgoing model, Audi continues to offer Q5 in both petrol and diesel guises. Petrol car is powered by 2.0-litre motor while diesel variant draws the grunt from 3.0-litre oil burner. Company claims that Power output has been increased from both the engines and despite of this, new motors are 15% more fuel efficient than before. At the heart of diesel variant, 3.0-litre, V6 motor puts out 250 PS of max power and 59 kg-m of max torque. Even more than this figure suggests, Q5 is deceptively quick on its feet and delight you with it massive rotating force. What comes as the icing on the cake is that all this might is available right from the 1500 RPM. Mated with 8- speed automatic gearbox, the power is transferred to all the wheels via Audi's famous Quattro system. Further, trip-tronic mode that allows manual shifting of the gears is a great add-on to the already terrific engine transmission system.
Biggest surprise for us however in the new Q5 is the pliant ride of the car. New updated version she is much
more supple and accommodative as far as absorption of bumps are concerned. Clearly Audi has done a great work by balancing the excellent handling of Q5 with the ride. Handling, on the other hand, is great like before. Despite being its size and bulk, q5 is very decent and obedient when put across the corners. Besides the base variant of the Q5, all other models have the adjustable suspension settings. Select the dynamic mode, and you will be surprised with the agility of the Q5.
New Q5 is available in 3 variants with the base price of Rs 43.17 lakh going up to Rs 48.71 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). Audi has certainly raised the bar with the facelift edition of Q5 as it has made number of changes in accordance with the needs of the customers. New Q5 features improved design, comes with spacious interiors, has support of powerful and vibrant engines, and rides and handles like a dream. We are quite confident that this new avatar of Q5 is capable to hold its ground against its former table rival BMW X3.
Style & Substance 4/5 Ride & Handling 3.5/5
Interiors & Ergonomics: 3.5/5 Safety & Equipment 3.5/5
Power-Plant & Transmission 4/5 Fuel Efficiency 3.5/5
Value for Money 3.5/5