Audi Q5 Estate 50 TFSI e Quattro S Line 5dr S Tronic
Image for illustration purpose only
Ten Second Review
Audi's second generation Q5 gets a smarter look, an extra sleeker Sportback body shape, an upgraded cabin and more efficient diesel power to join the existing petrol and petrol plug-in options. There's a big step forward in media connectivity too. As ever, this mid-sized premium Audi executive SUV offers car-like driving dynamics that are great on tarmac and are even pretty effective for light off road use. In short, if you can afford it, you'd like one.
Three models dominate the executive mid-to-large section of the premium-badged SUV sector and this is one of them, Audi's Q5. It's almost faced stiff competition from its two arch-rivals, the BMW X3 and the Mercedes GLC but looks stronger against them thanks to the package of mid-term updates visited upon the revised Q5 model range we're going to look at here. Some things haven't changed though. As before, this is the kind of compact SUV you buy if you want something that'll look great in the driveway, keep you mobile in a snowy snap and shrink around you when a twisting road opens up ahead. It's a demanding brief that around three quarters of a million global owners feel was delivered on by the earlier versions of this car. But is this latest version good enough to continue to ask questions its rivals may struggle to answer? That's what we're going to find out.
This isn't the most dynamic-handling premium-badged mid-sized SUV you can buy but it's arguably the one that rides best and is most refined. S tronic auto transmission and quattro 4WD are standard across the range. The key news on the engine front is the arrival of a lighter, cleaner, more powerful 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine for the 40 TDI quattro variants that most Q5 customers choose. Power for this powerplant has increased from 190 to 204PS and this unit now uses the brand's latest, more efficient so-called 'twin dosing' catalytic converter technology. The conventional engine alternative is a 45 TFSI 245PS version of the brand's 2.0-litre petrol turbo. You may not have yet caught up with the fact that the SQ5 sporting model is now a mild hybrid 3.0-litre diesel (with 341PS and 700Nm of torque) and capable of 62mph in 5.1s en route to 155mph. You also may not be up to date with the fact that the Q5 range now offers a couple of TFSI e Plug-in hybrid options which use a that 2.0-litre TFSI petrol turbo unit mated to a rechargeable 14.1 kWh lithium-ion battery capable of providing a WLTP-rated electric driving range of up to 26 miles. Most in search of a Q5 PHEV will choose the 50 TFSI e variant, which offers 299PS and makes 62mph from rest in 6.1s en route to 148mph. There's also a more potent 55 TFSI e model with 367PS which improves that figure to 5.3s. For the 55 TFSI e, you have to have the sleeker Sportback body shape and if you choose that, you get firmer sports suspension; as with the standard model, you can upgrade that with either adaptive damping or full air suspension on request.
Design and Build
Specific hallmarks distinguish the latest members of the growing Audi Q crossover family from the core range and this updated Q5 now moves more closely into step with them visually. It comes in two forms - standard SUV and trendier Sportback form. If you stick with the standard SUV version, although the width and height of this mid-size SUV remain as before at 1.89 metres and 1.66 metres respectively, you'll find this Audi now 19mm longer at 4.8 metres, primarily due to its new, larger bumpers. To emphasise this car's Q credentials from the front, its octagonal Singleframe grille is shallower and appears wider than before. And the air intakes that flank it have grown in height and are now structured by trapezoidal insets. The headlights have a new daytime running light signature and there's wider availability of Audi's intelligent 'Matrix' beam technology. In profile this latest Q5 has a more streamlined look thanks to its redesigned sill insert. And at the rear, there's now a smart chrome trim element running between the light clusters and a redesigned lower diffuser insert too. Inside, the expansive sweep of the two-section dashboard bisected by its sculpted trim inlay will be familiar to Q5 drivers, as will the freestanding MMI display. Closer inspection will reveal that the monitor itself is now larger, measuring 10.1-inches diagonally across the range; but unfortunately, you have to do without the old lower rotary centre console controller that originally acted as the gateway to the MMI functions. Now it's necessary to either stab away at the touchscreen or use voice control. Still, the screen's processor now offers ten times more computing power than the old set-up. And the previously optional 12.3-inch fully digital Audi Virtual Cockpit instrument binnacle display is now standard. Otherwise, things are much as before. This remains a five-seat model and the rear seat is split into three segments. Longitudinal and seat back angle adjustment are optional. In the Sportback version, rear seat passengers lose 1-2cms of headroom to the sloping roofline. Depending on the rear seat position, the basic volume of the standard SUV version's luggage compartment ranges from 550 to 610-litres. When the rear bench is folded down, this volume grows to 1,550-litres. For the Q5 Sportback, the figures are 510-litres and 1,480-litres.
Market and Model
The price positioning of this second generation Q5 hasn't changed very much, so prices start at around £43,000 and the mainstream range is based around 'Sport', 'S line' and 'Vorsprung' trim levels. All variants now get a larger 10.1-inch centre-dash MMI infotainment screen and a standard Audi Virtual Cockpit 12.3-inch instrument binnacle screen. Even base 'Sport' versions get full-leather upholstery - there's alcantara and leather in the mid-range 'S line' versions or diamond stitched Fine Nappa leather with the top flight 'Vorsprung' trim. As befits their status, the 'Vorsprung' models also feature an extended upholstery pack which takes in the lower section of the centre console and the door armrests, plus full electric adjustment and a massage function for the front seats. The outer rear seats are also upgraded with heating to match the front seats - which are heated throughout the range. Across the range, you get front and rear parking sensors complemented by a reversing camera and cruise control, plus the 'Pre sense city collision avoidance and mitigation' system and 'hill descent control'. Q5 'Vorsprung' variants supplement this tally with upgraded adaptive cruise control and Pre sense systems, as well as assistants to take care of everything from manoeuvring into a parking space and then reversing out again to turning at junctions, monitoring blind spots and observing motorway lane boundaries.
Cost of Ownership
This second generation Q5 took a big step forward in terms of efficiency - and that's reflected by the WLTP figures. The 40 TDI diesel variant manages up to 44.8mpg on the combined cycle and up to 165g/km of CO2. These excellent figures have been aided by the introduction of so-called 'twin dosing' catalytic converter technology for this variant's 2.0 TDI unit, which features dual AdBlue injection, significantly increasing emissions cleanliness. With 'twin dosing', AdBlue is injected upstream of two SCR catalytic converters arranged in series, with the result of cutting emissions of nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 80% compared with the previous 2.0-litre TDI engine. For the 45 TFSI petrol, the figures are up to 33.6mpg and up to 191g/km. Elsewhere in the range, the SQ5's 3.0 TDI diesel delivers up to 34.4mpg and up to 215g/km. For the 50 TFSI e plug-in petrol/electric variant, it's up to 188.3mpg and up to 37g/km. A relatively slippery (for an SUV) Cd figure of 0.30Cd helps here. And residuals? Well, trying to buy a used Q5 is quite a depressing experience as they cling onto their value with some tenacity. This is great news for the new buyer and part of a trend certain to continue with this MK2 model. After the usual three year / 60,000 mile ownership period, expect it still to be worth around 45% of what you originally paid for it.
Whether your destination is Sainsburys or the annual family skiing trip to Crans Montana, you'll feel better about doing it in an Audi Q5. In between, in contrast to larger, plusher and thirstier SUVs, you won't get that nagging feeling of using a sledgehammer to crash a nut when it comes to meeting your real motoring needs. Nor, when you're alone on a twisty B road, should you need to wish you'd bought something sportier. Of course, the improved version of this second generation model now faces much tougher competition, but the well considered package of changes made to this smarter, better equipped and higher-tech mid-sized premium SUV should keep it very competitive with cars like Mercedes' GLC and BMW's X3 in the chasing pack. Certainly it's not cheap - but then neither is anything else in this segment and at least you'll get a decent part of your money back at resale time. Resolutely hi-tech and resolutely real world, the Q5 remains resolutely right.
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Vehicle maintenance packages are provided to you by the finance company and generally include and exclude the following elements. This cover is an addition to the standard full UK manufacturer’s warranty and roadside assistance that comes with all new vehicles.
Please note: Terms and conditions of vehicle maintenance packages can vary slightly depending on the finance company. Full details of the maintenance contract provided on your chosen vehicle will be forwarded to you with your quotation once you have enquired.
Maintenance Contract includes:
- Mechanical and electrical repairs or replacements, including associated parts and labour
- Bulbs, Batteries, Exhausts, Wiper Blades, Alternators & Starter Motors (dependent upon finance provider)
- Tyre repair and replacement
- Breakdown assistance
- No recharges for punctures or damaged tyres (dependent upon finance provider)
- MOT tests (if applicable)
What are the key benefits of a Maintained Contract?
- Planned fixed monthly cost
- No unexpected maintenance costs
- Protection from rising inflation costs
- Dedicated qualified technical team to deal with any problematic vehicles
- VAT is 100% recoverable on the Maintenance element of your contract for VAT registered businesses
What are the exclusions?
- Repairs or replacements due to driver error or driver induced faults
- Repairs due to accident damage
- Missing or Broken items e.g. Bent Aerials, Missing Hub Cabs
- Vandalised and Stolen Wheels and/or Tyres
- Damaged windscreen and/or glass replacement
- Lubricant and Fluid Top Ups between service intervals (e.g. Oil Top Ups, Screenwash Top Ups)
- A relief vehicle is not guaranteed as part of your maintenance package. However, this may be available at an additional cost, dependant on your finance provider
What is WLTP?
The Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) replaced the NEDC test procedure for establishing official fuel consumption and CO2 emissions for all new cars and became mandatory from September 2018. WLTP is a more accurate way of reading the statistics of an engine’s economy outputs based on realistic driving on an every day basis. The cycle of WLPT is divided in to 4 sections which fall under different average speeds of the vehicle being at low, medium, high and more high. It also includes various driving scenarios such as breaking accelerating and stops.
How will this effect me?
From 1st April 2020 the first registration tax for new cars will be higher. If you currently have a car on order which has not yet been registered then the price will increase and this will vary depending on the cars. If the new car you have on order is being taken on finance or lease then your monthly payments will increase by the amount the first registration has gone up. The new payments will be displayed on the finance documents you receive to sign before delivery of the vehicle.
In addition, from the 6th April 2020 company car tax known as benefit in kind, increased as a response to the WLTP new testing procedure.