Lifestyle

2017 Audi Q5 pre-launch road test and review

JUNE ARRIVAL: Audi's all-new Q5 mid-size SUV hopes to reclaim the mantle as the most popular prestige offering in the segment.
JUNE ARRIVAL: Audi's all-new Q5 mid-size SUV hopes to reclaim the mantle as the most popular prestige offering in the segment.

BIG things are expected of the new Q5, not least of which is reclaiming the mantle as the most popular mid-size prestige SUV.  

First impressions indicate the bigger, better appointed Q5 could pull it off, despite serious opposition from the likes of the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC and Porsche Macan.  

A new chassis and the usual focus on shaving weight make the new car up to 90kg lighter than its predecessor.   

The 2017 Audi Q5 will start arriving in showrooms from June.
The 2017 Audi Q5 will start arriving in showrooms from June.

The combined effect is to make the Q5 a better-handling and performing vehicle, while cutting claimed fuel use to 5.3L/100km.  

The safety suite is also improved, with autonomous emergency braking up to 85kmh, cross-traffic assist, exit warning to prevent "dooring" cyclists, blind-spot warning and semi-automated parking.  

The Q5 won't appear in dealerships until late June and there will be a pair of four-cylinder engines at launch.    Starting at $65,900 before on-roads, the 2.0-litre turbo diesel gets a "Design" styling package. Standard kit includes 18-inch wheels, powered tailgate, three-zone aircon, seven-inch infotainment screen with satnav and digital radio and Apple/Android mirroring.  

Opt for the Sport line - as Audi expects 70% of buyers to do - and the Q5 TDI rises to $70,700, adding adaptive LED headlamps, sports front seats, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, 8.3-inch screen, DVD player, 10-speaker audio, 20-inchers and Audi's acclaimed digital display.  

Initially, the 2.0-litre petrol engine will be the headline act and is priced from $73,500. With 185kW/370Nm, it propels the Q5 to 100km/h in a lively 6.3 seconds.   

Sports line is standard on the petrol variant. An SQ5 will arrive soon after launch.  

The 2017 Audi Q5 will start arriving in showrooms from June.
The 2017 Audi Q5 will start arriving in showrooms from June.

On the road

The Audi is quite the revelation. On coarse-chip roads around Canberra there's a whisper of wind noise at highway pace; a muted murmur from the 285mm wide tyres and a vague impression the turbo diesel engine has changed note as a result of a heavy right foot.  

The subdued auditory experience is matched by a studiously neutral drive. There's more feel through the steering wheel, less roll in the corners and little reaction to big bumps and potholes that would have shunted the previous model a little off line.  

It is still tuned for comfort rather than outright cornering prowess but it is evident this chassis is going to let the engineers develop a much more engaging SQ5.  

Keen drivers may want to tick the box for adaptive dampers but there's little to fault with the standard suspension at speeds most Q5 drivers will observe. Push too hard and there's a near-imperceptible impression of the torque vectoring moderating the power to help you get through.  

The 2017 Audi Q5 will start arriving in showrooms from June.
The 2017 Audi Q5 will start arriving in showrooms from June.

Inside and out, the technology is easy to use and effective, right down to the aircon controls that no longer have printed indicators for their functions.  

As your finger falls on the buttons a digital display above them highlights their respective functions - at first bewildering, it becomes intuitive. The configurable "virtual cockpit" driver's display is just as hi-tech and just as easy to use.   

The adaptive cruise control is among the better examples, though there's no facility for the car to temporarily take over steering duties.  

The only blemish on the Q5's character - at least with the turbo diesel - is the delay in resuming progress at the lights when the auto stop-start is active. The accelerator is depressed, the car fires up … and then considers its options before taking off.   

I switched it off for the sake of sanity but choosing the dynamic mode in the seven-menu drive select options has the same effect.  

The 2017 Audi Q5 will start arriving in showrooms from June.
The 2017 Audi Q5 will start arriving in showrooms from June.

Verdict

As refined as white sugar, the second-generation Q5 whets the appetite for the raw version that is the SQ5.  

Vital statistics

Audi Q5 TDI

PRICE: $65,900-$70,700  

WARRANTY: 3 years/unlimited km  

CAPPED SERVICE: $1870 for 3 years/45,000km  

SERVICE INTERVALS: 12 months/15,000km  

SAFETY: 5 stars (EuroNCAP)  

ENGINE: 2.0-litre 4-cyl turbo diesel, 140kW/400Nm  

TRANSMISSION: 7-speed dual-clutch auto; AWD  

THIRST: 5.3L/100km  

WEIGHT: 1770kg  

SPARE: Space-saver  

TOWING: 2000kg (200kg ball weight)    

The 2017 Audi Q5 will start arriving in showrooms from June.
The 2017 Audi Q5 will start arriving in showrooms from June.
News Corp Australia

Topics:  audi q5 future models motoring review road test suv



GRAPHIC: Court hears of sickening injuries in Cenny attack

COURT: Christin Anderson.

'Papa' pleads guilty to brutal assault of backpacker

Band of Bundy locals set up their own ISP

PROBLEM SOLVER: Luke Baker believes he can offer a better alternative to the internet providers currently serving Bargara.

Giving the NBN a run for money

Truck's close call at cane crossing

COLLISION: A cane train and truck at East Bundaberg.

Semi trailer across tracks

Local Partners

The Block's family home rescue mission

RENO show's new concept – relocating and restoring crumbling heritage homes – proves its biggest challenge to date.

Angelina Jolie 4.0: Is anyone buying this?

Angelina Jolie, master media manipulator, is back.

Love The Bachelor and a feminist? Sorry, you can't be both

These 22 women trying to win Matty's heart... but at what cost? (Pic: Channel 10)

Tans will be sprayed. Roses will be distributed. Tears will be shed.

George RR Martin: Sixth book won't be out this year

Emilia Clarke returns as Daenerys Targaryen in the seventh season of Game of Thrones, which premieres only on Foxtel on July 17.

“I am still working on it, I am still months away..."

Mum spotted on Google Earth 18 months after death

A woman has spotted her mother on Google Earth - she died in 2015

What's on the big screen this week

A scene from the movie War for the Planet of the Apes.

AN ACTION franchise comes to its epic conclusion.

The Bachelor: Will farting be the key to Matty J's heart?

I don’t know what emotion this is.

MATTY J’s return as The Bachelor was sullied on the first night.

Hearty food for cold nights

Boneless lamb shoulder roast with crushed kipflers.

RECIPES: Two tasty lamb dishes to try this winter

How one man made more than $20m in a land deal

Varsity Lakes

Sale, with GST added, shows as a $26.4 million transaction

Open for inspection homes 27 July - 2 August

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection.

Beers, spirits and 131 years of history up for grabs

The 131-year-old General Gordon Hotel is on the market with all of its quirks included.

Pub with good beer and "lovely food” for sale 20 minutes from town