For those like me who really like cars and technology, driving this Audi Q5 2.0 TDI Quattro Sport for a review is a dream come true. On this summer day, in an intimate atmosphere between myself and her, I’m driving through the narrow roads between Casentino and Valdarno into the Pratomagno Park in Tuscany, Italy. Few are the cars that pass through these roads and the panorama is crazy. There is no better way to end my day.
The first Audi Q5 debuts in 2008 in a market segment already populated by other German competitors and has a great success in a short time becoming the best seller in the category. In 2017, Audi decided to renew the Q5 and we are here to discover if this car still deserves to be a bestseller. The new Audi Q5 does not overturn the design of the previous model while updating the car’s lines to the latest styling ideas of Audi.
Renewals are more evident in the front, dominated by the beautiful single frame calander, the distinction point of all the latest Audi’s cars. Very stylish the pearl gray Daytona color that really suits the lines of this SUV. The lighting system is an excellent Full LED system with eye catching daytime running lights. A detail I really enjoyed for the rear lights, also LEDs, are the dynamic directional lights that, especially at night, create a wonderful effect.
Instead, there were no Matrix technology for the front lights that we hope to try soon. The external dimensions are almost unchanged but the new Audi Q5 seems to be smaller than the previous model. This new design introduces beautiful ribs on the bonnet and on the side that make the car much slimmer, almost sporty.
The interiors have been completely redesigned. The Ingolstadt’s manufacturer has done an excellent job, succeeding in finding a perfect balance between rationality and beauty. The use of materials such as leather and alcantara, with perfect matching and assembly, and the use of soft plastics gives the interior a real premium car appearance.
On the car for this road test you can find the top of the Audi infotainment: MMI Touch with Audi Virtual Cockpit. This system is an option that almost reaches 4000 €, but they are definitely well spent. The mobile internet connection in the car allows Audi MMI to give you a range of services ranging from simply searching for points of interest on Google to viewing the Google Earth Earth Navigator maps.
The new Audi MMI Touch also includes Audi Connect, a special feature that provides information on weather, flight trains and more. A really complete system! The Audi Q5 of this reviews is also equipped with Audi Smartphone Interface that includes CarPlay and Android Auto for a perfect connection with your mobile device system.
With this new Audi Q5 I therefore have my first approach to the Audi Virtual Cockpit: a 12.3-inch screen positioned instead of the classical analog dashboard. The Virtual Cockpit is in my opinion the icing on the cake of this fantastic infotainment system. Layout fully customizable, it manages to deliver a tremendous amount of information. Thanks to the controls placed on the beautiful S-Line steering wheel you can configure the instrument panel to even have a view of the navigator map over the entire screen.
The Audi Q5 is a car that prefers long journeys even thanks the fantastic S-Line seats. The four-cylinder Diesel 2.0L engine provides 190 horses and, thanks also to about 300kg less than the previous model, is very economical in fuel consumption even reaching 16 KM / L on a freeway.
Reduced fuel consumption has been also achieved thanks to the new four-wheel drive system, called Quattro Ultra. This all-wheel drive, more refined than the previous one, in normal driving conditions leaves the rear wheels free of traction, with very little mechanical losses, acting like a two-wheel drive. However, the system is capable of shifting to all wheel drive in only a few tenths of a second, in response to a sudden change of grip, or in a predictive way from the data coming from sensors.
All this results in a considerable energy savings with the same safety as a permanent all-wheel drive. Excellent the double-clutch S-Tronic gearshift, always fast, comfortable and efficient. By positioning the Drive Select in modes that are not Dynamic the gear change is very fluid.
A Defeat of this Audi Q5? There’s no active suspensions. They are only available as option but are not present on the car in this review. In my opinion, in this car is a must, as it greatly increases driving comfort, reducing the body roll typical of SUVs by selecting the right mode within the Audi Drive Select menu. In conclusion, the new Audi Q5 SUV surprises, as it is reasonable to expect from the German manufacturer, both in terms of comfort and in terms of technology and onboard safety. A real step in the future that will surprise giving you a real sensation of true premium cars.
Text: Federico Schipani
Photos: Edoardo Mascalchi