The Q5 competes on price too

2018-02-08 06:00
PHOTOS: GT SPIRITWith its Navy Metallic paint, the Q5 was an attention grabber wherever we went during the festive season.

PHOTOS: GT SPIRITWith its Navy Metallic paint, the Q5 was an attention grabber wherever we went during the festive season.

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SIBONELO MYENI finds a sexy soft-roader in the Audi Q5 TFSI Sport in 2.0 Auto for the festive season period. We got to test the New Audi Q5 TFSI Sport in 2.0 Auto guise.

Over three weeks, we got to experience this model in more detail than normal and it seems the public got to view it more intimately, judging from the interest generated. The design of the new Q5 is a mixture of Q7 and the svelte lines of the A5, and in our test units S-Line design (standard) and Navy Metallic, it garnered a lot of positive comments from onlookers.

One of the onlookers was a gentlemen who was driving a similar model in Silver. He commented that the darker colour works best for the design.

The LED daytime lights work like jewelry to accent the design, while the single-frame grille and S-Line lower air intakes give an imposing appearance in anyone’s mirror. The Q5 rides on 18-inch wheels as standard.

The rear gets LED dynamic indicator lights that drew much admirers. Overall, the Navy Metallic Q5 was an attention grabber wherever we went, even outstaging much more expensive SUVs at events over the festive season.

INTERIOR

Inside, the architecture is well laid out and easy to set up.

The one negative feature I found was the lack of stowage space for phones and keys around the front.

The cup holders are also not ideally placed when using the armrest. But the virtual cockpit worked like magic, allowing ease of navigation instructions without taking eyes off the road.Google Maps stunned many passengers with real-life satellite view images of places.

The panoramic glass roof created an airy feel inside and at night created a “night amongst the stars” atmosphere inside. LED interior lighting also comes standard with different hues of colour accessible through the MMI system.

The seats are leather, with manual adjustable front seats.

Loading the rear middle seats worked a boon with festive season shopping, while the generous boot space carried holiday luggage with ease (we never got to use the folding rear seats but we realised when needed, huge space would be attained). The rear seats were a bit upright over long distances and we felt a reclining adjustment would have been a bonus.

UNDER THE HOOD

The TFSI on test features the 185 kW/350 Nm 2-litre, 4-cylinder turbo engine linked to a dual clutch seven-speed automatic transmission.

Drive is through Audis Quattro all-wheel-drive system that on normal roads uses only the front wheels to engage power but in milliseconds can transfer power to any of the wheels with most traction. This saves fuel as less power drives the wheels in normal conditions. Our test unit came with Adaptive Air suspension, an option that is well worth the investment. This system allows the driver to configure the drivetrain for varying ride quality (Comfort, Efficiency, All Road, Dynamic, Auto, Individual).

PLAYING DIRTY

For off-road conditions, the system raises the ride height while dynamic lowers the ride for agility.

Put the system in Comfort and it has one of the best rides I have experienced, making long-distance travel even on bad roads, a breeze. Allied to the excellent sound insulation in the cabin, this makes the Q5 an effortless cruiser.

Put the system in Dynamic and the throttle response is improved but still lags, which makes Economy quite frustrating as the throttle response is even lazier.

The major plus of the Adaptive Air Suspension is the ability to select the Sport trim (Sport Suspension) which means you get the sporty appearance but unlike some rivals who then deliver a hard ride, the air suspension still allows a plush ride — the best of both worlds.

RUNNING COSTS

During our test we averaged 9,5l/100 km, higher than the claimed 6,8 l/100 km.

At the standard price of R797 500, the Q5 TFSI Sport Auto is good value for an excellent package.

The downside is that to have all the features that transform this model into a thing of brilliance (air suspension of note), you have to pay more, something the Q5 is not alone at doing as its main rivals also command a price premium on extras.

The Audi Q5 comes standard with a five-year/100 000 km Audi Freeway Plan.

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