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New Audi Q5 review- Why its the best SUV

Motor Trend India logo Motor Trend India 11-01-2018 Somnath Chatterjee
Audi Q5 5 © Motor Trend Staff Audi Q5 5

What makes a good car? Over the top styling? Lots of leather and wood? Enough gadgets which require you to be employed by NASA to operate? Nope. A good car should get the basic ingredients right and most of all, do what it is supposed to do and do it well. The new Audi Q5 is a luxury SUV that replaces the previous one and which has been one of the core cash cows in the Audi range. Thus Audi had to get this one right and they have. The new Q5 is a good SUV. Full stop. It's refined, rides very well, looks on the correct side of posh without trying too hard and has all the luxury which you want. No more. No fluff. It is refreshing that Audi has stuck with basics and avoided temptation to stray too far or try to hard.

a close up of a car © Motor Trend Staff

First of all it's lighter but its grown in all directions. Yet design wise, it looks more svelte and much more assertive than the previous gen. The new gen Q5 looks like a shrunken Q7 but has the perfect dose of swagger without too much exuberance. The lines are tightly put on the SUV with no visible fat and details like the massive grille along with the sharper LED headlamps with DRLs looks great. The side and rear is more crossover-ish while the rear lights are similar to the earlier one which remind you of the Q5 but the detailing is new. The 18 inch alloys plus the superb blue/purple like shade gives it more character too. Yes, the Q5 has never looked better.

a close up of a car: Audi Q5 15 © Motor Trend Staff Audi Q5 15

Step inside and it is more spacious and more chauffeur driven friendly at the back (more comfort, bit more legroom) though the central tunnel means its two at the back most of the time. Still the 550l boot is ample and the cabin is well endowed with storage. The design is paired back, classy Audi with squarish design and logical, uncluttered layout. There is no running air vent like the A4 or the Q7, still the centre console is neat with a fixed screen plus I love the aircon switches and the cool yacht style gear lever. Of course the party piece is the virtual cockpit which is now a staple of new Audi's. It never fails to astonish me and looks incredibly cool plus being useful too, when you can expand the navigation view onto your dials!

a close up of a car: IMG 20180110 125550 © Motor Trend Staff IMG 20180110 125550

Being a Rs half a crore SUV you would expect equipment levels to be high and they are. Three-zone climate control, virtual dials, LED headlamps, panoramic sunroof, wireless phone charging, powered front seats and boot release, 8 airbags, park assist with 360 degree camera etc. Told you, every thing you need is here. Onto the driving bit and here the ubiquitous 2.0 diesel is here but it is the new one that has also been fitted to the A4.

a car parked in a parking lot: IMG 20180110 085311 © Motor Trend Staff IMG 20180110 085311

As in the A4, this is a gem of a motor which shows diesel still has life and appeal, especially as it matches a petrol on refinement and trounces it for sheer punch. The numbers are solid with 190 bhp and 400Nm while gearbox duties are handled by a 7-speed S tronic gearbox. What the numbers do not tell is how smooth and how well this motor picks up space. Refinement is simply brilliant with next to no noise filtered in at all which is something its owners will like.

a car parked on the side of a road © Motor Trend Staff

What is also impressive is the linear delivery of power along with the slicker autobox. The gearbox is more responsive over the earlier one and is crucially smoother which is essential and works best as a comfy long distance cruiser. The new Q5 will eat long distances with ease, happily sitting at high triple digit speeds close to its 200 km/h plus top-speed. To put it in plain numbers, 0-100 km/h takes place in 7.9 secs but it's the superb spread of power, refinement and smoothness which ultimately impresses me. In the city with stop-go traffic the gearbox is responsive too and lag is near zero.

a car parked in a parking lot: IMG 20180110 082933 © Motor Trend Staff IMG 20180110 082933

So far so good but the ride/handling combo is what takes the cake. There are now different drive select modes which change the nature of the car to suit your driving style. Hurtling over an empty road? Try dynamic which is where body control is tight yet not at the expense of comfort and I, for the most part, kept it in Dynamic. Roll is very less and the SUV exhibits a sense of confidence around bends which made me push with silly speeds and an even sillier grin on my face. Yet, once these antics are over, in comfort, bumps and bad roads or no roads, are all handled superbly by the suspension. Oh and before you forget, you will get high-teens mileage numbers when driven calmly.

a blue car parked in a parking lot: IMG 20180110 093513 © Motor Trend Staff IMG 20180110 093513

So seriously, has the Q5 any flaw at all? Well that is what I love about this SUV. It is refined, purposeful to look at but not shouty and does the basics of being a luxury SUV very well. For me, the just right styling, cool cabin and the superb diesel engine is what seals the deal. Seriously, there are no flaws here because Audi got the basic ingredients perfect for the best recipe without simmering it too much. It's eerily close to a perfect luxury SUV which you need and want. Do visit an Audi showroom on the 18th of this month then...

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