By Khulekani Dumisa
Audi launched their updated Q5 recently but the star of the show was the all-new Audi Q5 Sportback which is here to tackle the X4 and GLC Coupé. The refreshed Audi Q5 (which the Q5 Sportback is largely based on) spots a a new singleframe grille, new LED headlights with new signature for the daytime running lights and larger air inlets.As standard, the Audi Q5 is fitted with 19-inch wheels, while 20-inch wheels are optional. There are two new colours – district green and ultra-blue.
Inside, the new Audi Q5 gets a new freestanding 10.1-inch MMI touch display with acoustic feedback. The previous rotary/push control on the centre-tunnel console is absent, its place is taken by a storage cubby. Customers can opt for a 12.3-inch configurable digital instrument cluster with the Technology package.
The Q5 Sportback gets a similar, updated interior of the regular Q5. Customers can opt for a 12.3-inch Audi virtual cockpit and 10.1-inch MMI navigation plus with the latest software. Also available as an optional extra is a Bang and Olufsen 3D sound system.
As standard, the Q5 Sportback will come with rear seat bench shifts for increased luggage capacity and enhanced comfort for rear passengers. Also, standard is a power tailgate.
Three engines power the range. The diesel Audi Q5 40 TDI makes 140kW/400Nm from its 2.0L engine. The petrol Audi Q5 45 TFSI is powered by a 2.0L with 183kW/370Nm, and uses a mild hybrid system (MHEV) for low fuel consumption. Both models use a 7-speed S tronic and come with a quattro all-wheel drive system.
The SQ5 is powered by a 3.0-litre V6 with 260kW/500Nm. Audi claims it sprints from 0-100 km/h in 5.4 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h. Prices start from R852,000 and go all the way up to R1,208,000 for the SQ5.
Audi designers are having their best years. Whilst the Q5 shape has remained consistent (as have competitors), the latest exterior tweaks, which make the SUV appear more assertive, also make it more desirable.
The Q5 is spacious, comfortable and lovely to drive. The standard Quattro system adds a layer of assurance in tricky driving conditions such as the heavy rains we experienced during our launch drive. The car is also eager in both petrol and diesel guise. Latter being preferable for sipping less juice.
There are also top marks for the SUV in the tech and safety departments. Everything is easily accessible, clear and easy to use. Whilst the Q5 and Q5 Sportback do not get the three-screen set-up seen in most modern Audis, their absence, and retention of physical buttons, make them stand out and more memorable. The Sportback’s sloping roof does eat into the rear head room but not by much and practicality is not compromised majorly as there is a fair amount of boot space and the seat can be slid backwards and forwards to free up leg or luggage room, as desired.
The less complimentary part is that some less than premium materials have found themselves into the Q5 cabin – door handle and car side door armrest to name a few. It is not a deal breaker though based on how they look and feel ultimately. All-in-all the duo are still one of the top picks in the segment.
Pricing is as follows (inclusive of all taxes) and comes standard with a five-year Audi Freeway Plan:
Audi Q5 40 TDI Quattro – R852,000
Audi Q5 40 TDI Quattro Advanced – R871,000
Audi Q5 40 TDI Quattro S line – R897,000
Audi Q5 45 TFSI Quattro S line – R947,000
Audi SQ5 TFSI Quattro – R1,208,000
Audi Q5 Sportback
Audi Q5 Sportback 40 TDI Quattro Advanced – R960,000
Audi Q5 Sportback 40 TDI Quattro S line – R1,000,000
Audi Q5 Sportback 45 TFSI Quattro S line – R1,050,000
Audi SQ5 Sportback TFSI Quattro – R1,355,000.
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