2018 Audi Q5 India Diesel Review, First Drive

Enchanting –

  • Mini Q7 Inside-Out
  • Docile, powerful and engine
  • Spacious, safe and well kitted
  • Priced well

Unsatisfying –

  • Fun to drive character missing
  • Could be more special inside-out

It’s raining everywhere in the country and now that includes mid-size luxury SUV’s from all the manufacturers from around the world. You have the Germans, British and now Swedish in this race. Let’s talk about the Germans and in particular, Audi. We have driven the Land Rover Discovery Sport, The volvo XC60 and decided to ask Audi for the brand new Q5. They happily send one for some time and we got our hands on it.

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The segment is very hot right now and Audi has launched the brand new Q5 with a host of changes everywhere. Q5 is a huge inspiration of the Q7 rather than all-new vehicle in its lineup. That is what the world’s customer wants, something that the manufacturer keep on saying. The value quotient then becomes higher and hence it appeals more to the consumers which means more sales. The Audi Q5 seems to be a perfect example but has it what it takes to be considered in this segment, we find out!

Styling

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The design of the Q5 at first glance is of a mini Q7. The smooth and bold front grille with headlights fitting flush gives it a sophisticated look. Front bumper is split in many ways and it lends it busy looks with slats running all around and gives it a substantial and rich look at the front. The side profile has an edge over the Q7 as it distances itself to a certain extent from the Q7 with a strong shoulder line and kink where the window ends and forms the C-Pillar.

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The side profile is muscular but could have been better as the alloys are plain vanilla. Cladding all around and skid plates on the side which is brushed aluminum in the finish make it a look like an Audi Q car. Rear tail-lights are large and protrude out and have LED lights in them that grab attention. Overall, the design isn’t striking but continues to look fresh and updated against its rivals.

Interior

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Just like the exterior, the interior is also a bit of Vanilla in its approach. Sure, the quality, finish, feel and build makes the interior a lovely place to spend time. Something also includes the air-ness of a beige and black interior with wood insert making it stand out. The buttons for A/C control feel great to touch and look at. The center console has the touchpad, MMi controller and a gear knob that is seen in VW family for SUV’s.

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The wireless charger, the adjustable armrest which has space to keep things along with door pockets and a slot below the headlamp controller buttons. The screen doesn’t retract, the A/C vents look very out of place for this size and price of car. The buttons on the steering wheel feel hard to operate as well and could have been better. The best part is the virtual cockpit which helps you access all the information and rarely use the mid-dash mounted screen. Apple Car Play, Android Auto, several options for sound, display, and other information is displayed on the screen. Fuel efficiency parameters, map, music, calls, and phone connected displays can be seen in the cluster.

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Electric seats, full electric ORVM which are heated and foldable, the IRVM and ORVM are day and night. There is a large panoramic sunroof, 3 zone climate control, 8 speaker sound system, cruise control, parking sensors all around, reversing camera aid, wireless charger, 6 airbags, Isofix, abs, EBD, EDL, traction control and other things are being offered inside the car as standard. Led head and tail lamps, automatic wipers, adjustable and cleanable headlamps are on offer.

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Space in the back and front is on par with segment SUV’s and is adequate, not surplus in terms of leg, knee, head and shoulder room. A large 550 litre boot space make it very practical. A space saver below it, hooks, lights and foldable tray in the boot makes it every day friendly. Overall, a great place to stay, but could have been more appealing, given Audi’s previous reputation of segment best interiors.

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Engine and Gearbox

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The 2.0 litre motor here makes 190 PS and 400 Nm of torque at a rather high 3000 RPM. The DSG 7-speed unit makes it to the engine. The DSG hiccups at lower RPM and turbo lag which is apparent in the SUV makes driveability good, but not great. Post diesel scam correction, the engines have lost their zest in the way power was made throughout the rev range. However, Audi has managed to keep very smooth and less clinical and terrifically refined as NVH levels are downright superior to almost all its rivals.

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It revs all the way till 5000 RPM and has a meaty top and mid-range power makes it a powerhouse on the highway. In that part of the rev range, the DSG also reacts really well, smooth, unperceivable and telepathic in the way things make progress. Driving modes make it easy to manipulate power and is best choose the right mode for the right mood and road. Top speed is limited to 218 km/hr and does 0-100 km/hr in 8 seconds. We got a fuel efficiency of 13 km/l.

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Ride and Handling

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Dynamically, the steering continues to be light, precise and not feedback rich. Brakes provide great power and feedback from pedal. The body roll is well controlled, the dynamic suspension is setup well. The ride quality is firm which means no vertical movements by a large margin. The damping is spot on and it takes small to big bumps rather well and doesn’t disturb the cabin.

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Driving modes makes the steering artificially heavier which does inspire confidence to a certain extent. Overall, there is a large improvement as there has been a weight loss and tuning of the chassis but it still isn’t entirely sharp as some of its rivals. Stability is excellent, grip is good with Quattro and it is agile in the corners and nimble in the city.

2018 Audi Q5 India Diesel Review, Verdict

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Clearly, the Q5 has plus and minus that are already well weighted on paper. The car looks simple inside and out which is a bit of a hit or a miss. Audi says that their audience prefers this concept, so we can give the benefit of doubt to them. There is equipment, space, performance and a pinch of dynamics on offer as well. The SUV is refined inside out over the previously dated version.

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The pricing is right too and Audi already has a winner as they have clocked a lot of pre bookings and immediately post-launch. The Q5 was a best seller for the brand and now it is refined in every way, so it naturally becomes a worthy contender and deserves a look before the vast amount of rivals it goes against with.

Technology pack: Rs. 57.6 lakh.
Premium Plus: Rs. 53.25 lakh

Ex-showroom prices

2018 Audi Q5 India Diesel Review
  • Design
  • Interior
  • Space
  • Features
  • Safety
  • Performance
  • Dynamics
  • Value
  • Practicality
4.6

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