BY ROWAN BENN
If ever a company was determined to offer something for everyone then the first prize must go to Audi. If they see a niche they like, they fill it, like a determined interior decorator. Fortunately, their cars are rarely superfluous; someone somewhere is going to want one. Now Audi is presenting another successful model; the second generation Audi Q5. Sales begin at the start of 2017 with prices to be announced.
A mid-sized SUV, the Q5 combines the sportiness of an Audi saloon with a multifaceted character, a highly flexible interior and off-road ability. Typically Audi, this new car sets new standards for connectivity, efficiency and driver assistance systems.
For the last few years the original Audi Q5 has been the world’s best-selling SUV in its class. With this latest iteration Audi are setting the bar even higher. Among the great innovations are the quattro drive system with ultra technology, highly efficient engines, air suspension with damper control and a comprehensive line-up of infotainment and assistance systems.
The Q5 has a sporty and taut stance. A flared grille with a solid frame dominates the aerodynamically flat front end. The SUV will be available with headlights that are either in LED or high-resolution Matrix LED technology with dynamic turn lights, optionally.
A distinctively curved and strongly undercut shoulder line gives structure to the side view. With quattro permanent all-wheel drive, the image is of width and presence. The tail lights are also available with optional dynamic turn signals and the tailgate wraps around the C-pillars.
Inside, there’s plenty of space for five people, more than both the previous model and its competitors in this sector. There’s a new, high-efficiency air-con system available in two versions and a three-spoke multifunction steering wheel is standard. All the usual seat features are available and now include a pneumatic massage function. That’s relaxation!
The rear seats of the new Audi Q5 split into three segments. Longitudinal and seat back angle adjustment are optional. Depending on the rear seat position, the boot can hold 620 litres and up to 1,550 litres with the seats down. For ease of loading, the body can be lowered via the optional air suspension.
Operation of the new Audi SUV is intuitive and is highlighted by three great new features. The optional Audi virtual cockpit presents brilliant graphics on its high-resolution 12.3-inch screen. The driver can choose from two views – a classic view with large round instruments and a mode in which the navigation map or lists dominate. An optional heads-up display projects key information onto the windscreen.
The MMI terminal in the centre console acts as the main control element. In the top infotainment system, the MMI navigation plus with MMI touch and an 8.3-inch display, a touch-pad is integrated into the rotary push-button. It even recognizes handwritten entries. If the new Q5 has an automatic transmission, it also has the larger MMI all-in-touch system.
A really interesting diversion is that the Q5 navigation now has a self-learning “personal route assist” function. After activating this function, the navigation system learns the routes and destinations that the customer regularly selects, and it associates this information to the parked position and time of day. That’s outstandingly useful.
The new Audi Q5 will be launched with a choice of five powerful and efficient engines: four diesel and one petrol. Between them they will generate between 150 to 287hp. On the road the Q5 will offer handling that combines very different strengths, sporty while being extremely comfortable with Dynamic steering an option.
Once again Audi appear to have taken an already remarkable car and improved it still more. That’s another niche filled.
The writer is a Marketing Director, MHH International Ltd.