We drive the Audi Q5 and Q5 Sportback
The Audi Q5 has garnered positive success since its introduction a number of years ago. The Q5 has been a cornerstone for the Audi brand within the midsize SUV segment. Now though, the German automaker has not only updated the Q5 but added an entirely and long awaited model offering to the line-up. We got behind the wheel of the regular Q5 and the new Sportback offering.
The Audi Q5 has become a popular offering for the German automaker since its introduction in 2008. In fact, some 249 149 units have been sold this year alone. The latest model offers refreshed styling and a completely new body style in the form of the Sportback.
From a styling perspective I do quite like the design, in particular the rear end. The roof line tapers down into the rear which in true Sportback style. The keen eyed amongst you will notice the subtle boot-lid spoiler just below the rear glass. This adds to the sporty character of the car. The rear lights are also different to that offered on the standard SUV model. On the Sportback they are elongated and, if so requested, will make use of OLED technology, a first in the segment.
The front of the Q5 range has also been given a refresh and now features revised headlights with LED technology. This is further complimented by a redesigned single frame grille with larger octagonal structures. The far edges of the bumper make use of larger trapezoidal inserts to add an element of width and sportiness.
The Q5 can be had in a variety of colours and trim options, all adding to the overall visual appeal but if you want maximum street cred then the SQ5 is the one to go for. It makes use of sportier bumpers, larger wheels with red brake-callipers with those iconic four-tailpipes at the rear, although the latter are fake, the actual pipes can be found behind the bumper…
The interior of both the SUV and CUV offering feature the same facia design with the only difference being the roofline. As is the case with Audi products, you can expect a neat and well put together interior. Some highlights for me include the digital instrument cluster and the addition of a new, larger 10.1 inch touchscreen infotainment system.
The system offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, the latter being wireless. A wireless charging tray can be found in the centre console. The overall experience is finished off with ambient lighting throughout the interior. In fact, the lighting on the lower dash just above the climate control system will change from blue to red when the temperature is adjusted.
As for practicality, the standard Q5 SUV offers a luggage capacity of 520-litres which can be extended to 1520l. Now some might think that the Sportback will offer much less due to its design. In reality it only suffers from a 10-litre deficit with the rear seats up and 40l with the rears folded down.
Powering the updated Q5 range are two petrol motors and a diesel. The latter was featured in our test units in the form of a 2.0TDI that delivers 140kW and 400Nm of torque. It makes use of a 7-speed S Tronic gearbox as well as quattro all-wheel drive.
The equivalent petrol motor comes in the form of the brand's tried and tested 2.0TFSI which delivers a healthy 183kW and 370Nm of torque. It shares the same gearbox as the diesel model. It also benefits from A 12 V mild hybrid system (MHEV) which increases the efficiency. Its belt-driven starter-alternator can recover energy when decelerating and store it in a compact lithium-ion battery. What’s more, the MHEV system allows coasting with the engine off, while the start-stop range already begins at a speed of 22 km/h.
Out on the roads the Q5 offers a compliant driving experience, this is further enhanced thanks to the different suspensions on offer. Customers have a choice of the standard, sports as well as adaptive air suspension.