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Audi Q5: Test Drive (continued)

Date: 11 July 2008   |   Author: Tristan Young

Audi Q5
Category: Small 4x4
P11D price: £29,000 (est.)
Key rival: BMW X3

The majority of buyers in the UK are wisely expected to opt for the 170PS 2.0-litre diesel, which is easily the pick of the range. At more than 42mpg and 175g/km for CO2 it's only just off the BMW's impressive figures.

Where it slips compared to the BMW is in performance, with a slightly slower 0-62mph time - 9.5secs vs 8.9.

Audi Q5_Page 22.gif

However, the Audi Q5's ride comfort more than compensates. On the admittedly smooth roads of the launch, the Audi is a much better option for long distances than the BMW X3. Rear seat room also is fractionally better, though the X3 is a tad ahead in terms of sporty character.

Audi didn't offer any off-road test at the Q5's launch, which is probably telling; the Freelander would walk away from both the Audi and the BMW as soon as you run out of asphalt thanks to its better wading depth and far more developed off-road electronics.

Prices have yet to be revealed but you can bet that they will be close to the BMW. However, Audi's residual values will be as good as, if not better than, those of rival prestige 4x4s.

So, the Audi has it sewn up then? Not quite. If the costs come in close to the BMW and Land Rover, then it would be the car to pick, but in the next few months Volvo will be launching its new small 4x4, the XC60. And given the stir the bigger XC90 caused at its launch, this could be a serious threat for all-round practicality, comfort and costs.