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Audi Q5 2.0 TDI S Line review

Date: 16 January 2017   |   Author: John Mahoney

Standard equipment: 7in infotainment system, satnav, leather seats, LED headlamps, cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, 19in alloys
Engines: Petrol 252hp 2.0 Diesel 190hp 2.0, 286hp 3.0
Trims: SE, Sport, S Line
Transmissions: 6-speed manual 7-speed dual-clutch auto 8-speed auto

Life has become a lot harder of late for Audi's Q5. When it launched back in 2008 it had just three premium SUV rivals; today, customers have more than twice as many reasons not to choose the Audi.

Best of the new bunch, by far, is the new Jaguar F-pace. Despite being the firm's first-ever SUV, the jacked-up Jag is an instant smash hit, being achingly desirable, great to drive, and easy on the business pocket.

The old Q5 didn't stand a chance. Luckily, it's about to be pensioned off and replaced by a new-from-the-ground-up replacement. Keeping just its Q5 name, the new car now shares its platform with the excellent A4 and luxurious Q7.\

Weight loss

This sees the Audi SUV grow in all directions, but, thanks to clever use of materials, the kerb weight actually drops by up to 90kg.

There's the choice of a powerful petrol and muscular V6 diesel, but best of the bunch for fleet is the 2.0-litre TDI that can average 55mpg and emit just 133g/km of CO2.

Performance is more than ample - the 190hp diesel can haul the Q5 to 62mph in just 7.9 seconds. Nothing else is quicker, nor smoother, and the 2.0-litre is far quieter than the racket made by its BMW and Mercedes rivals.

Q5 Interior

The car we drove came with Audi's quick-shifting seven-speed DSG dual-clutch gearbox. All Q5s come with all-wheel drive as standard.

Boosting efficiency, the turbo diesel and petrol versions come with the brand's Quattro Ultra hardware that cleverly decouples when not needed, improving fuel consumption.
Inside, the good news continues as there's plenty of space in the front and rear with a decent-sized boot, too.

On-the-road impressions

Behind the wheel you're also treated to the best cabin in its class. The Q5 is beautifully finished and, with the virtual cockpit digital dash fitted (£250), is a class-leader for design.

Be careful with those options, though - they soon mount up. Our car's cossetting air suspension costs a pricey £2,000, and it's disappointing to find rear side airbags (£350) and adaptive cruise control (£750) on the options list as well.

Q5 Rear

The Audi also misses out on entertaining in quite the same way as the new Jag. Instead, you'll have to reconcile yourself with comfort and refinement its rivals cannot match.  If you can live with that, class-leading residual values mean the new Audi SUV tops the class for whole-life costs.

Life might have become harder for the Q5, but the new car proves it's well up for the task.

Audi Q5 2.0 TDI S Line

P11D £40,035
On sale March 2017
Residual value 43.8%
Depreciation £22,485
Fuel £5,728
Service, maintenance & repair £2,900
Cost-per-mile £76.4p
Fuel consumption 55.4mpg
CO2 (BIK band) 133g/km (26%)
BIK 20/40% per month £173/£347
Boot space 550 litres
Engine size/power 1,968cc/190hp

The rivals:

BMW X3

Mercedes GLC

Jaguar F-pace


Verdict


8/10
  • Smooth engines
  • Best-in-class interior,
  • Spacious, comfortable
  • Conservative design
  • Others more engaging to drive
  • Pricey options

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