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Audi's 2nd-generation Q5 SUV driven in SA

2017-07-26 15:00

NEXT-GEN Q5: The second-generation Audi Q5 is now available in South Africa and is set to battle against a host of rival premium SUVs. Sean Parker drove all three versions in the Overberg. Image: Quickpic

Sean Parker

Western Cape - The second-generation Audi Q5 has rolled into South Africa at a time when luxury automakers are struggling to flog product in Mzansi. Is Audi's latest SUV capable of attracting more buyers locally? Sean Parker finds out in the Western Cape.   

So what’s new on the 2017 iteration? According to Ingolstadt, the Q5 has lost up to 90kgs (the weight of a large passenger), thanks to smarter use of materials and boasts the best drag co-efficient (0.30cd) in its class. 

Bigger and better

Based on Ingolstadt’s ‘MLB-evo’ platform, which also underpins the A4 and Q7, the latest Q5 measures 4.66m long, 1.89m wide and has a 2.82m long wheelbase. It’s grown substantially which means its roomier, and we all know how people are looking for a spacious SUV. 

GALLERY: 2017 Audi Q5

The boot is also bigger, up from 550 litres to 610 litres. 

It also has a host of driver assistance features like adaptive cruise control, active lane assist, and distance warning alert that works in unison to alert the driver of potential danger but also keep the car in the lane. 

Standard on all Q5s is ‘pre sense city’ which warns the driver of vehicles and pedestrians in the line of sight and may in certain apply braking to the vehicle. 

Engines

At launch there are three engine options (which mirror that of the A4) available: 2.0-litre TFSI (185kW), 2.0-litre TDI (140kW) and the performance model SQ5 with a 3.0-litre V6 TFSI (260kW). The SQ5 uses an eight-speed automatic gearbox. 

The diesel model impressed me most on the drive in the Western Cape this week, offering mid-range shove when needed courtesy of its 400Nm which are accessed via the seven-speed dual clutch S-Tronic gearbox. 

Against the clock, the diesel engine propels the Q5 from standstill to 100km/h in 7.9 seconds and tops out at 218km/h. Audi claims 4.9 litres/ 100km. That figure is mostly down to new technology on the all-wheel drive system that decouples two driven wheels and subsequently cuts drag and friction. 

Can it handle off-road?

The route also included a few kilometres of gravel driving and the Q5 handled with aplomb. There are two new modes via drive select that offer offroad and allroad tailored settings for those conditions. So, yes you can take your Q5 on a gravel road. 

The adaptive air suspension offers a plush ride that one expects in this segment and is a worthy option. 

The car is refined and quiet devoid of any rattles, everything feels expensive and well-made, like most Audis do. The Q5 now features the optional Virtual Cockpit infotainment system, which offers all the important info in the instrument cluster. It’s genuinely a fine place to be for a long time as I found out when a crash on Sir Lowry’s Pass had us stationary for close to 45 minutes.

In summary, the second-generation Q5 is a much-needed injection for the brand who are finding it difficult to lure customers into their higher priced models. 

The Q5 excels as an all-rounder: offering refinement, space and powerful engines in a package that is familiar to upper-middle class families who want brand cache and presence. 

Pricing

2.0 TDI quattro S tronic - R698 000
2.0 TDI quattro S tronic Sport - R748 000
2.0 TFSI quattro S tronic - R747 500
2.0 TFSI quattro S tronic Sport - R797 500
SQ5 3.0 TFSI quattro Tiptronic - R1 044 000

Standard equipment on the 2.0T FSI 185kW and 2.0 TDI 140kW:

17-inch wheels
Audi drive select
Audi sound system
Bluetooth interface
Collapsible spare wheel
Cruise control
Driver information system
Dynamic suspension
AUX-IN and USB
Electromechanical power steering
Energy recovery
Indirect tire pressure monitoring system
Leather multifunction plus steering wheel
Leather/artificial leather combination
LED rear lights
Quattro with ultra technology
Rear parking aid
Side airbags at front and head airbag system
Stainless steel loading edge protection
Three-zone automatic air conditioning
Start / Stop (petrol engines!)
Xenon headlights

Sport models add the following equipment:

18-inch wheels
Aluminium door sill trim
Bumpers in full paint finish
High gloss package
Interior inlays with aluminium
LED headlights
Line specific radiator grille
Line specific rear diffuser and air intakes
Sport seats
Steering wheel with chrome

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Read more on:    audi  |  q5  |  sean parker  |  cape town  |  western cape  |  new models

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