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Audi Have finally brought back the fast selling Audi Q5 to the Indian market, which should help bring back the German car-maker on top of the luxury car game.

Audi Q5: Design
The octagonal grille on the 2021 Audi Q5 is much bigger and immediately attracts your attention and announces that it’s an Audi even before you look at the four rings sitting in the centre. Now there are prominent vertical chrome slats within the grille that give the facelift a distinct face. Even the sleek LED headlamps are all new and have a chrome strip running through it, adding more character to the Q5’s face. The bumper is new, too, with higher air inlets.

Audi have brought the ‘Sport’ variant to India and that’s the reason it gets a generous dose of chrome and brush-metal highlights all around. There are some more silver highlights around the fog-lamps, bordering the window area, and some more running at the bottom of the door sill. You’ll also notice that Audi have now opted to go up a size on the wheels. From the earlier 18-inchers, the 2021 model gets 19-inchers running 235/55 R19 rubber. The five twin-spoke alloys in simple silver look understated and too simple. I’m sure most buyers would want to upgrade those for snazzier ones.

To make the rear a bit more distinctive, Audi have opted for new LED tail-lamps with triple elements which look pretty premium. Yes, there’s more brush metal and chrome at the back too. But, overall, in terms of the shape and size, there’s no real change to the model which we had in the BS4 era.

Audi Q5: Cabin and Interior
The same can be said about the cabin, which looks very familiar. Though the layout hasn’t been altered, you now get a piano black highlight to create a more upmarket feel. The cabin, like before, is spacious and the seats are draped in deep tan leatherette upholstery and offer good support. Even at the back, there’s plenty of knee- and head-room. But the hitch here is the prominent transmission tunnel which restricts the leg space for the centre seat, making the Q5 better suited to four passengers. Second-row passengers get dedicated a-c vents, charging sockets, a sturdy arm-rest with foldable coffee cup-holders, a large panoramic sunroof, and even sun-blinds. Right at the back, there’s a generous 550 litres of boot space. And there’s a deflated space-saver spare wheel, too, which comes with an air compressor.

Audi Q5: Features
There are the steering-mounted controls, three-zone air-conditioning, and an updated virtual cockpit with better resolution and improved animation. You’ll also appreciate the new Comfort Key which not just provides keyless entry but also has a memory function for individual settings. So, when you get into the car, the climate control temperature, mirror, and seat positioning adjust to your liking.

The highlight of the 2021 model is the new 10.1-inch display of the infotainment system. It’s not just larger than before but, like all modern cars, it’s a touchscreen now. The new-generation MMI also feels slicker than before and is fairly intuitive, though not the best in the business. Apart from the USB ports, you also get Type-C ports and an Audi Phone box for wireless charging. The other big change is the new Bang and Olufsen 755-watt music system with 19 speakers, which I absolutely love. You also get a rear-view camera and the helpful Park Assist, but the Q5 facelift doesn’t provide a 360-degree view.

Audi Q5: Petrol Engine
Mechanically, the Q5 hasn’t changed much. It still gets a 2.0-litre TFSI unit with the seven-speed S tronic transmission. This is the same turbo-petrol seen in other Audi cars, but here it has been tweaked to produce slightly lower power of 249 hp and 370 Nm of torque to meet the BS6 norms. Having said that, this is a smooth engine and not for an instant does it feel underpowered. Past 1,800 rpm, there’s a good grunt that continues beyond 6,000 rpm. The best aspect is the meaty mid-range which makes it a good car to drive around the city. Be it the city or highway, the Q5 feels effortless and extremely refined, which is the biggest strength of this SUV.

There’s always enough power on the tap and it just needs a gentle nudge to overtake other vehicles. The dual-clutch gearbox is fairly quick, too, and you have the option of shifting through the seven-speed via the steering-mounted paddles. I made good use of this to play with the power at hand on those beautiful winding hilly roads. Apart from drive modes, you also get terrain mode which includes Off-road that keeps the lower gears engaged and activates the Hill Descent system and is the reason why we dared to drive up to the riverbed.

Audi Q5: Ride and Handling
We were a tad concerned about having larger wheels with less rubber on our roads, but, surprisingly, the Q5 still manages to soak in all the irregularities. The suspension with damping control does a good job of maintaining passenger comfort. It still is sprung on the softer side and the Audi isn’t really tuned to impress enthusiasts. But being a quattro, all the four wheels are powered which helps scale to these exotic locations and also provide greater traction around fast corners. Similarly, the steering isn’t sporty or razor-sharp, but it feels precise and is predictable.

Conclusion:
With the facelift, the Q5 continues to be a well-rounded product as before. It doesn’t really raise the bar in any one particular aspect, but beautifully brings together aspects like refinement, luxury, and comfort with the smarter new design. And that’s why we’re certain the premium SUV will be a key player for Audi India to bring the numbers they are aiming at.

Also Read: Audi e-tron 55 quattro Review

 

About the author: Sarmad Kadiri

 

 

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