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Audi Q5 2.0 TDI Road test review in India
The new Audi Q5 brings better dynamics and more comfort to the table; however, with the competition becoming fiercer than ever, can it turn on the charm again?

The first-generation Q5 was launched some seven years ago and it immediately won the hearts of luxury car-buyers. It was a time when people were looking for a premium SUV that offered refinement, style and top-class craftsmanship. Something the Audi furnished in abundance. Sitting in between the larger Q7 and the entry-level Q3, the Q5 became a major contributor to help Audi India hit the 10,000-unit target.

However, last year was particularly challenging for the German car-maker, with the existing Q5 nearing the end of its life-cycle and competition in the segment piling up with models such as the Mercedes-Benz GLC, Volvo XC60, and the Lexus NX 300h. Audi had to launch a counter-attack soon enough. So, in January this year, even before we could finish writing down our New Year’s resolutions, the new Q5 swooped in to the arena.
Audi Q5 2.0 TDI Road test review in India

We got a go in the new car in Pushkar, Rajasthan, driving it on the arrow and straight highways, and on some twisty hilly roads that led us into the city of Ajmer. This gave us enough staple to rustle up this detailed test report.
When we first set our eyes on the new Q5, its uncanny resemblance to the older model was the first thing that struck us. The understated design grows on you with time and you also notice that the 2018 version is an evolution of the current design. There are plenty of new fine touches which give it a more robust yet elegant stance. With its prominent creases and curvaceous demeanour it looks visibly lighter now. In fact, it weighs about 65 kg less than before, in spite of being longer, wider and taller than the older model. The credit for this goes to its new MLB EVO platform.

Audi Q5 2.0 TDI Road test review in India

The design is inspired by the new Q7, with a single-frame trapezoidal front grille and new Matrix LED headlights, with Q-type lighting arrangement. The new headlights brilliantly lit up the lanes and by-lanes of Ajmer as we drove through the city in the evening. The deep character lines create a wrap-around illusion as they continue to the rear of the car where they neatly merge with the tail-lamps. The side profile from the rear three quarters looks a lot like the outgoing model, till one notices the re-profiled tail-lamps with an intricate design. Audi could have been more creative with the plain-Jane alloy wheel design, though. Overall, the 2018 version retains the understated essence of the outgoing model and adds to it just a dash of modern styling. And the end result is something we like.

Before we get into the cabin, I’d just like to mention that even the key fob is smarter than before: it remembers a set of driver’s preferences, his/her seat and ORVM position, drive mode, a-c temperature, and even smartphone connectivity.


About the author: Sarmad Kadiri



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