Car Specification

11 January 2013

Audi Q5 2.0 TFSI review

A petrol SUV might sound like an oxymoron in today’s time and age, especially when fuel prices have been climbing faster than the Sensex

Abhinav Mishra
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Audi might call it a new Q5; but we all know it’s a mild refresh. To being with, there was nothing wrong with the earlier SUV, but Germans being Germans, see room for improvement.

To the all-new Q5 then, we mean refreshed Q5. The most noticeable exteriors changes are the headlights that get a new set of daytime running lights. The grille gets defined edges, more in line with the rest of the Audi line-up. While the rear also gets changes in the taillight cluster design.

On the inside, the same story continues, with the interiors largely remaining the same. There has been brushed metal sprinkled around to make the cabin feel plusher.

The petrol TFSI engine has also gone through some fine tuning and now makes 225bhp compared to the older model's 211bhp, though the 350Nm of torque remains the same. An 8-speed auto 'box sends power to all four wheels via Audi’s Quattro system. Though there has been an increase in power figures, Audi claims that efficiency has gone up by 15 per cent thanks to the direct injection and turbocharging.

Start the 2.0 TFSI engine you are greeted with silence. Even in start/stop mode you can't tell the difference. While standing at a signal we had to take a glance the rpm needle to see if the engine was running or not. It’s that quiet and the sound deadening is that good.

But if you take this silent motor to be timid, you are highly mistaken. Press the accelerator and the Q5 lunges forward with the agility and grace of a ballerina dancer. Though it might do a 0-100kph in just 7.1 seconds, it completely omits the drama like a good luxury car should.

If you prefer a bit of drama from your SUV, the Q5 can play that game too. There are four settings to choose from, Comfort, Sport, Individual and Auto (let the onboard computer decide what is best) from Audi’s Drive Select system. Select the Sport setting and everything gets a tad edgier. Suspension firms up, the steering gets heavier and the throttle response gets sharper. Let’s not forget the sweet sound the engine makes on you start revving it. During our drive, we deliberately kept the engine above 3000rpm, just to listen to that sweet exhaust note.

Ride can be changed at a click of the button. As mentioned earlier, the onboard computer controlled suspension comes with four settings, but if you still like getting down to the nitty-gritty bit, you have that option as well. Prefer the engine in Sport mode but find the ride too stiff? Click on Individual setting and you can set parameters for engine, suspension and steering response independently.

Same goes for the handling. The Q5’s all-wheel drive system, sees to it that the Q5 never loses grip and takes corners with ease. There is body roll, but that can be expected from an almost two-tonne SUV.

Inside, the cabin is driver-biased, with a plethora of buttons surrounding the driver. Apart from the centre console multi-information screen, there is a mini info display that sits right between the speedo and the rpm meter in the instrument cluster. This falls directly in the drivers line of vision, and can be completely accessed with the steering mounted controls.

Seats are comfy as one would expect from luxury German SUV and the commanding seating position gives a good all-around view. Driving the Q5 for long hours, thanks to the extra pampering, driver fatigue is at an all time low.

Spending some time with the Q5 petrol we have to admit a few things – the 2.0 TFSI is a brilliant motor that gives you just the right amount of power to play with. Though the fuel economy is at the lower side with the Q5 petrol doing 6.7kpl, we still think it’s a bargain when you consider close to V6 TDI level of performance available at a 2.0 TDI pricing.

The numbers
1984cc, 4-cylinder, 225bhp, 350Nm, 8-speed torque converter, AWD, 0-100kph in 7.1 seconds (claimed), Rs 43.16 lakh (ex-Delhi)

The verdict
Though the Q5 2.0 TFSI might sound like an odd car to buy at first. Logic applied, it does make a strong case for itself.

Read the Audi Q5 2.0 TDI review

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